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The Semi-Regular Newsletter

Travels in Russia

Russian Remonts
Stop Theif!
Almost Worth Staying For
Offshore Your Rubles in Swiss Accounts
Russian Women
You Can Buy Anything in a Russian Kiosk!
What Did Russians Eat Before Potaotes?
Nothing Like a Birch Branch Beating!
Anything Can Be Scrap Metal
Serious Soviet Pollution
Day-Tripping Around the Garden Ring
The Russian Poezd
Yeltsin's Family
Soviet Photography
Happy Times in HTML Hell
Road Runners Rule!
Piva is Good!
A Subaka Says What?
Soviet Swimming
Manly Russian Men
And Peter is a Distant Second
Invest in Russia?!
The Zen of the Line
But He Went by the Name of Lenin
That Looks Just Like My Dom
Russian Adoptions by the Dozen
Internet Cafes Are Everywhere
Going to See Mama Russia
Going to the Movies
Russian Visas
Eta Notebook Batteria, Durak!
Fidelity is Not a Brokerage
Soviet Suburban Living
Taking the tramvai
Cash Transfers Across Russia
Time to go...
Reclama Nation
Russians Do Tours
Going Local
Pecktopan = Restaurants
Yevgeniy Primakov, Who?
101 Reasons Why NATO's War Sucks
A State Secrect: Women's Ages
Russians Blew up the US Embassy!
It's Dacha Time Again
I Love Me a Starlite Diner
Anything Goes at Night
Yesho Piedesat Gram Vodkoo
Shock Thearpy
IMF & Reform
Zoos Should Be for Politicans
There Was Giligan, And the Skipper Too
The Regions Exist?
Do You Believe the Media?
What is Russian Feminism?
Russian Music Rocks
Bye Bye Fast Food
Yest Klooch?
Addicts Are Addictive
Racism in Russia Too
An Education in Russian Politics
Orphans Are Lonely
Making Bliny
Nasty Newspapers
#51 If you get the jokes
Sick as a Dog
Those Crazy Russians
An Open Road Ahead
Iron Felix
You Can Buy (Almost) Anything in a Market
Education Makes Elections Happen
Ice Cream in Winter
Superstitions Are Sneaky
The Adventures of Flat Jon
Ice Fishing in Sibera
Death is Painful in Any Culture, Anywhere.
Lenin is Alive
Every Thing is Leaking
New Russians
Go Dollar!
Corruption is Endemic
The Joe-Cool Moscow Crew
Taxes Will Find You
I'm Driven Mad
Holidays Last and Last
It's All About Location
Taxies Take You Everywhere
Russian Religion Re-emerges


Russia, April 20, 1999

Do Your Spring Cleaning Now!

When Yuri Lushkov says it's spring, Mother Nature listens!


Before they take action

the action taken
It is officially spring in Moscow now. Even though all the snow is finally melted, and there isn't a threat of more for another four months, the trees are starting to bud, and the first mini skirt of spring was spotted, not even singing birds can indicate spring before the city's annual cleaning.

Wednesday, as I zipped across the city to pick up the revolutionary posters I got framed, I saw an interesting sight. A group of babushkas in orange jumpsuits were painting the railing and tree trunks around the Christ the Savior Church. Then, yesterday I watched a water truck block traffic for five minutes while workers washed the traffic light (oh, the traffic lights are on poles, like in DC, not hung from wires overhead). Finally, early this morning I awoke to a tractor cleaning the field in front of my apartment, putting the trash in plies to be burned. This afternoon I watched workmen replace the sidewalk in front of my work by the glow of the trash fires.

I asked my neighbors if this was an annual occurrence, and they said yes. Each year Moscow cleans itself when winter is finally over. This came as a surprise to me since I never really noticed that the city was relatively clean to begin with. A thick coat of dust and/or dirt covers everything here year-round as far as I could tell. It probably has something to do with the complete lack of landscaping, but that is another topic.

So, in the spirit of Spring in Moscow, my carpets are being steam cleaned as I type this. They are doing a good job, even scrubbing the strange stains left by the previous tenants. The guys work for the company that has the sanitation contract for my office, but I am sure my cash payment is not going to be recorded anywhere.

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