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The Semi-Regular Newsletter

Travels in Russia

KLM Rocks Across Europe!
Santa Claus in Moscow
Television Is a Time Suck
The Reality of Irrelevance
Salute Mayor Luzhkov
Impeachment Happens
I Am Not The Only One...
I'm Back! Did Ya Miss Me?
Chechnya Burning
Weddings in Winter
The Jews Are Here!
Gailyn Goes to Town
Is There a Central Bank?
Santa Barbara is Real
Nick's Thanksgiving in Russia
Den' Rozhdeniya = Birthdays
Those Crazy Expats
It's Just a Few Drops of Vodka...
Elections Are Always Rigged
The Blind Leading the Blind
Good Russian Grooms
You Say 'Boris Berezovskiy' Fast
Too Cold to Care!
Russian Oil Towns
Sneaky Siberian Tigers
Which Way is St Peterburg?
Where am I again? Oh, yeah...
I Love Me Some Vodka
It's a Gosorg Halloween
Hunger Comes to Us All
Why Don't They Just Learn English?!
Post-Crisis, Life Goes On
Is Yeltsin 'The Man'?
Murmansk - Brrrr!
Taganka Hides Her Secrects
These are Communists
It's a Power Vaccum
The Commies are Back
Propaganda is Good for You
You Better Buy Russian!
Sex Ed Soviet Style
Party over, oops outta time!
Russian Healthcare in Moscow
What Russian Financial Crisis?
YE Prices in Russia
The Hungry Duck
Russian Caviar Mafia
Magical Mushrooms
Shhhh! We're Bear Hunting
Soviet Street Scams
Bez Dollarov
On The Dacha
The Banking Implosion
Surviving Army Life
Shashleek is Steak on Steroids
Dacha Thinking
Beach Weekend
Dos Vedanya
Hello from Vladivostok
Equality Means Only She Works
Jogging is an Extreme Sport
Russians Have Reunions Too
My Folks in Massive Moscow
Better than Fireworks
Miners Are Real Men
The Russian Mafia is the Roof
No One Smiles in the CIS
One Year Anniversary
Russian Brides Rock
Laura is My St Pete Connection
Change is in the Wind
Chuck Norris' Beverly Hills Casino
The Expat Woman's Predicament
Street Food is Yummy!
Spring Flowers Make June Leavers
The Provinces Are Provincial
Ever Take an Elektrichka?
The English Invasion
Nuttin Like New Money
Rules Are Made to Break
All Black is Russian Fashion
Easter Memories = Easter Dinner
Politics, Russian Style
Theresa Tries to Russify
I Go to Gay Clubs Worldwide
I Hide on Women's Day
New & Shiny: Nizhny Novgorod
Psst! Wanna job in Moscow?
Fili Park Has All the Bootlegs
Web Page Reactions
Take a Break at Dom Odaha
Expat Living in Moscow is Swank
Why Are You Remonting?
They Look Like Telephones...
In Need of a Decent Hairstylist
Smashing Bottles in Red Square


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 thought, until I reached my floor. What did I see tumbling down the stairs to me, but two kittens!

Through the cold, tired, hungry shell, past the mental barriers to caring and kindness, and over the objections of my heartless masculine side, the kittens called in their high soulful cries. Still, I reached down inside myself and found the iron will to shut the door on the two lost souls. It's tough life after all. It wasn't until I took off the coat and tie, the professional persona, that I was finally so tortured by my conscience that I opened my door to the koshka duo.

They spent the night in deep fascination with all aspects of my dirty clothes hamper, but now they must find new homes. One of my housemates is allergic to cats, the other is allergic to responsibility, and I, like all men, am allergic to commitment. I can attest to their good behavior and good health. They played nicely with each other all night, even sleeping peacefully together. They do not have fleas (or they would still be in the podyedz), ear mites, or any visible signs of infection. They are quite healthy!

Now I have to give the koshka duo away to one or two kind souls. If they stay with me any longer, they will turn bad, addicted to Camembert, Estonian sproti, Euro techno, and late night parties, unable to properly assimilate into respectable kohska kultura.


I was finally able to give the kittens away, one at work and one to a girl I met on the street, after four days of trying. Yesterday I saw three more kittens on the landing, but I just stepped over them and went into my apartment, I learned my lesson. It must be birthing season now, everyone I know is trying to pawn off kittens or puppies!

My friend, Maria, sent me this recipe that she happened to have for a good kitten stew in case I am stuck with kittens again. The recipe originally comes from a Dutch stand-up comedian, and is a variation on that for 'coq-au-vin', and actually quite easy, so even you can prepare a good kitten stew!

Tender Kitten Stew

All you need is:

  • four young fresh kittens
  • three large onions
  • 100 g real butter (or olive oil if you prefer)
  • bottle of dry white wine
  • fresh sprig of rosemary;
  • three cloves of garlic;
  • pepper and salt;

  1. First grab a few kittens from the landing, or buy them off the babuskas in the metro. Then chop the onions in rings and crush the garlic cloves. Heat the butter in a large frying-pan it starts to get brown and then add the onions and garlic. Let these fry on full heat for a few minutes.
  2. Then chop each kitten into medium-sized chunks (not too small!).
  3. Add the chopped kittens to the fried onions an garlic. Keep stirring for five minutes till the eyes of the kittens get waxy. Then add the wine and rosemary and close the lid. Let the kittens simmer away in the frying-pan for about one hour. The stew is ready when the tails come off quite easily.
  4. Bon appetit!

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