Roni's Journal

Saturday, 30 September 2000

Concert: Beethoven

This morning I was feeling a bit better. My lips still hurt. Waking up wasn't easy anyway.

Dressed up smartly, navy shirt, black shoes, and went to the Academy. Had a composition lesson. We're making progress. We now have 1 complete piece, 2 almost complete, and 1 to work on; I need to write another one, a more serious one.

After the lesson, I spent almost 2 hours practicing, and then a girl gave a concert in the small hall. She played a fugue of Bach, then Beethoven's Sonata 16, and finally some piano concerto, which I didn't particularly like, but Bach and Beethoven were not bad at all. The girl played very well, and the piano concerto was on 2 pianos - her teacher accompanied her.

As yesterday, the concert finished at 20:30, and I went home.

I'm going to sleep soon. Lots of homework for Monday to do tomorrow. 22:00.

Friday, 29 September 2000

Concert: Chopin

I hate herpes!!

Woke up, and went to the college. Had an unsatisfactory lesson with piano teacher. Nothing worked today, hands didn't wanna play, mind didn't wanna read notes, everything went wrong. Yucks.

Then I composed for some 4-5 hours. Then went to a small concert - a pianist played Chopin and Skryabin for over an hour. Chopin was good, Skryabin, not too bad either. The girl was fantastic.

I went home. Mum prepared apples with honey, and we celebrated the Jewish New Year.

Watched a movie, wrote a poem for Tara, and now, 4:30, going to sleep.

Thursday, 28 September 2000

Another sleepless night. Runny nose all night, what an annoyance. Well, at least I managed to write a few stanzas for a song. Quite respectable rhymes.

In the morning I wrote down the new piece that I composed yesterday, and added some today.

Went to the Academy, and had a piano lesson at 2 pm. We played Beethoven's Sonata #8 (Pathetique), and Mozart's Sonata #12, 3rd movement. Then I had a composition lesson at 4 pm, then went home.

Mum and I sung for a bit, and now I'll try and have some sleep. Two days and nights with no sleep is quite too much, I have a headache! 20:20.

Wednesday, 27 September 2000

All night long I went to and from the bathroom, cleaning my throat. When I woke up, it was significantly better than yesterday. I practiced piano for several hours, and then went to the office - dad wanted me to fix something in the computer. It turned out to be nothing special.

I phoned Ira to inform her that she might have to pay tax on the books package that we sent from London, and that I'll return her any money she spends. She wasn't home, and I gave her grandma the message. Hope she gets it.

We did some shopping and came home. I wrote a new piece for tomorrow's lesson, and am going to sleep soon, it's 23:20.

Tuesday, 26 September 2000

Slighty ill

I couldn't sleep, so got up and wrote some poetry, then went to sleep at 6 am.

Woke up at 12:45, throat all in pain, yuck. The driver picked me up. First, I dropped some postcards at the post office, then went to my voice teacher's house. We had a lesson till 15:15, quite difficult, don't forget my throat hurts... Then I went home, and started tuning the rest of the piano. In the end, I finished the job, the piano is all in tune, but it will need some retuning in a few days, when it settles. Maybe next week.

I finished writing a fairy tale sort of poem, and Galya came online right when I finished. We chatted till 1 am. Too much fun is never enough, as I always say.

It's 2 am.

I wondered writing some philosophical poem, but maybe some other day.

Monday, 25 September 2000

Prepared voice lesson

Woke up again at 12:00. Went to the office and got my photocopies, which my dad forgot yesterday, of some voice exercises that my teacher gave me. From the office went to the Academy.

First I had a voice lesson, which went very well. The teacher was more than impressed, and we agreed on another lesson tomorrow. Way cool.

Then I had 2 hours of nothing-to-do. The first hour I worked a bit on my compositions. The second hour I practiced piano - the 3rd movement of Mozart's Sonata #12.

Then a composition lesson. We're making good progress, the teacher says.

Then a solfedge and harmony lesson. Real fun. We had 2 new students arrive: a guy from Yugoslavia, and a pretty girl from USA. The teacher didn't check our homework, which was a disappointment - I did a good job of it. But she'll check everything next week.

Afterwards, the driver picked me up, and dropped me off at the office. I phoned Galya, and we spoke for 10 minutes, and that cheered me up even more, a great day, I felt. Then I went home, and practiced singing for about an hour. Then dad arrived. We went for a walk and bought 2 watermelons, and later ate one of them.

Then I found out how to send cellphone messages to Galya. That was fun. I sent something, and she came online in a few minutes. Asked me not to do it anymore, hehe. Ok. :) Then she went to sleep. And I'm going too. 00:25

Sunday, 24 September 2000

5 months with Galya

Slept all day till 9 pm. Did some homework, wasted some time on the net, and went to sleep again at 6 am.

Saturday, 23 September 2000

1st voice lesson

I got 12 hours of sleep, and still it wasn't enough to compensate for all those nights. Oh well. Tomorrow.

I went to the Academy and had my first voice lesson. It was cool. The teacher is cool; he gave me two pieces to have a look at, they're in Italian! We did some voice exercises, he explained some stuff to me, very cool, all in all. He said, I will get 2 lessons per week - that's awesome.

Afterwards I spent almost an hour in a classroom working a bit on piece #6. Work #6, that's what I'll call it from now on. 'Piece' will be reserved for finished products. Anyway, then had a composition lesson. Great.

Then I went home.

It was a bit warmer today than yesterday, but still very cold. Yesterday was freezing. But, of course, this can't compare with the cold that will come soon...

I chatted with Galya a bit, and mum and I went to the forest. We came back and I started tuning the piano. From scratch - but with a new technique, which I devised earlier today. It worked! The 2 octaves were tuned perfectly. Then Galya came online and we chatted, and in between breaks, when she went away, I tuned more notes, until 5 bottom octaves of the piano were all tuned. Now, only the treble is left.

Mum and I had a short quarrel on who and when can be noisy. (i.e. me - can't - in the evening...)

Galya and I chatted a bit more, interesting revelations about me keeping secrets. Heh, I didn't know, but she did. Well :) I explained best as I could. Still, it was unsatisfactory. Oh well. She went to sleep too soon, but she has school tomorrow, so that's good from one point of view. Besides, she comes online way more often than I expected she would, and that's great.

I stayed up till 6 am.

Friday, 22 September 2000

Voice audition

Another difficult morning. It's getting annoying, I now have a headache, probably due to lack of sleep - I had 7 hours of sleep each night on average; on average - i.e. some days I only had 6 hours!

Anyway, I took the metro to the Academy, and had my first Music History lesson. Nothing amazing, we just sit and listen to the teacher, Alexandra Iosifovna, telling us the history of mankind, and since music comes into it - it's called Music History. :)

Then I saw my piano teacher, we talked for a bit, and I went up to meet Konstantin Pavlovich - a vocalist teacher. There was an Italian (I think) guy singing, so I waited for 15-20 minutes. Then the teacher listened to me. Afterwards he gave me his phone number and told me to come tomorrow for a lesson! :))

I went home. Tuned the piano a bit more, and Galya came online. We spoke for half an hour, and then mum and I went to the forest. When we came home, I tuned the piano a bit more, worked a bit on #3, and then Galya came online again. Again, we spoke not for very long before she went out with friends. It's 11 pm and I'm going to sleep, before I start writing anything new. I really need the sleep, damn it.

Thursday, 21 September 2000

Piano arrived

Today I had a fun piano lesson. My teacher told me how talented I was :) and told me to bring more music next lesson, so we can do something productive. She said there's no use for me to play the small Bach inventions, since I play at a high standard, and it would be just boring.

After that I had a composition lesson, the teacher liked my new piece #6, which is in 5/8 time.

When I returned home, two guys were in the corridor in front of the door with the piano. The piano refused to go in - it's too wide. AFter some thought, they put it on its shoulder (not an easy job), and brought it in (even more difficult). Finally, the piano was in place. We put it in the living room.

After dinner, I spent about an hour tuning the two middle octaves, and did quite a good job of it, especially considering that the whole piano was half a semitone out of tune! Just a little more work on those two octaves, and it will be perfect. Then I can tune the rest of the strings.

Dad left to Tashkent for two days just now.

It's 11 pm. I'm going to sleep, I haven't had enough sleep for the past 3 days, and waking up is becoming more and more annoying.

A new version of ICQ 2000a (v4.55 build #3264) is out.

Wednesday, 20 September 2000

Piano buying

Woke up to the sound of the telephone ringing. My mum has found a good piano for a good price and wanted me to come see it. So I did. It was a nice black German upright piano, almost 90 years old, but the keys and actually the whole action is all new inside. After playing on it for a bit, I decided that it is worth buying. Mum and I went to an exchange bureau, got the money, came back and bought the piano. They will bring it tomorrow.

Then mum and I went home, and after dinner went for a walk in the forest. Not a very long one, because we had to be back home by 7 pm, since dad didn't have the keys.

Galya and Ira came online in the evening. Galya and I chatted, while Ira did her Russian homework. After they went I wrote a new piece and worked a bit more on #3. Then went to sleep.

Tuesday, 19 September 2000

I did go to sleep in the end. At 7 am. Got up at 4 pm, when mum woke me up. We went to the forest. Long walk, around 3 hours. Then I worked on my harmony homework, did quite a nice job of it. Then Galya came online. Lots of nerves, not for nothing it seems, but it seems now, and who knows if it's the truth, only time will tell, and I hate that, but it seems that it resolved, and she went to sleep smiling; she has a trip to Jerusalem tomorrow, what fun.

Then I worked just a bit more on the homework, and chatted on IRC for a bit.

Well...IRC will have to wait for some time now, till I go there again. Long story...

It's 5 am, I'm going to sleep. Or am I?

Monday, 18 September 2000

Phonecall to landlord

Mum and I walked together to the metro station, from where I went to the Academy. Dad showed me a quicker route the other day, and I took it. One problem: there is a traffic light on the way, which turns green once in 10 minutes; by the time it turned green, around 50 people gathered on each side of the road. One massive road.

I recieved my student card, then had a composition lesson. The teacher liked my development of piece #3, and some moments from #4. That's cool. New work gets better results, that's promising.

After that, I had a free hour, so I got a key from the office and practiced piano for an hour. Then music theory lesson. That was fun, as usual. The teacher told me she'll give me more load than the other student, so that I can get more done in less time, just as I wanted; perfect. The lesson ended at 19:40, instead of 20:00, so I had 20 minutes more of piano practicing. Mum and I agreed that someone will pick me up then.
She was waiting outside the Academy with the driver. We went to the office; on the way we had a quick visit to a shop and bought some biscuits to eat on the way. From the office I phoned my previous landlord to discuss the money problem. We didn't reach any agreement; he continues to accuse me of things I haven't done, of things I can't believe anyone could do.

Then I phoned Galya. Something was wrong. Her, or me, or something. We didn't speak for long.

We waited for the driver to take us home; he went up to the dining room, and so we were waiting for him to come down. I phoned Galya again. She said something that made me melt, I needed that so badly for the past 3 days. Then I felt better, and hope she did too. I wished her luck on her history test tomorrow, and told her I love her. And I do.

Then we went home.

Got an e-mail from Ira. She came online for 2 minutes, but unfortunately I couldn't talk to her, my dad was using the computer. Anyway, that e-mail cheered me up. I spent several hours writing a continuation to a poem I started a few days ago. Wrote 3 more stanzas. Another 2 left, I think, till it's complete. Quite funny poem, really.

Tried going to sleep, but didn't fall asleep, so got up, and told Kalich about the whole story with the landlord. He agreed with me that it's very unfair, but couldn't think up anything which would make anyone believe the truth. :(

It's 6:30, and sunrise is in progress. Mum wanted to go jogging today. Perhaps I won't get any sleep at all. Galya will be online in the evening, and I don't want to miss that. I miss her. That's enough.

Sunday, 17 September 2000

Woke up late, at 5 pm. Didn't do much. Watched a film with mum and dad - 'Mission to Mars'. Galya came online for a brief 10 minutes. It was terrible, I had no words to say, and she wasn't in the mood to discuss anything - she's had enough, and plus there is an upcoming exam on Tuesday. Anyway, she went. I finally figured out why my computer kept hanging - it was the new mouse cursors I installed... Damn Windows! Well, at least, it's all fixed now.

I started composing and wrote a new piece (#4), and then wrote down another one (#5). Finally, worked on #3. Got everything down on paper and went to sleep at 5:30 am.

Saturday, 16 September 2000

Uzbek Dinner

Woke up at 12:30, there was nobody home. Got ready to go to the Academy, when mum and dad came home from shopping, I gathered. They wanted to go to the centre, so I waited a few minutes, while mum had lunch, and then we went. I was supposed to have a lesson at 15:00, but the teacher didn't arrive. I waited for half an hour, then wandered around the school till I found an empty unlocked room, and started practicing Mozart. I agreed with my parents to meet at 16:00 at the Academy entrance. So I practiced till 16:00, then went to check whether the teacher had arrived. And yeah, he had. Apparently, he meant 4 pm when he said 3 pm last lesson. Well, no big deal, I went outside and told my parents to come back in an hour, and then came back for the lesson. It lasted 40 minutes or so. The rest of the time I spent practicing more Mozart. Then mum, dad and I went to the Old Arbat (my Academy is 10 minutes walk from there) - that's the famous central broadwalk. We went into a nice Uzbek restaurant, and had dinner. Afterwards, we went shopping. Didn't buy much; I bought 2 nice cards for Galya and Ira, and 6 chocolate bars, and a very nice 10x15 cm picture frame. Then we went home.

The rest of the evening I spent figuring out why my computer is acting strangely. Apparently it's because of the network settings, which are screwed up in Windows. Anyway, I put a picture of - Galya and Ira in front of Tower Bridge - into the frame and put it on the table in front of me. Very nice. Galya hasn't received my e-mail, or hasn't replied. And I haven't seen her online. I wrote her an e-mail, quite desperate, I really need her. We had an argument last night, and I feel empty. 4 am.

Friday, 15 September 2000

HIV result

Woke up at 00:20, after 2.5 hours of sleep, and couldn't fall asleep, so got up. After several hours a poem in Pushkin's style had been written, not complete yet. In the morning I went to sleep again.

Mum and dad left before I woke up, which happened at 9, but I got up at 10:30. Left for the Academy at 11:00. Had a piano lesson at 12:00; there was no music history lesson - the teacher is on holiday, so I practiced piano for two hours in the Academy, and then went home. Mum and dad came soon afterwards.

Dad got the results of the HIV test - I'm not infected, hehe.

Later, Ira came online. We chatted for a few minutes, then she had to go. Afterwards, Galya came online, from Ira's house. We chatted for a few minutes, then she had to go. Several hours later she came online from her house.

We chatted till late evening, mostly argued. Then she left - was tired of me, and my (damn it) stubbornness.

I couldn't go to sleep, so I wrote a poem. Then I went. Couldn't fall asleep for a long time.

Thursday, 14 September 2000

First piano lesson

Woke up at 11, but got up at 11:20. Had some breakfast, and got ready to go to the Academy. Wanted to leave at 13:00, but dad didn't arrange for a car to pick me up. After several phone talks to him in the office, he agreed and arranged for a driver to give me a lift to the metro station. I arrived to the Academy at 14:05, but the teacher was still busy with the previous student, so that was ok.

The piano teacher, Irina Alekseyevna, listened to me playing Beethoven, Mozart and Bach, and told me that I play well. :) She gave me some instructions and said that she'll see me tomorrow at noon.

After the lesson I waited for an hour until my composition teacher, Pyotr Aleksandrovich, arrived. We had some discussions regarding my previous compositions, and then he had a look at the new pieces, one of which satisfied him, to say the least. He told me what he wanted me to develop on, and stuff like that, and we agreed to see each other 3 times a week, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Then I went home, took the metro.

There was nobody home when I arrived, so I waited at the door for around an hour. Not nice. Mum and dad came from the office, and we went for a walk.

I'm going to go to sleep earlier tonight - tomorrow first lesson at noon, and then Music History at 12:30. It's 21:40.

Wednesday, 13 September 2000

HIV test

Woke up and straight away went to the clinique and did the HIV test. Results in a few days.

The rest of the day I spent practicing Mozart and Bach, and composing music. In the evening Galya came online, so we chatted for a bit. Then I phoned my teacher and arranged a time for our lesson - tomorrow, after the piano lesson, around 4 pm.

I wrote another piece, with a good melodic line, the best of the three latest ones, probably; practiced some more Mozart, then spent around 2 hours writing the pieces on paper. Finally went to sleep at around 4:15 am.

Tuesday, 12 September 2000

I woke up at 3 pm... Lack of sleep during last week, I guess. Mum and I went for a walk in the forest. On the way home I did some passport-sized photos of myself, for the Academy - I'll pick them up tomorrow. Then we went into a shop, bought some water, and came home.

I practiced the Mozart sonata - started the second half of it. It went quite well. Some of it is very similar to the first half, only in a different key. Then, mum and I went to the shop again, to buy some chocolate for me. Afterwards, I practice some more Mozart.

Then Galya came online. That was great, we chatted for over an hour. Some disappointments regarding her computers project, but nothing she can't handle.

I played a bit on the piano, then practiced Bach. It's getting better, but not quite performance standard. But, all in all, this is Bach!
It's 2:15 am.

Monday, 11 September 2000

First lessons at Academy

I woke up at midday. Mum and I dressed up. I was to be at the Academy at 2 pm, and mum wanted to go to the office. So we left together. On the way I bought a notebook to write in. There was no driver available, so I went by metro. It took almost an hour, but I arrived on time.

First I had a Russian lesson... The teacher realised that I know Russian well enough not to attend her lessons, so she'll talk to the Dean.

Then I met my composition teacher. He asked me questions about my past and my musical past, so I told him. Then he wanted to listen to my compositions. I played my waltz to him, and he said he liked it. The rest, he said, he'll listen at home (I gave him a CD, and the score). We arranged a lesson on Thursday at 4 pm or so - after the piano lesson. The teacher himself is a cool guy, quite young, so it's gonna be fun.

After the lesson, I had an hour of nothing-to-do, so I went to the buffet. Bought myself a bottle of water and a chocolate bar. Sat at one of the tables, and started composing music. I wrote a few bars of something...

Finally, I had a music harmony and theory lesson. That was real fun. The class consists of 4 Asian girls and me. What we actually do in the lesson is a lot of fun - we do a bit of singing, a bit of reading notes, a bit of rythm work, and other stuff. The teacher, Tatyana her name, is quite young, and very friendly. It's going to be good fun studying in the Academy, this year at least.

Mum and dad picked me up at 7 pm, and we went to the office. I phoned the agency, but they weren't very helpful, as before, and the landlord is still away: all I'm getting is an answering machine. I'll send him a fax or something. Anyway, then I phoned Galya. We spoke for 22:04 (!!) minutes... Every time I hear her voice, I feel warm inside. I miss her so much.

When we came home, I took out the few bars I wrote in the morning, and from it wrote a whole piece. A small one, but with a definite theme. The composition teacher asked me to prepare 5 or so intros for piano pieces - to compose them, that is. Well, I'll write five whole pieces instead!

I went to sleep at midnight.

Sunday, 10 September 2000

Visit to Gorbushka

Today we went to Gorbushka - that's the name of the marketplace, where they sell cheap software and music CDs. We spent about an hour walking around and looking at stuff. I bought myself a CD with music software. Then we went home. The rest of the time I spent practicing Bach and Mozart. In the evening Galya came online, so we chatted for almost an hour, which was great. Then I spoke to Juliya for a few minutes and went to sleep.

Saturday, 9 September 2000

When, at around 7 am Galya went to bed, I took out the Mozart and started playing the sonata. I played for around 3 hours, it was worth it. Then I went to sleep for like 5 hours. Mum woke me up, we were invited to a friends/relatives house. So we, dad, mum and I, went. It was alright. They had a Persian cat, which was a bit amusing; we had dinner there, and left at around 10 pm. I practiced a bit more Mozart, I can now play half of the sonata almost up to speed, which is pretty cool for a day's work. It's 00:20. I'll practice some Bach now, and go to bed in a few hours.

Friday, 8 September 2000

Practiced some Bach, and had a look at the Mozart's sonata. Phoned the properties agency in England, and they faxed the bill to me. They want to take extra 600 pounds for damages and lost items, which wasn't my fault, but the landlords, so I'll have to take it up with the landlord. Mum and I went shopping, then came back to dad's office. I phoned Galya, while mum went home. We spoke for around 15 minutes. Then I phoned grandma for 5 minutes, and then we went home. I practiced a bit more Bach and then Galya came online. We haven't talked properly for almost a week now, so we chatted till morning...

Thursday, 7 September 2000


Couldn't sleep at night, at first. Got up and played on the piano, which was still set up on the chair. Then went to sleep, around 3 am. Got woken up by mum at noon. We went to the office, where I quickly printed out a page with the list of schools I attended, for my piano teacher. Then the driver took me to the Academy. I was there at 2 pm, as planned. My piano teacher didn't show up. Instead she left a note that she wanted me to get Mozart's Sonata #12, part 1, and one of Bach's 2-voice inventions, and prepare them for next thursday, i.e. play them perfectly by then. That's some hard work for me. The note also told me the times of my Music History and Music Theory lessons, as well as the phone number of my composition tutor, whom I have to phone and arrange our common timetable. I tried phoning later, but he wasn't in, so I'll phone tomorrow. I went to the Academy's library, and got out the 2 music scores, then took the metro home.

I found Galya's tape!!! It's the tape she brought as a present for me when she came to London. It contains some wonderful cartoons. This was so amazing, because I thought I left the tape in London, and wondered - how could that happen, because I payed so much attention to not forgetting it, and there you go. I was feeling guilty all this time, and now I'm just so glad it's here. It's very dear to me, a present from Galya. I miss her so much... Anyway. I phoned her and told her the good news. She's feeling better, and will go to school on Sunday which is great news.

I reconstructed my white computer table, and put the computer on it, and connected all the cables. I also set up my piano properly. I rearranged the room a bit so that everything fits in nicely. It does. :) Dad came home soon afterwards, and said he liked the arrangement. Mum said she'll find out tomorrow whether we're staying in this flat for long, then we can buy a real piano. Mum and dad went for a walk, while I did some work on the computer. Then they came back. Dad and I went for a walk immediately afterwards, and bought a watermelon. It weighed 10 kg! I carried it all the way home. Then we ate it, watching Galya's tape. Then my parents went to bed. I spent some time on the net, and then played the 2 pieces on the piano. It's difficult, but I'll learn them properly by Thursday. I very much hope so. My first real lesson is on Monday - Music History. It's 5:20 am.

Wednesday, 6 September 2000

First day at Academy

Today was a resting day... First thing I did after I woke up (3 pm) was place the piano (only the top of the keyboard, without its support) on a chair, and connected it to the mains, and played for 2 hours. Then mum and I went for a walk in the forest. It was colder today than it was in the past week, autumn is arriving. Dad came back from the office shortly after we came back from the forest. I put a pizza in the oven (first time I make a pizza in Russia, want to see what it tastes like here), and mum and dad went out for a walk. The pizza wasn't bad, for a pizza in Russia. I sung a bit, and they came back. Tomorrow I have my first lesson in the Academy at 2 pm.

mIRC v5.8 is out. Will set up my computer tomorrow, or the day after. It's 23:20.

Tuesday, 5 September 2000

Baggage reclaim day 2

Tomorrow arrived way too quickly, today that is. I fell asleep only around 3 am and had to get up at 8 am. Dad decided to go to the airport with mum and me, and so we all went. A 2 hour journey again. Yesterday - mum was doing most of the talking to people and getting them to do stuff, like tell her where to go next and what to sign next; today, I decided that I'm doing all the work, since yesterday we got pretty much nowhere. Again, started the walking around the whole complex, and signing of papers, or like most of the time, being directed somewhere where you needn't go at all... Anyway, I was very tough with those Russians, and within several hours got them to get the manager. Finally I could be in charge of someone who had no one to ask for instructions from - after all - he's the manager! So, I was in charge! You see, they wanted to charge me up to 50% of the cost of my whole package-sending-procedure - the total of which was $2000! After much arguing and negotiating, we agreed on 0.1%. So we payed the $2, and were on our way to get the package, when, apparently, it was 1 pm - lunchtime. And I had an appointment in the Academy for 3 pm. So, with the receipt, that we payed $2 (lol) - we went back to the city, i.e. several hours by car and metro, and by 3 pm were in the Academy. That was fun. The Academy was full of students, especially girls, pretty girls, and very pretty girls (none of whom compare with Galya!), and here I was, a handsome guy (with bloody short hair (more handsome, some say)) walking around and paying 0 attention to those girls. Heh heh. I signed the contract, talked to the Dean of International matters, who is also the piano teacher. I was told that she'll be my piano tutor, irrespective of any other lessons I will have. I was glad to hear that I'll be having piano tuition, let alone, hearing that all the composers who leave the Academy are practically concert pianists! One of my wishes came true. Next, I found out that language is a must in the Academy, and so, besides Russian, I will be learning French (by choice, of course), which was also one of my long forgotten wishes. In fact, mum and I just planned to start learning French properly this autumn. So that's cool. And finally, she'll arrange for vocal tuition for me, which is going to be grand. Anyway anyway! We hurried back to the airport. Well...hurried. We tried to hurry. But of course, it took 2 hours nevertheless. We were back by around 5 pm. And, me doing all the talking to people, and with my receipt for $2, we got my baggage released! An hour later my dad's friend arrived in a car with a trailer, and we went home. With my package. Finally. !!!. On the way home I phoned Galya, my poor dear, ill. But she sounded quite cheered up and that was a relief. Ohh it was so distressing yesterday, finding out that she was really ill... :( Anyhow, it took us around half an hour to bring all the stuff from the box to the fifth floor, and we left most of it as it is, just lying around. Mum found some long-lost items which made her very happy, and I connected my screen to my dad's computer, and it works! Amazing. It's 11 pm, and I'm exhausted. I really did a lot of work today. Talking to angry Russians is not easy job, you know. And besides, I got around 7 hours of sleep during the past two days and nights, so I really need some sleep. Tomorrow is the "unpacking" day. That is, I will be constructing my piano, my table, my computer, the tv set with the vcr, and all the rest of the stuff. I need to thank Galya and Ira personally for being there with me when I was leaving my flat in London, for their moral support, and also for their presents, the picture and beautiful card from Galya, both of which stand here in front of me, and the knives-and-forks cutlery set from Ira, which will come in very handy around here. Galya came online, finally. At last I talked to her for longer than a minute. She's just great, with her optimism. We chatted for around an hour, and now I'm going to sleep. Long unpacking tomorrow... 1 am.

Monday, 4 September 2000

Baggage reclaim day 1

What a day! Ok, where do I begin... Let's try the beginning - woke up at 8 am, way too early, got only 4 hours sleep, but had to get up - a long day had been planned... Oh yeah. An hour later mum and I were on our way to the metro station, and two hours later at the Aeroflot Cargo somewhere between Sheremetyevo 1 and 2. We were set to get my baggage, which had arrived 3 days earlier. The first problem was that the "receiver" was my dad's Jewel Plant. Yeah right. This meant that we needed documents from the plant's managing director and what not. And not to think of the tip that they'd expect - a Jewel Plant after all! So anyway, after the third time we turned to her, the girl who handled us told us to try the Aeroflot representatives. Those were located at the other end of the half-hour road between the two airports. Anyway, long story, in which I had to write a declaration that I, myself am the sender (which is damn obvious from the documents!!), and then rewrite the declaration 3 times until they were satisfied. Finally, it was rewritten on my name, and we headed back to Aeroflot Cargo to "get" our baggage. Right... Immediately... Hah! From about 2 pm until 6 pm we ran around the whole massive building from one person to another, singing one thing after another, paying here and there, and what not, until finally we were directed towards the customs, where my package had been held. After 2 hours of negotiating, they decided to inspect the package. The actual package wasn't too big - 1.35 cube metres, but the weight - 405 kg! Of course - it contained my computer, tv, vcr, hi-fi and keyboard! Oh and another 200 kg of "stuff"...after all, it was most of the contents of a 3-bedroom flat! Where was I? Oh yeah, inspection... "Open up" they said. Oh yeah, easy to say. They had no tools whatsoever to offer us, and of course no help from them. After several minutes of running around the whole complex, mum found a nail-pull-out-er. I took it, and after 5 minutes of hard work, I managed to open the top of the package. Of course, the guy who was inspecting wasn't satisfied - he had a piece of paper which clearly told him that the package held several thousand dollars worth of electrical equipment, and he intended to inspect it! Anyway, during the next hour (after much arguing and compromise) we took most of the stuff out, "inspected" it, and only after this guy saw the TV set, he permitted us to pack it all back. For me this was quite fun, although a lot of nerves. Well, fun, because I spent 10 hours already doing paperwork! At last, some manwork (sorry, girls). But, really, I was lucky I'm quite strong and do exercises regularly - the piano was bloody heavy!!! And so was the computer, and the tv, and the rest of the stuff... Anyway. I neatly packed everything back (not in the same way), (and I was surprised that it went back so neatly, I didn't believe it would when we were opening it), and the customs guy wrote out his report. The only annoying thing was that I forgot to include my violin in the declaration, and he wrote it in as something undeclared, whatever troubles that'll bring us... We'll see. The point is, there is still a lot to do, this was only the predeclaration inspection. The rest, i.e. the signing of documents and the release of the package unto our hands is supposed to happen tomorrow. Or the next day. Besides, sometime during the day I phoned my Academy, and was told to be there tomorrow at 15:00 to decide on and draw up my timetable for the next 4-5 months. So we closed the package, took our documents, and left the building. "To be continued..." All this finished at 21:00, and we, mum and I, headed home. ... Oh, but wait! Hahaha! When we got to the metro station, we realised that we hadn't eaten all day. Oh ho ho! And guess what they were selling right beside the station, ... ... chicken! Whole chickens - fried. After not too much thought, we bought one of those massive chickens and a bottle of Fanta, and without any complexes stood in the middle of the marketplace and, dribbling with spit and fat, ate like dogs. I've never eaten a chicken like that. Not only in that position, but also never as fast! We finished the chicken in just a few minutes, after which mum said "what, is that all?", oh but how much we laughed during this whole "meal", we had the time of our life in those few minutes. Simply amazing. And then mum said "oh, now we just need chocolate", and then "oh! but I have some in my bag!", and we burst in laughter again. Then we had a snack of bounty each with the remains of the fanta, and headed towards the station. An hour later we were home. Dad met us at the entrance, all stressed out - well, after all, it was 11 pm already. Imagine, 13 hours of work, after 4 hours of sleep, but I don't feel tired at all. Ok, just a bit. But it's 20 past midnight now and mum and I plan to be at the airport at 10 am to continue our get-our-stuff procedure. So, until tomorrow...

Sunday, 3 September 2000

Woke up even later, 5 pm. It's the third time I wake up and remember dreaming that I was composing music. I could remember the music I was composing in my dream. This means that I write music in my dreams, and most of the time don't know about it. That sucks. Dad, mum and I went for a walk in the forest. It rained. We talked about my dad's new plans to move to Israel. Apparently, in a month or two he and mum will leave Moscow, and want to buy a house in Israel. This means I'll be living in Moscow alone. That sucks. Regarding ADSL dad said that he's not going to do anything, for now, so I'm left with a crappy internet that takes 25 times redialing until it connects, and the cps never gets above 1kb/sec. That sucks as well. What sucks even more is that Galya is ill, and I'm not there with her. She sent me a sweet poem, which cheered me up a bit. I replied. Hope she's better. Long day tomorrow, have to get my baggage. By the way, dad said we're not renting a different flat, because 2 rooms is more than enough for me. Following all this, I wrote a poem called "Izgnan" ("Outcast"). Then I found a way to type in Russian on this laptop, so I spent some 4 hours typing in my last 5 poems for Galya, and the new one, then put them on the web. It's been an annoying day, and now it's 4 am. Good night.

Saturday, 2 September 2000

Woke up late, and straight away phoned Aeroflot Cargo. They said they'll keep the package free of charge till Wednesday, so I'll pick it up Monday or Tuesday. Mum and I went for a walk in the forest. We spent a few hours there, then mum remembered that she had to be home at 5 pm, so we went home. Then she phoned the properties agency and made an appointment to see a flat. So we woke dad up and went. The flat was awful. We didn't go home; instead we took the metro to the city centre - Arbat street, to be precise. It's sometimes called Moscow's Picadilly, funny. Anyway, we walked down this long street there and back, ate in a restaurant and went home. Galya came online soon, and we spoke, for the last time, it seemed, for a long time. I hope not. But school has started, and she has to study for the psycometric test. And my studies start in 3 days too. Ahh. Anyway, then I worked a bit on my homepage, in fact, created this Journal. Dad's watching TV here in my room, I'll probably go to sleep in an hour or so. 2:32 am. Peace.

Friday, 1 September 2000

Journal begins

Good news! My baggage has arrived. At 20:00 or so, to the airport. I found out after phoning United Links from dad's office. The Internet card has ran out and we went to buy a new one. Dad bought a new card with a new company, then we did some shopping. Long time I haven't been in a Russian supermarket. Quite nice actually, I got myself several chocolate bars, just to try them out, so I know what's good. Still one left. Then we went for a walk. Well, not much of a walk really, because mum and I had a little misunderstanding. Well, so I went home and they went for a walk. I got on the net in the mean time with this new company, which charges $0.40 per hour during daytime. Expensive, huh. Well I'll get ADSL as soon as I can put my hands on it. Then I spoke with Galya. Not for too long, she had to go. I read her my new poem, Osen (Autumn), she approved. Then she had to go. Ira came online. That was a surprise, I didn't even have her on my list, so I was surprised at someone saying "Hi :-) how are you?". Then we chatted for like half an hour before Galya came online again. I put her in the chat and the three of us chatted for another 45 minutes or so, when Ira left. Great fun. Then Galya and I had an argument about male and female friendships. She won. Then she left. Ok, it's almost 5 a.m., end of 1 September.