on the plane

To be precise, something around ten thousand meters above the surface of the Earth. Well, or whatever the cruising altitude of the Airbus A320 is. Having read another (and this time, his first) book of Murakami, I felt a sudden urge to write something. So, I guess, you guys have to bear with me. What that’s going to be about – I have not a vaguest idea. (beware, lengthy)

Back to the flight. After 631 days of not visiting Russia (to be precise, at the point of writing this post, it is 54’524’088 seconds), I am paying a visit again, to my little city in the middle of vast country (well, it’s not really that little, it just feels to me that way). You know, what’s strange? I really don’t know how to feel right now. And honestly, I am a little scared. Two years is not ten, and I haven’t been away for even two years yet, but still, nonetheless, I feel terrified. My hometown, my homeland has changed, my friends had changed, my family has changed, and I wasn’t quite in contact with those changes. That’s where it’s stemming from, I think. And maybe it’s only an exaggeration, but sometimes I feel that I am not a Russian anymore, but I am definitely not a German yet (and I doubt I’ll ever be, although, Germans are cool, trust me).

Still, you can call it vacation. A week with my family, with a few friends I have left in the city, with a few familiar (or now unfamiliar) places etc. etc. Actually, I am really glad that a couple of major airlines had found my hometown on the map. Weird as it feels, I was just drinking my favorite coffee, a flat white (one of a kind), and eating this (not less one of a kind) pizza and playing the piano at the place I call ‘home’, and now, in a few hours I’ll be there – in the place I spent nineteen years of my life, first time went to school, first time had a fight and first time had sex (awkwardly, very, very awkwardly, for what shame-on-me, quoting Mr. Murakami).

At that point, I want to stop and wish you a very good time of day, wherever you are. Remember, Life is beautiful.

six days later

You know what, forget it. Everything I wrote. Well, not everything, but at least something. Well, maybe don’t forget, just take a note somewhere that a few things were exaggerated, a little. What has changed? Six days past, I see one thing: nothing had changed. Russia is still the same old Russia as I remembered it. Except this February is strangely warm and a little too foggy for a February. And, well, Russia seems to me much poorer now than it was before. Maybe it is my subjective feeling, but I think it is much easier to see the change when you haven’t seen each other for some time. Everything looks a little more run down, which is a bit ominous.

My hope is, regardless of whatever the government decides to do this time (and every other time), more people would realize that changing their life to the better is their own responsibility, whatever that means for them. I know, that might sound a little hypocritical, please don’t throw stones at me. Anyway, people are moving on. After year and a half, everyone’s got news, mostly good ones. Which means, life goes on, notwithstanding all the difficulties people have thrown in their way. And this will continue: Sun will shine, trees will grow, babies will be born. Life, as is.

Other than that, borschtsch is still as good as it was before, as well as mashed potatoes with kotleti, sour cucumbers and adjika. Thanks to my beloved family I had a chance to enjoy huge amounts of really good food, a feast worth a king, not less. My family is awesome. I owe them, a lot, for all that support I received during my entire life. Family is one damn good reason to come back from time to time. And so I will.

P.S.: To those I haven’t seen, please excuse me for not reaching out. I had only a little time. We’ll see each other again, next time.