After Russia had attacked Ukraine, Irina Potanina moved to England to protect her two sons. She now works in a small café, believes in her country’s prompt victory and keeps a personal diary.
“Another problem is I cannot figure out what to start with. One story for example: we took two cars and drove for 56 hours to a relatively safe place. We’ve been spending nights at the roadside in our car, got stuck in traffic, took much longer routes than usual to avoid places where shelling was heavy. I was driving an old Tavria, a car I had never driven before, when I needed to change gear to back up I screamed to my older son ‘we need some force here, push it with all your forces!’” This may sound impressive for some, but nowadays it is a typical refugee story, so banal that it seems inappropriate to waste my reader’s time with it.
Or maybe it is worth mentioning another, funnier, episode to draw attention? When I was packing, I was in such a hurry that I forgot many useful things but… packed two bath suits. I later found out I was not alone in such a situation: just like for so many people, my unconscious mind refused to acknowledge the reality and has concluded that packing up meant going on a holiday, i.e. to the sea. Isn’t this ridiculous?”