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From Perth to Volgograd Via Bratislava With Tears

Updated on October 2, 2017
Beata Stasak profile image

Beata works as a qualified primary school teacher, a councillor for drug and alcohol addiction and a farm caretaker for organic olive grow.

More than thirty years ago I met her, a student teacher like me but with shiny golden front teeth her father bribed a dentist to fix her with

Just in case she was robbed of everything else through life. She was born in Ukraine I was born in Slovakia. Both countries belonged to Russia at that time.We both ended up in hospital in Volgograd with salmonella sharing the same odd smelled fish
Just in case she was robbed of everything else through life. She was born in Ukraine I was born in Slovakia. Both countries belonged to Russia at that time.We both ended up in hospital in Volgograd with salmonella sharing the same odd smelled fish

We should shared ‘morozhnoje’ instead we laughed but it was minus 40 degrees and we have been half starved and cold

No heating in student dormitories

in those times...

no hot water and neither too much food to buy

with few rubbles they gave us each week

we ended up waiting for hours

with equally desperate

and hungry Volgograd folk

in front of empty shops

waiting for delivery that never came

So we shared the watery porridge

sharing one hospital bed

and one chamber pot

hiding under our tongues

those awful sleeping pills

they fed us with

to stay calm and docile

no matter what

washing with few drops

of water from a broken sink

every morning and every night

making friendship for life

Eventually I came back to Slovakia

back to my husband and my daughter

and my teaching job

and she married a man in Volgograd

where she stayed raising her own babies

taking a position at the university

that have trained us once both

pen palls we become

sharing our family problems

our worries

our future

from Volgograd

to Bratislava

and back with love…

She wrote me about her young brothers

being snatched from home

at night to go and fight in Afghanistan

her mother loosing her mind

her father shot one day in the city square

for stealing a freshly killed cow

that was ready to be quartered

and sent for feast to Moscow

for some high ranked communists

he only wanted to taste a piece of meat

after long time...

I moved to live abroad

to Perth in Western Australia

and her brother moved to live

in Bratislava

Her poor brother broken in his spirit

and his mind

released from his soldier’s duties

ran away from Russia with his Afghanistan bride

and came hide in my hometown city I left behind

He kept writing me from there

just like his sister continue to do

From Bratislava via Volgograd

to Perth with love…

So many letters and so many broken lives

so much hatred in this world

so much we do not know…

I held two last letters in my hand

one from my friend in Volgograd

and one from her sister in law in Bratislava

let me share with you my replies...

To Volgograd via Bratislava

from Perth with love

My dearest Ekaterina

let me write you in Russian

the language we have loved

so much once

in your Volgograd:

"Vysokaja mysl

Vysokie oblaka

Vysokie normy

Nada Zit Vysoko

Ty uze v godach

Stal uze starym ja

Prosba u menja

Gory i doly

Do gluchoty


pogubili u tebja

bratishka …”

Dead is your brother

old we both are

the hatred and sorrow

we once planned to leave behind

with awful hospital bed

watery porridge and chamber pot

the forced on us opium pills

hidden under our tongues

we shared once

dreaming about better future

that never reached you

in doomed Russia

the same silence

of one fate

and no one

is ever


Communists or Putin

the same thing to you…

The last Russian words

you hear me to say

and thousands more in English

forever will be coming to you:

"U tebja druzia

zelaju vam scastia

bratskaja ljubov

nikogda nestratitsja

Rossia tvoja rodina

chleba treba

dengi nada



v tvojich interesach

vdoch vydoch


takoj za k-ryj ne vzymajut platy


stanovitsja tverdym kak kamen

tvoja pravda

tvoja muzyka."

Surround yourself

with friends you

can trust,

your love for your brother

never leaves you

just like you never loose my love,

you have to be strong

you have to be hard,

Russia demands it from you

Russia is your family

and only one they let you to mourn,

you need to eat

you need money to work

you need to survive

so please do

that is all what matters NOW…

To Bratislava via Volgograd

from Perth with love

Dear Serena I never met you really

but your husband described you always

as the most precious flower of his life,

just a hated muslim for others,

but not for him ever.

He is dead now, they killed him because he dared

to help other muslim refugees

just like you have been once

and I am so ashamed to admit

my countrymen were so readily

and happy to admit to be killers on the loose

backed by Slovak government

and Putin regime

they have nothing to fear

they are truly celebrated for their victories

to extinguish so readily the ‘muslim lover’

they are ready than ever to eradicate

the fearful ‘muslim threat or muslim weed’!

Dear Selena how can i defend my homeland in the case like this?

If anyone back home would listen to reason

if anyone back home would know

what love for your neighbour as for yourself

truly means I would tell them this:

My homeland, Slovakia

along with Hungary are only two

European countries

who refused to take any refugees

and now they will pay a fine to EU

for refusing to take up their quota.

They have always stated

they will not be swarmed by ‘hated muslims’

at any cost!

At the same time Serbian workers are,

legally and illegally,

heading to Slovakia

with a nod from the Slovakian government

desperate for labour.

The number of Serbs

coming to work in Slovakia

has been climbing since 2015.

In July the registered number was 9,363

(61 % increase in January).

The number will only rise

boasted Miroslav Kralik,

the president of the Slovak-Serbian

Chamber of Commerce,

Serbians are just like us,

we trust them he said!

Are they? Well Serbia is grateful

to Slovakia that again

against its best conscience

is one of only five in the EU

that declined to recognise

Kosovo’s independence

another unfortunate Muslim country

from Serbia in 2008.

But that does not mean

Serbia is not trying to poach

its businesses.

Serbian officials

have been trying

to persuade carmakers

with factories in Slovakia

to move south to join Fiat,

which is already there.

Even if they do,

it will be several years

before production could begin.

Until then Serbs will keep coming

to make money in my homeland of fool?

Or too trustworthy people?

I will always love my homeland

dear Selena

and I uphold what is dear to me

my family and my culture

and my heritage












Who answer me my question? Slovakia why????

No one will answer my question Selena

if anyone back home will speak to me ever again

but it doesn’t matter really we have to voice

what we believe in

no matter cost









From Perth to Volgograd via Bratislava with love...


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    • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

      Beata Stasak 

      23 months ago from Western Australia

      Thank you for your beautiful words Dianna my journey is not harder or easier than any other, we are but footsteps of people who have walked before us and a path for people who will walk after us...there is so much tears and pain in the world today as much if not more as it was yesterday, if my story helps to see some of those tears and relate to them, then my writing has some purpose, thank you Dianna for stopping by:)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      23 months ago

      You have touched my heart. Your journey has been a hard one to bear but you have become stronger through it all. Praying you will continue to see the beauty of life.

    • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

      Beata Stasak 

      23 months ago from Western Australia

      thank you Dave, we have to always follow our stars and go where our mind and soul and body lead us...we all have different destiny to accomplish with the gifts we have been given for the road of life:)

    • profile image


      23 months ago

      you are a gifted soul writer and intilligent and share from a place that most fear go to . This world needs more honesty like yours and to share from a heart of true compassion .

    • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

      Beata Stasak 

      23 months ago from Western Australia

      Thank you my fellow hubbers again for beautiful responses, I live in different world today too but majority of people doesn't so it is always good to remember that the world is still different for so many people out there...THANK YOU FOR HEARING ME OUT AND SHARE MY STORY AROUND SO PEOPLE ARE AWARE THE WORLD IS NOT THE SAME PLACE FOR EVERYONE...

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      23 months ago from Houston, Texas

      What heartbreaking memories you have to bear. May you and your friend find some peace in this world of ours.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      23 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very interesting. I suppose privileged people like me just don't want to think of this. Thank you for reminding me.


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