Wednesday, September 19, 2007

the russians

News is, I am going to St Petersburg. On my way to Glasgow.

Only that the Russian consulate have stolen my passport and gone into lockdown. Incommunicado.
This has caused me much hyperventilation.
I have broken out in hives, (whatever hives may be, I have broken out in them.)
Breathe, breathe.

I had a meggie-moment yesterday,
scurrying about posting the business mail for the Mr F, attempting to earn yet more good points, I noticed a scruffy, tragic type at the post offfice counter, scuffling throught the phone books. Arduously going throught he columns of addresses, slowly, sliding his finger down each column. So agitated was he, that I almost asked if he wanted me to help him look, I watched him over top of my envelopes as I stuck on the stamps.

He laboriously copied out the address when he finally found it.."Master Jack...."
The envelope was red, a birthday card.
He drew a little face in the corner, a smiling one with merry eyes, so unlike his own.

On the back , he wrote "Bill Jones-your daddy!! xxxx"

I managed to make it out the door before I burst into tears.

"Despair", Ilya Glazunov, from Dostoyevski's "Netochka Nezvanova"

Today, a man approached me looking very hard-done-by. He asked for $1.90. Quite nicely, politely. Like he just wanted change.
I laughed and asked if he needed it for the parking meter, at which explained a long sorry tale about having just gotten out of Silverwater Prison and if he asked enough people for change, he might have enough for a night in emergency housing. He had walked for two hours to find an Anglican Minister, to find him gone to Newcastle.
He said if he asked enough people politely for a small amount....

There is a fine line we walk, between keeping it all together and unravelling entirely. There, but for the grace of something , I could be walking myself.
There was $50 in my wallet.
"I wasn't meaning to beg, love." he said "but thanks"
I knew that.

It wasn't so bad hugging him. He needed it.

I can't help but think I was buying my way out of something. Yeah, ok, perhaps he went straight to the Orient Hotel with it, yeah, maybe. But maybe not.
A Russian Visa is the least of a person's troubles.

Here is a love heart to cheer you up.


meggie said...

Oh Fifi, You have outdone me, with your stories! Tears in my eyes.
Thankyou for the gorgeous warm, & furry love heart!

ThirdCat said...


Molly said...

I bet your kindness to him will find it's way back to you when you least expect it...

Anonymous said...

$50!!!...that's very doubt you made his day!

whenever i read/hear something like the birthday card thing i thank my lucky stars for my kids & wife.

jellyhead said...

fif you are a good woman. Your post resonates with your warm heart.

I smiled a huge smile of happiness at the 'cat heart'!

XO Jelly

Arcturus said...

You are indeed a very generous and warm and caring person. The world is a better place because of you.

Isn't that a phrase, "gone to Newcastle"? What does it mean?

I had to look up the Raskolnikov reference ... there was an ever-trusty Wikpedia entry on it. I assume that image was meant to go with the man who asked you for money and your own planned visit to St. Petersburg visit, not the man in the post office sending a birthday card to his son ...

As it is, it sounds like you got the Russian Visa problem taken care of.

Speaking of visas to strange places, I wonder if you need a visa to go here. My friend pointed out this place in Australia ... have you ever heard of it?? Just curious. Seems kinda strange.

(Sorry for bringing up a totally irrelevant topic.)

meli said...

so many happy-sad things at once. i'm sure the russian visa will sort itself out. i wrote my honours thesis on the image of the holy fool in dostoevsky's novels. the brothers karamazov is my favourite novel ever. i went to st petersburg a few years ago with my grandparents. just stepping off the train i trembled. it was everything i had dreamed - long milky may nights and flowers everywhere. i went to dostoevsky's house and looked out of his window to the spire of his local church. i walked on his street. i saw the churches bright and gilded like magical cakes. and i saw the most incredible life size icon of the angel gabriel, with beautiful eyes and wings like rainbows. treasures, all of them.

Isabelle said...

Indeed a rival to Meggie's stories! Very sad indeed; imagine having to look up your child's address. And the homeless chap - we never used to have any beggars in Britain until ten, maybe fifteen years ago. Where were they all? And as you say, it's so hard to know whether you're giving money just for drink or drugs - but then, a gift is a gift and can't come with conditions.

Your link in your comment on my post didn't work - I could only get through to GSA, and even my husband couldn't make it work, which is much more significant, because he's not a computer idiot like me. Can you try again? I'm intrigued!

fifi said...

Hi all.

I am probably the recipient of many unknown kindnesses!

Arc, he actually had gone to Newcastle, its about two hours north of Sydney. I was once stuck with no money and no phone... you can't GO anywhere, or do anything...

meli, see my next post..I hope to go to Dostoyevski's house...

Isabelle, I have left you a message.

it's the little things... said...

So many wonderful items in this story. If we were near, I think you would be my very best friend. :)

rackorf said...

Good on ya fifi