giovedì 29 ottobre 2009

Passare le acque.

Con un pulmino sbuffante, tanto che ogni tanto ci si doveva fermare per far raffreddare l'acqua, percorrem-mo la strada verso est, lungo la riva del Kuban, il fiume che scendeva impetuoso dai contrafforti caucasici e che qui ormai non lontano dalla pianura era già largo e consistente. Le acque scure e impenetrabili allo sguardo, un misto tra il viola e blu scuro, correvano dure e violente come lo spirito di questa terra di monti aspri, isolati e forse proprio questo patrimonio genetico si trasmette alle genti che le abitano, un crogiolo di razze nemiche tra di loro, sempre pronte però a rivolgere verso l'esterno i carichi di odi antichi che nutrono tra di loro. Kabardini, Circassi, Avari, Ingusceti, Ossetini, Balcari, Karaciaievi, Ceceni, Daghestani e chissà quanti altri, tutti con dialetti diversi ma egualmente ostili, come del resto la maggioranza delle popolazioni che sono rimaste chiuse tra i monti, difese dall'esterno ma non da sé stessi. La strada saliva adagio fino al confine della repubblica Kabardino-balkaria dove stesa sui fianchi di una collina rude e coperta di neve ci aspettava Kislovodsk, la perla di questa regione, la stazione termale che gli zar vollero costruita a somiglianza delle cittadine delle acque svizzere e tedesche. La Montecatini del Caucaso. Qui sgorga la Narzan un'acqua miracolosa che il russo medio anela come panacea di tutti i mali. Lo stabilimento che la imbottigliava voleva nuove linee per sostituire le orrende confezioni sovietiche di vetraccio verde sporco. Presentammo un bel progetto, ma ci sarebbero voluti i piccioli e parecchi; si sarebbe visto in seguito, intanto girolammo per la cittadina con le sue costruzioni fin de siècle che si degradavano lentamente per l'incuria. Dalla stazione dove arrivava direttamente il vagone con la famiglia dello zar a passare le acque, lungo una grande arteria centrale ormai spoglia e trasandata, fino alle kursaal di stile prussiano dove una sparuta truppa di curandi beveva con avidità l'acqua miracolosa che sgorgava dalle fontanelle tra le pareti di marmo giallastro. Era il paradiso sognato da Zhenja che qui trascorse almeno due periodi di vacanza con la famiglia. In russo non si usano espressioni come fare le ferie, andare in vacanza e così via. C'è solo un verbo che va per la maggiore, "otdikhat' " che si traduce "riposare". Questo era l'unico concetto di vacanza del lavoratore sovietico. La meritata putijovka, che si poteva avere secondo i meriti o meglio le raccomandazioni per trascorrere un mese al mare in Crimea o sulle rive del Baltico a Jurmala, oppure meglio, in uno dei sanatorij che sorgevano numerosi nei vari posti termali in giro per l'Unione sovietica, da Jangantau, negli Urali a a quelli del Caucaso, proprio fino a Kislovodsk il più ambito di tutti. Magari toccava a te e non a tua moglie, che sarebbe stata premiata nell'anno successivo, ma quello era "riposare". Zhenija mi portava qua e là a mostrami le bellezze del posto, magnificandone la tranquillità e la pace, senza contare i benefici per la salute e roteava gli occhi sognanti, guardando con desiderio il lontano sanatorij che spiccava bianco sporco sul fianco del parco coperto di neve ghiacciata. Anche qui le cose cambiavano rapidamente; fine della putijovka, amico caro, se vuoi riposare te la devi pagare la camera e la mensa pure, con che soldi non si sa, rimuginava meditabondo Zhenija con gli occhi bassi e rancorosi. Stavano aprendo infatti, due o tre locali privati (l'aria della privatisazija stava soffiando anche lassù) e in uno che ostentava tavoli nuovi di legno chiaro mangiammo un paio di pesci secchi con vodka, vista la cena a base di baran che ci aspettava al ritorno. Bisogna contentarsi quando l'iniziativa imprenditoriale è ancora acerba ma volenterosa. C'erano anche i caffè, con una macchina arrivata appositamente dall'Italia, ci apostrofarono con un sorriso magnificatorio i due splendidi occhi azzurri che raccoglievano le ordinazioni nel locale deserto. Li ordinammo golosamente; erano imbevibili, un saporaccio di gomma bruciata sovrastava tutto. Ci disse la ragazza che nessuno la sapeva usare quella macchina infernale e che si erano bruciati subito tutti quegli strani anelli di gomma che stavano tra il caffè e il vapore, ma il padrone aveva detto che andava bene lo stesso, tanto nessuno sapeva che gusto dovesse avere il caffè all'italiana e quello andava benissimo. 750 rubli cadauno.

26 commenti:

Antonio ha detto...

caro Enrico,
hai un nuovo lettore!
Antonio

enrico ha detto...

Grazie e un caloroso benvenuto. Mi aspetto critiche allora (costruttive mi raccomando...)

Popinga ha detto...

Enrico, questo articolo è più splatter di un film di Tarantino o di un libretto di Ammanniti. La scena del caffé fatto con la macchina espresso senza guarnizioni è davvero per stomaci forti; il baccalà con la vodka ricorda certe sequenze di Romero. Consiglio la lettura dei post sul disfacimento dell'URSS a un pubblico adulto.

Fabio ha detto...

Mi piacciono questi racconti di viaggio con splendide descrizioni dei luoghi accompagnate da una particolare attenzione alle vicende umane. Un caro saluto, Fabio

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