Why, after 25 years, the Russian woman returned from San Francisco to Saratov
“Theatrical and medical photographer”, - Galina Oksyuta answers the question about the profession before departure. With her husband George, she rented performances for posters in theaters in Saratov, designed stands for “for all 82 departments of our medical institute”. She graduated from an English school and philological faculty of Saratov University. 25 has lived and worked in the USA for years in California and its suburbs. Basically, a carer, caregiver... Galina Oksyuta returned to Saratov last year. Lenta.ru tells her story.
«There is no exit, but there is an exit
I left in 92. There was no exit. The husband died, then she caught up with clinical depression - she was treated, to no avail. 42, I was. Or from the bridge to the river, or something to change. The doctor who treated me said: "A check mark, when there is no way out, there is an exit." I remember what I said, "let's go." After a while I was organized a call from Israel - then they walked in packs, everyone who could do it went. They let everyone in, they don't let me in - I'm not Jewish. As if all other Jews ...
The call came from America. Well, how “came” - I bought 4 things from a friend who bought them in the States. For 700 rubles apiece - then decent money, but I was a photographer, something was found. I gave one to my daughter, two girlfriends. For everyone.
But there was no language barrier at all. I studied at a good school - 42-I am English, everyone in Saratov knows it, they give excellent English there. On Brighton, it is true, they speak Russian, but “no turnout or password” is given by no one. And I just arrived - no housing, no work. I sit on the bench, the evening is already - “the sun will disappear, the anthill will close”. I see - the church in front of me, some Protestant. Getting in. The polka girl who cleaned up there took her to herself for the night - she herself seemed to be like a month and a half, as she arrived in New York. Very tall building, the apartment is tiny. Damn, I think, so tiny, in Saratov more. I was upset, but not for long at all.
"I hated Russia"
The next day I took the newspapers and went to the lawyers who deal with migration matters. I come to one - they say: “Many are already looking for this lawyer. He takes the money and sheds. " But still found the right, Boris name is. He said that you can not pay immediately, but in installments - you are human. Well, I did not lose: I worked with him for a very long time afterwards. A lawyer in the States is like walking around, every day is necessary. Walk and unfasten, for each piece of paper.
Back in Saratov, they gave me letters to one Pentecostal family — they live in Massachusetts. They said that they will help with work and housing. Well, I drove to them, 3 hours by train. They accepted me, sheltered me for one night, and then kicked me out safely. The church, brothers and sisters, and just like that ... And they didn’t have any work: “It’s difficult for ourselves.” But on the train I met the Puerto Rican family. And they told me: “Sisters and brothers are very good. But just in case, here's your phone number. If anything, do not be shy, call. " I called - they said "come." The car slowed down, came to them. Fed, washed, put to bed. And until late at night they called everyone around, looking for a job for me.
And found. Next door, in East Windsor, CT. A certain Mr. Damore's mother was dying, and so I was identified as a carer for her. Four months sat, the first job, $ 250 per week. Mr. Damore once went to the hospital, so he specially came from there to pay me.
She lived there. Of course, I was offended for some time: how, I am a famous photographer, graduated from philology in Saratov, worked in theaters all my life. And then ... well, you know? It helped that I hated Russia wildly at that time. Read only in English - ladies' boulevard, but decent: Sidney Sheldon, Jacqueline Susan. Yes, and especially around the Russian was not.
For the weekend, I was taken by an American family, a woman and a niece — they met in the local church, and traveled around the whole neighborhood. When my client, Mr. Damore's mom, died, they found another, in Massachusetts. She worked there for half a year. Catherine, sit. Medium, and known in the States, the widow of a large mason. Clients on 5-6 a day, despite her condition - caught the spirits, you see. I didn’t go to sleep before the 3-4 nights — until I figured out my perfume.
I was tired scary. Engaged in her and 4 her dogs. Chuvava ... that is, chi-hua-hua. She was afraid of them terribly, albeit small ones. Then they fell in love, Catherine was even jealous. I received the same $ 250 per week, but I still had to travel to New York on paperwork to a lawyer - 4 hours by train and to the station 6 kilometers on foot. Almost everything that remained was sent to Russia — to my daughter, granddaughter, and parents, when they were alive. And then, and then. In the family, all in the family.
"I tried not to mess"
With Katrina, meekness came to me - yes, you are a nurse, caregiver - and understanding how to relate to this work. Once I was very lazy, caring for her. I did something unfinished, I failed to do something - and I knew that it would do so. And it seemed to me in my ear who said: “So that you yourself then caregiver got it. " Since then, tried not to mess.
Next - already Brooklyn, New York. The best recommendations from Catherine, and to the lawyer with the papers closer. My first business was to get legalized as soon as possible, so that everything was in order: pay taxes, no complaints ...
And a little later - San Francisco, where he worked for almost all years.
In Auckland, near San Francisco, there lived my Saratov girl-friend, Gertrude — that is, Goetka. Her mother Rosa once came from America to the Union, received so many years of camps, then returned to the United States with her daughter. Rosina's granddaughter, the daughter of Goethe, went to the hospital with a heart, and then lay at home for a long time. I came to her, began to sit with my daughter, Rosina's granddaughter. Charming to the limit. Naturally, she didn’t take a penny from them - she only lived with them, slept quietly under the table.
And I found work to live almost in my specialty. First I worked in the kitchen, really. She wanted a waitress, but they told me that I needed to study for a long time. But as a photographer I was, in the opinion of American masters, quite competitive - like this? Competitive, yes, thanks. But there and "native" photographers barely survive, but I had to earn. And then I saw an ad: “atelier of school photography” - I went there. All my life in the USSR I hated school albums, although sometimes I had to do them. And then they say to me: “We take without sound”.
What does school photography mean in America? Terrible thing. First, the color - I always worked in b / w. Secondly, they take me not to be a photographer, but to a printer for printing. A huge car is standing, you are standing around for half a day, servicing it. The company is a family, African-American couple.
The turnover was terrible, before me for a year there were 13 such printer people at the printer. I worked 11 months. Five dollars an hour, somewhere $ 50 per day is obtained. Penny. Print photos, print, print ... Plowed like a hedgehog. Hired to the owners about the promised salary increase - they say that then it is necessary to go to the courses, to increase education in printers. And it is necessary to pay for the courses and there is no time to go. Bloodsuckers, bloodsuckers - they were so called by their relatives, did not hesitate.
Shot mostly in black schools. Very, by the way, beautiful people, no problems. But with what pleasure, having found a new job as a nurse, I told the owner by phone I quitthat everything, I can not more - and how he squealed there, until I dropped the phone ... It was necessary to hear it.
They are supposed to die
Returned to the nurse, it means. Gali Odessans in southern San Francisco had a great home for 11 customers - crystal, mirrors, carpets - and on the contrary, she was building a second one. As my American Russian girlfriend Veranda remarked - Vera is called, she worked there: a Muscovite, a conductor ... So, regarding Gali, Veranda noticed that she would be fit to build not a second home for the elderly, but a crematorium.
In general, in nursing homes, clients pay big money, up to $ 2,5 thousands per month. And if you look, from the food - only jars. With peas, canned fruit. Not a single live fruit - and this is in California, right? Tea was brewed in a saucepan - water, tea bags, several times. When I want to brew fresh, the owner comes running and shouts that I want to destroy it. Soup - also canned, "Campbell", like Andy Warhol in the picture. Only cheaper ...
I worked for Gali not for long. She tried to pay me in cash, and I insisted on a check to pay my taxes normally. Well, paid me for a month and knocked out. Gale is more comfortable with Filipinka, they can pay cash, and even less than me ...
Well, nothing, there is always work. This time in Millbrae, a town near San Francisco. In a nursing home, Croats. Also a couple, Maria and Danko. House with 6 clients, 5 have Alzheimer's - $ 800 per month, but with accommodation and food. People are suffocating, and the heat is all summer. No air conditioner, no washing machine - broke. But I worked for six months. When Maria told me not to worry - They are supposed to die ("They still die"), - I left, could not stand it.
"How nice to be ours"
In the meantime, I learned to drive, bought the first car for $ 1200 - closed van, “mercury”. An old one, but it's good to drive and look for a job. Better than on your own two. She found a nursing home named after St. Olga. The owners are old old Russians. From the series, as in Dovlatov: "It was not easy for us at Stalingrad, but we also battered the Bolsheviks great." They needed a night watchman. She slept during the day - went to the ocean, there was dozing. In the evening, the 2 storey-storyed house was built for a dozen customers.
Along the way, she saved up a lot of money, graduated from administrators' courses for nursing homes. The authorities call me and ask: “Why did you pass on license? Are you tagging another employee? ” I told them: “Actually, we Soviet people are used to learning all the time. To become a professional, to know what we do. So we were taught. Insolent as a tank, yes.
And here I realized how nice it is to be ours. Soviet, Russian, any. Hatred of Russia today has gone away completely. I looked at these and realized that how much. It turns out that it took me two years in America. Not much, on the other hand. And I became the administrator - in the same place in Saint Olga. In a year. The last is my nursing home.
So slowly worked here and there. In the end, she came to K. - a very cool Russian family. In the same San Francisco. Several generations, all respected people. My client is Lelia, 93 of the year. Doctors gave her a few months of life, with me 4 came of the year.
She always ate a little - so she wanted: an egg, a chocolate bar, that piece, this ... I was imperiously imperious, no one could say a word across. Ok, so little is enough. I'm not a gift either. The first thing I made her eat red caviar, to strengthen. "Lelya, you dropped the egg, and it costs twenty-five cents." I remember that she returned from hospitals with pressure sores - despite the wild money that was paid to hospitals. For 3 of the month with me - it has become shine.
"Did not grow together fatally"
In 2008 a year ago, I decided to return to Saratov. Already nothing seems to be held in the United States. Lelia died, then her relative, whom I also took care of - everything, no one else, 7 had run out of life in the family of K..
Closed all the cases, handed out clothes, the car gave the girlfriend - already the fourth or fifth. All the old ones, but they all ran well ... And by the direct course here. But it did not grow together fatally - and for family reasons, and just for the soul.
In order to come to Russia then, it took me 9 months - then the documents were lost, then confirmation that I was still a citizen of the Russian Federation ... Well, when everything is open to you, everything says: “Something is hindering, stopping, you don’t have to go now,” one must listen!
She returned to the States after six months - how many green cards allowed to be absent in the country, almost on the last day - in a terrible depression. It took a huge time to understand: no one is to blame for this - neither I, nor Russia, nor America. At that moment it just happened that way. That is, it did not work out at all. Well, you understand.
"I was a star"
It was very pity that because of this, Obama missed the election. When chosen, I cried with delight. After the Bush terms 2, it was just a breath of air. Such a boy, clever. Incendiary, igniting. is he inspired - inspires, at the end of it. When I came back to the States, I got into the family of an amazing multimillionaire, Mr. Katz - and we already listened to Obama the President. “It's nice to listen to him,” said Mr. Katz. - This kid will never say childrensas the last president. ”
And when Noam Chomsky, a great linguist whose work I adored from my university years, declared publicly that Obama would be worse than Bush, I did not believe it. And even offended. Chomsky is a genius, he always knows what he is saying. And here on you, sat in a puddle. Because this can not be!
It turned out maybe. First, the wars he fought. Secondly, Obamacare really worthless. About medical insurance, believe me, I have something to say. I looked at my clients and saw what they get for their money. Basically, very little receive. And millionaires - even less, because they pay more.
After the family K. I already worked from the agency - I graduated from one more course caregiver's, I started getting $ 15 per hour: 12 hours per day, 6 days per week - very decent. I became a star - literally: in the list of agencies that were shown to clients, my name was at the very top, with an asterisk - the best. I sent money to my family every week. Translations, parcels - all this allowed my family to survive, my daughter and granddaughter to stand on their feet.
The pride of my career is one multi-millionaire, real estate vendor. Rose was called. Stinker is incredible. She had a hump - and, straightening it, made a mistake in a steep clinic. Quite young, 73 of the year. She lay a layer, did not want to live. I made her do gymnastics. Rose began to walk - on a walker, but nonetheless. I was able to put myself. Become the same bitchas she is. To her was interesting to me.
Once Rose says: “Galya, do you smoke half a cigarette? Is always? I could never afford it, it comes out very expensive. " This is not an exception, this is the rule. I worked for the parents of a vice-president of one of the sports clubs — the house not far from where the late Robin Williams lived. “Barbara, I give Galina $ 20 to go to the store. Tomorrow it's your turn to give her money, ”says her husband, Monty, to Barbara. Or like this: “Galina gave you the change, you owe me 50 cents”. Or even 25 ... These are my last clients - good ones, by the way. Just such a tradition, money is good to count.
I'm not tired of America. I do not know how to explain it. The natural way. Naturally left then - and just as naturally returned now. Exactly a year ago, at the end of March.
I'm 68 years old. I have a good pension - $ 1000. Because I always paid taxes, almost all the time for these 25 years. A lot of taxes, but also a pension - even such wages are not enough here. I teach English in private. I do not sit with my daughter and granddaughter with a load on my neck - and I can even support them.
In America, she began to make Wonds (Magic wand - magic wand (English) - approx. "Tapes.ru") - I continue here. The tree and stones balance human energy, people calm down, are appeased. A relative of one of my last clients was some kind of VIP at Microsoft. I made him a small pocket vond - black bamboo, a few stones. At meetings, he said, it helps a lot: "I take it out of my pocket, twist it, calmly talk." In America - bamboo, eucalyptus. Here I make from walnut. There is a store that sells for 1000 rubles for a wand, with each one selling me for 500 rubles.
Thanks to America: I stand very firmly on my feet. Nothing but warmth and gratitude. There are incredible personalities, wonderful people. I just came back. It turns out that I did not know my country, because I left at the beginning of 90's. But here is a fairy tale. Russia is much more interesting, more productive than present-day America. I admire Russia. Live spark of the Russian people. By the people, my goodness.
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