The Belly Button Window Details

About Belly Button Window

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
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
A Koshka Konspiracy
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, November 17, 1998

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

The mind is a horrible thing to pickle with vodka

Jen and Matt bonding
One more for the Road!
Sasha, his woman, and Max
Its a tickle attack!
The pain of the night finds me
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 cheap bars in Moscow. Unfortunately, there are only a few, so I'm now bored. I am starting to tap the massive house party scene here. See Russians do not got out for a party, but usually throw one in their house. This is a vestige of a time when there wasn't any place to hold a party. As my circle of friends grow, so do the opportunities to inebriate myself in the comfort of someone's home. This past week I went to two house parties, one small, one big.

The American party was thrown by a friend of mine, Jennifer. She is an ex-PCV living the good life in Moscow, giving us all an example to follow. I have no idea, well I don't remember actually, why she threw the party, but it was quite fun. Jen, her housemate and fellow ex-PCV Marcie, and I started out just chilling and talking, then people started to arrive. Our friends from Ryazan, Sasha, his girlfriend, and Max and another ex-PCV, Matt. We started to drink before dinner was served, and the conversation flowed as free as the alcohol.

After dinner and a few more drinks, we made our way to the next party, at another ex-PCV's apartment. Tamala has an amazing view from her balcony on the 25th floor. All of Moscow's center, including the Kremlin, TV tower, Hotel Russia, MGU, and environs are visible from the Stalin building where she lives. I was amazed and scared by the view. The balcony came up to my waist but did not have a railing. If someone pushed me as I stood at the edge, I would go right over, turning into puree when I hit the mesh screen protecting the entrance. All that night I had nightmares about that balcony!

At this second, larger party, a language gulf emerged. The English speakers separated from the Russian speakers slowly but surely. Each group would tire of the stress of translation and slip back into their native lounge. It is unfortunate, but natural. I tried to cross back and forth between the two until the vodka took hold. There was a group of Russians who kept making me drink. 'It just a few drops of vodka,' they would say as they poured me 100 cl of the clear liquid. Now I can handle a bit of vodka, everyone here has to, but not that much. Soon I was looking at the inside of my eyes, opting to sleep before I drank too much.

Later that night everyone headed to a nearby bar to usher in the dawn in style. Yours truly went home and curled up to await the dawn in pain. Oh, that was a long day!

Enter your email for Belly Button Window updates: