Back from Moscow to ready the boat for the next bit, I needed to refuel. I asked Dima, working on an adjacent boat, if he could call me a taxi for the tedious jerrycan transfer routine. 10 minutes later he came on board, took the jerrycans and did two trips to a local service station for me, refusing my offer to at least assist him.
Last night Dima came by and asked if his girlfriend Gerda could come to see Tainui. To cut a long story short, there followed a wonderful evening in company with these two 25 year olds. They arrived, of course, bearing whisky and juices of various sorts, together with a copy of volume 5 of the Waterways charts inscribed and dedicated to Tainui.
Gerda, a poet and music lover, has excellent English. She talked about Pushkin, her other love besides Dima. We listened to Taj Mahal and Rachmaninov while musing about life’s infinite possibilities. She told me about her childhood and their hopes and aspirations together.
And today, Dima has insisted on driving me into Nizhniy to pick up Maxine and Lieve. He had started work at 6 am and I suspect he started early so he could take the time off for chauffeuring this old fart.
I ended the evening with Heifitz playing the Tchaikovsky fiddle concerto. I must say, he beats the Joshua Bell performance I heard at the Moscow Conservatoire despite the wonderful setting of the latter.
Like so many other young Russians I have met, these two wonderful people (Gerda and Dima, not Heifitz and Bell) will succeed, whatever they do.