Life is full of surprises or robbers, where are you?! (Part 3)

Here is the last third part of the story about surprises in life. It shows clearly where robbers were at that time.
Today they are in many countries. They can be in your country too.

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

My wife and children were waiting for me.

They looked at the parcel in my hands and instruments and it was clear that they wanted to open parcels immediately and to find out what was in it.

However, I suggested that we needed to warm ourselves first. So we had a morning run and a good workout, then we ate hot breakfast. After it we were ready.

It took considerable efforts to open six parcels. Then we saw that there was a mixture of brown and white in all of them.

My wife cautiously took several white crystals and licked them. She said: “It’s sugar”. Next she took out several brown kernels and said: “Buckwheat!” Then she took out many pieces of brown paper and started to cry.

Children and I looked at her with alarm. What was going on? Why was she crying?

A couple of minutes passed. Then my…

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Life is full of surprises or robbers, where are you?!

If you missed it you must read it! It happened in Rome and Lido di Ostia.

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

At that time we lived in Lido di Ostia and were waiting for American visas.

One gorgeous sunny day I went to the Central post office in Rome to get correspondence from the Soviet Union (only our parents were brave enough to send us letters).

A smiling postal worker looked at my ID and disappeared.

When I saw him again he was not smiling. He told me something in very fast and unfriendly Italian and all people around started to laugh.

Then the guy gave me 4 letters and I turned to leave.

Somebody said in English: “Wait, wait!.Prepare yourself!”

Six large same size wooden parcels appeared on the counter. The weight of each was 11 kg.

It was a huge heavy surprise! I could not carry more than one parcel at any moment but I had to transfer six of them to the railroad station in Rome. Then I had to…

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Life is full of surprises or robbers, where are you?! (Part 3)

My wife and children were waiting for me.

They looked at the parcel in my hands and instruments and it was clear that they wanted to open parcels immediately and to find out what was in it.

However, I suggested that we needed to warm ourselves first. So we had a morning run and a good workout, then we ate hot breakfast. After it we were ready.

It took considerable efforts to open six parcels. Then we saw that there was a mixture of brown and white in all of them.

My wife cautiously took several white crystals and licked them. She said: “It’s sugar”. Next she took out several brown kernels and said: “Buckwheat!” Then she took out many pieces of brown paper and started to cry.

Children and I looked at her with alarm. What was going on? Why was she crying?

A couple of minutes passed. Then my wife stopped crying and explained: “In last letter I wrote that I could not find buckwheat here. Apparently, mothers decided that we had nothing to eat. They bought buckwheat and sugar and put paper packs with them in parcels. People in the USSR pierced each pack many times. Now we’ll have to find a way to separate sugar and buckwheat.”

We stayed in Lido di Ostia two more months. Each day we spent some time separating sugar and buckwheat.

I remembered at that time that my wife did not know her father. He was arrested and shot without trial when she was three months old. 30 years later her mother received a letter from a government that he was innocent.

I remembered that my grandfather was arrested, tortured and then released because he did not do anything wrong. However, he died in three months after his release.

I remembered that after we applied for a permission to leave the USSR we were treated as enemies of the state. We were lucky to get the permission but authorities forced us to pay substantial sum for every member of the family and then allowed to take with us only $400. We left behind our savings for many years of hard work.

I thought how lucky we were to escape from the Soviet Union whose government managed to murder 30 millions of its own people.

We were lucky to leave robbers of dignity, freedom and happiness behind.

I never expected that we would find people in America who would think that socialism could be good.

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery..”
Winston S. Churchill

Life is full of surprises or robbers, where are you?!

At that time we lived in Lido di Ostia and were waiting for American visas.

One gorgeous sunny day I went to the Central post office in Rome to get correspondence from the Soviet Union (only our parents were brave enough to send us letters).

A smiling postal worker looked at my ID and disappeared.

When I saw him again he was not smiling. He told me something in very fast and unfriendly Italian and all people around started to laugh.

Then the guy gave me 4 letters and I turned to leave.

Somebody said in English: “Wait, wait!.Prepare yourself!”

Six large same size wooden parcels appeared on the counter. The weight of each was 11 kg.

It was a huge heavy surprise! I could not carry more than one parcel at any moment but I had to transfer six of them to the railroad station in Rome. Then I had to bring them to our apartment in Lido di Ostia (it was 17 blocks from the station).

There was just one small problem. I had only a train ticket to Lido di Ostia and a handkerchief in my pockets. No money at all!

I had to improvise, to think about logistics.

So I took the first parcel, made 20 large steps and placed it on the floor. Then I took one by one 4 other parcels and put them one upon another. Finally I went to the counter, took the last parcel, went to its brothers and sisters but did not put it down.

I made again 20 large steps and only then put it on the floor. Then I returned for five other parcels.

Everyone in the post office was enjoying my approach to problem solving. I suspect that none of them had so much fun the rest of their lives.

It took me only five 20 steps’ moves to get out from the post office’s building.

Sunny warm Rome greeted me and the six parcels.

I had hours to think about people and life that day.

Yes, initially I thought about leaving five parcels near the post office. But curiosity won. “What could be in these parcels? Are they important for our survival?”

In an hour I remembered an old  movie. It featured energetic, innovative Italian robbers who did almost impossible tricks to relieve foreign tourists of their burdens.

I was moving parcels from one spot to another and I thought: “Where are you, robbers? You don’t need any experience! Just come and take parcels! Help me!”

When I reached the railroad station I placed all parcels near a men’s room and went inside. I spent a lot of time washing my face and hands and hoping for a miracle. Finally I went out. All parcels were waiting for me!

It was easy to bring parcels in the car as the train was leaving in 15 minutes.

One station before Lido di Ostia I loudly asked passengers if anybody understood English. No response!

I had to act. To use my knowledge of Italian.

I shouted: “Mamma mia!”

All passengers looked at me.

Then I shouted: “Bambino!” and showed how hungry a child was.

Several people cautiously approached me. Train started to slow down.

Then I shouted: “Pronto!” and picked up one parcel. Warmhearted Italians picked all others. The train stopped and we left it.  All parcels were put on the platform and passengers returned in the car. I showed a sign of victory and shouted: “Grazie!”

Red Rose by Amit just Amit

Red Rose                by Amit just Amit

…It was dark when I knocked on the door of our apartment. My wife looked at me and did not say a word. She brought a glass of cold orange juice and a bottle of vodka.

I asked our son to get out and to bring in the parcels.

“What could it be in them?”

 

To be continued.