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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?
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!
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, July 15, 1999

Soviet Swimming

A country of lakes & rivers, and Russians can't swim

15 July, 1999

Going Swimming

By Nick

Everything here is the same. No new crisis's, plenty of food and very few terrorist bombings. The weather is extremely hot and probably set a heat record. Many people drowned each weekend in Moscow trying to get out of the heat. I think they averaged 20 people a weekend for the four weeks of intense heat. It appears that most Russian children do not get formal swimming training and then when they become adults, get drunk and eat a big meal they like to do swimming. Well as you can guess this does not make for good swimming. Fortunately, I did not know anyone who drowned.

I had a funny experience the other day. In order to escape the heat I got real drunk, ate a lot of food and then wanted to go swimming (joke). So I went to this swimming pool and asked if I could buy a ticket. They told me where the cashier was. I asked the cashier and see wanted to see my "doctor's permission slip". I of course did not have one. So I was told that I would have to go to the doctor and one happened to be in the building. (Nice coincidence, huh?)

After arriving at the doctor's I was told to pay $1. I took the money out of my pocket but the doctor refused to take it. They said I had to go back to the cashier and pay. I travelled back to the cashier and wanted to pay the $1 but the cashier said there was a special cashier for the doctor. (Starting to get an idea of the Soviet system?) I finally found the doctor, paid my $1 and went back to the doctor. When I arrived there was a line to be seen by the doctor. Everyone in line, all Russians of course, thought the system was stupid but the doctors and pool thought it was normal.

After 20-30 in line the doctor saw me. The doctor asked me to show her my legs (to see if they were dirty) and then she listened to my heart (to see if it worked). She decided that everything was okay and she wrote me a permission slip. I know that I only paid $1 but after standing in that line I thought she would at least check me for a hernia. No such luck. I took my permission slip to the cashier, got a ticket and went swimming. If it were not for the fact that most of the women were topless at the pool (nice surprise) then the experience would not have been worth it. Well I guess you have to get your pleasures were you can.

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