The Israeli Experience

Living in Israel, Denis Klimkovich has changed about 20 professions

He was involved in the bootleg industry, he saw buses and restaurants exploding. Denis grew plants and took care of pigeons in his apartment. In addition, he became a winner of a regional beauty contest.

Before becoming an Israeli citizen, Denis Klimkovich had studied in three schools in the city of Ukhta. The young man did not want to become an engineer to project and develop various constructions, to exploit gas and oil pipelines. It was hard for him to work in one direction only, that is why his relatives and friends could see him on the local television, in the local theatre, in the publishing house. Denis studied the modern dancing and worked in commercial structures.

Denis's life changed when he married a charming girl, whose parents were living in Israel. On July 6th 1999, the married couple moved to Israel. However, the man could not speak the Hebrew language. "There are special language courses for the people, who come to live in Israel, but I had absolutely no time for them, because I found a job ten days after our arrival. I had to study the language with the help of street signs and advertisements," Denis says.

Dan - that was how people were calling Denis in Israel - has changed about 20 jobs in almost four years. Israeli people normally change one job in four years, but Denis did not see any reasons to worry about it. "There was a time, when I changed seven or six jobs during a month. Israeli firms transfer people's wages to their bank accounts, so I had to go to a bank to take my salary. The clerks were very surprised, when I asked for my monthly salary from seven enterprises."

Working in one company, Denis was packing and transporting rich people's things. He was working with the things that belonged to spokespeople for Johnson & Johnson, Ericsson, the Israeli intelligence. In a recording studio, Denis learnt how to produce bootleg CDs. The output of the illegal production was rather high - about 2,000 compact disks. Denis also worked as a DJ for a local radio station. Unlike his previous work experience, he spent almost two years at the radio station. The people around Denis never took him for a Russian person. Bank clerks thought that he was a Cuban, shop assistants thought that he had Scandinavian ancestors, Russian tourists always addressed to him in the English language.

In Israel, there is the Law of Return, according to which "every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh." The law applied to Denis as well and he had an opportunity to try himself in the beauty pageant Miss and Mister Oleh 2000. Originally, Denis was supposed to be a choreographer for the contest, but it turned out during the rehearsals, there was a vacancy for one young man. Good-looking and well educated Denis Klimkovich filled the gap. He passed all stages of the regional pageant and was eventually included on the top ten list of Israel's most handsome and charming men. Three television companies and countless newspapers reported about his participation in the contest.

"One day I was standing on a crossroad in the city of Haifa. I was on the phone with my mother, she is living in Ukhta. She was very worried about me because of the frequent acts of terrorism. A guy came up to me and asked, if I saw a grenade cotter-pin around. I just told him not to bother me, because I was talking on the phone. The bomb blew up in about ten seconds. Luckily, no one died," Denis says.

A lot of Russian people die in Israel because of the never-ending war between Palestine and Israel. Russian people presumably live in cheap residential areas in Tel Aviv or in Jerusalem, but there are a lot of cafes, parks and night clubs in those areas. In Moscow, for example, it is very prestigious to live on a central street, but Israelis prefer quiet places out of town. Most often, explosions take place in restaurants and clubs, where young people gather.

Denis decided to celebrate his birthday in his hometown. He made up his mind to stay in Ukhta for a while with his family. However, he is already thinking of returning to Israel again. "One day I was going back home from work when I saw two tiny baby pigeons on the ground. I took the birds home and started taking care of them. When they grew up, they flew away. A little bit later, I found two pigeon eggs on my balcony. That was very pleasant. In general, I was lucky to meet smart, good and honest people in Israel, and I will never forget it."

Irina Gorbulina

Author`s name Olga Savka