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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?
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!
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
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 8, 1999

There Was Giligan, And the Skipper Too

How much fun a room full of expats can have on a Thursday night

The beauty of annE
My escort into Expat Hell
Yours truly
Me wondering why I went?
We agreed to meet at 7:30 pm, but I knew her history of tardiness, so I told her to be there by 7:35 pm or I was leaving. I arrived at Kraznoprenskaya at 7:45 pm, half expecting her to arrive after me. She was on time, and she had already left, thinking I was on time and didn't wait. Amazing! So, I walked to Planet Hollywood alone.

Yes Planet Hollywood, but before you hold it against me, it was my first time, ever, to any Planet Hollywood. I swear! We were there under the auspices of Expat Night, where all of the lame-o expats without enough friends or enough of a life, can gather and lament on how un-cool Russia has become. Of course I was there just for research, to see what other expats are like, not because I didn't have something better to do, like my 98 taxes or anything. Hey, I do have a life, no matter how much I have to grovel or beg to maintain it!

Anyway, I walked there eating an ice cream cone, in -20 C weather, happy that I didn't have to wait for the woman. I wandered into the room of expats and saw my friends. Well, if you can call lawyers friends, they were there. There was annE, my good friend and my inviter to this evening of foreigners. Harleen, who is going to medical school here (I still haven't figured that one out!). An ex-US military spy, an ex-Poland PCV, and a few other people who I met after too many free glasses of cheap wine to remember coherently.

We made the usual small talk, then the inevitable happened. Once we all were introduced to Marriann (that's how you spell her name!), name association had us singing the Giligan's Island theme song, or trying to anyway. I think we collectively remembered most of the song, but no matter, the worst was to come. We degenerated into singing the Beverly Hillbilly's song, which I remembered way too accurately, and of course, the Brady Bunch song.

What a night of expat fun! As much as I like to rail against the insular Americans here who mix with the locals only when required, it was good to be in a little Americana for a while. We even traded business cards! I, in a bid to maintain my hippie roots, handed out metro cards with my email and web address. I felt so hippie-tech/modern, mixing funk, recycling, and high tech. Hmm, maybe there is a business opportunity there?

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