Alexander Fufaev
My name is Alexander FufaeV and here I write about:

2007-2009: Hauptschule, first German friend and the class conference. Trip to Russia and World of Warcraft

First Trip to Russia

Summer, 2007. During the summer holidays, Mama, Laura, Dasha, and I traveled by train for a few weeks to Russia to visit our relatives again. Starting from Hanover over, where Joachim bid us farewell, our journey took us through Poland and Ukraine to Moscow.

In a cramped train compartment furnished with a bunk bed and a small table, we spent the two-day journey. We didn't have much to do. Most of the time, I lay in bed and read a fantasy novel that I would never have touched otherwise. I must have received the book as a birthday gift from my father at some point, because right on the first page was a short dedication written in pen by Dima. He always did that when he gave me books. Unfortunately, I rarely read the books. Filled with enthusiasm and captivated by a beautifully designed book cover, I often started reading the first few pages, only to be drawn back to a new computer game over the next few days. The book then disappeared into my shelf dominated by computer games, forgotten forever. Even this time, the train journey was not enough to finish reading the novel.

In Moscow, Grandpa Yura awaited us, and we traveled together by train to Rostov. There, Uncle Sasha picked us up with a new dark red car. I didn't even recognize him at first because he was bald now. It was exciting to ride home with him because during the trip, he always initiated a race by overtaking another car and then slowing down until the other car passed us again. Then we overtook it again, preferably making eye contact with the other driver. This usually sufficed to bruise his ego and make him want to overtake us again, regardless of how fast we were driving this time. Then the race began - all without seat belts.

Arriving in Kharkovskiy, Grandpa Yura's red car was no longer there. Instead, next to Uncle Sasha's dark red Opel Vectra was Grandpa's new car - also an Opel Vectra, but in dark blue. Apparently, the grandparents had had a successful harvest while we were in Germany. Cousin Ksyusha, Aunt Olja, Uncle Sasha and her little son Yura, as well as Grandma Lina, welcomed us with great joy and a richly laid table. It was an indescribably wonderful feeling to be back on the farm, to see Ksyusha and the others again, especially my Uncle Sasha, and to smoke with him while tinkering with the technology. Uncle showed me his new car and how he wanted to pimp it: with neon lighting under the car, a spoiler at the back, and black rims. His favorite music by Yuri Shatunov or Victor Tsoi played while he showed me the interior of the car.

Yura, the son of Aunt Olja and Uncle Sasha, was a year older than Laura and already really tall. The two of them liked to fool around together. A few days later, they were both baptized in an Orthodox church in Azov at the same time.

After the time with the grandparents in Kharkovskyi, Dasha and I visited Galja and Gogi in Azov for a week. Gogi also gave me a silver chain with a cross, which he had promised me back then.

In Azov, I also rang the doorbell of my friends. Many of them no longer lived there, and I didn't know where they had gone. Only my friend Sanja still lived there, opened the door for me, and was extremely happy to see me again.

After spending the day with him, it got dark, and I had to go home. Normally, I wouldn't have been out alone so late, but I felt the urge to experience the evening atmosphere of the city once again. So, I wandered around Azov a bit, sat on a bench, in a place that revived all the memories of my wonderful time in Russia. The streets where I used to stroll with my friends... The park and the avenue that led me directly to the Don River. In this nostalgic moment, I was again the little boy who experienced the greatest adventures with his friends. I thought about staying in Russia. The thought of missing everyone as soon as we returned to Germany hurt too much. I was firmly convinced to tell my mother that I wouldn't go back to Germany with her but would stay in Russia with Dima.

Back in Germany

I still had vacation time. However, compared to the exciting holiday in Russia, life in Germany felt boring to me. So, I did the only thing I enjoyed doing in this country: I escaped into the world of video games with my friends Max, Maxim, and Alexey. This time, it was a space game called DarkOrbit, which Alexey had recently discovered. I became so obsessed with this game that I upgraded my spaceship via phone call. As a result, a phone bill of five hundred euros arrived at our house. Joachim was not at all pleased and shouted at me for the first time ever. I had never experienced that before. I felt really guilty, so I never touched the game again.

"I'm not playing DarkOrbit anymore," I told Max over Skype while we were playing Counter-Strike.

"You're so stupid to spend so much money on that game... You better check out this one," he replied.

My Skype made a notification sound. He had sent me a link.

"Are you sending me some dirty stuff again?"

"No, really not. This is an insanely difficult maze," Max replied in Russian, laughing.

I minimized Counter-Strike for a moment and opened the link. It led to a pitch-black page with the heading Level 1. Below it was a bright maze, along which I could move a square-shaped cursor.

"You have to guide the cursor to the end of the maze without touching its walls."

Before he finished the sentence, I was already on the second level. Now the maze was a bit longer and not uniformly wide everywhere. Still, I crossed it without any problems. In the third level, the maze was even longer, and the passage became so narrow towards the end that even a slight twitch might have caused failure.

The closer I moved the cursor to the goal, the slower I became. I leaned a bit closer to the screen and quickly wiped my sweaty hand on my pants. Slowly but steadily, I moved towards the goal, while Max was eating something in the background, making loud smacking noises. I became even slower, more cautious. Just before the end, something appeared that would often appear in my dreams and thoughts later in life, regardless of whether I was thinking about school, food, or video games. It appeared out of nowhere as a sharp image before my eyes; exactly in the form I saw it for the first time. It was the face of the possessed girl from the movie "The Exorcist".

Before my eyes, which had previously been staring intently at the maze, her mutilated features now flickered in full-screen mode. The volume of the piercing scream she emitted upon appearing caused a ringing in my ears for several minutes, even after I took off the headphones. My heart was racing, and I was breathing heavily. A short while later, after calming down a bit, I pressed the red button on the power strip and sat motionless in the chair for a while longer. This face continued to haunt me in the days that followed. I always had this strange feeling as if that demon had jumped onto me. It wasn't until the end of the holidays that this memory gradually retreated into the depths of my mind.

Hauptschule (Secondary School in Germany with Lower Secondary Education)

2007. When the holidays were over, I visited the Molitoris School in Harsum, not far from Lühnde. At first, I didn't like going there because I didn't know anyone. There was even a Russian girl, Kristina, in my class whom I could speak Russian with, but I didn't because of her boyfriend Ivan. If he got the impression that I was flirting with her, I would be in trouble. My new class teacher, Mr. Wiezer, was also not to be trifled with. He was the strictest teacher I had ever had.

To skip school, I often pretended to have nausea or stomach pains. Sometimes my mom didn't believe me, so I had to come up with something better. For example, I would sit near the oven for a while or touch my forehead to the warm radiator to pretend I had a fever. Eventually, my mom couldn't take my "illnesses" seriously anymore, and then we even had occasional arguments. To force me to go to school at all costs, she would call Dima. That was really embarrassing for me. I didn't want my father to find out that I didn't feel like going to school. But after a brief conversation with him, assuring him that we only had physical education today and all other subjects were canceled, he understood me and calmed down my angry mother. Sometimes, however, he did manage to convince me to go to school.

Once, on the way to school, I actually had a reason to skip it: A sudden loud bang to my right startled me, causing me to jerk my head around. Any further movement caused excruciating pain, so I had to go home with my head oddly twisted. When I arrived at the front door, I rang the bell. Mom opened the door with already twisted eyes.

"What's wrong with you again?"

"I can't turn my head, it hurts," I replied, whining. She let me in. Good. This time she believed me luckily.

It wasn't until several days later that I was able to turn my head back. My goodness, I was relieved because with a twisted head, I couldn't play games properly, which I usually did when I managed to skip school.

Robert, my first German school friend

After a while, I made friends with Robert from my class. He was a typical bad boy who liked to show off his muscles and make fun of other pupils if they were different or weaker. However, I was also anything but the average guy at school. A gaming nerd at home and more of an outsider at school. Despite my weaknesses, there was apparently something about me that also made me a bad boy. Perhaps because I came from Russia and taught Robert countless Russian swear words, such as "Súka Blyat" or "Idi Ná Huj", which he then used to insult other pupils and teachers without them understanding him.

I got on well with Robert, even though we had no common interests apart from not paying attention in class and masturbating. I liked the way he called me Sasha, for example. It sounded so familiar and reminded me of my friends from Russia. The other students called me Alexander, which was also okay, but seemed rather distant to my ears. And those who called me Alex, I had nothing to do with them on a friendly level. I felt least addressed by Alex, probably because I associated Alex with Alexey.

Robert and I were often kicked out of class. During lessons, we would flick through the book that went with the subject to look for funny people and then say "Look, that's you!" The aim was to make the other person laugh. Everything was funnier when laughter was forbidden. After one of us started laughing and the other couldn't stop laughing either, we were sent out the door with a loud...

»OUT, BOTH OF YOU!«

One day, my class went on a school trip to a trade fair in Hanover. We had agreed with Mr. Wiezer that we would all meet in front of the exhibition grounds at the end of the event. Robert and I had of course forgotten this when we were in the toilet.

Robert was in a cubicle and I was in the cubicle next door. Someone came into the toilet and peed in the urinal. It was quiet and all you could hear was the sound of the stream of piss hitting the enamel of the urinal.

Suddenly I heard a quick PLUP PLUP PLUP from Robert's cabin, as if he was throwing stones into the water. Silence again. I knew him very well and knew that he threw his toilet mines on purpose. I tried desperately to suppress my laughter and pressed my lips together. More drops were followed by a prolonged chainsaw sound that broke my laughter dams. I opened my mouth and laughed like a groaning dog. Robert obviously heard me and continued with more sounds: BSSSSSS BRRR PFFFFFFFFFF. It was a veritable keyboard of body noises that he played. This composition was the last straw. I started to laugh out loud.

Suddenly, however, my laughter was drowned out when a loud but very short fart, similar to the bang of a Magnum cartridge, sounded from the direction of the urinal. Followed by a loud slam of the door.

"What are you doing?"

I looked around and saw Robert with his grinning face, upside down, looking through the gap under the cubicle wall. I quickly got down from my squatting position on the toilet seat and sat down like a normal person, hoping that Robert hadn't seen my favorite sitting position on the toilet, which I was a little embarrassed about.

"The guy just farted and left," Robert snorted, laughing so heartily that I burst out laughing and almost started crying. I could see the upper part of Robert's face, which was now as red as a ripe tomato.

As Robert's face disappeared under the cabin, our laughter slowly died down. Suddenly, the silence was interrupted by Robert's panicked words: "Shit, we're too late!"

I quickly pulled up my jeans and ran after Robert, who had already disappeared from the toilet like a flash of lightning. I reached the meeting point out of breath and only saw Robert standing there with both arms on his hips, looking left and right.

"Oh shit, our class has already left," I commented, and a slight feeling of panic came over me.

"What do we do now?" Robert asked helplessly, as if I had a solution.

"Mr. Wiezer has the tickets. Do you have any money with you?"

"No, do I look like I do?" Robert replied, grinning. Neither Robert nor I had cash or phones to call our parents.

"We need to find someone with a phone," Robert suggested.

"Do you know Mr. Wiezer's or your parents' number by heart?"

"Hmm, no. And you?"

"Neither do I. I guess we'll have to ride without tickets."

"Yeah, let's do it. Where's the train station around here?"

We had no choice but to find our way back to the train station and then ride without tickets. After a two-hour walk, with the help of friendly people who showed us the way to the station, we finally reached it.

"We need to get to platform twelve."

The train was already there.

"I have an idea," I whispered as we stood in front of the open train door. "Let's go straight to the toilet now and hide there when the conductor comes."

"But the conductor will see someone in the bathroom and will definitely wait for us to come out," Robert voiced his concerns.

The train door closed again. Robert thought for a moment and looked down. Suddenly, he slowly raised his head and stared at me with wide eyes.

"What's up?" I asked curiously, suspecting that Robert had found a solution.

"We don't lock the door!"

A grin spread across my face, and without saying a word, I pressed the button on the train door to open it.

We boarded and went straight to the toilet. As we walked there, all the doors closed, and the train started moving. When we arrived at the toilet, we stood nervously in front of it, keeping an eye out for the conductor. Robert looked in the direction of travel, and I looked in the opposite direction.

"Tickets, please!" I heard from Robert's direction. I quickly marched into the toilet, with Robert following me.

"Please hurry up!" Robert whispered, almost wetting himself with fear. I had never seen tough Robert like this before.

"Shh," I said, putting my finger to my lips to signal him to be quiet.

The toilet door finally closed automatically.

"Tickets, please," we heard another indistinct announcement, muffled and quiet inside the toilet. The conductor seemed to be engaged in a brief conversation. Robert and I listened intently, trying to guess the conductor's position. After a while, we heard no more conversation, only the sounds of the train. We loosened from the door and were able to relax a bit. But then it happened. Someone pressed the opening button from the outside, and the door opened slowly. We stood there frozen, staring anxiously at the door as if it were opening a portal to a parallel universe.

A dark-skinned man in a snow-white robe and a white headscarf stood behind the door, staring at us as if we were ghosts.

"Next stop: Harsum," announced a soft speaker announcement.

Robert passed by the man, I followed him. The man went in and pressed the button to close the door. As the door closed, he was still standing there, staring at us. We stared back until the door was closed. As soon as the train stopped, we ran out immediately. Now we were finally at the Harsum train station.

"Oh, look! There's Mr. Wiezer," I noticed.

"We're screwed," Robert replied, and we approached our stern-looking, almost two-meter-tall class teacher.

"Come with me," he demanded in his deep, angry voice, motioning for us to follow him to his van. Before Robert could close the door, he drove off. He drove hectically - his old van wobbling everywhere, roaring, the dashboard vibrating as we both sat in the back seat. Every bump caused Robert and me to be thrown upwards. Robert hit his head on the car roof and held his head in pain. We looked at each other and had the same thought: The car ride was hilarious. But we had to pull ourselves together, because our class teacher, who looked at us angrily through the rearview mirror, frightened us a lot. At that moment, we realized that we were in big trouble.

Class Conference

Due to this behavior and other incidents, such as our tardiness or being kicked out of class, I had my first class conference. I was interrogated at a round table by all the teachers, while they stared at me the whole time. It was unbearable; I felt like bursting into tears. I was no longer allowed to sit next to Robert or do group work with him. The last contact I had with Robert was at the end of ninth grade during a class trip. We were actually roommates there.

Due to the lack of contact with Robert, I got closer to other classmates. Marcel, a very lazy but very good student in mathematics, introduced me to the so-called online role-playing game called World of Warcraft, which I paid for with my allowance of twelve euros per month. He was a rogue, and I was a paladin named Excallibur, a knight of the light on the side of the Alliance. Marcel and I spent sleepless nights full of adventures in the vast world of Warcraft. I was so immersed in the game that I even forgot to eat. Luckily, there was still my mother, who brought me buttered bread to my room.

I paid less attention to my appearance. My greasy hair grew shoulder-length because I hadn't been to the hairdresser for a while. I was very tired at school, constantly yawning, and I couldn't and didn't want to pay attention at all; instead, I only thought about World of Warcraft.

Later, I told my friends Max, Maxim, Alexey, and Thomas, whom I had met at Molitoris School, about the game, and they joined in; however, on the opposing side of the Alliance, the Horde, so I was forced to go along. So, I created a new character, also a paladin on the Horde side, to play with my friends. And so, we fought side by side – while talking over Skype – against the weirdest creatures, collected items, explored the world, and fought against the Alliance. It was a very captivating game that made us completely forget about the real world.

Despite World of Warcraft, I completed the ninth grade at Klitoris School – as it was jokingly called by the students – and thus obtained my first school leaving certificate in Germany – the Hauptschulabschluss. The diploma was only a side issue, because much more important was our progress in World of Warcraft.

Together with Alexey, who played a druid, we brought victories for the Horde. Later, I and my friends switched to the opposing side of the Horde, the Alliance side, where we stayed for good. Then I became a human mage with a very imaginative name "Fufaev."

When Max no longer wanted to pay the game fees, he sold his account on eBay. Then Thomas also said goodbye with his warlock. Alexey was also online less frequently. Maxim and I were the only ones still actively involved. Gradually, the captivating game turned into mere pastime. And so, our time together in World of Warcraft came to an end – and with it, our friendship began to fade.

Trips to Russia

2008/09. During the spring break and also during the summer break of the last year at Molitoris School, we traveled to Russia two more times. When I was with Dasha at Dima's in Rostov, we met Lena's parents. Her father was a surgeon at the Rostov clinic and had an expensive car, with which we drove through Rostov to various restaurants, cafes, bowling alleys, or to his dacha. In Rostov, Dima bought me a suit, leather shoes, shirts, and perfume and gave me some of his ties that were too small for him to try out a new style of clothing.

At the end of the last week in Russia, I indirectly learned during a casual conversation between me, Dasha, Dima, Lena, and her mother that Lena was expecting a child. The news made me sad for some reason. My father noticed this and put his hand on my shoulder. That was the penultimate time I was so close to Dima, because a year later our last trip to Russia took place.

Before leaving, Dima gave me his favorite book, which had served him well in Uzbekistan. The red book, whose cover was covered with transparent tape and whose pages were already yellowed, bore the title: How to Win Friends and Influence People.

When we were back in Germany, I had long since gotten used to the country, but there was another problem: the relationship between Joachim and Mama was crumbling. There were constant arguments, mainly because of Mama's jealousy. I was always on Joachim's side, because he always kept a cool head. He was always good to us – so there was absolutely no reason not to like him. But even the reconciliations after every argument could not prevent the divorce in the end. Fortunately, the relationship between all of us remained good.

After the divorce, I moved with Dasha, Laura, and my mother to another street, into a multi-family house. During this time, I started taking driving lessons in a neighboring village called Algermissen, three kilometers away. Since I didn't have a bicycle, I had to walk to the theory lessons in the evening, which I gladly did. During the walk along the field path, where I saw nothing but a sparsely traveled road and the fields, I could become endlessly creative. I didn't listen to music, and I left my phone, a Nokia with which I could only make calls and send text messages, at home.

On the way to Algermissen, once I reached the field path, my imagination bubbled up from within me. Suddenly, I was immersed in a new world. I imagined myself with superpowers. Two lightning bolts from the dark clouds in the sky struck into my open palms, which I held out in front of me as I walked. The wind blew through my hair. Suddenly, there was thunder, and goosebumps covered my entire body. In that moment, I felt like the ruler of the lightning, so powerful, as if I were a demigod who could destroy the whole world. The fantasy felt incredibly realistic. I could always reach this state of imagination when there were no people far and wide, and only I and nature were there.

Once I was so engrossed in my fantasy that I was almost run over at a pedestrian crossing near Algermissen. The sound of screeching tires snapped me out of my created fantasy world.

"Hey, are you crazy? Watch out!" shouted a man from the open window. With a pounding heart, I briefly stared at the man before turning away and continuing to walk.

After the theory part, I was able to take a few practical driving lessons; but eventually, my mother couldn't afford it anymore. Since then, I haven't visited a driving school and never completed my driver's license.

To be honest, I didn't really have a desire to get the expensive driver's license after that either. Even though having a car in our little town would have been desirable on some days. I just wanted to own a car to pimp it. As soon as I press the gas pedal, not only should the ears be deafened, but the air should also be perfumed with gasoline.

Secondary School Leaving Certificate

2009. After the summer vacation, I attended the tenth grade of Molitoris School to also obtain the secondary school leaving certificate. My biggest problems were my strange accent and my own lack of confidence in my German skills. I was afraid of using the wrong article or expressing myself grammatically incorrectly, which would result in my classmates laughing at me. That's why I mostly remained silent, even though I knew the answer to the teacher's question. This reluctance resulted in me not participating orally in class at all and getting poor oral grades. This school year went totally wrong, and I had no choice but to repeat the tenth grade if I wanted to achieve the secondary school leaving certificate.


Future Learning from my World of Warcraft Time: Adolescents play computer games all day because reality has nothing more interesting to offer and only causes trouble.

What I Learned from Squatting on the Toilet Seat: Squatting is the anatomically favorable position for emptying the bowels. It reduces the possibility of hemorrhoids and constipation. Also, it is more hygienic as you do not come directly into contact with the toilet. Additionally, it trains the body's flexibility. Therefore, I have been using the toilet correctly all my life.

Future Learning from my Time in Lühnde: If I want to generate brilliant ideas or immerse myself in a fantastic world without limits, I go into nature - free from people and technology - and take a long walk.