Jekka, she's Russian and she warbles, lord she can sing... make a lonely man happy... hear her doing so here.
These are her thoughts on Ireland and Russia following a recent trip to the former and a troubling return to the latter.
"Ryanair would like to welcome you to Dublin Airport. 95 % of our flights are on time, making us the number one low-cost airline in Europe..."
Dublin. Seems I planned this entire trip just be here for two brief days. It's been 6 years since my last visit, and in the past year my nostalgia and longing for this phantom homeland of mine had grown so much that I decided to go here again, by way of England.
"I have climbed highest mountain, I have run through the fields, Only to be with you..."
A big village, it makes you feel at home instantly, you're not foreign here. People seem happy. And the sea is right there. Right there. And U2 everywhere, Irish pride. While my peers listened to Tsoy, Grebenshikov and DDT, in the 90s I listened to U2, Boyzone, Sinead O'Connor, The Cranberries - 100% Irish, in the backseat of my dad's car while we drove all over Ireland, sheeps'n'cows'n'green to the left and right. I had forgotten how humid it is here, but surprisingly it's sunny. I wonder what the concept of home even means nowadays, with hordes of people constantly flowing freely around the planet, you are more mobile than ever before. Or so it seems. Not with a Russian passport though.
Questions, checks, tons of paperwork is what awaits those who really want to move somewhere. Stereotypes still prevail in the minds of strict border controls. And I ask myself - would I put myself through this? I can't really answer yet - yes and no. They say home is where the heart is. And I feel my heart does belong somewhere else in the world, this mysterious vision of "abroad". But it's not Ireland, at least not with its economy now. But still, it does seem more homelike than Moscow, why? Heaven only knows, perhaps it's the mentality.
“Still haven’t found what I’m looking for…” As Boy George suggested, all he needed was to look behind the drum kit.
Of course, I’m spoiled by Moscow’s 24 hour buzzing , where at one in the morning on any given day you can go out and buy yourself a fridge, at two have a drink and at three eat some ice-cream, here in Dublin life becomes quite still after 8, with only a few pubs open till midnight. Ahhhh pubs. No matter what country you're in, it's not the same as in Dublin, with that cozy atmosphere and the people are real, it’s not like you have to prove that you're someone or something. "And you give yourself away, and you give, and you give....” - that's Moscow, and there's no guarantee you'll get anything in return. That's why you want to escape. It's like a golden cage. In the village, life is simple, there are no jobs, maybe no prospects, but it's peaceful and a nice escape from the aggression of the big cities, an aggression that poisons you from the inside, even making you hate yourself sometimes.
Having grown up in Dublin, moving to Moscow was strange and still is, as if my soul is split in half, one of which is slowly fading away. It's the illness of everyone who has spent at least half of their lives living abroad, you don't know who you are anymore, you don't know where you fit in this world, one leg is there and the other here. Maybe that's why I am haunted by this constant feeling of sadness. Nostalgia is a tricky thing, it keeps the best and warmest memories alive and you feel as if the place you once knew is still there, but it's different now. I go to Bray, a 35 minute journey on a tram out to the sea and rocks - one of the things I can remember from my childhood: it’s an attempt to revive something - we used go here every weekend and have chips with vinegar, then go along the cliff walk and gaze at the horizon. Naturally Dublin has changed over the years, new construction is making its way, new transport systems are being developed, but to me it will forever be the three main places I can remember - Bray, school and the picnic place outside the city, which we called na kameshkakh, on the rocks. I put a small present from Bray in my pocket and go back to the city. Then back to the real city. Some call it Mordor, I call it Moscow.