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
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...
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!
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, March 22, 1999

It's Dacha Time Again

Spring is here cuz it is Dacha Time again!

Ya gotta get there somehow!
A little early for the beach
And the adventurous explorers ventured out over the frozen tundra
The fearless crew...
Snow is still on the ground, the trees are still brown, and I still haven't seen the first mini-skirt of spring, but the 1999 Dacha Season started this weekend!

Yesterday I went to the Australian Embassy dacha on an island in the Moscow River, the same island I go to in the summer, but this time of year no one is swimming in the river, it is still frozen! That did not stop me from enjoying myself though. I took along a football (the American variety) and proceeded to teach a young Russian lad how to throw it football and rugby styles.

It was kinda hard trying to get him to throw it correctly. At first, watching him throw, 'like a girl,' I told him to throw it like you throw a baseball. He just looked at me funny. That is when I realized how throw-centric major American sports are. After a bit, he was throwing okay, but still didn't get the elbow leverage concept that gives a thrown object its speed and distance. Oh well, I don't think he will need to be tossing a ball, spear, or grenade anytime soon.

Oh, of grenades, this whole Kosovo thing is making news here. The Russians, in a effort to regain a bit of the respect Russia as a whole, and their Army in particular, has lost, are really trying to make a stink out of the NATO bombing of Serbia. There are picketers around the US Embassy, and at the dacha, we talked at length about what it all means and why NATO is there. I still don't see why we can't just leave them to kill each other off. Serbia does not have any proven oil, gas, or precious metals deposits and they sure are not a major trading partner, so why are they worth sending million dollar cruise missiles to whack stone huts? And, they've been killing each other since the time of the Macedonians, why should we try and stop them now?

Anyway, after this long conversation, it was time to go for a walk to try and burn off all the food and beer we consumed. We walked all over the island, checking out what the ice fishermen were catching (nothing), what the early picnickers were eating (shashlik, of course), and what will become the nude beach in summer (nice!)...

Once we returned to the dacha, and had another wandering conversation, it was time to go. I caught a ride with these two US Embassy English teachers, and I was again disappointed by the bravery of the Embassy staff. On our way back to the city, the shortest route to our destination would cross in front of the Embassy, which has a crowd of protesters out front. Knowing the docility of the Russian 'protesters,' from the Communist march, I advocated for a drive by of the Embassy. A drive-by, no stopping involved! The two weenies would have none of that though. They were so scared that we took a half-hour detour all the way down by MGU! There is something emasculating in the water at the Embassy, I swear.

Enter your email for Belly Button Window updates: