9 KIRIL’S PARENTS wanted their only son to be a diplomat. But, instead, he decided to be a black marketeer. I first met Kiril in June 1990, when he was sixteen years old. He was standing with a group of other teenage boys in front of the Beriozka shop around the corner from my Moscow flat. I passed this store where only foreign currency can be used to buy Russian goods and imported items daily on my way to the bus stop and assumed these boys were foreign tourists. One was wearing the latest Western fashion—baggy Bermuda shorts in gaudy colors that began at his knees and reached a crescendo of bad taste with his clashing shirt.