Detsl, “Party at Detl’s House” (1999)
February 3, 2019
Detsl’s death made me recall a story.
In the school I attended, No. 157, we had this great thing, Model United Nations. All the dynamic pupils with a good command of English could be involved, first as staff members, then as delegates, and finally as committee chairs and even secretaries general, if they were smart and ambitious enough.
Delegates from all over the world came to the Petersburg Model UN, and even the youngest pupils at our school were given the chance to invite a delegate home for a an an evening “party.”
My friend Lyuba and I were assigned Roseanne Ooi, a girl from faraway, exotic Malaysia. At my house, we entertained each other by chatting. Roseanne was the most curious about Russian music, and she wanted to listen to Russian rap. As non-connoisseurs, all we could remember and let Roseanne listen to were Detsl’s songs, which blew Roseanne away.
Later, we gave her a Detsl CD. We would imagine her listening to Detsl in Malaysia, which we could not picture at all in our wildest dreams. We imagined how her compatriots were amazed and jealous of her.
Surprisingly, the second thing that made a huge impression on our Malaysian visitor were the bananas that were part of our modest repast. She was so staggered by their huge size she took one home to Malaysia to show to her mom.
On the contrary, Lyuba and I thought that if a person from such southern latitudes were amazed by our bananas, there must be something wrong with them.
Thanks to Victoria Andreyeva for her permission to translate and publish her story. Translated by the Russian Reader.