I couldn’t work there properly, I was getting hammered the whole time. I was saved a little by the fact that everyone was getting hammered, but everyone somehow coped with it and I couldn’t. The work was dull, and there was so much of it, dirt everywhere, right up to your waist, there’d be three meters of snow in a single night and then it would melt.

A month went by and then I went to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. I got shit-faced, hung about where I shouldn’t have and got beaten up by a bunch of thugs.

I’m lying in hospital, no water to wash the blood off, not knowing when it will come, no medication, six people on the ward, everyone watching TV, my head’s spinning, somehow or other I get up to have a cigarette. After a number of days they gave me a block of laundry soap and a bit of sheet in place of a towel, I went to the shower, which was like a gas chamber in a concentration camp.

It’s my birthday today, I’m thirty-three years old, and no one comes to see me, or congratulates me, and no one calls. I think about how Jesus Christ had already been killed on the cross at thirty-three but I’m still alive.

After a week my head has calmed down, I tell the manager I’m going to walk to Moscow on foot or if he discharges me I’ll drink in moderation, although it won’t always work out that way.

I make the analysis that my company here is at the very bottom rung in the hierarchy of companies, compliance inspection for the contractor, and they pay me $1,250 a month.

But working in compliance inspection for the client you could get $2,200.

And at the company of the main contractor they paid as much as $5,000. And who was stopping me going and getting a job there? No one was stopping me, I just didn’t have all the information.

I remember the Canadian embassy—​​why didn’t I emigrate to Canada? Because I had a loving wife and a good position. Where was my loving wife now? Where was my good position? I have nothing and I’m in the shit. All these things are unstable, like smoke.

I’ll read some documents in English and learn the terminology, then at some point I’ll find a job in some foreign company.

Aidar was working in compliance inspection for the client, he comes up to me and says his wife’s dying of cancer. Someone recommended this book to her, but the book didn’t help. Aidar sees the trouble I’m in and he wants to give me this book—and I guess suddenly it’s going to help? The book is called How to Get By When Nothing is the Way You Want it to Be, the author is Alexander Sviyash.

I open the book, I start reading and I realize the end will come for me soon—it’s very strange that it hasn’t already come. The world’s attitude to me is exactly the same as my attitude to the world. I hate everything and everything hates me. The only way out is for me to change my attitude to the world, and then the world will change its attitude to me.

I try to change, but it doesn’t always work.