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I met my first American in Moscow in 1988 in Pushkin Square. This popular downtown Square was a gathering place for independently minded people after Gorbachev initiated his Glasnost & Perestroika. You could find there underground newspapers, there were spontaneous meetings, and a lot of discussions.
I heard someone was speaking English. Two guys, one a young guy in suit and tie, obviously Russian, fluent English, and the other one, a tall middle aged guy, was an American. I joined them attracted by the fact that they were speaking English, as this was the first American I met, and for me he was from another planet...
For me it was a test in English more than anything else. The American was speaking at a slow pace and I was able to follow the conversation with not much problem. A Russian guy was very good, and he helped me a couple of times when I was stumbling for the right word.
The American was not new to Eastern Bloc countries, and was not just a clueless tourist. He was doing some business in Poland, maybe somewhere else. He said that America was boring, and we did not even understand how lucky we were in the Soviet Union (and it still was Soviet Union) because it was the most interesting political scene, unfolding before our eyes, and we were witnessing the historical events.
But the longer I was listening to the American, the less convincing he sounded for me. He was a bored wealthy guy from a free «boring» country and he lacked adrenaline in his blood. We were a different league. He was watching a jar full of cockroaches, and for him it was interesting how they fight each other. We, on the other hand, were those cockroaches. We did not have the luxury of getting out of this jar, we did not have the luxury of choosing boring over exciting...
It was like in ancient Rome. Watching gladiators fighting was very exciting. Being a gladiator wasn't.
And should I be happy witnessing the eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed the Pompeii? Really...
It was 23 years ago. I am in the United States since 1991. Lately, I see more and more bored people, who are not happy with capitalism, who are so for the people, and against corporations... I hear more and more about making rich people a bit less rich, because those who are not rich would rather have somebody pay more for as long as it is not them. I hear more and more about fairness in distribution...
Guys, there are so many countries where these goals have been achieved, and in all fairness the most fair distribution is in North Korea. There are simply no rich people, none... I have nothing against North Korea. I even think that those, who want to do it here, should go there and enjoy the achievements.
But there is only one country like America. Why change it here, when there are so many exciting choices elsewhere? When people are getting into the jar, they do not know how that would end. I have been there. I was lucky, I could run.
If these forces trying to change the country (and, of course, they are doing it for the better, for the people, as if Lenin-Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, and many others were doing it for somebody else) succeed, where do we all run? There is not a single country to run to, so why don't we take the «exciting» options with less excitement and a bit more wisdom?
And who is bored, like my first American, can go to Russia and enjoy all the excitement they want. It is not going to be boring, I guarantee.
By the way, I have to be fair. His English was perfect. He used it brilliantly and came out as a complete moron from another planet. It happens.
* Image courtesy of Honza Soukupvia Flickr.com under Creative Commos License
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.