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During the summer of 1995, Oleg and I went to a vacation house on the Black Sea shore. Our stay was paid for, but we had to do some odd jobs from time to time.

So during the first workday in my life I collected leftovers in the dining-hall for the pigs. We did not think this work was beneath us and we even were joking around, but our hands were covered with small cuts made by disposable foil dishes and it was painful to swim in the salty sea. And I’m still hardly what you call squeamish after having that experience.

The first entry in my employment record book was made two years later: cloakroom attendant.