In the 1970's I lived in Rio de Janeiro. It can be a sad and a dangerous city, if you do not know what you're doing. My first wife Maria taught me what to do, where to go, and how to act. In 41 years, I have never been robbed or assaulted in this beautiful city.
As I would walk down the streets of Rio, beggars would often come up to me and ask for money. I had a standard speech that I would say to them in Portuguese as follows:
"I wish that I had all of the money in the world so that I could help all of you. Sadly I'm a humble employee getting a small salary each month. I have to support a family with that money. I'm really poor."
No beggar ever got mad at me. No beggar ever got hateful with me. No beggar tried to assault me or follow me home.
My dear friends some of you got cards and gifts from Elena and I. But we could not do this for all of you because we're not a rich couple. In fact, in my case, I live on a humble pension. We both drive cars that are over 10 years old.
From the bottom of my heart, I can only give each of you a virtual hug and a wish you the happiest holiday season and all the best in 2017!!!!!!
Happy Winter Solstice
Happy 12 Days Of Christmas for my Russian friends