I spoke to Dima, an Israeli-born Russian who works as a security equipment salesperson in ex-Soviet republics. Dima has spent many of his adult years travelling and spent three of his younger years in hospital after having his arms almost blown off by a shotgun. For that story and for Dima’s thoughts on freedom and lessons learned from his parents, read more below…
What do you do for work?
I worked for a tech company, security, yeah.
I’m kind of the salesperson, for the surveillance, the fire protection system, the fire detectors. That’s all.
But I haven’t worked for one and a half years.
What do you do for play?
I travel, I hike, I ride my bike, snowboarding, skiing, fucking.
What are your goals in life?
Because I’m kind of a lazy person, I want to make some kind of investment so I don’t need to work for the rest of my life. And then just keep travelling, because I need freedom.
I need freedom.
I need something that’s gonna support my travelling for the rest of my life, yeah.
Why do you need freedom?
To not depend on anything.
Because I like to be free. I want to be free.
God gave me free will, that is why I need to be free.
Advice you would give your younger self?
Probably not too much.
Maybe, some mistakes I made, I would just advise don’t do those things.
Yeah, but, it’s pretty cool, life is going pretty good. There’s nothing, nothing I really regret, I haven’t done anything really bad that I would regret.
I would just say, “Do what you do!”
Is there life after death?
Yeah, I believe, yeah. I believe.
I am a Christian.
I mean, there should be something higher, superior involved in creation, that is why I believe in God, I believe in an afterlife. Heaven or paradise and hell.
Up until 10 years old I was going to synagogue, then my aunty took me to a Christian church, so since then I believe that, yeah.
And I hope it’s going to be true, or it’s going to be a big regret!
An experience in life that changed you?
The way I think, the way I behave, all the travelling and the experience, communicating with foreigners, travellers, it has changed me a lot.
It has made the way I think different, which is really cool.
It has made my world bigger.
How do you want to die?
It should be something fast.
Head shot or heart attack, anything.
I just don’t wanna be an invalid or crippled or something.
If I broke my spine, I mean, I would probably commit suicide.
It should be something instant – POW! – without suffering too much.
A person that changed you?
I’ve got kind of another family, he’s a pastor in a church. Because my family were living in Israel, and in Russia I met this pastor, I am really thankful to him because he taught me English.
He’s the real reflection for me of God, he behaves like what a real Christian person should act like.
He’s not selfish, he’s giving, he’s really cool, fighting against temptations, he has perfect family, really good relationship with the kids and the wife, he’s a good example for me.
He made a big impact on me, I guess.
Something you are proud of?
My dick! No, fuck.
What I’m proud of… Fuck, it’s hard. I don’t know.
Oh! I didn’t tell you, but one of the reasons I don’t drink, all my ancestors in the male line several generations back died because of drinking.
And so I am proud that I am the person who broke the curse. Even my father, he died from drinking.
That’s it. Nothing else probably!
Something humanity needs to be more aware of?
Probably all this shit going on in Europe and the States about the gender thing: children have a right to choose whether they are going to be a male or female and all this shit that’s going on. It’s going to fuck up your community, society, whatever.
Probably that, yeah. I don’t think too much about this shit, but I fucking hate it.
I mean, if you are giving too much freedom to the people they are going to make up stupid ideas.
Do you want to be a parent?
Uhhh… Do I want to have kids?
One day. I mean, not next year, but we’ll see.
If I’m going to have kids, I’m going to have much less freedom then. I will have to spend for them, much less money for myself. Maybe in two, three, four years, yeah, we’ll see. I don’t really have a timeframe.
I want to continue my line.
My brother has a kid, it’s fun to hike together, fucking around.
What is love?
I would say it’s a habit.
What is love?
You can love your girlfriend, you can love food, you can love anything.
Love is just – how to say – it’s just a habit. You are used to someone, and that’s it. It’s not something like really deep or something really amazing, because, when you break up for example or your dog dies, you pretty much feel the same, just you feel unhappy.
You are just used to something, it doesn’t matter when you lose it.
What is your life philosophy?
Woah, woah, woah… life philosophy? Fuck. What do you mean?
Yeah, I start to believe in this karma shit.
So I believe if you give bullshit to people it will come back.
That’s why I’m trying not to be a shitty person, because I believe it is going to come back to me one day.
Can you make that a correct sentence? Yeah.
Where are the scars from?
Basically, this was the fault of my brother.
My father was a professional hunter. One time he got back from hunting he forgot to unload the shotgun and he just hid it somewhere.
My brother found it and basically was a couple of metres from me.
And he pulled the trigger!
And the good thing is I covered my face, none of the bullets hit anything in my body or face, just my arms.
I was behind the couch, which was also fucked up.
The arms were completely off of the body.
Yeah, fuck, that time we were in Kazakhstan, and they didn’t think they could do anything, just amputate the arms and put prosthetics.
Then my mum called German hospitals asking if they can fix it, and one doctor said you can bring him to Germany but I cannot give you a guarantee that we can fix it. But he did a good job. Obviously the muscles still look a bit fucked up, but really, it is perfect.
I spent 3 years in hospital, I couldn’t move my arms because I had thousands of operations, all the time. I had school, everything in the hospital. It happened when I was 12 year old.
Because of the shotgun there was a case – it was a crime – and my father was under investigation and stayed in Kazakhstan, and I went with just my mother and my aunty. We had a separate two rooms in the hospital, me and my mum, so she was there all the time, yeah.
It’s good my father had a good job, otherwise it would be impossible to pay for the surgery, because it’s something like 15 or 20 million. You know, Germany’s expensive, for 3 years in the hospital. Even now, you spend one week in a German hospital you pay 50,000.
What lessons have you learned from your father?
Yeah, not to drink, and not to be careless about weapons, I guess.
Still, I like weapons. Fuck, I love it!
My father, due to the investigation, he had to get out of Kazakhstan, he had money, he had to lay low, but he had to run away from Kazakhstan.
What lessons have you learned from your mother?
Usually, what parents tell you is, “If you’re gonna drink, I’m gonna fuck your ass.”
I mean, what fathers do, they just beat you, right?
But my mum, she was really smart, she just made a really good speech explaining, giving reasons, what’s gonna happen if I drink, blah, blah, blah, she did it in the proper way.
She was a good teacher.
She didn’t just say, “If you’re gonna drink I’m gonna slap your ass.”
This doesn’t work. It doesn’t teach you. Yeah.
What do you think of Guernsey?
Yeah, I guess a lot of Brits living on this island, drinking beer everyday and doing nothing – like you!
What else can you do on an island? Just Brits drinking beer everyday, fuck, what a stupid place.
I don’t know anything about Guernsey. It would be cold, because it is an island, I guess?
But, fuck, it’s just a British thing. I don’t like Britain too much. I mean, it’s okay. Yeah, British make too much problems to Russia. Just so fucking horrible. Your government, fuck them! I mean, people are nice, but the government is fucked up.
Fuck the Guernsey anyway, it’s the same Brits who run the Guernsey.