on August 11, 2000
One day the whole Swedish troop, Henrik, Niklas, Birgitta and I, took off early in the morning for the Lenin mausoleum in the heart of Russia: The Red Square. The enormous square is sealed off between 10 and 1 p.m.
(when the mausoleum is open) and is open only from one direction. This meant we had to go a roundabout way of about 2 kms. Maybe the safety regulations were tighter when we there because a bomb went on the St. Petersburg to Moscow train (I told you about before). We finally reached the security control, and were subjected to a careful examination by the police force. Naturally the cops found our cameras. We needed to go some more kilometers to nervously leave our expensive equipment in a luggage store. The babushka there complained loudly
when we paid with ten 100 ruble notes instead of one 1000 bill. Niklas had had enough and shouted loudly,'It probably would have been better if the Germans had taken over this s**t in WW2.' (By the way, in Russia WW2 is called the Great Patriotic War).
It is a magical feeling to visit the mausoleum. The military guards told us to be quiet and quickly walk past Lenin without stopping. He looks a bit like he is made of plastic. Considering he had been dead since 1924, he still looked rather fresh to me. Lenin is asleep wearing a black costume. The room is dark except from the light above the revolutionary leader 'Vlad'. A delicate (and probably unsolvable) problem is whether Lenin should be buried or not. Half of the population wants to get rid of their communist past, and the other half wants to keep 'Vlad' as he is (without doubt) part of the Russian history. I personally think that if Lenin is buried, a civil war will break out. I hope I am wrong. If they decide to bury him after all, it would be cool to go to Lenin´s funeral! Would Clinton attend? At the Kreml wall behind the mausoleum Stalin, Breznjev, Tjernenko, Andropov, Kalinin and other celebrities are buried. Finally, in an opening of the wall, we find the grave of our hero, kosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Mission completed.
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