Thursday, June 28, 2007

The One About Monkeys

The metaphor came to us while drunk — of course we were drunk — then took on a life of its own.

While Moscow's dating scene is a love parade for expat men, it isn't quite as easy to find romance here if you are a monkey on a tricycle. Statistically there are 4 women to every man in Moscow, which makes for a frenetic marketplace of love that can intimidate even the most dated of the dated. So how does a monkey on a tricycle rise above, beat the odds and find romance in such a competitive environment? It’s easy to become discouraged when you realise that while you may have been a star back home, a monkey on a tricycle is a curious and perplexing alien to Muscovites, rather like expat girls. The important thing is to try not to be discouraged by the fact that you are one of only a handful of monkeys on tricycles in Moscow. Don't feel isolated -celebrate your uniqueness! Recognise your unique selling point and use it to your advantage. Be mindful though, that while it's great to stand out in a crowd, the fact that you are a monkey on a tricycle already makes a sort of spectacle of you. There is no need to draw further attention to your exclusivity by, say socialising only with other monkeys on tricycles. One monkey on a tricycle is intimidating enough to most Muscovites, let alone a handful of tipsy monkeys on tricycles looking for love. You can stand out but fit in at the same time. Make a diverse group of friends and widen your circle. By not making the effort to fit in you may exclusive yourself right out of the market. You may be Prada, but a walk past their store will show you how quiet it is in there. And look at the roaring trade Terranova boasts! Don't think of it as lowering your standards — you're just changing them. As the saying goes, when in Rome, dress like a $2 tart, drink a lot more and more often and accept attention wherever you can get it, even if it’s the Tajik cab driver who offered to take you to his brother’s kiosk for dinner. If all this sounds like too much effort, just take the matter into your own hands and really own your celibacy. Remind yourself every day that you came to Moscow to become the best monkey on a tricycle you could be, and that relationships would just distract you from this. There are plenty of other things to do besides “it” in Moscow. Like museums, and stuff.

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