The Belly Button Window Details

About Belly Button Window

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
Russian Visas
Eta Notebook Batteria, Durak!
Fidelity is Not a Brokerage
Soviet Suburban Living
Taking the tramvai
Cash Transfers Across Russia
Time to go...
Do Your Spring Cleaning Now!
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, June 8, 1999

Going to the Movies

Your seat is assigned, but you can drink a beer

Tonight I went to the movies! I saw the new Lolita at the Moscow Theatre near the Moscow Zoo. The experience was quite familiar. It was a "normal" theatre and the movie was in English, with whispering in my native tongue and the only tall person deciding to sit in from of me. Even so, there was definitely a Russian touch to the scene.

First, the placards advertising the movie were in Russian, understandable, and two entrances to the theatre were boarded up, not so understandable. Once inside, we bought tickets and sat in the bar. Yes, there was a bar, where we could drink a beer, a real beer, a beer in a glass. We didn't have to rush to our seat, like you do in the West, the seats are assigned. We did have to ask that our seats be together, which makes me wonder how they assign seats; randomly, or by some non-liner Guess what seat was mine!fashion.

They have Dolby Surround Sound!

Once the movie started, all was fine, until I had a biological urge. Yeah, it was Lolita, but I wasn't thinking about that, sick puppy, I needed the men's room! I ran out of the theatre and over to the ticket window. I asked where the toilets were, just to be rebuffed by her saying "threeta." "Threeta?" I replied, quizzically. "Da," she answered, informing me that although the movie was on the first floor, the bathrooms were on the third floor. Up the stairs I ran, trying not to miss too much of the movie, swearing the whole way there and back.

Once the movie was over, I enjoyed eavesdropping on all the English conversations about the movie. It was interesting to hear the different accents react to the movie. Almost all the Russian accented English remarked how much the man loved the girl, and how heart-broken he was when she was gone. The European accents agreed, but felt he was a bit odd for going after such a young girl and marring the mom too. The Americans, including one of the people I went with, all were completely repulsed by the movie. No wonder they didn't show it in America, we are too Puritan to even contemplate it objectively!

Overall, the movie scene here is similar to small town America. We get all the big movies from America, but they play on three or four cinemas, for two weeks at the most, and are all at least $5. There are two video stores here, to the delight of my housemates, and all the expats trade new titles imported from the states. Luckily, we are still free of the dreaded Blockbuster Video invasion.

Enter your email for Belly Button Window updates: