Thursday, May 29, 2008

High Heels: A Retrospective

Things are changing fast, in a lot of ways in Russia. It's a rich country now, with loads of generic shopping malls and streets full of Toyotas. Drinking vodka on trains and in the street is illegal now; people work their 12 hours a day and go home and watch reality shows, just like everywhere else.

But so far one thing remains constant: ridiculously high heels, ALL THE TIME.

This was a girl I gave a private lesson to at the school the other day. Those are my dirty Caterpillar boots in the foreground; I snapped this surreptitiously with my phone.

This is just some random girl on the bus -- and remember -- this is NOTHING UNUSUAL. Most girls wear similar footwear.

At a shoe shop. You'd need to go to a S & M specialty boutique to find shoes like this in America.

AThen I saw this laying in the snow one night in March. The symbolism was profound. . .

Sunday, May 25, 2008

On Russia Winning Eurovision: Revenge of the Mullet

Excerpt from ICQ conversation:

ананаска ‎(3:26 AM):
we win.
i dont have money on phone,sorry
English Teacher X ‎(3:27 AM):
why was Dima Bilan doing it again???!! He did it last year
you can't do it twice!!
ананаска ‎(3:28 AM):
we can.
we win.
we super.
English Teacher X ‎(3:29 AM):
oh, no, wait, Dima Bilan did NOT do it last year
last year was Cerebro
Dima Bilan was the year before that
ананаска ‎(3:29 AM):
and we win.
English Teacher X ‎(3:29 AM):
Well, congratulations. . .
ананаска ‎(3:29 AM):
Oh ,im happy
ананаска ‎(3:30 AM):
Football ,xokej we win and now too...We best.
English Teacher X ‎(3:36 AM):
People wore their hair like Dima Bilan when I was thirteen years old!

If you don't know who Dima Bilan is, click the wikipedia link immediately.

He is single handedly responsible for the first reaction of foreigners coming to Russian changing from "Wow, look at all the hot chicks!!!" to "What the fuck is up with all these guys with mullets and big sunglasses??!!"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Not many English groupies left in Russia, or the world, but every once in a while one emerges -- in this case the gang suddenly finds we have our own Russian version of a Paris Hilton-like young socialite hanging around with us occasionally, a former student of one of the teachers. She's blonde, cute, brightly dressed and perky, been to Italy 12 times and studied in London, and to top it all off, she's Barely Legal -- her father is the same age as I am.

(I'll leave it to your own research to discover just how young "barely legal" is in Russia. And no, I haven't done anything untoward with her, although a colleague says that's because of my laziness rather than my morality.)

Just to let you know what we're dealing with here:

I was talking to her on ICQ recently, and she just revealed that she had some problems at school, that the Director requested to see her parents.

So she had a 38 year old male "friend" go to the school and impersonate her father, so that her real parents wouldn't know about it.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Russians. . . or English Teachers. . .

(Edit May 29th -- picture of her with a small dog in an Italian restaurant.)