Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Young and Wild

A perpetually-ill law student with a wicked sense of humor applies for a motorcycle license. His road test inspector gives instructions to ride the bike down the slopes of the hill, past the lake, and return -- oblivious to the fact that the student does not know how to brake. The student putt-putt starts up the motorcycle and begins his journey. At the lakeshore, the site of an open market -- he crashes into a fruit stand and overturns it. The owner, an elderly woman, yells angrily, "Cochon, cochon!"

The Prime Minister says casually to the diplomat and the translator, "Can you imagine what that meant to me, a Muslim, to be called a pig?"

He pays for the damages, picks up the screaming motorcycle which is still lying on its side, and makes his slow and careful way up the hill. The inspector sees him and gives congratulations, "You have taken a long time, you must have driven carefully." He hands him the driving license.

Averill Harriman sits by the bedside of this old man, listening to all of this being told in French - patient but anxious to begin negotiations about the recently nationalized Abadan refinery. Muhammad Mossadegh pays no mind and continues with his anecdotes, jokes, and pithy sayings -- periodically interspersed with peals of laughter.


А Translation

А что я оставлю, когда я уйду?
Чем имя потомках прославлю?
Наследства - не будет. Имейте в виду -
Я вам ничего не оставлю.
И берег балтийский, и крымский придой,
И яхту! И парус на мачте

Я весь этот свет забираю с собой,
Живите без света
И - плачьте!

- Геннадий Григоьев

What will I leave, when I go?
What, to glorify my descendants' name?
There will be no inheritances.
Bear this in mind: I have nothing to leave behind.

The Baltic coast, the Crimean surf,
The yacht! The sails on the mast,

All this I take with the light,
So live without it, and weep.

- Gennady Grigoryev



One who doesn't know you might easily be mistaken, seeing your force and your industry, your devotion to the nationalist ideal, to science, to poetry or to any other great aim which is above personal feelings... [But it] is only a special form of vanity. For you are incapable of loving your mother or your sister or your own blood brother, so how much less an idea.

- Nikolai Glasicanin, Bridge on the Drina