Saturday, January 12, 2008

I Heart Hate Moscow

Everyone hates Moscow. Everyone except the people who just got here, with a degree in Russian History and a fresh copy of Dostoyevsky in their back pocket. And even they are beginning to realize that the waitresses are mean and it's hard to cross the street.

Non-Muscovite Russians really hate Moscow. My Russian expatriate friends think it unites the cruelty of feudalism with the foolish excesses of capitalism. Which is, like, so embarrassing on the world's stage. The soldiers in my cabin on the train back from Petrozavodsk hated Moscow because the people have no manners or heart (and they have better cell phones than them). "Moskva ne Rossiya! (Moscow isn't Russia!)," I learned. Then we returned to translating their ringtones. And while I am interested by Moscow, in the way I am interested in the carbuncle on my boyfriend's back, I most certainly do not heart it, because the girls are way prettier than me.

Happy New Year, bitches!

If you have spent significant time in Moscow and still think it rocks, you either a) were born here and don't know any better; b) are a Central Asian gastarbeiter living out your wild bachelor years while sending money back to your hovel; or c) are a bottom-feeding expat who couldn't get laid back in Johannesburg. And even the latter two will concede that their hometowns have much better food.

For that reason I'd like to direct our attention away from the great She-Bitch to Norilsk, the northernmost city in Siberia, formerly a slave labor camp and recently named one of the Top Ten Most Polluted Places in the World. (Life just kept getting better!) The entire city is dying from toxins kicked up by the factories of Norilsk Nikel, owned by Russian brazillionaire Mikhail Prokhorov (who is also known for the minor international escandalo of flying planeloads of prositutes into French ski resort Courchevel). But even freezing, atrophied little Norilsk knows how to party. These are from the New year's Eve Bash at "Tornado." We're not in Moscow anymore, Toto.

Fuck dropping $400 on cocktails at a shitty Moscow club. In Norilsk, $20 buys you enough Sovetskoe Shampanskoe to kill a horse

One boy and one girl for every able-bodied man in Norilsk!

Grease your hair back, unbutton your shirt and pump your fist in the air, because you ARE the life of the party, Mr. Sparkles

Yes! I've searched for months for a photo of one of these in the wild: the provincial male "all bangs" 'do! I thought it went extinct in 2003. I see you, brother!

Shaving squigglies onto your scalp? Also still cool

Unfortunately, other Moscow hair fads have contimated Norlisk like so much nickel and arsenic in the air

And the girls are still smokin' hot. I guess nowhere's perfect

The best part of getting outside Moscow? No feis kontrol!