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Russia, December 28, 1998

KLM Rocks Across Europe!

I'll never fly Lufthansa again, as long as I shall live!

Smooth as one too!(Full text sent to KLM Customer Service on December 31, 1998)

KLM: Smooth as a swan

My Dear KLM,

Oh my dear KLM, how will you ever forgive me? I have been so bad, so distrusting, so unfaithful! Last month, in a fit of foolery that I am still ashamed of, I chose another airline over you just because I had never flown with her before.

Lufthansa has a reputation, similar to yours, of being an efficient and enjoyable airline. That may be true, but it is definitely a far cry from your level of service and comfort. From the moment I sat in the hard, flat seats on my flight from Moscow to Frankfurt, I knew I had made the wrong choice. Once we were airborne, and they did not serve ice cream after the in-flight meal, my spirits sank even further. How can anyone even compare you, with your generous meals and tasty ice cream deserts, to another carrier? I was so foolish!

On arrival in Frankfurt, I became even more despondent. Not only did I have to walk across the tarmac to a shuttle bus to the terminal (not even Russia does this anymore!), the terminal was overcrowded, noisy, and confusing, with poor signage and too much construction going on. I yearned for the orderly and smooth Schiphol experience, with its big windows, courteous staff, and logical layout.

My flight from Frankfurt to Miami was uneventful and comfortable, like a flight should be, and the landing in Miami was one of the softest I've had, but it did not make up for the frustration of the return flight. First of all, my flight from Orlando to Frankfurt was completely changed, from a dream to a nightmare. I was booked on a direct Orlando-Frankfurt Lufthansa flight leaving Orlando in the evening and arriving in Frankfurt the following mid-day, but then I was involuntarily re- routed to a Orlando-Washington DC-Frankfurt flight on United Airlines!

Needless to say, United doesn't even come close to Lufthansa, much less your comfort and class. Our DC-Frankfurt pilot, in unmatched brilliance, decided to save us an hour (and his company fuel costs) by flying in the jet stream. Thanks for the hour! Too bad we were tossed around so much in the jet stream, that I couldn't sleep and I had plane crash nightmares when I tried. Next time, I'm gonna swim before I relive that tension.

So KLM, will you forgive me? Will you accept me now that I have learned my lesson? I promise, never, ever to spend a dime with another airline, if you service the places I am between, so help me Ra!

December 31, 1998, The Moscow Times

Russians Show Whiners The Way to Take Delays

By Russell Working

When trains shut down, when planes don't fly, when Russians are stranded anywhere, they are always ready with a bottle of vodka or sweet Moldavian wine.

On a train, they squeeze into a coupe and dig out whatever food they have - sausage, bread, cucumbers, candy -as happened last summer when my train full of shuttle traders was stalled for four hours on the Chinese border. On a plane, they fold down the middle scat and spread out a newspaper, on which they lay their dried fish or salo, a substance made from pork fat that is handy for absorbing headline ink and images of Primakov.

If a foreigner is in their midst, he will be grilled about his homeland, The glass will remain miraculously full, however often he polishes it off and makes clear that this is really his last drink. Eventually, some will doze. Some may even sing.

The attitude is: Why get excited? The plane will either fly or not fly. I can't change that, but I can celebrate with my fellow man in the meantime. I thought of this on Sunday while returning from a visit to my parents in Santa Barbara, California. I had spent the holiday reflecting on the strengths of American French roast coffee, sales clerks who don't roll their eyes at you, a vigorous system of cheeks and balances that keeps citizens informed about presidential DNA on intern's dresses.

But as I waited for takeoff on a United Airlines jet, I couldn't help thinking of another side of the American experience. We're whiners.

We were heading to San Francisco, and only one runway was open in that foggy city. The pilot announced an hour's delay. Then a second. And a third. I figured everyone felt the way I did. You can't change the weather, and if you travel, you live with the possibility of delays.

But I soon became aware of an undercurrent of fury on the plane. 'Unbelievable!' snarled a man with frizzy hair. A woman told a stewardess, 'This is unacceptable, Can't you see my children are exhausted?' The pilot tried in vain to calm us: 'Folks, we're sorry about the delay, but really, it's not the flight attendants' fault.'

In the end, the flight was canceled, and the passengers stomped off. As United scrambled to reroute us the next day, the frizzy man shouted, 'I don't care whose fault it is. You'll never get my business again.'

It was 11 p.m. Passengers lugged their bags to the curb. They crowded into cabs and headed back to the city where the electricity always works, where the faucets always gush, where everyone is paid on time. Angry. Muttering into cell phones. Struggling with the question that has vexed mankind since Job: Can God really he good in a world where trips to San Francisco are delayed?

Russia, December 25, 1998

Santa Claus in Moscow

Yes, he even flies over Russia, only on Jan 7. This is what the local alternative paper, The eXile, found when they called around here for advice on Santa's visit: V 0 X P 0 P U I WILL SANTA CLAUS SURVIVE? Santa Clans is coming town… or is he?...

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Russia, December 23, 1998

Television Is a Time Suck

The idiot box crossed the pond and is attacking the Russian soul! The true Evil Empire is here is Russia. Not the communists, not the Chechens, but the television! Until 1991, TV was a rarity here with three stations in back & white. Luckily for the Russian culture, it was...

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Russia, December 21, 1998

The Reality of Irrelevance

The Reality of Irrelevance is hard for the Kremlin to accept What we were aiming for Snow sure makes it pretty! Thrice Victorious All the tourists! Chicago Tribune 21 December 1998 Russian Anger Grounded in Faded Influence but Don't Write us off Yet, Ex-Foes Caution By Michael McGuire, Tribune Staff...

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Russia, December 20, 1998

Salute Mayor Luzhkov

The man who will be Tzar in 2000 Bloomberg Profile, Dec. 20 1998 Moscow Mayor Luzhkov Aims for Presidency Moscow - When the Russian ruble plunged 60 percent against the dollar in August and September, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov imposed citywide price limits on staple foods, defying federal policy. When...

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Russia, December 19, 1998

Impeachment Happens

Boris did more than Bill, but Monica wasn't in the picture. New York Times 19 December 1998 Impeachment Also Is Proceeding, in a Convoluted Way, in Russia By Michael Wines MOSCOW -- If Russians are perplexed by the prospective impeachment of President Clinton over his testimony about extramarital sex --...

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I Am Not The Only One...

Moscow really puts a zap to your head! Lenin's Tomb Russian History Museum St Basil A Side Street Yes, Russia The North Tower A Side Alley St Basil The South Tower A Little Detail Financial Times December 19 1998 Moscow: Urban, but not yet urbane By Paul Gould A bracing...

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Russia, December 14, 1998

I'm Back! Did Ya Miss Me?

Re-entry into the USA after a few years outside is one hell of an experience. After an absence of one and a half years, what can I say? I love America! I flew into Miami, and in half an hour I was in heaven waltzing down Collins Avenue on Miami...

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Russia, December 13, 1998

Chechnya Burning

The New Russian Vacation Spot: Chechnya The Independent (UK) December 13, 1998 Welcome to Hell: How did Chechnya - a country once applauded by the West for its spirit of independence - descend to such levels of chaos and barbarism? By Phil Reeves SIX WEEKS ago, looking as inconspicuous as...

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Russia, December 7, 1998

Weddings in Winter

Russian weddings are quick! Don't be late. 7 December, 1998 NBC NEWS Moscow: love among the ruble By Carlota Zimmerman MOSCOW - As Moscow leaders ponder the socio-economic virtual reality of the country's burning ruble, Russians continue doing what comes naturally - falling in love and planning one of the...

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Russia, December 1, 1998

The Jews Are Here!

They still eat sala when they move to Israel! Moscow Times December 1, 1998 Toothless Old Hatreds By Nina L. Khrushcheva First it was the Jews. Then the Romanovs, the nobility and the kulaks. After 1991, it was Lenin and the communists. Now, it seems, it's the Jews again. Like...

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Russia, November 30, 1998

Gailyn Goes to Town

What happens when you let Americans with cash wander around a Russian mall Shop till you drop! Check out the glass ceiling! Fountains for sale too! And don't forget the flowers Gailyn's Personal Adventures in the Frozen Tundra Wayan, as you requested I am giving my second installment of my...

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Russia, November 27, 1998

Is There a Central Bank?

If the Russian Central Bank doesn't play fair, who will?? From The Moscow Tribune, November 27, 1998 CENTRAL BANK EXPOSED IN PROFITEERING FROM PRECIOUS METAL SALES By John Helmer A report just completed by Russia's independent state auditor, the Accounting Chamber, accuses the Central Bank of Russia, under its previous...

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Russia, November 26, 1998

Santa Barbara is Real

You think people watch the Brady Bunch over here? Thursday, November 26, 1998 The Moscow Times Santa Barbara "Matter of National Security" By Andrei Zolotov Jr. Times are hard in Russia. People go unpaid for months at a time, pensions are late, and contract killings rock the nation with alarming...

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Russia, November 25, 1998

Nick's Thanksgiving in Russia

Turkey time in the CIS! 25 November, 1998 Thanksgiving By Nick I told you that I would let you know how my Thanksgiving Dinner went. All in all it went well. I became a little mad at one point but that pasted quickly. As you will recall, I invited 10...

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Russia, November 24, 1998

Den' Rozhdeniya = Birthdays

Happy Birthday from Moscow! November 24, 1998, The Moscow Times Etiquette, Eloquence, of Birthday Festivites By Nick Allen Few events in Russia are imbibed with as much energy and good cheer as the round-the-table celebration of a den' rozhdeniya (birthday). And should you he invited to a birthday party, it's...

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Russia, November 23, 1998

Those Crazy Expats

Now is it Turkey, or turkey? Well, do you feel lucky, punk? Working in an international firm dominated by Americans and Brits has its advantages, but sometimes I forget that not all the expats in Moscow are native American (or English) speakers. I subscribe to an American dominated listserve that...

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Russia, November 17, 1998

It's Just a Few Drops of Vodka...

The mind is a horrible thing to pickle with vodka One more for the Road! Its a tickle attack! A painful moment Lets face it, while I sit in Moscow, I have nutting to do, so I do what I want, I party. I now know all the cool yet...

Russia, November 16, 1998

Elections Are Always Rigged

You think this is a democracy? Forbes November 16, 1998 Who will be the next ruler of Russia? The slick city boss, or the rough-edged populist general? By Paul Klebnikov The parking lot of the fancy tennis club is cluttered with $150,000 Mercedes sedans, each of which costs more than...

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The Blind Leading the Blind

Groping around in the dark, Russian style Nov 16, 1998, Reuters News Wire Kazakh blind lost in post-Soviet darkness By Mike Collett-White TALGAR, Kazakhstan, - Sabyr Sabasov, a 59-year-old Kazakh, flicks open the face of his old watch, gently strokes the hands with his right forefingers, and tells the time....

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Russia, November 11, 1998

Good Russian Grooms

You wanna marry one of the local men? Why? Wednesday, November 11, 1998, The Moscow Times About Face: American Women Pursue Russians By Lynn Visson While marriage agencies, Internet dating services and catalogs stuffed with photos of gorgeous Russian girls eagerly seeking American husbands have attracted a good deal of...

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Russia, November 10, 1998

You Say 'Boris Berezovskiy' Fast

The Power of Boris Berezovskiy Rossiyskaya Gazeta 10 November 1998 Boris Berezovskiy is Not Interested in Institutionalizing Russian Power. A Politoco-Psychological Sketch by Psycholinguistic Methods Article by psycholinguist Irina Volkoa, associate professor at the Russian Federation Government Higher School of Economics: The experience accumulated by the young science of psycholinguistics...

Russia, November 9, 1998

Too Cold to Care!

You think you know what winter is? Ha! I lived through two Russian ones! Ready to clean the snow! Mmm.. car tasty! Get that snow off the ground! Scraping away at the ice Nice and chilly apartments Gonna need a heater first! I know I should be writing these pages...

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Russia, November 8, 1998

Russian Oil Towns

That's black gold to these folks Financial Times 4 November 1998 SIBERIA: Economy shows its two faces Arkady Ostrovsky visits the Siberian oil towns of Surgut and Nefteyugansk and finds radically different moods Two oil towns face each other across the river Ob, which divides east from west Siberia. They...

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Sneaky Siberian Tigers

Siberian Tigers are out there! Baltimore Sun, November 8, 1998 Siberian tigers are menaced as Russian economy collapses By Will Englund In 1992, when the economy was very bad here, poaching threatened to get out of hand. Reports that the tigers faced extinction led to a grant by the German...

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Russia, November 6, 1998

Which Way is St Peterburg?

No matter what they say, it isn't Moscow St. Petersburg Times, November 6, 1998 Will Liberal St. Petersburg Go With Russia's Flow? By Brian Whitmore St. Petersburg, everyone will tell you,is different. It is more cosmopolitan than Russia's sleepy provinces, yet more sedate than the Babylonian free-for-all of Moscow. Culturally,...

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Russia, November 2, 1998

Where am I again? Oh, yeah...

Another week in the life of a man in Moscow He ain't going nowhere! Sometimes I get confused as to where I am working cuz I've worked at so many desks in my office building! Friday I wrote this in the midst of an office move. We are not moving...

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Russia, October 27, 1998

I Love Me Some Vodka

The elixir of Russia! HELLO RUSSIA Cultural Hints: Russian Vodka Let's talk about vodka, which is an important product in Russian culture. There are 1,8 million officially recognized alcoholics and over 10 million Alkashy (people who drink at first opportunity) in Russia. Teetotaler may look like a black sheep at...

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Russia, October 26, 1998

It's a Gosorg Halloween

If you are around, and you are down, you are at the GOSORG HALLOWEEN BLOWOUT I brought the Baltika 9! Last Saturday, North Americans (Canadians take note), all over the globe celebrated a pagan ritual that has ingrained itself in our modern culture: Halloween Night. In America, the kids (and...

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Russia, October 20, 1998

Hunger Comes to Us All

Every winter everybody is scared of famine! Los Angeles Times October 20, 1998 Hunger in Russia's Heartland Devastating summer drought caused worst grain harvest since 1953. Despite official reassurances, many in impoverished regions fear winter will bring starvation. By John-Thor Dahlburg PALLASOVKA, Russia--In July the wheat crop failed, roasted alive...

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Russia, October 19, 1998

Why Don't They Just Learn English?!

Some dayz, all this 'po russki' really gets to me! One of these is Russia.. See, English is easier! No more blue stripe shirts! Nice hip-check! Oh, every week I try, twice a week even, try to stay awake during my Russian lessons so I can improve my life and...

Russia, October 12, 1998

Post-Crisis, Life Goes On

The rough part is over, now all we have to do is find Cheese Balls! Dunkin D's Closed! The one and only! Gimme some Chuda Yogurt A life to live! Now I have a problem. I am trying to type this as I eat a Rice Krispies Treat, and I...

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Is Yeltsin 'The Man'?

We are all waiting for The Man Johnson's Russia List, Monday, 12 Oct 1998 Waiting for the Man By Will Harte It is just after eight in the evening and already another bright fall day in Russia has slipped into darkness, lying down to await the lover she knows will...

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Russia, October 10, 1998

Murmansk - Brrrr!

You better bring a fur coat, and not to be stylish! The Independent (UK) 10 October 1998 Heroes Take Their Leave of the Arctic By Rupert Cornwell in Murmansk "Murmansk - Hero City" proclaims the faded concrete hoarding, fully six feet square, as you enter Russia's great northern port. Like...

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Russia, October 6, 1998

Taganka Hides Her Secrects

And you though you'd seen all of the metro! This is a good thing to know about since I live right next to Taganka Square... Moskovskiy Komsomolets 6 October 1998 "Taganka May Collapse Under the Ground: The End of the World in One Square" Yuliya Kalinina reports: We live in...

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These are Communists

What's left of the Russian Communist Party Oh that Red Horde, the Communists! The eternal Russian bogeyman these days is the Communists threat. Well its the bogeyman for the majority of Muscovites, for this city would shrivel up and die if they took over. In the provinces however, the Reds...

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It's a Power Vaccum

There is a serious power vaccum in Russia Johnson Russia List, Tuesday, 06 Oct 1998 The Throne is Empty. Who's Next in Line? By Elena Sokova My daughter goes to a private Moscow school. We chose this school because of the reasonable tuition and the classical Russian educational standards. Another...

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Russia, October 5, 1998

The Commies are Back

Its time to break out the Lenin portraits again! The Reds are on the rise No, it's not the commies We like music, not government We want to party! The Great Russian bogeyman is back, the Communist Party, or so it hopes. The leader of the party, Gennadiy Zyuganov, called...

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Propaganda is Good for You

The place to be on a Saturday night! Johnson's Russia List, October 5, 1998 Russia's Youth Dance Away Crisis By Nick Wadhams Moscow AP At the Propaganda dance club, manager Masha Maslyukova watched calmly as her harried bouncers held back a line of young people pushing and shoving to get...

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You Better Buy Russian!

Why pay more for quality, go local! Johnson's Russia List, 1 October 1998 Russians Forced To Buy Local By Greg Myre Just a few years ago, imports were so scarce that an American visitor with an extra pair of Levi's blue jeans could ignite a bidding war on the streets...

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Russia, September 30, 1998

Sex Ed Soviet Style

No nasty pictures, but a surpising revelation about Russian intamacy Moscow Times, September 30, 1998 AIDS Epidemic Was Russia's Sexual Revolution By Irina Glushchenko The early years of perestroika were set against the backdrop of the West's spiralling AIDS epidemic. This was also when the first telemost, or live U.S.-Soviet...

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Russia, September 28, 1998

Party over, oops outta time!

Would the last expat in moscow please turn out the lights when he leaves. Thanks. Mother Russia on a good day One more for the road Party time in the good life A sad goodbye Her beauty is crisis-proof No, not back to the West! The party is still on!...

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Russia, September 26, 1998

Russian Healthcare in Moscow

When I'm sick, I go to Finland! As I am currently on injured reserve, with a bum knee, I am getting an interesting tour of the healthcare system of Moscow. There are two quasi-independent healthcare systems here, the collection of Western clinics, and the underlying Russian healthcare system. My employer's...

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Russia, September 21, 1998

What Russian Financial Crisis?

Some people think the 'crisis' will pass and the rainbow will shine again The hard way The harder way The hardest way A smart shopper Here is the Russian parliamentarians' comments on the current economic and political crisis in Russia. This article is taken from 9th issue of the unofficial...

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YE Prices in Russia

And you though the ruble devaluation would make everything cheap! Johnson's Russia List, 21 Sep 1998 The Chocolate Standard By Joseph McCormick Every week or so for the past year I've been buying groceries at Sedmoi Kontinent, a chain of "gastronomy" that have reworked themselves into something resembling bona fide...

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Russia, September 20, 1998

The Hungry Duck

The Carnal & Primal Hungry Duck! News Flash: The Hungry Duck is closed! Click here for the story. The Duck, err the Hungry Duck, is the most notorious bar in Moscow, so bad it is a tourist attraction in itself. At one point in time it was a wholesome dining...

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Russia, September 10, 1998

Russian Caviar Mafia

I put it on my toast in the morning! Johnson's Russia List,10 September 1998 Russian Caviar Mafia By Robert King It's a full moon, hours before dawn as Victor a reformed poacher who during the Soviet time was jailed for poaching sturgeon is now the team leader of a Russian...

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Russia, September 6, 1998

Magical Mushrooms

Time to go 'schroom picking in the forests of Russia! Boston Globe ,6 September 1998 Mushroom season has Russians in fungi frenzy Success measured by basketful in good-natured rivalry By David Filipov ODRINOVO, Russia - With the practiced eye of a hunter stalking his quarry, Mikhail Volkov spied the two...

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Russia, September 2, 1998

Shhhh! We're Bear Hunting

I'm going bear hunting! Wanna join me? Best bear hunting in Russia The home of the bear Take your pick Johnson's Russia List, 2 September, 1998 Bear Hunting By Craig Copetas A Russian bear (Ursis arctos) is the world's largest terrestrial carnivore. Cannibalism occurs more frequently among this species than...

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Russia, August 30, 1998

Soviet Street Scams

They even salute like the Hitler Youth Corps! Johnson's Russia List, Sunday, 30 August 1998 Friday August 28 By Ray Finch Upon leaving work Friday evening (28 Aug), I thought I'd check to see if there were new signs of economic/political collapse along my way home. I was not disappointed....

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Bez Dollarov

And you though you were fast at changing the price tag on a GAP shirt! Hey, Me first! Suckers! Out of the running Wow, Russians are swift! Yesterday when I went to buy cookies at the kiosk by my house, the prices were going up as I stood there! When...

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Russia, August 24, 1998

A Koshka Konspiracy

In the fall, kittens overflow and Russians have a few ideas about it Last night, as I was walking up the stairs to my flat, a woman passed me with a few kittens in her bag. When she saw me she looked down and sped out of podyedz. Odd I...

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Russia, August 21, 1998

On The Dacha

A weekend of tranquility This past weekend I was on the dacha, and I had a great time. Yes, you go on the dacha. The Russians use the term "na dachu" this literally means "on the dacha." Since the dacha is usually a small hut, or one room house surrounded...

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Russia, August 17, 1998

The Banking Implosion

It is amazing to watch a banking industry collapse in one Black Monday One man's way of coping Back to the market I read with great interest, all the wire reports and Western views of this, most recent Russian financial calamity, but I must defer opinion to the very people...

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Russia, August 15, 1998

Surviving Army Life

The Fun of the Russian Army Experience Moscow Times, August 15, 1998 Army Tells Soldiers to Forage for Food By Simon Saradzhyan The Defense Ministry has suggested that its servicemen fish, hunt, and gather mushrooms to survive until the federal government accumulates enough cash to pay military wage arrears, officials...

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Russia, August 10, 1998

Shashleek is Steak on Steroids

The Russians do a mean meat BBQ! 10 August, 1998 Shashleek By Nick Weekends are a really big deal here in Russia. Most Russians go to their country house and the others go on a pick-nick, called "shash-leek". Shashleek is a pick-nick centered around pork on a stick and cooked...

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Dacha Thinking

When you go to the dacha, you come back a whole other person Nice Dachas Very worthy Pick of the year Always in control This past weekend, I went to my friend's dacha. It was nice to get out of Moscow for the weekend. I spent the whole time reading,...

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Russia, August 3, 1998

Beach Weekend

It is a good day to go to the beach! Love the thong! It gets crowed on good dayz Wonder who paid for that? Yesterday, I went to the beach, Russian style. I took the metro, then a trolleybus to an island in the middle of the Moscow River. The...

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Russia, July 27, 1998

Dos Vedanya

Even though I travel all the time, I ain't good at saying goodbye Kill him, Mr. Bird! Last weekend, I went to a going-away party for a friend of mine. I'm never sure how to act at these kinds of parties; should I be sad she is leaving, or happy...

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Russia, July 20, 1998

Hello from Vladivostok

Life in the Far East capitol, Vlad, ain't like living in Moscow! Last week, a good friend of mine moved to Moscow from Vladivostok. Nicole lived in Vlad for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Russia Far East and is now trying to land on her feet...

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Russia, July 15, 1998

Equality Means Only She Works

Women get no respect but plenty of work! The Moscow Times, July 15, 1998 In Russia, Women Should Not Be Weak or Ill By Tatyana Matsuk In Russia, you should not be weak -- especially if you are a woman. When I hear the saying, "A sister should be rich,...

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Jogging is an Extreme Sport

Gotta watch out for those big dogs and drunk drivers around here! Moscow Times, July 15, 1998 Searching in Vain for Jogger's Paradise in Moscow By Ivan Watson Russian women have a reputation for mothering. To young Americans who move here, this is a double-edged sword. With every helping of...

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Russians Have Reunions Too

It is time for that high school reunion! Moscow Times, 15 July, 1998 Ten Years Gone By, Children of Change Reunite By Julia Solovyova At the age of 10, Andrei Bodrov was a plump, jovial boy planting tacks on fellow students' seats and giggling in class. At 22, he was...

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Russia, July 13, 1998

My Folks in Massive Moscow

My world-traveled parents visited me in Massive Moscow Ma & Pa in Moscow See the light yet? This past week, my parents were here to see the wonders that I keep writing about, and to visit me. They spent the week doing the usual tourist thing, along with my twisted...

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Russia, July 6, 1998

Better than Fireworks

Never refuse a trip to the dacha, even on the 4th of July The Good Life What a weekend! Not only was it the 222nd birthday for America, it was also my landlord's (Vladimir) birthday too. Usually I would join with all the other Americans here at the Annual 4th...

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Russia, July 5, 1998

Miners Are Real Men

The power of the common man is still alive! The eXile, 5 Jul 1998 LET THEM EAT COAL Vorkuta's Miners Enjoy the Fruits of Reform By Matt Taibbi After 33 long years working in the Severny coal mine in his native Vorkuta, Grigory Mikhailovsky decided one day in 1996 he'd...

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The Russian Mafia is the Roof

The only men who know how to do business in the CIS The Moscow Times, July 5, I998 INSIDE RUSSIA AvtoVAZ Loses Its Only Real Organization By Yulia Latynina It has been two months since AvtoVAZ began holding up payments to the federal budget. Nearly 100,000 automobiles are sit ling...

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Russia, June 29, 1998

No One Smiles in the CIS

Rob and Gailyn, your average Midwesterners, sure got a shock when they landing in Moscow! No Smiling! Metro Signs 101: WALK DON'T WALK So nice, I could stay lost! Clean those streets! This week, I met an adventurous American couple for dinner, who where in Moscow on a look-see visit....

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Russia, June 22, 1998

One Year Anniversary

Looking back after a year makes me glad I'm here Welcome to Moscow! Me and my crew The non-work crew Wow, time flies when you're having fun! Last June, as I can remember with clarity like it was yesterday, I stepped off the plane and into the chaos that is...

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Russia, June 17, 1998

Russian Brides Rock

Ya wanna Russian wife?! Moscow Times, Wednesday, June 17, 1998 For Better or Worse, Russian Brides Not Boring By Lynn Visson With the advent of glasnost and perestroika, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the lifting of travel restrictions and the boom in dating and marriage agencies - including Internet...

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Russia, June 15, 1998

Laura is My St Pete Connection

Laura is the new Russian woman Red is Laura's Color Dacha Living Rocks! Last year, I traveled to Russia without a worry or a word of Russian. This country is not kind to the unprepared traveler. While getting a quick and painful lesson in the harshness of Russian life, I...

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Change is in the Wind

Like Bart Simpson said 'A cold northeast wind is blowing' The Staff & Partners Crew Seen in a dream once... As a Simpson's fan back home, I can remember a scene where Bart was looking at an approaching storm and the change it would bring. He said,' A cold Northeast...

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Russia, June 8, 1998

Chuck Norris' Beverly Hills Casino

I didn't know that Chuck Norris liked to gamble in Moscow! Love that subtlety! Friday night, after a long week of work and jet lag, my flatmate, Arthur and his boss dragged me outta the house to go gambling. Now I am not much of a gambling man, I don't...

Russia, May 25, 1998

The Expat Woman's Predicament

You a single girl looking for a man? Don't go to Moscow! Suzanna on the lookout annE searching hard Now, on occasion, I have made reference to how under appreciated expatriate (read American and British) women are in Moscow, but the full brunt of this horrible slight was brought home...

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Russia, May 19, 1998

Street Food is Yummy!

The one sure way to quite a growling stomach in the CIS Its late afternoon on a Sunday and you've been walking all day. Your hungry, but you used up all your play money the night before. What is there for a hungry Kyivian to eat on the street? If...

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Russia, May 18, 1998

Spring Flowers Make June Leavers

The smart ones leave before June 30 They left so fast they forgot their shoes The other night I went to dinner to celebrate a special occasion for a friend. She was getting married, turning 30, and leaving Russia. The first two, most of us do, but the last one...

Russia, May 11, 1998

The Provinces Are Provincial

Russia sure knows how to live in the global village A Moscow Club Toilet Guide May Day was never better! Grind that grain! The republics' seals Life in the village The provinces of Russia, the true Russia! Moscow is no more Russia, than New York is America. OK, maybe there...

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Russia, April 29, 1998

Ever Take an Elektrichka?

There is a reason they call it 'hard class!' I was all prepared to write about the singular experience of riding a Russian elektrichka when I read this article in the Moscow Times. Bill doesn't exactly write in my style, I would have spoken more about the people on the...

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Russia, April 27, 1998

The English Invasion

If I hear "bollocks" one more time! What does 'whilst' mean? They are everywhere, like a blight on the land, the English! You would think that Moscow would keep them away, being so far from the sea. but they are here in droves! Ok, there are some similarities, tea, bad...

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Russia, April 25, 1998

Nuttin Like New Money

How much is a ruble worth these days anyway? When I first arrived in Moscow, almost a year ago now, I remember the confusion of dealing with the currency. It was about 5,500 roubles to the dollar then, and falling daily. The money was a bit confusing because you never...

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Russia, April 21, 1998

Rules Are Made to Break

What? You think people follow the rules here? The Moscow Times, Tuesday, April 21, 1998 A Culture of Disobedience By Jean MacKenzie Nothing is certain in life, they say, except death and taxes. Well in Russia, even that truism is not necessarily so. Death, of course, is still a constant...

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Russia, April 15, 1998

All Black is Russian Fashion

Russians have an odd fashion sense Russian Fashion By Nick Three days ago one of my Russian staff came to breakfast with her hair down. It was really long, all most down to her butt, and very wavy. This struck me as unusual because I could not remember her having...

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Russia, April 13, 1998

Easter Memories = Easter Dinner

Easter is a time for eating, not praying! Cleaning out those memories Catholic Easter was last Sunday. (It was also the week of the Islamic Haijj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.) As I was writing a thank you email to the gracious hostess of Easter dinner, I noticed that all...

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Russia, March 23, 1998

Politics, Russian Style

Russia knows only one type of politics: hardball Boris on a good day A man with a Plan What they are fighting for And reality skis away again Today I went home at lunch to watch Boris Nikolivitch Yeltsin's midday address to the nation, announcing his dismissal of his entire...

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Russia, March 21, 1998

Theresa Tries to Russify

I love friends who visit! Wayan has asked me to write something of my impression of Moscow for this website. My very first thoughts included words like cold, dreary, gray, and gloomy. This was all from the taxi ride into town from the airport. Everyone, with very few exceptions, was...

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Russia, March 12, 1998

I Go to Gay Clubs Worldwide

Swining with the best of the CIS! No matter where you are in the world, if you want the best a city's nightlife has to offer, head to the gay clubs! I learned this maxim first in University, where my housemate, Deans, and I would go to "The Club." See...

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Russia, March 9, 1998

I Hide on Women's Day

Unlike in America, Women's Day in Russia is a national holiday! Today, Monday, I do not work. In fact, no one in Russia is working today if they can help it. Today is a national holiday, because yesterday was Women's Day. This is the Russian equivalent of Mother's Day and...

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Russia, March 8, 1998

New & Shiny: Nizhny Novgorod

The 'Lower' Novgorod working it like Moscow! March 8 AFP via Johnson's Russia List Russian city is bright spot amid the gloom NIZHNY-NOVGOROD, Russia, - The Russian region of Nizhny- Novgorod, 450 kilometres (275 miles) southeast of Moscow, is one of the few bright spots in the country's economy, continuing...

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Russia, March 5, 1998

Psst! Wanna job in Moscow?

Why work? It is way more fun to play! Getting a job in Russia is very simple. Just get off the plane, answer your cell phone and pick your dream job, complete with penthouse suite, driver, cook, maid, and obscene salary. Nutting to it if you are fluently bi-lingual, intimately...

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Russia, March 2, 1998

Fili Park Has All the Bootlegs

You think we pay full price for CD's in Russia? Ha! This past weekend was my first, and last, weekend in February where I wasn't zipping off someplace. I was so happy to be able to chill in my apartment for the first time. After I spent Saturday afternoon cleaning...

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Russia, February 23, 1998

Web Page Reactions

You oughta see what people say to me! When I first started this site, I was bored out of my mind waiting for the Peace Corps to get its act together, so I wrote a few pages late at night. Now that the page is almost 10 megabytes of information,...

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Russia, February 16, 1998

Take a Break at Dom Odaha

I went to a sanatorium but I wasn't crazy My style of training sessions. Go Speedracer! Those fast stops hurt! This weekend, my division of Price Waterhouse went to a dom odaha (rest home), for the weekend. A Russian rest home is not where you send Grandma and Grandpa to...

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Russia, February 2, 1998

Expat Living in Moscow is Swank

We sure had the good life living like kings in Moscow A fine Spring Day Oh, I love D&D! I know you can read this Expat living, there ain't nuttin like it! Now that I am willing to spend most of my paycheck on housing, I am living like a...

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Russia, January 19, 1998

Why Are You Remonting?

They will remont all of Moscow by the time you read this Looks like 'progress' to some Shopping in style I've had a long day today. I worked hard for my money and then went to doctor's office about my knee. All I wanted to do was buy some cereal...

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Russia, January 12, 1998

They Look Like Telephones...

Most days I think a string and two cans would be better than the Russian phone system Come on baby, Ring! A modern haven in the chaos Good for shelter too! Oh to make a phone call in this country! I spent six tokens on Saturday trying to make one...

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Russia, January 5, 1998

In Need of a Decent Hairstylist

Unfortunatly, bad hair is all too common in the CIS The muskrat got away again Good thing he's off screen Work more than the mic! Lady in brown is proof It was time, I needed a haircut and a beard trim, but that poses a problem in this country. Its...

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Russia, January 1, 1998

Smashing Bottles in Red Square

Russia is the place to be on December 31st! The Party Crew Drain those bottles! Rob broke a bottle, I swear! Wow, its New Years Day and my whole body hurts! Even after sleeping all day I still feel like a truck hit me. What an evening I had! Ok,...

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