09 August, 2009

The Russia Diaries: Vadim

10 August, 2009


This story cannot be told without first telling you of Vadim.

The facts are these: He is a family man of perhaps 55. Married to the excessively beautiful Irina with two children; the 25-year-old golden son Arkady-- an entrepreneur with bags of understated charisma, a natural head for business and a Midas touch, and the stylish-and-as-beautiful-as-her-mother-incredibly-intelligent-and-artistically gifted-but-charmingly-self-effacing-22-year-old fashion student Anastasia.

A large house on a developed estate sitting amongst the wild outskirts of Moscow with a yard and a barbecue. A dog. A cat. An American car.

He is tall. Slavic looking. Grey with a goatee and imposing black spectacles that are simultaneously hip and serious. He is a thinker. A dreamer. Author of a slim novel. He is a spinal surgeon. And crucially, Vadim might say most importantly to the formation of his identity, he has experienced and perhaps at times endured the transition of the Soviet Union to the Russian Federation.

He plays guitar. He is a Captain in the Army reserves. He loves coffee. And Bulgakov. And Gogol. And the occasional cigarette. And The Beatles... more than anything in the world.

Whether he is a hero of lionhearted vigor, or a simple man with complex experiences I may never be able to know, for he is simultaneously reserved and formal whilst also being the friendliest, most sincerely hospitable and openhearted man I have ever met.

Powerful and quiet. Private and candid. Joyous and sorrowful. An enigma of immensely pleasurable proportion. Yes, I have to admit that I very quickly came to see, understand, sympathize and delight in the riddle of Vadim. If not, in fact, quite frankly, to adore him.


  1. Such a lovely introduction to your adventure.
    Looking forward to reading more.

  2. Um. I already love him....

  3. I a preparing myself for the glory of Vadim. He already sounds like the makings of a proper Russian protagonist. I KNOW he will not disappoint!



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