Aug 1, 2011

До встречи (Until next time)

On a train from Irkutsk to Moscow, I saw a traveling Ukrainian solider drink an entire liter of vodka in one standing.  I say 'standing' because, for the duration of his feat, he stood between the bunks in our tiny four-bed compartment.  He wanted to be on his feet for two reasons. First, he wanted to look my friend Natasha in the eye with each of his twenty successive toasts to her.  But second, and more relevant to my metaphor, he stood to ensure that each word of his treatise on domestic and world affairs would reach his foreign, top-bunk audience.  After a final, impassioned soliloquy on the people's relationship to gray hats (military) versus blue hats (police) in former-Soviet society, he made a surprisingly subtle exit.  He hung his gray hat on the door and, with a soldier's precision, laid face-down and perfectly symmetrical on his bed, apparently leaving no room to breathe.  When we got off the train the next morning, he hadn't moved.

And so, like our Ukrainian hero, my blog has said its piece and either passed out or died.  At the very least, it won't move until I reach my next Russian destination.  For those of you new to the blog, please take a look at the 'most popular' posts on the right sidebar, or browse through the archived entries below them.  I've added an English-language description to each title to make the content more accessible. Feel free to subscribe, using whatever it is people use to subscribe to things.

Thanks for reading, mom.
Djozef



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Addendum!  There is now a new edition/spin-off of this blog, this time about Finland.  Find it here.

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