Saturday, November 29, 2008


I was out with one of the last surviving English groupies last night. As we were leaving the ubiquitous sushi restaurant, she pointed out the dirty, raggedy grey Vans sports shoes I was wearing.

"Yeah, I know, they're a bit old and ratty, but they're very comfortable, and I like them."

"A Russian person wouldn't do this," she said scoldingly.

I sighed, and said, "And that's just one of many reasons we're better than you."

Friday, November 28, 2008

Honk If You Hate Americans

I was coming home from a nightclub a few weeks ago and the driver, hearing my terrible, bizarrely-accented Russian, asked me where I was from.

I said the Czech Republic, as I often do, and that I was an engineer working at the chocolate factory.

The driver said (in Russian): "That's cool. At least you aren't American. I hate those guys."

Then he bitched about the anti-missile defense shield for awhile.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Mayan Apocalypse

We were discussing future tense in class the other day, and the subject of the world ending in 2012 (as per the Mayan calendar) came up.

What would I do if I knew the world were going to end in 4 years?

I'd sit around more and watch THE SHIELD and old horror movies, and read comic books I've downloaded from BitTorrent.

I mean, come on. Enough of this drunken floundering around. Die with some dignity.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More Viewer Mail

Email from old college friend, Petits Choux:

October 20 at 7:12pm
Like your blog. It's surprisingly...tame. Not sure what I was expecting...

Talk soon.

English Teacher X

October 20 at 10:16pm

The more insane stories are in the older entires, 2005 - 2006, and on the older blog. Those years were pretty much a blur of absinthe. . . and there are more lengthy and detailed stories on the website. The last year I've had to watch my mouth very carefully, after one former teacher wanted to fight me over something I wrote.

Crazy shit still happens, but too many people have found out about this blog now and I often can't write about them.

Just as an example: two girls I know went to America to work as strippers in Atlantic City -- one of the girls I know here, former girlfriend and occasional fuck-buddy, revealed to me she recently started fucking one of their boyfriend here, an American basketball player on loan to a Russian team.

I sent this girl a text message the next morning reading, "I had nightmares last night about your fucking (Natasha)'s ghetto boyfriend!"

Through some quirk of the Russian mobile phone networks, this message was accidentally delivered to one of the secretaries at the school. And coincidentally, there is a girl named (Natasha) who works in the office. . .

I might still write about that, actually, it's so funny. . .

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pussies Looking For Pussy

It's no secret that there are pretty much only two kinds of people who come to Russia to teach -- gap-year kids who have studied Russian language or history or politics, and (usually middle-aged, but not always) guys looking for Russian babes.

The problem with the latter bunch is they've gone from being the insane two-fisted drinking adventurers to cloistered 40-year-old virgin types.

Just today I got a letter from one of our Lonely Hearts Club of applicants for January that he was reconsidering his application because he had heard that (Vodkaberg) is "dangerous for foreigners."

Ooooh! Look at the baby bawl! Bawl, baby! Bawl!

Whatever happened to the good old days when telling an English teacher a place was dangerous was a good way to pique their interest in the place. . . Having your ass kicked is an important part of the real Russian cultural experience!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Prostitute's Tale

So we were hanging around on the embankment during the summer; my occasional half-girlfriend and two of my younger colleagues. A few beers into the evening, she decides to good naturedly find us some additional female company and approaches a few likely prospects with the lure of speaking to some foreigners.

One of them really looks familiar to me - they join us and it takes me a good twenty minutes to figure out that one of them is a prostitute, who another friend of ours had sex with at a banya (a Russian sauna) a few months previously.

Of course she's not about to say, "Hey, remember me, I'm that prostitute your friend had sex with at the sauna a few months ago!" But I finally said something like, "It's nice to see you again," and she sheepishly asked if the other guys remembered her. I said I didn't think so.

But of course they did, after I told them. . .

We drank beer all night; at about five in the morning we talked them into going to a banya with us.

The half girlfriend had gone home by this time; I got somewhat cozy with the prostitute's cousin, while the prostitute herself developed a (free of charge)liking for one of my colleagues. . . the one guy who thought he had some moral qualms about the whole deal.

Beautiful story eh?

He went away for a holiday, and it took him a few weeks of grappling with it to get over the qualms and call her to go out, by which time the summer was over and she soon left to go back up north to get married.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When Hell Is Full, The Dead Will Walk The Earth

Just finished watching the original DAWN OF THE DEAD for the first time in about fifteen years. I like it better than the remake; it illustrates a bit more vividly the fun of running amok in a shopping mall in the post-apocalyptic world.

A couple of years ago a married colleague asked to borrow a zombie movie; I was surprised, as he had expressed no previous interest in them.

He explained that his wife didn't ordinarily let him watch zombie movies but she had gone back to the village for a few days.

If being able to watch zombie movies means being single forever, I'm dying a bachelor. Happily.

(You zombie fans out there who play Urban Dead -- -- can look for English Teacher X in and around Bale Mall.)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Goin' For The Gold

Last class of the day: Level Seven. The topic: second conditional. The question: What would you do if you had $1,000,000?

The blonde girl spoke up. "I'd buy a house in Spain. I'd live there and spend all my money going to clubs and buying clothes. And I'd find a husband and get married there."

"But if you spent all your money now, then you wouldn't have any when you're old. You'd have to dig through dumpsters for food," I pointed out.

"I'd have my husband for money, after that. . . what?"

I'm smirking. "A typical Russian girl answer."

"Not only Russian girls! I think all girls, or girls from many countries. . ." Another student mentions The Coen brothers film Intolerable Cruelty.

"Well, maybe, but let's put it this way: if looking for rich husbands was an Olympic sport, Russia would be the undisputed world champions. . ."

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Karma Chamelion

Interesting little article I saw on Yahoo:

Suddenly, it may be cool to be an American again

I spent most of the 90's travelling around Europe and Asia, and everyone, male and female alike, made adoring puppy eyes at me when I told them I was from America and deluged me with questions about the place.

I haven't, of course, done much traveling beyond Russia post 9-11, but I certainly know that after about 2003 the puppy eyes turned into sudden vicious sneers when you tell people you're American.

Saying you're Canadian is always good, as the guy says. Or somewhere nobody has heard of, like Lichtenstein. We used to say South Africa, but most Russians are too stupid to know that there are a lot of white people living in South Africa.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Dark Olive Garden of The Soul

Excerpt from instant messenger conversation with old college friend:

11:36pm Petits Choux

how's the food?

11:37pm English Teacher X

in Moscow? or in Russia?

11:38pm Petits Choux

where you are, in general.

11:38pm English Teacher X

pretty awful, although there's good local fresh produce

restaurants are divided between bad pizza places and sushi restaurants that aren't too bad

not too much fast food yet, surprisingly

this is a popular place -- sort of a Russian version of the Olive Garden

11:40pm Petits Choux

your hangout?

11:40pm English Teacher X

The same company runs a chain sushi place, the Russian TGIFridays, and a Starbucks knock off.

Cheerful, eh?

11:40pm Petits Choux

do you drink lots of tea?

11:41pm English Teacher X

sadly, yeah, it's got some of the cheaper beer prices in town

i do, actually, now

but mostly green

and camomille in the evening to sooth my shattered soul

11:42pm Petits Choux

you need a little sugar in your bowl...

11:42pm English Teacher X

i need a lot of things, baby

mainly, some inspiration

11:43pm Petits Choux

are you interested in marriage, kids etc?

11:43pm English Teacher X

why I was making out with two 20 year old girls in a sauna the other morning, and I was hardly even aroused by it. . .

well to have marriage and kids, first you need somebody you want to marry

i've pretty much decided Russians are out of the question for that

11:44pm Petits Choux

definitely sounds like burnout...

11:45pm English Teacher X

of course, it wasn't like I was made unhappy by it, it just wasn't any more fun then watching THE SHIELD

and then of course the age thing is getting to be a problem, I get older and older and the 20 year olds stay the same.

11:46pm Petits Choux

you're approaching dirty old mandom..

11:46pm English Teacher X

i think I've only gone out with two girls more than 30 in my entire life. . .

11:47pm Petits Choux

when you were in high school?

11:48pm English Teacher X

my life is so immature I have nothing in common with older women

student life, now that I can dig.

11:49pm Petits Choux

well, I guess the green tea will keep you young so what the hell..

11:50pm English Teacher X

kind of stopped drinking vodka and absinthe, too

after an event in which I tried to choke one of my colleagues into unconsciousness. . .

a good start, right?