The "Children of Perestroika" Come of Age: Young People of Moscow Talk about Life in the New Russia

By Deborah Adelman | Go to book overview

"THE ARMY WAS REALLY
AN IMPORTANT SCHOOL
FOR ME"

DIMA

Twenty-one years old, vocational school graduate, living in Canada

I have a Canadian address in rural Ontario from a card Dima sent me months ago. But he has lived on several farms, and by the time I call Dima has already moved on. After a number of calls to different families I learn that Dima and his friends have gone to live in Toronto. Eventually I get his current phone number. One of Dima's roommates answers with a very Russian version of "hello." The roommate calls Dima to the phone, and I try to imagine the house they're living in and how a group of young men from Moscow find living on their own in Toronto. When I ask Dima, he says "It's wonderful." A superb city, he adds.

During our conversation Dima reminds me of the expense of a long distance call--he's worried about my phone bill! "I'll write you everything," he promises. But I want to stay on the line a little longer. I ask him if he's changed. "I'm a lot taller," he says with a laugh. "I don't think you'd recognize me." His voice is deep. He sounds like an adult. I ask him about his plans. Will he be staying in Toronto? But the question makes him uncomfortable. His reply is vague and I do not understand what he tells me. He ends the conversation with another promise to write about everything. I hang up feeling troubled, as if something went wrong at the end of the call.

-117-

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The "Children of Perestroika" Come of Age: Young People of Moscow Talk about Life in the New Russia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • From Teenagers to Young Adults, 1989-1992 xv
  • Children of These Hungry Times 3
  • Marrying for Love 15
  • Still a Worker 35
  • Some Kind of Justice Will Come 55
  • I Don't like Living My Life According to the Plan 81
  • "Bomzh": No Fixed Address 97
  • I Want to Study 105
  • The Army Was Really an Important School for Me 117
  • Becoming a Farmer 131
  • Going into Business 141
  • I Hope My LIfe Will Have Some Meaning 173
  • Glossary 183
  • Index 187
  • About the Author 194
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