I am still in touch with Mariupol. A client called and said that the rains are washing off the burials, and there is a terrible smell, especially in big apartment buildings, where they buried people in the yards, on flower beds, on sidewalks. There are graves everywhere and in some places you can see the half-decomposed bodies
We spent almost a full day at the border with Estonia; they made it very difficult to get to Europe. Why are we leaving Russia, why didn’t we take the subsidy from Putin (10000 roubles per person) etc, etc. My sister’s advice was not to take the subsidy to avoid issues at the border crossing. And we never planned to take money from those shooting at us.
But at the border they still tried to find out who shot at us, why we don’t want to stay… At the customs building Anton just fell asleep standing up and leaning against me. I tried to wake him, and he started crying. We were both feverish: mine around 40C, his 38.5C. We got really bad colds at the basement. I told her: ma’am, please, could you at least let the child through, so he could take a seat? And I hear: wait, I interrogate him first and then you can go. I tried to argue: but he is asleep. She raised her head: yes, he is asleep. So wake him up. And started asking him: where are you going? To Poland. I taught him to say that he is going to his mother’s sister, even though I just have a friend there. According to the tickets our final destination was Warsaw. The customs’ officer kept asking: and what’s the sister’s name? maybe, you could go back? My son said: I don’t know, it’s up to the parents to decide. It’s just bullying.
Haven’t found my place under the sun yet
Before that we talked to the staff from Kyiv's Jewish Agency, so they waited for us in Warsaw. I have to say, the folks from the Jewish Agency were really helpful, especially the head of the St. Petersburg office, who met us in Warsaw. And all their employees supported us as much as possible. They tried to help as best they could. We didn’t have any clothes, so they brought us some, so we could be dressed for the weather. They also offered advice and just kind words. That was the end of the tough part. In Poland we went through the consulate check and flew here.
We lived in a hotel for three weeks, then rented an apartment, and started a new life. The people here are kind and open. One young family helped us a lot: with document translation and looking for a place to live. But if we are talking about bureaucracy, Ukraine was easier. I am trying to find out if I can start a bakery business here. I knocked on all doors, tried everything, but it’s very complicated here. While we were in Warsaw, we talked to the representatives from Jerusalem, and they all promised to help. When we came here, it was all yes-yes-yes. We flew on the same plane as the Minister for absorption, and I personally talked to Pnina. She said I could get a loan etc. But nothing is moving along… I am studying Hebrew; I need to know the language I will use for business. For now I got a job in a private daycare.
I am still in touch with Mariupol. A client called and said that the rains are washing off the burials, and there is a terrible smell, especially in big apartment buildings, where they buried people in the yards, on flower beds, on sidewalks. There are graves everywhere and in some places you can see the half-decomposed bodies.
I am 43 years old, and when you live in your city, you know a lot of people by this age; your social circle is wide, but I haven’t found my place under the sun here yet. But if you give me a call in a couple of years, I hope to have a different answer.