Teaching the Rich in Moscow

Moscow - Souvenirs
Moscow – Souvenirs by Sabrina Kammeier

I was met by two large security guards and asked to walk to the house.

I did some teaching at a mega rich Russian family a few weeks ago. A driver collected me and drove me to the house outside Moscow. After some forty minutes we arrived, I got out the Mercedes, was shown to a big metal front gate with security cameras on each side and I was led inside. I was met by two large security guards and asked to walk to the house. I made my way along a red winding brick path that cut through pine and silver birch trees through a silent landscaped garden. As I approached, I was met by a vast house rising out of the ground in between the trees. It was made of glass and wood and looked as if it was growing out of the raw forest ground. I went inside through the glass front doors and waited nervously on the marble steps. I was greeted by a maid who took my coat and gave me some slippers. She showed me to a seating area and I followed her silently across the marble floor to a sunken reception area that had three vast six-seater sofas and a white grand piano. I sat down on the soft royal cushions and waited to meet my young student. He arrived and shook my hand.

Teddy Bears
Teddy Bears

I was to teach a very confident seven year old boy, we went upstairs to his round play room and he told me he wanted to just read for half an hour and that we would then play. His playroom had more toys in it than a small toyshop. We read, then he led me down a big marble spiral staircase to his indoor football pitch. We played soft football, then ping-pong, then snooker, then darts. After an hour or so of games, he said he wanted to draw, so we went back up to his play room and drew pictures with dot-to-dot.

I felt like one of his many big teddy bears… A silent friend without an opinion.

He asked me if I was hungry, I said yes, (I am always hungry) so he phoned down to the kitchen and a maid quickly came to us with a big tray of freshly made cakes and fresh tea, we ate them in silence, while he drew more pictures. After eating, he coldly announced that he wanted to play Nintendo. So he played Nintendo, while I watched, he did not offer me a go, which annoyed me, I felt like one of his many big teddy bears sitting next to him on the bed, looking ahead without a word or a sound. A silent friend without an opinion.

After two hours, the time was over, I said goodbye and the driver took me back to the city. I was paid very well and it was an experience I will not forget. I enjoyed it. I have spoken about wealth before here in Moscow, Russia, but now I have seen it with my own eyes.

…it was an experience I will not forget.

The young boy I taught (if you can call it teaching) was very confident, in charge and very matter of fact about everything, he was years ahead of a seven year old boy in behavior and personality. I found it a bit disturbing. He had no smile and just seemed to function, perhaps a symptom of his situation. The house was beautiful, big and surrounded by Forest where the air was fresh, sweet and clean. It was good to breath in fresh air outside the city. The work was fun, easy and very well paid. Please can I have more English lessons like this!

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Discussion »

  • #1Peter

    Wow, sounds like quite the experience. My new aim in life is to have my own indoor soccer pitch inside my house!

  • #2Pablo

    But what did the parents say? Is that how things were supposed to be? Who hired you? Did you continue those lessons?

  • #3thecompulsivetraveler

    Jee, this sounds so familiar:) We call these people “oligarchs”, and they represent a subtype of the Russian society. Most of them have become rich relatively recently (within 10 years), so they haven’t established themselves as a Russian bourgeousie yet but they do possess all classic behavior patterns of Nouveau Riche. The saddest thing though is about their children who grow up in the world of hypocrisy and intrigues considering it a norm. Oh well, don’t judge and you will not be judged :)

  • #4Rahman Mehraby

    I like that confidence in the little kid you’ve mentioned more than anything else at your article although it’s been a fantastic experience. How different it is compared to the way lower middle class and poor people raise their kids!

    Thanks for the insight and keep writing interesting stuff!

    Rahman Mehraby

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