Stories My Father Told Me, by Helen Zughaib
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The Transaction

My grandfather, Jiddu, as a good Greek Orthodox, had great respect for Tsarist Russia. When the Tsar was defeated and exiled after the Bolshevik Revolution, Jiddu assumed that it was a temporary exile. Believing the Tsar and the Russian Empire would soon return to their previous glory. Jiddu saw an opportunity to make his fortune.

He sold the family possessions, cattle, land, jewelry etc. and bought Russian rubles, which by then had become almost worthless. All the rubles were stacked in wooden boxes and stored in a big closet in Jiddu's house. In the beginning, his children could not touch the rubles, only look at the hoard from a safe distance. Time passed, the Tsar and his family were killed, and Jiddu's rules were gradually relaxed. The children were allowed to handle the rubles, count them, admire their various sizes and denominations, and in Jiddu's absence, show them to their friends.

Finally the rubles lost all their mystique. Even Jiddu would occasionally laugh at his folly although no one else would have dared to bring up the economic details of that transaction.
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