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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
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, April 26, 1999

Time to go...

I left PricewaterhouseCoopers in a daze, and Moscow in haze. On with life!

The crew I'm gonna miss
The Finance Crew
The Girls and I say Goodbye
Paka Ladies!

See ya St George!
Bye, Bye Moscow!
Well here I am, sitting at work with not a thing to do. I guess this is the result of good planning and smart delegation. Why should I be doing anything with only three days left? I should be just chilling, but I feel so odd after the year and a half of hard work I've done here.

When I first landed this job, on a cold December day in 1996, I was in awe. Here I was, working for a very prestigious firm, in an office of 1,500 people, with the city of Moscow around me! If you'd made me think of where I'd be at New Years 1998 (and 1999!) when I was 10, and I'd have never, ever guessed Red Square. Hell, I still would've been way off at 20!

This job sure was hard. Getting used to the big office, fast pace, and high demands of Big Six (now Big five) public accounting firm, after a few years of DC non-profit work and the Peace Corps was almost more of a culture shock than moving to Russia! Here I would look at my timesheet at the end of a month, and wonder what I accomplished in all those ten to twelve hour days. I know I did a lot. I can look around and see the direct results of my labour. I still have people thanking me for "fixing" the internal systems I was put in charge of. Still, its hard to justify all those days I will never see again.

So here I sit, wondering what I am going to do with my life. In the short term, I know that I need to get out of this office and this town, that I will enjoy travelling this summer and maybe even beyond the winter, but this is only a temporary diversion. I still have those nights to fall asleep wondering what is in this life for me. Where I am headed, and what's there for me when I do arrive?

I wonder if I should even be leaving Russia. I have a network here, I know the language, and I have ya'll, my loyal readers, to satisfy! Where else am I gonna be a demi-god with my passport? Where else will I be in charge of a team of four, and a leader of ten at the tender age of 26? Where else will I have 4,000 people reading my ramblings each month? I don't know, I don't know.

I am a believer in signs though, and all the signs say its time to go. If August 17th wasn't a big sign, then September 21st, when we canned a huge chunk of our staff, sure was. Then there was the day I looked in my phone book, and all but one friend had left Russia. Now, even my educated Russian friends are heading out, looking for almost any opportunity to flee this sick state. The only people left are patriotic Russians, or those who have too much invested in family or property to be mobile.

So here I sit, watching the clock, and waiting for six, ready to see the big bright blue ball we all live on...

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