Immigrants can never truly escape their past, even in the most provincial areas of America. Look who greeted me in the New Year! Weary eyed after traveling almost 5,000 kilometers in a week, I stopped at a local antique store in the rural Blue Ridge Mountain region to search for treasures. At first, I thought I was delusional due to lack of sleep during the journey. Was it really Boris, waving at me? Yes! :)) You can own this autographed poster for only $399 USD! My research indicates this is from the 1996 election, with the political slogan "Together We Will Win" written in Russian. Well, you all know the story of Yeltsin much better than me, but I vividly remember his close relationship with Bill Clinton. It was well-documented in the American media with legendary stories of Yeltsin being drunk, even roaming outside the White House in his underwear...
What different times we now live in. Back then, a willingness and strong desire to have cordial and open communications with America and the West, even to take lessons from capitalist leaders. I can't imagine that Putin and Obama will ever have such a close or friendly bond. They simply can't seem to relate to each other on a human or personal level, and definitely not in the political sphere. Yes, I think the former is important. Even in politics. Whether Russia remains an isolationist nation in 2015 is its own choice, and I have no say in it or opinion about it. I only hope that life remains stable for everyone, and that those who wish to leave Russia somehow find a way to do it. For all the Russian patriots, still thriving in the glory of Crimea and Putin, the same wish - happiness and contentment.
I recently read a funny article about Yeltsin and his visit to a grocery store in a small suburb of Houston, Texas in 1989. His primary reason for visiting the area was to explore the Johnson Space Center, but he was most amazed at the diversity of food in the small town market. He allegedly told members of his Russian entourage that if their people, who often had to wait in line for most goods, saw the conditions of U.S. grocery stores "there would be a revolution." :)) Of course, we all know what followed after 1989, and the impact of Yeltsin's rise and sad demise in the Russian Federation.
In general, I think Yeltsin is an interesting historical figure. What do you remember most about him? Only that he was a drunk? Tell me some memorable stories and facts about him and how Russians lived during his Presidential terms. I didn't realize until a few days ago that he actually resigned from the Presidency during the traditional New Year's speech. I watched Putin deliver this speech two years ago, when I celebrated New Year's Eve with a Russian family in America. We have no such tradition in the USA, where the President addresses the nation on New Year's Eve. Obama is too busy soaking up the sun in Hawaii, licking ice-cream cones and sitting like a vegetable on the beach. :)
С Новым Годом из Америки! :))