Two days ago I woke up, stared at the wall of my room, noticed an empty red spot above the door, and a though came to mind, “It is a good place for Tolstoy, Chekhov and Dostoevsky”. Searched Google for “Tolstoy” “Chekhov” and “Dostoevsky”, click images, filter large size and got three photo of three giants of Russians literature. A few touches, a few minutes on Photoshop and the portraits were ready.
Same evening: I took a walk with my USB flash drive to search for a good Photography shop to print it, I was told that the best place to print photos was a shop on Salim street, about 100 feet from Bardarky Sara. Got to the place, I told the owner that I wanted a special printing size, “What is the size?”, “75 in by 90 in”, “We don’t print that size”. He offered about 10 different size, but in each you had to sacrifice at least 15 in or add 7 in, cropping the image or adding extra white space. When I told him that none of them were good, he told me to go down a few shop and see if they were offering such printing size.
The new shop did had the printing size I wanted, you had to dump the images on thiere computer first; Holding the USB flash drive I walked down to the basement of the shop. A young boy was on the computer, he was chatting with a girl, all excited, I gave him the drive, stopped chatting for a second, clicked on the “Print” folder, then click on the pictures of Tolstoy, Chekhov and Dostoevsky. Without looking at me, he started to chat again, typing fast, at the same time asking me questions “Who are they, your Grandfather?”, I couldn’t help it, but I started to laugh, loudly, “I wish, they were”. Typing and chatting, “They are Shakespeare?”, “No, they are Russian writers, the name are below the pictures”. “Why would you want to print their pictures?”. “I want to put it on my wall?”, “Why?”, “Because I love them?”, “You love these dead old people to spend money on them?”, I laughed again, the guy was making sense, “I love their writing”. Then I went on to tell him how much I loved Russian literature and how I first started reading Tolstoy when I was 10, then discovered Chekhov and Dostoevsky , I doubted he even listed to me as he was typing and chatting with the girl, from time to time a 🙂 would appear on the screen from the girl typing, as it did, a smile would appear on his face. After a few comprises, adding about about 2 In extra white space, we agreed on the size of the portraits. “Come back tomorrow and you will have it”, “Are you guys gonna frame it also?”, “No”. I was told that they did not have such frame size and I had to make one from a shop down the street.
Today, I got the portraits, went to a shop to make a frame for it. It took them an hour to make a beautiful frame, with a smile on my face I carried the portraits and started to walk home taking the busy streets in and around Bardarky Sara. Today being two days before the month of Ramadan, the place was packed with shoppers, carrying the portraits and hoping all the time not to run into somebody or a car and break the glass on the portraits. I got home safely and the portraits are hanging on the walls as I type this, it look beautiful.