• annaharzeeva

Revolution and lemon water

On August, 17, 1991, in the early morning, Mun’ka pushed the door into Maya and Tsebi’s room wide open and exclaimed: REVOLUTSIA!


It was Maya's second day in Moscow and Mun’ka’s 4th Revolution.


Maya, Granny's couisn, and her husband Tsebi were staying at Granny’s khruschevka apartment (see my video about it below). My mum arrived not long after - she got off the overnight train from Kursk, where my brother and I were staying with dad and his parents - she wanted to see her Israeli relatives (they all met for the first time in Israel two years earlier).


Mun’ka was terrified - after all, she had seen two revolutions in 1917 and was around for the 1905 one, although she was only 2. She begged everyone to stay at home. The neighbor said there were tanks in the city! There was nothing but Swan Lake on TV, but “sarafan” or people’s radio was working well.


Granny and mum deployed the “we’re going for a walk in the park” tactic (walks in the park are always welcome), went out and took the trolleybus in the opposite direction - towards the Kremlin.


They walked around, saw some tanks, and, as Maya recalls, upon seeing the tanks went to a restaurant for lunch (lunch cost almost Granny’s entire salary, and Maya says she was embarrassed at how little the amount was to them), and while everything was “completely surreal”, they weren’t afraid.


I asked Maya what she found most unusual about Moscow - she said it was all surreal.

Granny recalls Maya being surprised that there was nowhere to buy a bottle of water. There was never any drinking water, except the boiled water in a jug, but Granny always made her signature “lemon water” - one of the drinks of my childhood, alongside tea, mors, kompot and kombucha.

They came home, greeted by the unsuspecting Mun’ka, and mum said she was going to stay at a friend’s place - but she really went to the White House, where she spent 2 nights alongside lots and lots of other people. She says Granny probably figured it out. Granny says she had no idea.


2 days later mum came home and went to get my brother and myself, Maya and Tsebi continued their trip around the USSR, and 4 months later the USSR was dissolved.


29 years later, granny still makes her lemon water. We still hope for change.