Russia is the only country outside Africa in which life expectancy is falling

“Sometimes, I almost decided that there was no point in going on, but I thought that it would be even worse for my family if I wasn’t there. Though there were days when I felt so useless that I even wondered about that. But that wasn’t the worst moment. It came when I had to sell my viola. It was not especially valuable, but it had been my father’s and my grandfather’s, and I could make it sing. I’ve got another one now which is supposed to be as good, but it’ll never be the same. The man who bought mine; God, he got a bargain, I was so desperate. Anyway, he’s moved to Petersburg, and I’ve lost touch with him. I’d give him five times what he paid to get my little violuschka back.”

Posted August 20, 2001

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