I have one friend – Anatoly Karpov, a serious man, an industrialist who owns more than one production, mainly related to making various gizmos that are extremely necessary in everyday life. I will say so, a wonderful person, a great hard worker and clever, but he has one small drawback.
He only needs a little drink – and from where it comes, this solid person turns into some kind of a broken guy and starts telling incredible stories about those far days when, having abandoned his very successful scientific career, he started , that the people are called “shuttlecock”, giving themselves to this occupation with all their irrepressible energy.
The stories told to them, in the beginning there were incredibly many, and all of them listened with great attention and, it should be noted, with sincere pleasure. But either we gathered often, or he, after gradually saying everything, chose the ones he liked most, but he started repeating the same thing over and over again. Soon the bulk of our friends and acquaintances were already tired of listening to him, I was left alone, still falling under the charm of these simple stories from an unknown life, and he, holding my hand, told and told.
In addition, I liked watching his face: he told his stories in faces, funny copying people I had never seen, but in his performance, I very clearly imagined and some customs officers, perhaps most often figured in his stories, and various buyers and sellers. In general, I was interested and that’s it. He found in me a grateful listener, and stopped pestering everyone in a row with a bored replica: “But listen again …”
Having reached the required point, he immediately took me aside and began to talk. Willy or involuntarily, but much so firmly stuck in my head that I decided to share with you some of these stories.
… It was 1988. At that time, the main problem of “shuttle traders” was the export of foreign currency. And although there were a lot of prohibitions and restrictions then people still managed to bring along these very dollars or any convertible banknotes that they could get. But you had to go to all sorts of tricks.
This story happened in Moscow during my fifth or sixth trip to Istanbul. As usual, I was the senior of the group and it was my responsibility at the airport of departure to collect tourists, to see that they went through customs and border, and take them to the plane. So I stand in the corridor, waiting for the last of my charges for this door, where the customs officers work, will pass – there are five of them left, the others have been indulging in vodka for a long time.
Today we were lucky, Andrew was placed on this site. The young boy is absolutely a boy, at the customs house without a year, he has not yet broken off, like some, and maybe he will remain so, but then his colleagues will not work here for long. The fact is that he does not quibble over trifles, enters the position of those whose luggage he needs to inspect, he does not extort anything, unlike those whose names one does not even want to mention, they have all got out with their greed and arrogance.
Yes, and Andrew’s assistant is normal. – Everyone calls her all, but how completely, I do not even know. This lady loves sweets with chocolate, so we, as soon as we learned that she will work, immediately ordered the little man for the chocolate to the departure area of domestic flights. Well, and then I went under the pretext of agreeing the order of the passage of the customs post – suddenly the gentlemen of the inspectors have any wishes? – Yes, taking advantage of the moment, into the box, where they filled the customs declarations, they put this chocolate on. Face only eyes shot, it’s her thanks off.
Time goes by, and because of the door no one signals that the next person can go in, does not serve.
– Did they sit down to drink tea, or what? – Asked one of the remaining girls, I have not yet had it, maybe in other groups or on other days I went, maybe even the first difference, more and more of them come across. Some once flies and abandon this business: firstly, without any fools, it is difficult, secondly, undoubtedly, it is dangerous, thirdly, one must be able to well consider, have a flair, find one’s niche, one’s own product – a lot of all that , that is necessary, it is typed, all also you will not list. Well, most of them are drawn in, after which they start to fly more and more often.
I, of course, could try a little opening a little and look in there with one eye, but it’s forbidden, why should geese tease? And time goes on and on, the group following us is already finishing the senseless vacillations on the airport building and starts to slowly accumulate in the corridor.
– Ver, what can I do, can I quietly scrape myself there? – I asked the older third group Vera Krutikova.
Сама – I do not understand myself how many people you can keep, especially when Andrei is here today, I understand that Petrovich himself would have stood, and so was Andrei. But I do not advise you to crawl into trouble, let’s wait.
We both understand that some events are happening there, other doors have also begun to hitch, so the entire customs team has gathered here. Finally, the other doors began to open, which means that the work is resuming. Lika looked at us too, but she only called me. I went in, a guy sat because of which all this catastrophe happened, I even did not even consider him, strong such, in a t-shirt and jeans, bags beside are already closed. Andrei looks at me and says:
– Anatoly Ilyich, our management decided to put you in the course of all this. You are an experienced person, so you will bring it to the attention of the firm. And this, – and he nodded at the boy, – we will send them to the appropriate authorities, they will arrive in a few minutes. Well, for now, you’re going to like it. Show it, show it, he told the guy.
That shirt was taken off, and I was just speechless with surprise. His chest, belly, back, shoulders were completely covered with dollars, on which a thin transparent some kind of paper was put on top and wrapped with tape for reliability. From an impression it was created that he emerged from some swamp, all in greenish slime smeared as if.
– Wow, – only I could mutter.
At that moment the inner door opened, two men entered in a police uniform, whistled only while the guy pulled a shirt on himself, and took the poor fellow to an unknown direction.
They left, and Andrei is still boiling, probably inside, he was full of emotions, that’s why he decided to discharge me, while Lika escaped somewhere.
– You see, Anatoly Ilyich, we checked his baggage, everything is clean, a declaration exists for money, there are no reasons to find fault. Well, I slapped him so lightly on the shoulder, I could roll out of here. And there crunches something, and the shirt slides right on the ice. I really thought it was a sinful business, maybe some kind of damage is sealed up there. I ask: sorry, I did not really hurt you, what have you got? He would have told me, fool, that he had hurt, well, or something, and he would like to take a look at me: you, you supposed, do not have the right to touch the passengers. Here I could not stand it, I do not like horror, when they tell me that I have no right there. The state has given us so many rights that if necessary I will not only pat on the shoulder, I will not only look into the stomach, but all other openings that can be used to transport prohibited items can be examined, I do not sneer.
The first time I saw such Andrew. Wow, I think, calm, quiet, polite, but he can go on as he can! So, it will be a long time to work in this organization.