Dagies Blog

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Krasnogorsk and the Sensation of Comfortable Lassitude

Today I bought a beautiful Russian Double-Super-8 camera from a collegue who told me that he bought it almost 20 years ago at the „Stasiflohmarkt“ in Berlin (Stasi = GDR State Security; Flohmarkt = Flea Market: when the GDR broke down almost everything was sold out … the Stasi had their headquarter here and they, too, sold a lot of their equipment … everything except for weapons I think …)

So now I’m a lucky owner of a probably 30 or 50 years old extremely beautiful heavy metallic – no batteries – wind up! camera with some changeable lenses and a manual in Russian … which reminded me that I once began learning Russian almost 30 years ago at my highschool (I grew up in the Western part of Germany and nobody was interested in Russia in the late 70es so our course died after one year … I was very sad because I just got into that complicated and at the same time flowery language).

But thanks to my teacher then (another cool story: he taught Russian and Mathematics and looked like Einstein (hello Herr Becks! Oops, he must be dead by now …). He was very friendly and an inspiring teacher. He, a German, became a prisoner of the Russians during World War 2 but he was treated quite ok and started to like the Russian language and culture and decided to study it after he was released.)

Jumping back now from the story in the story in the story I tried to understand some of the words in the manual, needed a dictionary, asked Tina, got one, browsed a little, and found my favourite expression of the day: „Gefühl angenehmer Mattigkeit“ (sensation of comfortable lassitude)!
They have one word for it – „istòma“. Just one simple word for such a complex feeling … awesome. Genial.

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