Wednesday, December 30, 2009

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream

To show you where my head is at lately:

Twice this week, I've had NIGHTMARES, actually waking up shaken and in a sweat, about being back in Russia at my old job.

One of them was along the lines of having missed the plane to the Middle East and having to go back and beg for my job since I was broke, and being hired again in some capacity that I had to sit and watch classes and pretend I was a student, rather than teach them.

The other was that I went back to my apartment in Russia, which I somehow owned in the dream, and three typical Russian provincial thug-doofuses were there, in track pants, shirtless, drinking vodka and smoking, and I was trying to think of how I could possibly get rid of them and knowing it would be likely impossible.

I woke up shaken in the night and turned on the Internet and looked at all the money I now have in my bank account, and fixed some camomille tea and said, in a strangled voice, "It was only a dream . . . it was only a dream."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

On Crapping In Public

I've always had a pretty active digestive system -- perhaps the secret to my survival in Russia was that I crapped out toxins before they could really be absorbed into my body.

During the Friday evening drinking session, which would inevitably move to a nightclub at around 12.30 or so, a crap was an inevitable part of the evening -- after all the cheap beer and pizza -- and not entirely without an element of enjoyable challenge.

(The House of Pain nightclub had toilets that at least had doors on them, and often even toilet paper, although they were strewn with vomit and piss and blood and shit and god-knows-what strains of antibiotic-resistant diseases. Managing a good crap without getting anything on you was a kind of extreme-sports challenge.)

Anyway, I was just sitting here at the Satrbucks knock-off cafe trying to download some movies when the Turkish cofee and brownie I'd eaten went right through me.

In the toilet, I had some time to consider the Arab method of cleaning the ass -- this involves water and not toilet paper. There's a hose next to the toilet with which you can flush out your anal regions.



All very well and good -- if you got shit on your hands, you wouldn't just scrape it off with toilet paper and go on your way. You'd use water. And soap, probably. (But I'm not THAT fussy about my ass being clean.)

But then of course you'd use paper to dry off afterwards. And nowhere is there toilet paper or even paper towels in evidence here at this rather upscale shopping mall. So an Arab toilet forces you to go straight from a shitty anus to a wet anus, with nothing to dry it with.

I guess those long thobes and burkas might allow them to drip-dry -- my brushed cotton Docker khakis allow me no such option.

(As far as the squatting aspect, I don't mind that -- the quadriceps are an important core muscle groups, and that means I can do 2 less squats during my prison-cell workout. Anyway most public toilets offer you a choice, there's usually one Western-style throne around.)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas in the Desert

I celebrated Christmas in pretty good style -- one of my colleagues cooked a turkey with all the trimmings, along with pie and mince and so forth, and fifteen or so of us got together. There was even some homemade wine. Some of the guests brought their wives -- mostly Asian women they picked up on former teaching assignments.

No one got drunk and vomitted, there were no fistfights, and nobody had sex in the toilet.

People did get into heated discussions about politics and conspiracy theories, though.

And also, we had to be careful because the religious police were flying around in Hunter-Killer VTOL ships searching for Christmas parties with infra-red scanners and alcohol-sniffing dogs.



No, just kidding.

But some of the guys who have been here a while said that in the past buying Christmas decorations was about the same procedure as buying bootleg alcohol or Playboy magazines -- you had to go into the back room.

Now apparently Christmas decorations are actually sold openly in one of the big glitzy malls full of Starbucks and such. They don't have Christmas trees in public places and annoying Christmas songs like they do in Dubai . . . not yet, anyway. . .

Fa-la-la-la-la, Allahu Akbar

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

13

E-mail that I wrote in response to an email from a friend in Russia asking me how my holiday in America was:

Got really stoned one night with a married friend of mine and then had to try to pretend like we weren't when his wife and kid came home unexpectedly. The more things change the more they stay the same. "Our eyes are red because we were swimming, Mom."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Horny Is As Horny Does

Like alcohol, I miss sex considerably less than I thought I would. It could be my advancing years -- while I'm in pretty good shape for a 40-year-old, I'm still a 40-year-old -- but I suspect it has more to do with the fact that I'm surrounded by Arab teenagers and 60-year-old guys. There's not much to remind me that womankind even exists, here -- except on my computer screen.

(As mentioned I have some webcam girls to have fun with, in addition to pornography.)

Truthfully, I had sort of stopped feeling horny the last couple of years in Russia even when I was surounded by good-looking provocatively-dressed young women in my classes. I looked at hot young babes and saw the green triangular head and serrated claws of the preying mantis. I was actually becoming afraid that my lengthy experiences with Russian women had somehow innoculated me against them, and perhaps all of womankind.

This was another important reason in my decision to move.

A lot of long-timers there experienced this, I think; even the guys at the notorious whore-banging Moscow expat mag The Exile reported erectile dysfunction before they packed up and moved to Panama.


The last picture of Russian cleavage ever to be shown on English Teacher X??? Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Grooming Hints and Tips

Arrived back in Saudi Arabia just in time for a crackdown on long hair. The administration has told us to forbid students to enter class if they have hair below the ears.

On the plus side, nobody minds if the teachers come to class unshaven (beards are an indicator you're not gay) or with your shirt untucked (more in accordance with Muslim modesty by covering the buttocks.)

I wear a tie to class anyway though, just to show I'm a badass.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Birthright

People ask me how I can put up with a place as restrictive as Saudi Arabia, where not only alcohol but harmless pleasures such as dancing and music are illegal.

In point of fact, I was born for it: I grew up in small town southern America.



Alcohol was illegal -- a "dry county" as they say. We needed to drive to the county line to get alcohol -- there were two liquor stores there. There were a couple of bars there, also, and if you've seen the movie ROADHOUSE you get the general idea.

Dancing was not illegal, exactly, but it was kind of like the small town in FOOTLOOSE, also, in that there were a lot of conservative religious Baptists and Methodists who frowned upon it (and everything else.) We frequently got lectures in our schools about how there were Satanic messages hidden backwards in rock music.

Women didn't have to go covered or anything, but shorts and skirts above the knee were not permitted in my high school. (Except for the cheerleaders, of course. I guess their short skirts represented clean, wholesome athleticism and not drunken teenage sluttery in the back of cars.(

As large gatherings of teenagers at the fast food places were also discouraged (or actively forbidden) we used to congregate at various desolate locations -- cemeteries, the field next to the city water tower, abandoned isolated farmhouses, etc.



(Some of my friends and I used to particularly enjoy an abandoned slaughterhouse on the edge of town; this never experienced any more mainstream popularity with Average Joe Redneck.)

Things have changed a bit now, of course -- there are a few bars in town with private liquor licenses, and even a nightclub.


But the after-church crowds at the all-you-can-eat buffets look pretty similar. . .

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Short Blog Entry

First holiday of the year starts tomorrow -- time to make a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, if you're of the faith.

Students have been rowdy all week -- keeping quiet and doing their work only after much monitoring, and then they've started abusing the act of going to the toilet. One guy was gone nearly 25 minutes. (Of course I just went ahead and marked him absent, and they actually care about stuff like that at this particular university.)

I fully expected them all to start coughing simultaneously today, or perhaps all come in wearing vampire teeth.

Off to America tomorrow. In three months I have worked about seven weeks, and saved about as much as I saved in ten months in Korea, and a bit more than I saved in the last two years in Russia. (Yes, I actually managed to save some money in Russia, especially year before last when the ruble was strong.)

Now, why was I slaving away in those shitty private language schools again? Pussy, was it? How quaint.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Compound Interest

When you tell people you live in Saudi Arabia, the enlightened travelers usually ask about the compound you live in.

Well, me, I don't live in a compound. I live on a university campus. The majority of foreigners who live in Saudi Arabia do, however, and I visited a couple the weekend before Halloween to go to some parties.

The first was at a British compound -- after going through a considerable amount of security, we ended up at a small place which indeed had been fixed up much like a small bar,with a DJ and darts and of course an actual bar -- selling locally brewed bootleg hooch -- you had a choice of a whiskey-like brew or a vodka-like grain alcohol brew -- for 10 riyals.

There were some older British folks there, but not many others -- they said that we'd missed the Halloween party, which had been the night before, and they said that around 60 women had been in there.

So of course we took off and went to another compound -- this was an American compound, which naturally was full of South Africans, most of whom were employed at local hospitals. They had a bar at this one too, but the party was in a big cafeteria-like space.

There were a lot of women there, but I felt out of place and uncomfortable -- probably because I wasn't drunk enough. I felt very white, also. And then all the South Africans started doing this, like, tribal dance or something. (Somebody suggested that it was just a South African version of The Macarena.) I stood around uncomfortably with my arms crossed and my hands in my pockets.

In order to satisfy the prurient interests of many of my readers, I will end this otherwise not particualrly eventful story with saying that some of the South African women there had steatopygous buttocks.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Opposites Attract

[10/16/2009 1:06:33 PM] English Teacher X: it's 36 degrees

[10/16/2009 1:06:52 PM] Uncle Cool: you should have got used to it by now

[10/16/2009 1:07:11 PM] English Teacher X: ah, yeah, 35 isn't too bad
[10/16/2009 1:07:15 PM] English Teacher X: compared to 42, anyway
[10/16/2009 1:07:33 PM] English Teacher X: it's kept so frigid inside all the buildings that one doesn't easily adapt

[10/16/2009 1:08:09 PM] Uncle Cool: Like the opposite of Russian winter eh?/-- you toast inside and freeze outside


[10/16/2009 1:08:33 PM] English Teacher X: yeah, it's the opposite of Russia on many levels.
[10/16/2009 1:08:38 PM] English Teacher X: no women and no alcohol, of course
[10/16/2009 1:08:42 PM] English Teacher X: hot and sunny all the time
[10/16/2009 1:08:59 PM] English Teacher X: people are outwardly very friendly but inwardly seething with hatred and resentment.

[10/16/2009 1:09:07 PM] Uncle Cool: NO women students either ??
#

[10/16/2009 1:09:09 PM] English Teacher X: (whereas Russians are outwardly seething)
[10/16/2009 1:09:21 PM] English Teacher X: there aren't any co-ed schools here[10/16/2009 1:09:33 PM] English Teacher X: there are in Oman and some other countries, but not here.

[10/16/2009 1:09:59 PM] Uncle Cool: Moslem hospitality -- Dont turn your back on your genial host


[10/16/2009 1:10:24 PM] English Teacher X: and unlike Russia there are a plethora of fine, cheap ethnic food restaurants
[10/16/2009 1:10:40 PM] English Teacher X: in Saudi I've yet to see a single sushi place, and only two Pizza places.

[10/16/2009 1:11:08 PM] Uncle Cool: at least you can have one earthly pleasure

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Send Me A Kiss By Wire, Baby My Heart's On Fire

So you're all wondering: he didn't bang any whores in The Las Vegas of The Middle East last week, he's been without a drink or a woman for two months, how is he getting his rocks off?

"He's a very sexual being, English Teacher X is," you say to yourself. "How does he express his Eros over there in a land of hairy dudes, bedsheeted women, and camels?"

Well. Russian girls love cameras, as I said, and it seems love webcams just as well. . .



Next best thing to being there, indeed.

Monday, October 26, 2009

What Happens In The Las Vegas of The Middle East Stays In The Las Vegas of The Middle East


So I went to the Las Vegas of the Middle East last week; it was a bit seedier, and thus more interesting, than I was expecting.

Got up early -- 5.00am -- and made the 2-hour drive with some colleagues of English Teacher KSM in their big fancy company SUV. We did a bit of sight-seeing since we'd arrived so early -- a Portugese fort, the beach full of fishing boats, a posh coffee shop -- and then checked into our respective hotels.

Mine was recommended on the basis of the "scene" in its lobby, which housed a 24-hour-bar and a shisha (water pipe, hookah, nargillah, hubbly-bubbly, kalyan, whatever you want to call them) cafe. The 24-hour-bar was full of drunk Arabs (still surprisingly in their white thobes) and a couple of fat Moroccan hookers at 10.00 am when I checked in; I don't think I saw it empty once during the next 24 hours.



We had a long beery lunch at the Hard Rock cafe and then retired to our rooms to rest for the evening; I took a walk in the evening around the streets surrounding the hotel, which constituted the city's "Gold Souq" -- a colorful mix of mini-markets, cheap Indian cafes, gold and jewelry shops, spice shops, and more damn counterfeit expensive watches than I've ever seen in my life. I don't even wear a watch but by the end of the day I was thinking of buying one just from subliminal influence of seeing all the damn things.

In the evening we went to a hotel disco that had a salsa band; and then on the suggestion of the breasty Thai hooker that one of the guys was with, we went to a dark, black-lit bar full of Thai hookers.

It was the damnedest thing though -- none of the Thai hookers offered to have sex with me for money. A couple danced with me, talked to me, let me take their numbers -- but never did I get hit up for drinks, a "bar fine" (money paid to allow the girl to leave) or just money for sex. . . perhaps I'm missing out on the etiquette of the Middle EAst, but in Thailand one waited for the female to broach the subject.

The bar after midnight filled up with a strange and sinister assortment of shiny-suited Neil Strauss look-alikes -- maybe all the girls had other plans for the evening. It was their peak evening, I suppose, and my cheap cotton trousers and white shirt were far from shiny.

We applied ourselves seriously to tequilla and beer and left the other aspects of the evening to take care of themselves -- the place closed at 2.00 am and we went home without hookers.

We smoked a morning water pipe at 3.00 am in the cafe in the lobby of my hotel, which was full of hammered men in white thobes; the sinister atmosphere was completed by one loud drunken Ethiopian prostitute who all the guys seemed a few drinks away from breaking into drunken war over.

We went to bed at 4.00am and I came home the next day with nothing but a hangover (guess that part doesn't stay in the Las Vegas of the Middle East.) Didn't even buy the counterfeit Tag-Heuer I had my eye on.

Ah well, next time.

(I didn't manage to sneak any pictures of much of anything interesting, and Google image search surprisingly didn't turn up anything much interesting when I searched for "drunk Arabs")

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Your Mouth To God's Ear

An email from a fan of the website:

Hey ETX,
I must admit that I have been reading your blog to see if you would go mad from alcohol and sex withdrawal. Well, I think I can safely say at this point that you are not an Alcoholic. How would I know? Well, I was kind of like English Teacher Q from Thailand, or Robert Downey Jr., back in my younger days. I go to those damn meetings with the steps and have done so for years. If you are not bat shit crazy at this point, it would appear that you belong to the lucky class of drinker who can take it or leave it. In addition, you never got into serious trouble with all of your adventures. I would have lost all my jobs and been some bad man's boyfriend in a Russian prison, had I attempted to live as you did. I am a little jealous, but not really. We don't have to give up whore-mongering, and I am too old now to be a party animal. I am jealous of your salary, however. :)


Looks like it. I don't miss alcohol that much, at least not yet. There was actually one day after work I had an unbelievable craving for beer; I had a couple of bottles of Holsten non-alcoholic and the urge went away.

In fact I look back on some of my former drinking binges with something like horror. Good lord, was I insane? What was I trying to prove, and to whom? God help you, Dear Reader, if you ever become a slave to your own reputation as a Fun Guy!

Anyway, I'm going to the LAS VEGAS OF THE MIDDLE-EAST next weekend (its glamorous streets pictured below.) We'll see what happens.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Man, The Myth. . .

Pity poor English Teacher KSM. A long-time fan of the website, he offered an interview back in 2006 that pretty much indicated he was giving up TEFL teaching altogether.

However, he did not do so -- like any bad habit, TEFL teaching is easier to start than to stop -- and he contacted me after I made my announcement that I was coming to The Kingdom.

Turns out that we're working in the same city here, in fact.

Now he's been in Persian Gulf countries for most of the last nine years; we're about the same age and the amount of time I've devoted to more-or-less complete debauchery, he's devoted to getting well-paying, professional TEFL jobs with major international defense contractors and such.

He lives in a large villa in a secure compound and has a big company SUV he drives (although he shares it with another guy); I live in a efficiency apartment in the faculty dormitory, and I drive a bicycle. (His job pays better, but we get three times as much holiday and work rather fewer hours.)

He's totally envious of my life to this point -- he missed out on the squalid debauchery, pointless womanizing, and retarded drunkeness. He knows a lot of those ETX stories by heart.

And then when he finally gets to hang out with the English Teacher X of fable and lore -- is The Legend getting wasted and chasing 19-year-old Russian trollops?

Indeed, no, he's ordering the double cheeseburger and an iced tea at Applebee's.

Then we wandered around the old city, and I gleefully shopped for $10 shirts at the cheap Southeast-asian clothing emporium, as he looked on somewhat bewildered. He can't really even be entertained by my stories because he knows most of them already.

ETX in action baby. Look at my works, ye mighty, and despair!

The old English Teacher X Website is now permanently down, or at least down until I get around to putting it back up, but I have linked to it via the internet archive known as the Wayback Machine. Ain't technology wonderful.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Straight From The Horse's Mouth

So one of the nice things about my job here is that I get a tremendous amount of paid vacation time -- almost three months per year.

I get a two-week holiday in November, in fact, and I sent an e-mail to a girl I used to know back in Vodkaberg, who is now working as a stripper and uh. . . party girl? in New York. I told her I was coming to America and asked if she had any hot friends she could introduce me to. Her response was:

r u coming to NY? u can stay at my place. introduce u to some girls?? LOL r u kidding me? all my friends r strippers (if we r talking about russian girls). its not russia so they r not gonna bang u for a drink and that u speak english.we r in america everybody does. they r material bitches. u spend money on them take them shoppin take them to miami and then maybe if they like u,or they might just use u for all that stuff so they'll just dissapear after the shopping. thats how it goes over here
but as i said u r my friend and u r always wellcome

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Yard

So, had my first week of classes. . .

and it was fine, no big deal. Classes of thirty, but that just means you have to walk around a lot and talk louder, and I'm teaching Grammar and Writing classes, which means most of it is just watching them while they do exercises.

I will say though that walking towards the building on the first day the students were there -- I was greeted by the sight of hundreds of swarthy guys standing in the sun outside of the big institutional building in small groups smoking, all wearing identical uniforms of khaki pants and light shirts in various stages of untucked and dishevelled, most of them bearded and goateed, many wearing baseball caps and ski hats --

far from reminding me of a prep school, it looked more like the Yard at San Quentin.


But I should hastily add that I didn't get so much as an ounce of shit from any of them, they were all perfectly respectful and friendly. (I dressed up in a shirt and tie and glasses so I'd look more SuperTeacher-ish.)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Working For The Weekend

In addition to having to get used to the fact that there are no nightclubs full of barely-legal Russian chicks, I have to adjust to the fact that the "weekend" here is actually Thursday and Friday.

Somehow the brain still keeps insisting that one's days off are Saturday and Sunday, and substitutes those words as such.

How was my weekend?

Went to a colleagues house -- guy I used to work with in Russia -- and had some of his home-made wine (first alcohol in five weeks) and BLT sandwiches made with the bacon he smuggled back in here from Canada. Then we took a ride on mountain bikes down the beach road.

That qualifies as a pretty wild weekend around these parts, I think.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sea Changes And The Lost Art of Conversation

More than a calendar month now since I've had a drink of alcohol or seen a woman (not on TV) without 95 percent of her body covered.

You know what the strangest fucking thing is though?

The conversations among my colleagues.

These guys talk about buying condos in Thailand and villas in Cyprus. And buying cars and $2000 suits.

I'm used to teachers talking about, like, syphillis. And projectile vomiting.

(I will say however, that conspiracy theorists seems to be very common among English teachers of all countries.)

Got paid my first paycheck for a month of doing nothing today; this week I'm being paid to sit in the office for 6 hours a day doing nothing, classes start next week. Maybe. Seems there's some worry about swine flu and available vaccine, or something.

Well, whatever. Soon I'm going to be rich, and you're all going to be sorry.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Why I Don't Particularly Want To Start My Own English School

Somebody, in the comments section, asked me why I don't just start my own language school, and this is something that is often discussed around English teacher bar tables all over the world.

Let me explain my take on all this.

The first aspect is simple mathematics. To make a profit you need a lot of students. To have a lot of students, you need a lot of space. Since most people want to study at the same time -- after and occasionally before they go to work or university -- the peak hours are 7.00 am to 10.00 am and 6.00pm to 10.00 pm in the evening. That means you'll need a lot of classrooms, each with say 10 - 12 students. And space for administration and a teacher's room, etc.

There is huge inflation going on, especially in terms of property, in the developing countries where the greatest demand for English is; in Europe and America, that kind of office space is going to cost a shitload, especially if it's centrally located.

Now if you happen to already OWN a building with a huge amount of space, why would you want to go to the trouble of starting a school, when you could just rent out the space to someone else and make an easy bundle of cash every month?

Now, add in the cost of paying your teachers, and the expense and hassel of getting them legal working visas and sorting out the tax issues. If you have to pay for accomodation for your teachers, that's also going up tremendously every month. (My apartment in Vodkaberg cost less than $100 a month in 2003; by the time I left the rent had quadrupled.)

Then there's the fact that a lot of countries actually have rules about how many foreigners versus how many locals you have to employ -- in Thailand it was something like there had to be 3 Thais for every foreigner employed. (That meant they had to pay some kids to sit around and do nothing other than open doors and such.)

And if there aren't huge taxes and fees, there are bribes. Often there are both.

And the price that you can charge students to study with a foreigner are certainly NOT going up. It grows cheaper and cheaper to go abroad and study -- walk around central London and you'll hear very little English. But walk around central Prague, you probably won't hear much Czech. Foreigners and English schools are everywhere; anybody with the Internet can practice English whenever they want, and however they want.

The general trend that that kind of conversational ESL I've spent most of my adult life doing is going the way of the brontosaurus -- in ten years most people will use nothing but English in secondary school and the only work will be teaching children and maybe specialized business and testing work.

And let's not got into the development of instantaneous translation software and implants and such. I've got the Discovery channel now and for an English teacher, this stuff is scarier than the magnetic poles of the Earth shifting.

I've known one guy who started his own school -- though I haven't spoken to him lately, even after a few years he was working his ass off and not making a lot of money at it. Every English school owner I've spoken to -- including my former employers in Vodkaberg -- say that the schools don't make much profit. (Some of them were rich, but the English schools were only one of many businesses they owned.) While my school in Vodkaberg shestupled in size, I'm sure it didn't shestuple in profits; the owner went from driving a Lada 100 to driving a Toyota Camry, which is not too far up the ladder.

And of course, even under the best of economic circumstances, running a business in a foreign country leaves you incredibly vulnerable to various political shifts, currency devaluations, war and terrorism, etc.

And let's not discuss the difficulty of dealing with drunken fuck-up teachers and spoiled, demanding students.

Now an exception to all this might be sending teachers to companies to teach in-house; that's a lot lower overhead.

And as a final note, I submit to you that if you knew anything about starting and running a business in the first place, you wouldn't be an English teacher.

So that's the sitch as I see it. If anybody who owns a school is reading this, please feel free to correct my presumptuousness if you disagree.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Notes From Russia

An e-mail I received from a friend in Russia concerning the girl he's been seeing:

I'll take a picture of the butterscotch asap.

By the way, this is a really evil sweety. I'm beginning to feel like your attitude toward the yummies here IS in fact the right one.

Being given oral relief behind a garage, standing in human filth and syringes, the boyfriend calls. Butterscotch nearly answers the phone with a full mouth. Conversation ends with "Kiss you". Then back to work.

From my bad Russian I gathered that he wanted to know how her day had gone, while she had a need for a little bit more of his money with which to buy course books.

I wanted another date tonight, but sadly butterscotch's gone off to a "dacha" with "girlfriends", and I'm not invited.

I'm beginning to realize that what's good for the cuckold is good for the other cuckold.

No wonder you just got so sick of it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Legends and Lore

Woke up freezing cold today, achy and disoriented, from a dream of Russian girls past.

I'd just left the air-conditioning on too high when I went to bed, but I can see whence was born the myth of the Succubus.

I remember one of my colleagues telling me that his girlfriend, a professional dancer, had fucked the hell out of him. He wasn't bragging about this -- he was saying he'd felt utterly drained and completely exhausted afterwards.

A lot of Russian towns have a legend about why the women are so beautiful there -- Vodkaberg's legend was that Catherine the Great had exiled all of the most beautiful women in St. Petersberg to Vodkaberg because she didn't want any competition. (Some versions of this story have it being all the prostitutes. Or the most beautiful prostitutes.)

My own theory involves the spawn of Dracula. Or perhaps Satan himself.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Things To Do In Saudi When You're Dead


So, talk about 'me' time.

When I first arrived there were a few mornings of filling out and signing forms, getting documents stamped, and of course a morning at a clinic providing my blood, urine and feces. (In Russia that we had provided plenty of blood, urine and feces, but never in plastic bottles to doctors; a bit more indiscriminately, on the streets and dance floors.)

There were a few mornings meeting with my new managers and colleagues; but now, pretty much the entire school is on holiday and most of the teachers won't come back until September 24th.

So I have pretty much nothing at all to do, until classes start in October.

Fortunately, keeping myself amused has never been much of a problem, and I didn't have any problem getting my hard disc with 350 GB of TV shows, movies, e-books, audio books, and comic books into the country.

A typical day?

So I'm tending to wake up at about ten, and then I do my prison cell workout -- pushups, situps, squats and tricep dips, as well as some stretching and jumping rope -- and then I set about preparing the first meal of the day.

Ramadan -- during which it is forbidden even to chew gum or drink water in public between sunrise and sunset -- and the extreme heat -- 40 degrees C, 100 degrees F -- kind of limit my ability to wander unchecked during the day, so the afternoon has me digging into the aforementioned hard disc for some entertainment until about three or four, when I take the twenty minute walk to the beach. I swim for a half-hour or so, and perhaps sit and read on the beach for a bit, then come home and have the second meal of the day.


The college I work at is not exactly centrally located. The old city center is about twenty minutes away, by car, and there's a new waterfront development center with a mall and fast-food places -- that's about a forty-five minute walk away. This area is really for people with cars, so it's not particularly easy to get around on foot.

In the evening, after six, when the Ramadan restrictions end, I usually walk back down the beach to the "e-park" -- about a thirty minute walk -- to use the wireless access there. (Still no internet access in my apartment.) For the hour and a half or so that my battery lasts, I do my Internet business -- the most enjoyable of which is talking dirty with Russian girls I know on instant messenger programs. (Some habits die harder than others.)


There's another shopping center about a ten-minute walk away that has a big modern supermarket, an Applebee's, a bookstore, and a coffee shop with wireless access, as well as a few other random shops; sometimes I go there to use the Internet, but everything closes for the eight o clock prayer for about thirty minutes so I don't go there until about eight-thirty or nine.

The supermarket offers a bit of intriguing wandering, as there are a lot of new food products to consider; I'm diggin on the hummus and the stuffed grape leaves.

Pretty much all the women I see are covered head to toe in black, only their eyes showing -- it does tickle me a bit to see them just going through their normal day, yelling at their kids and buying cornflakes and such, just dressed like ninjas.

The bookshop has books in English as well; turns out the black-cloaked women like that TWILIGHT crap here, too, and the black-cloaked girls like that little trollop Miley Cyrus. So far I'm more surprised by what's NOT banned than I am by what is banned. . .


So I come home at 10.00 or 11.00, enjoy more downloaded goodness from the hard disc (or watch Discovery channel) and get to bed at 1.00 or so, and sleep like a rock for nine hours. Apart from the hum of air conditioners, it's completely quiet.

Far from the madding crowds, indeed. . .

Friday, September 11, 2009

All Over But The Shouting: Or, Why I Left My Last Job


I posted the e-mails that I sent regarding leaving my former position in Vodkaberg; I described it as a "blow up" with the assistant director, but didn't really give any details.

Allow me to elaborate.

Basically, as far as my former employers, Language Fucks, I'd lost my religion long ago.

When I'd started, the school was a small one, with two teachers, two classrooms and a toilet with no sink or toilet paper; relations with administration were pretty good, just because it was easy with two teachers to fill up a 4.30pm to 9.30pm schedule with big classes, and they were new too, so they thought they had to treat us with respect and decency. There were no sudden changes to schedules, no split shifts, and the salary was pretty decent in comparison to the prices and exchange rate.

But then the school doubled in size, then quadrupled, and by 2006 we had more than a dozen teachers. Our schedules were grueling split shifts, finishing at 9.30pm and starting at 9.00am or even earlier -- 7.00am was not unheard of. They started piling weekend classes on the new teachers, and we started doing company classes with travel time of up to an hour or more each way, for which of course we weren't really paid. New classes were given with only a few hours of notice, and changes in the schedule were made constantly, especially in summer, for seemingly no reason whatsoever.

In short, it became like every other shitty language school in the world. Teachers came and went, sometimes in a matter of weeks. Sometimes because they hated the school, sometimes because the school hated them.

Becoming Director of Studies in 2007 left me trying to assure academic quality in this environment.

I made some steps to try to straighten up some problems that I thought were easily soluble, especially regarding schedules; they were getting so many applications in Moscow at that point, however, that nobody felt there was any reason to change anything. (Applications from completely inexperienced teachers, of course -- they prefer these, because they don't have to pay them -- in Moscow they began some "intern" programs in which people with no experience are hired and paid starvation wages, and given a few hours of training. Pretty heinous.)

It didn't matter what I did or thought, however -- there was one test, and one test only, of whether a teacher was retained, and that was if the students liked them. Others were unceremoniously dismissed, often with hardly enough money to get plane tickets together to leave the country.

Despite all the drunks and trouble-makers, most of the ones who got fired had done exactly one thing wrong -- they'd come to Russia as inexperienced teachers, expecting to be treated with respect.

At the beginning of this year, some poor little 22-year-old guy got the boot because he slurred his speech because of an overbite. Another guy got fired mainly because he was old, as if that fact had somehow not been revealed during the job interview. Of course they were inexperienced teachers, but how were they supposed to get any experience if the school fired them the first time students complained?

The contract, which was like two-pages when I had started, became an enormous document trying to cover all the things teachers couldn't or shouldn't do. (It was completely illegal anyway, I would later find, lacking a Russian translation on the other half of the page.)

Things started going way south between me and my employers at the beginning of 2008; when I arrived in Russia after my Christmas holiday, I was told that I had to take another teacher's classes and would be working 9-hour days on both Saturday and Sunday from now on. I actually quit over that; they backed off after a couple of weeks, however.

It didn't get any better. Prices had gone up tremendously, but our salaries hadn't. With the economic collapse in the fall of 2008,the exchange rate began to take our salary in dollars down, down, down. Our new contracts took away our airfare bonuses and continued paying us in a ruble salary. I refused to sign more than a three-month contract under these terms, and actually began psyching myself to leave for good last Christmas.

Alas, the promise of an old girlfriend returning in January made me decide to stay. But, of couse in January 2009, I arrived in the country with a new passport and an old visa, and ended up having to pay about $2000 in airfare and hotel bills going to Germany to get a new visa.

Now of course I should have double-checked the visa thing myself, but only because I should have known that the Russian woman who got a salary to double check such things wasn't going to bother to do that.

Naturally they refused to pay any of this, even when virtually the same thing happened to another teacher a couple months later.

I will perhaps someday post some of the e-mail I got from the nominal leader of this chain, in Moscow -- it basically said that I had only myself to blame for staying in Russia for so long and that they had, with the economic crisis, "hundreds of applications," (I wonder how many of those they hired stayed more than three months.)

Apart from the guy who owns it, I think I'm the only teacher who has stayed at the school for nine consecutive years.

It didn't take me long to decide that he was right; staying in that position was suicide.

In June, when my contract was finished, I agreed to work part time; it was only when I received my first pay packet in July that I realized they were paying me a part-time rate at about a little more than half of what my normal salary was, with no housing allowance included.

I tried to quit then; they yelled, but then tried the sweet talk approach a few days later. I mistakenly thought they had the ability to cancel my visa if I didn't do at least some work for them -- they didn't because I had no contract at that point, of any sort, and so wasn't legally employed anyway -- and I agreed I would do a few classes, but no split shifts and as few hours as possible.

By August I felt I'd served my time and wanted to take my final few weeks off completely, but they had a problem -- one teacher had left suddenly on a family emergency -- and I agreed reluctantly to do a few final classes.

Anyway, the 'blow-up' came two days before I was scheduled to stop working. After all this -- all of this -- with TWO days remaining, the assistant manager came in and yelled at me that my students had complained that my lessons was boring. Not just told me -- YELLED at me.

I was too dumbfounded to yell back at first; by the time I managed to do so, she had retreated into the lounge. I followed, beginning to order my list of things to yell back about.

"I won't talk to you here. This is the student lounge," she said.

"Then get back in the teacher's room!"

"I'm busy, I can't talk right now." she said, fiddling with the DVD player attached to the big screen TV in the lounge.

I paced back and forth furiously for a bit, then announced that I was leaving.

She demanded my passport and visa and told me I had 24 hours to leave the country.

I told her we could first go to the Department of Employment and discuss how I had been working without a contract.

She said fine. I walked out into the rainy summer evening and walked all the way home, a walk of about foury-five minutes.

By doing this I forfeited to my employers a couple weeks salary -- not many hours, and at that low rate, probably about $150 worth. They had agreed to pay for the new visa, but I suspect they might have wormed out of that some other way.

(As it happened I had no dire need for money, even with that $2000 hit in January -- I've squirreled away quite a bit, by English teacher standards, anyway.)

So this is how a fifteen-year English-teaching veteran, Director of Studies of two years, DELTA trained, gets treated after nine years of employment by a major international language school chain.

Now of course most people think their jobs suck; and a lot of people get fucked over by their employers. But I submit to you:

English teaching is a crock of shit, and any newbies out there reading this: PLEASE don't do this unless you have enough money to get out of any problems you get in.

So that's Reason #1 I'm going for the big score in Saudi. Reason #2 coming soon.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Dichotomy of The Conundrum

So I come all the way to The Kingdom in search of a more mature life, as my former existence was more in line with that of a 20-year-old college student -- binge drinking, chasing young girls, etc.

My existence here, however, so far, is a bit more like being thirteen again -- reading a lot of comic books (downloaded ones) and watching a lot of TV. I watched the movie FLASH GORDON this evening.

And of course masturbating a lot. But I did that in Russia a lot too. No Internet porn here, though. So it's more like being thirteen again -- getting porn was a big deal when I was thirteen -- had to spank it to Cinemax After Dark.

But been swimming a lot, exercising and detoxing, so can't be all bad, eh? As well as getting paid nearly $1000 tax-free a week for it. . .

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Demon Alcohol

If a man has lost a leg or an eye, he knows he has lost a leg or an eye; but if he has lost a self—himself—he cannot know it, because he is no longer there to know it.

Dr. Oliver Sacks, from the book THE MAN WHO MISTOOK HIS WIFE FOR A HAT

This particular quote comes from a story about a man who loses his short term memory as a result of heavy drinking.

This is my what, twelfth day without an alcoholic drink. . I'm trying to think the longest amount of time I've gone in recent memory without taking a drink. No more than a couple of weeks, certainly. There are times I've drunk more or less than other times, but alcohol was always there, especially in Russia.

I don't really have a very strong craving for alcohol, although I seem to be craving sweet drinks. Holsten makes a variety of non-alcoholic beers which are sold widely here -- there's a Mango flavored beer that tastes like the Peach Melba Rum wine coolers of my youth and I've been tossing those down, along with apple juice and green tea.

Many of the end reuslts of my drinking, especially with vodka -- blackouts, peeing on the rug, screaming, trying to strangle people -- would certainly be considered problematic by a medical professional, but I really don't consider myself an alcoholic. (Like most alcoholics, I suppose, until they take the First Step.) At least not a garden-variety alcoholic. I was a binge-drinker, sure, but I was very much a social alcoholic -- I wasn't the kind of guy that drank by myself. (With the notable exception of times when I had a severe hangover, for which I found beer to be the most effective cure.)

Without people inviting me out for drinks, there's not too much urge to be drunk.

"Why would I want to be sober when I'm out?" I'd say. "If I was sober I'd just as soon be home reading a good book."

Then I'd wash down some absinthe with eight beers or so and get punched in the face, fall down in the mud and take a crap in the bushes on the way back to my apartment.

Just a boy who can't say no, that's me.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Yeah, You're Right. . .

that was stupid to use the company computer to blog with my personal login and stuff. My lack of guile has always been my Achilles Heel.

My last employers, Ruble-Pinching Bastards of Vodkaberg, found out about my blog apparently. One of the Russian teachers saw it in the history log, or something, and eventually deduced it was me. Nobody ever said anything to me about it, but it probably didn't do any good for my chances of getting that German visa run thing paid for, Then again, there wasn't much chance of that anyway, and it amuses me to no end to imagine the staff hitting the dictionaries to translate some of the words in that orgy story.

Judging from a bit of google searching, however, a LOT of people blog about their experiences within Saudi Arabia and don't have much trouble with it. Albeit most of it is pretty innocuous. I suppose mine will be pretty free of scandalous behavior also, however, unless I recap the episodes of THE SOPRANOS and DEXTER that I've watched recently.

Of course the only pictures I was going to put up were shots of the desert and the beach and camels. I'll do that when I get around to it.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Damn It's Hot

Around 40 C / 100 F every day . . . and it's hard to acclimatize when every building is kept at refrigerator temperatures on the inside.

Arrived in Saudi Arabia last Tuesday -- no problems getting through customs, but we got a flat tire out in the desert on the other side of the causeway and had to wait a couple hours as the driver tried to figure out how to work the jack. And this is Ramadan so I had to be discrete about drinking water -- the poor guys changing the tire must have been parched.

As for the Kingdom -- well, it's amazingly like I'd imagined it, with sand dunes and camels, everybody wearing white or black sheets -- which wikipedia tells me are called "thobe" -- and head coverings, women covered up like ninja.

I'm living in a room in the "faculty dormitory" on the campus -- like a small apartment, nothing particularly fancy, but it has a kitchen and is plenty big for one guy.

There's a beach across the road, and a modern shopping center with an Applebee's in it about a ten-minute walk away.

I went to the nearest "city center" area last Thursday with one of the teachers to eat Thai food and was surprised how grubby, chaotic and southeast-asian it looked -- like a back street in Bangkok or New Delhi. (Hardly a surprise I guess, with all the guest workers from India and Bangladesh and the Phillipines.) Previously, I had sort of thought that everybody drove Rolls Royces here -- in fact, though, I find that the people I'm teaching will generally be from low and middle-income families. (It's a government educational project, apparently.)

Today I had my second medical exam of the week. Managed to produce a stool sample a bit more easily this time, probably owing to my breakfast of mango and cornflakes. I wonder what the Saudi Government does with all that shit from their guest workers. . .

My blood pressure was a much more reasonable 117 / 60 this time. This is kind of like being in rehab except of course for the fact that I'm getting paid large amounts of money for it.

In fact, I'm in the somewhat enviable position of being here for a month more before classes begin; I'll get a full month's salary for not doing much of anything.

I have an office I share with three others -- all of whom, along with most of the rest of the teachers and students, are on summer vacation now -- and there's internet here but not yet in my room, as they're upgrading the wireless internet service.

Pictures coming soon.

Monday, August 24, 2009

To Travel Hopefully Is Better Than A Kick In The Nuts

Somehow I didn’t imagine Bahrain would be so . . . Arabic.

It’s unbelievably hot – 40 celsisus, nearly 100 degrees farenheit – and all the buildings are low and brown and there’s a lot of dust. There are a few high rise office buildings poking into the sky with Middle-Eastern phallic opulence, and more being built, but the overwhelming impression is of low brown indeterminate-looking concrete buildings and dust. And of course you see minarets here and there.

I’m here for a couple of days to get my Saudi visa, which first involves getting a medical exam – blood screening, chest x-ray, and a physical.

They told me my blood pressure was a little high yesterday, 140 / 80.

Hardly surprising given the inordinate amount of going-away parties I had, and the previous three days especially, and about 18 hours in airports and planes.

Thursday involved a party at a banya, a Russian sauna – with a four guys and five girls. I’d like to say I had a wonderful time, but in point of fact I can’t remember most of it – vodka blackout. I woke up missing 6000 rubles and covered with mud. But at least I woke up in my own bed. And at least I woke up.

Friday involved giving my cat away, then being greeted by a girl who I had met the previous week and one of my other going-away parties. (I’d irritated the people at that going-away party by disappearing into the toilet for quite a while with this girl.) She gave me a Long Goodbye, while Crazy Bob cooked an omelet in the kitchen.

The final going-away party was at a Russian chain microbrewery called Tinkoff – and I was very moved to see so many -- pretty much all -- of my friends turn out. I picked up the bill and bowed out at about 1.00am – completely ill and exhausted from the last few days and mostly unprepared to leave.

However, two voluptuous blondes I've known a long time insisted on coming home with me and drinking a couple last bottles of champagne. Ill, exhausted and feverish at this point, I can’t say their extremely thoughtful idea of a going-away three-way was very successful by porn-movie standards, but I thought it was a nice thing of them to do. (The fact that at one point I actually told them to leave me alone and let me get some sleep should indicate to all of you just how burned-out I am.)

They went home at 4.00am and I got up at 7.00 to begin cleaning out the filthy rubbish strewn remains of my apartment; it was still such a hopeless mess I just told the landlord to keep the week’s rent he owed me and hire a professional cleaner.

I was seen off to the airport by thoughtful friends, but encountered my first problem with I tried to check in – my bags weighed too much, I was told, and I would have to pay about $100 for the Vodkaberg to Moscow leg . . . and approximately $2000 for the Moscow to Dubai leg. About four times the cost of my ticket.

Not seeing how that could possibly be correct, I paid the extra $100 and then went to check with Air Emirates at Domedeovo airport in Moscow – they told me that number was indeed not correct, because their baggage allowance was 30 kg, not 20kg.
So actually, 20 kg extra only actually meant I had to pay 570 Euros – about 800 US dollars.

Now if you took the entire value of everything that was in my third bag, it would be worth MAYBE 200 dollars, considering the purchase price. Because nobody would particularly want to buy a bunch of old books, blue t-shirts and black trousers from the Gap and Old Navy after-Christmas sales.

So I went and sat outside the airport and threw away a bunch of clothes, one of my bags, a few books, and a travel steamer that never really worked correctly anyway, and managed to get everything down to 30kg.

570 Euros. I could buy enough new clothes for three years at the Gap and Old Navy after-Christmas sales with that!

So here I am. My hotel is a bit dingy for the price, but they’ll serve room service during the day (against Ramadan regulations) and it’s comfortable enough.

I met with the "manpower agency" for my future employers and they started the medical process yesterday. I finally managed to produce a stool sample this morning, and they took it back to the lab -- I'd assume I'd have heard by now if I failed, but I considered it a distinct possibility, my body chemistry must have been an absolute mess after the last few days.

If all is acceptable -- which I think mainly means I don't have HIV or Hepatitis -- then they're getting my Saudi visa now and I'll have it by the end of the day, and I'll be off to Saudi tomorrow.

And of course some of you ask yourself -- did English Teacher X cry at the thought of leaving Russia and his life of the last nine years?

You bet your ass. After a blackout vodka hangover and right after I gave my cat to a colleague to keep, you can bet I wasn't feeling too steady. And all it took was a reference to this song on Howard Stern to have me crying like a little girl with a skinned knee when I watched it on youtube:



Sharing this fact with the two voluptuous blonds late in the evening, even they thought it was a bit corny. "You're a grown man crying at a song sung by puppets," one said, sitting in my lap in her underwear, arms around me.

"They're not puppets," I informed her. "They're muppets."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Essence of Professionalism


> Dear (English Teacher X)
>
> I've read through your letter and to be quite honest, I'm tired of trying to play referee between you and (the school). Therefore, let the cards fall where they may. You are an adult and it is for you to decide how best to proceed from here.
>
> I wish you the best of luck and hope your next teaching assignment lives up to your full expectations.
>
> (Director of chain school in Moscow)


* * *

Dear (Director of chain school in Moscow)

Yeah, it must be tiring being the nominal leader of the absolute worst McLanguage school in Russia. I can only pity you.

Oh, and best of luck to you too. I suspect you'll need it.
(English Teacher X.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Sweet Smell of Burning Bridges

Dear (Director of chain in Moscow)

I just had a blow-up with (deputy Director of our school) and walked out of the school. I have been working part-time since July with no contract for the princely sum of 230 rubles per academic hour, and decided I can't take any more disrespect from her, at least not for that amount of money.

As always when this happens, she threatens the teacher with the fact that he or she must leave the country within 24 hours. (As far as I know, OVIR regulations provide 72 hours.) I have booked a plane ticket to Bahrain for next Saturday, August 22nd, so it would not be convenient for me to alter those plans.

I offer the following conditions, just to straighten everything out:

If (the school) does not attempt to interfere with my visa before I leave, they can keep the salary that I have earned over the last week and a half (I don't know the exact amount, but it's something like 5000 rubles.) If students were not satisfied with their lessons over this period, perhaps this money could be refunded to them.

In addition, since I paid for the visa myself and will be leaving while not employed by (the school), I will not expect any reimbursement for the visa which I purchased in January (about 250 euros.)

I am not currently in a (school-provided) flat, so that should not be a problem.

If (the school) DOES attempt to make me leave the country, or cause problems with my visa, I will contact the lawyer that represented (an angry former teacher who walked out) and file suit against (the school) for its contracts (or lack thereof) which I'm told are completely illegal.

I think this is more than fair and I hope that we don't have any further problems with each other.

Regards,
(English Teacher X)


Those dummies shouldn't have pushed me. . . I was going to buy them a cake tomorrow on my last day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Fates Enjoy A Good Laugh At My Expense

I'm leaving for the Middle East on August 22. I'll be arriving in Bahrain on August 23, and I'll need to stay there for a few days to get my Saudi visa, and then on to Saudi.

Coincidentally, I'll be arriving on the very day that the month-long celebration of Ramadan begins.

Long story short, according to Wikipedia, it is a time to "refrain from eating, drinking, sex, smoking, and anything that is not of a good nature or in excess from sunrise until sunset." Apparently you can't even drink water during the day on the street during Ramadan or you might be arrested. In addition one should "ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance and help in refraining from everyday evils, and try to purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds."

Well, in for a penny, in for a pound, I suppose. . .

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Uh huh. . .

A website and series of videos on YouTube in which a Russian blonde with large (probably fake) breasts discusses the etymology of various words and expressions.

(Edit, Saturday evening, 8:07pm: I just watched that movie THE HANGOVER and I'm thinking, what's the big deal, every weekend is like that around here.)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Lust

The first orgy ended with Crazy Bob thumping naked through his apartment holding up a bloodied condom yelling, "LOOK AT THIS! IT'S ORANGE! IT'S ORANGE!"

I offered to let him smell my fingers; he tossed me out into the street and I spent about an hour tromping through the snow giggling with a 2-liter plastic bottle full of beer under my arm.

Things had gone wrong for him in several ways. He'd picked up a girl at the House of Pain nightclub, but her rather cuter friend had gone for me. When we'd arrived at his apartment, he'd taken his into the kitchen to be alone with her; I was somewhat surprised when her friend pulled me onto his bed and started kissing me.

The next thing I remember is that she's half naked, writhing and squirming beneath me, and Crazy Bob is coming into the room to get some cushions off the bed.

"You better not get any spooge on my bed," he says mildly, going back into the kitchen.

A while later mine is completely undressed and Crazy Bob is coming back into the room to get a condom.

"Uh, break me off one of those," I say, as my girl, delirious with passion and alcohol, is pushing my head down to her crotch and paying no attention whatsoever to Crazy Bob. Soon she's doing a backbend, crying out, as I'm eating her out and sliding a finger into her asshole.

I remember it all, but I remember it in fragments that probably don't go in the right order.

I remember getting up to use the toilet, and then deciding to pay Crazy Bob back the favor by walking in on him and his girl to get a glass of beer from the two-liter plastic jug of it we'd purchased after leaving the nightclub at 4.30am.

His girl is shocked and jumps off of him; I say, "Sorry, just needed a drink."

Outside, my girl, 19 but looking about five years younger, hair messed up and her dress pulled on over no underwear, greets me with a drunken smile, "Hey!" and a kiss. After we both use the toilet, we get back in bed.

Next I remember her naked again, giving her two fingers from behind as she writhed and moaned, pushing her beautiful shapely young ass up into my face.

I did something very unhygeneic, that I once told the guys I'd never do.

The next thing I remember is both of the girls sitting in the bathroom crying. I don't remember why, or what Crazy Bob and I were doing at this time. I think I went and plopped unconscious on the bed. The March sun was up by now, 7:00 am or so, shining mercilessly through the windows.

Then I remember being wrapped around my girl, both of us naked, dozing, and her friend coming and waking her up and telling her they had to go. I also seem to remember Crazy Bob coming in and swinging his penis around and saying, "Where are you going, huh? Stay for a while."

I helped my girl put on her bra, which was white and frilly with red spots. I have no memory of her taking it off, but I clearly remember her putting it back on. She asked me to accompany them outside, but by the time I got my shoes on, they were gone.

"In addition to being kind of pudgy, she was on the rag!" raged Crazy Bob. "It was nauseating!" He would later describe this by SMS as "a festering vagi-volcano of blood and pus."

After he threw me out, I called Crazy Bob and described the lovely butterscotch smell on my fingers, and apologized that my chick had been so unrelentingly sexy and hot while his had not. He shouted obscenities at me and I cackled drunkenly through the snow as I walked home.

* * *

Our second orgy was in May, I believe. He and I had been drinking vodka in my kitchen -- a half-liter bottle -- and he was sending out text messages to all the various girls he'd met prowling the shops and bus-stops during the week.

"I met a girl a few days ago, rather pretty although not the thinnest girl on Earth, and she says she's not far from here on the street with a friend. Should we?"

"Sure," I say.

Indeed his girl is as he says -- rather pretty, honey-colored blond hair, if not exactly svelte. Her friend is the opposite -- small and dark, nice slim little body but not the greatest face ever.

After a short time on the street, Crazy Bob invites them over to my apartment for more drinks. He buys them a bottle of champagne and I get some beer for us.

They're not bad company, and I happen to be in the mood for stupid "Why did you come to Russia?" small talk for once, so things are going well when Crazy Bob takes me aside in the hallway.

"Look," he says. "This girl I was fucking the other night just called me and wants to meet at my apartment. I think I'm going to do it."

I'm pretty rosy-faced drunk at this point, so I say, "Hey no problem baby, you're leaving them in good hands."

"I'll try to make it back in a couple of hours," he says.

I laugh evilly.

He has me surreptitiously call his cell phone; then he mimes one-side of a conversation in which one of our friends is nearby and in trouble with some hooligans and he needs to go to the rescue. "Oh my god, English Teacher R is being devoured by wolves you say? Good heaven, please go help him!" I say in English. Crazy Bob thunders away.

I turn my attention back to the two girls; things have reached the point where a candle has been lit, the lights are out, and dancing has commenced, moving back and forth between radio music in the kitchen and music from my computer in the combo bedroom / living room.

The dark-haired one is really into it, pulling my hand onto her breasts and kissing me; I'm trying to include the blonde one, too, though, as English Teacher etiquette pretty much demands I try to get off with Crazy Bob's girl before the evening is over.

The dark-haired one has had a lot to drink and at one point she lays down on the bed and closes her eyes. I'm dancing with the blonde one and we're twirling around and such but she won't let me kiss her. She keeps disengaging to find "good Russian music" on the radio. By this time it's three a.m. and there's not many choices. She's obsessed with it.

I wake up the dark-haired one and as she's dancing I take her shirt off; she's happy to dance around in her bra for a bit. Then I start dancing with the other one and again the dark-haired one falls asleep.

Crazy Bob calls, a couple hours after he left. "How's it going? What's up? Is it happening?"

"Sorry Bob, bad connection, hiss- zzzz- hssst, can't hear you," I say and hang up.

The blond girl's phone rings, and she's happy to hear Crazy Bob is still alive.

Soon Crazy Bob is ringing the doorbell. I get some cushions from the bed as he enters the hallway with a couple more bottles of beer; I'm carrying them into the kitchen, where the blond girl is still searching the radio for good Russian music.

"What are you doing?" he asks.

"Building a fort," I say as I dump the cushions on the floor and return to my bed, where the dark haired is still sprawled. I wake he up; an enormous smile spreads across her face as i wake her up and pull her bra up and begin unbuttoning her pants.

She won't blow me, though, and there are no condoms in the bedroom -- for some very illogical reason I keep my condoms in the kitchen -- and after some fooling around she says, "Let's get a drink," and we go out to the kitchen. She's pulled her scanty top and jeans back on, I pulled on a pair of shorts.

Crazy Bob and his girl are making out on the cushions; when we go in, Crazy Bob asks, "She keeps asking if we can get in the bed."

I pour drinks for everyone and say, "Hell yeah! Orgy time!"

We all four pile into my not especially large bed. Crazy Bob has his girl's top pulled up and in squeezing and sucking her tits; I've got my hand down mine's pants and am rubbing her clit. She's moaning loudly. I say, "Hey let's have a contest and see who can make their girl come first."

Crazy Bob's girl objects when I try to touch her breasts; my girl is not at all shy about letting Crazy Bob feel her ass however, which we decide is pleasantly small and firm. "Like a 14 year old boy," I say, and the Russian girls like this joke. The dark-haired girl is quite clearly into the orgy scene. . .

Becoming increasingly silly, I put a t-shirt over my head like a ninja mask and strip down to my underwear. I begin giving bizarre orgy instructions in a deep Satanic voice. The dark haired girl pulls my mask off and kisses me.

Crazy Bob tries to pull his girl's pants off and she laughs and screams and objects; this is probably what woke my evil downstairs neighbor up, the old woman with the steel teeth.

He leaves the room for a while and says, "Get them warmed up."

I sweet talk them for a while; the dark-haired one is curled up in the arms of the blonde, spoon style, and I kiss the dark-haired one for a while, and then try to kiss the blonde while the black-haired one is licking one of my nipples but she says it's not right to kiss two girls at the same time. She suggests it would be cool if I kiss Crazy Bob.

"Ah. . . don't think so."

At that point Crazy Bob comes in again, naked, swinging his fairly erect penis around.

We all scream.

"If you come on me I'm going to fucking punch you!" I yell.

He gets into bed, fortunately on the other side of the blond.

The sun was coming up by this time and the magic spell of darkness was broken; I spanked mine on the ass hard a couple times and she got kind of mad. We tried to mollify them but they wanted to leave. Fumbling around for clothes and purses, everybody blinking and blotchy-faced in the morning light.

"We're not very good at this," I say to Crazy Bob.

He shrugs. "I got my nut off twice tonight already, I don't care."

At about that time, the girl he had fucked, still locked in his apartment, calls, screaming.

"Shit, I locked her in. She was asleep. . . I better go let her out, eh?" he says.

"Yeah, I think that would be neighborly."

We show the girls out -- they rush away -- Crazy Bob and I finish our beers in the street, a warm and sunny spring morning, agreeing it had been another swell evening.

When I get upstairs, Crazy Bob calls after about twenty minutes.

"Oh shit. . . I burned the apartment down. I left a candle burning on top of the TV set and it caught on fire somehow."

"You burned it DOWN?"

"Uh, no, there's just a bunch of soot and ash and shit everywhere. . . the TV's a blob of melted plastic. . ."

"And the girl?"

"A bit hysterical but otherwise okay. . . she dumped some water on it and put it out."

"Good thing it wasn't turned on, I guess. . ."

"Shit, this place is fucked. . ."

It was eight a.m. or so at that time. The angry neighbors started pounding on the door.

I ignored them and crawled into bed for some blessed unconsciousness.

Funny postscript: the blond girl forgot her telephone and had to come get it from me on the beach the next day. she was clearly mortified, but the black-haired girl smiled happily, "call me sometime!"


This video happened at a nightclub called Lust. You can see where Crazy Bob's hand is if you look closely.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Sloth

I have to say, I'm not sure why sloth is considered a sin. I mean, if you're not doing anything, well, at least you're not doing anything bad.

I suppose it's in the line of inactivity when you should be working, etc. And that's certainly what I've been doing since I got back in January and they fucked me with that visa thing. I mean, I continue to teach my classes, but generally almost always less than twenty hours per week.

I haven't been Director of Studies for a while now. I'm working part-time, at a rate that would be equivalent to less than minimum wage in America (and now costs are fairly similar.) I ask them for as few hours as possible, and they give me maybe 12 - 15 per week. A lot of my individual students cancel; I got an impromptu three-day weekend this week because of that.

It's awesome.

Anyway, the "Seven Deadly Sins" series concludes soon with "Lust," which as you can imagine is a gruesome story indeed.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Vanity

God, Russian chicks and their love of photography. Ask any Russian girl (any half-way decent looking Russian girl, I should say, which I must admit, is most of them) if she has any pictures of herself, and she will almost certainly have hundreds, most in terribly unsubtle poses.

Any Russian girl returning from a holiday near a beach will probably have a few hundred shots of herself preening in a bikini; even fairly decent-minded Russian girls (which I must admit, is not many of them) will start taking off their tops and making out with other girls. A walk in the park or near the beach on any nice day will see dozens of Russian girls posturing and pouting for the camera in front of the water or the foliage.

A lot of the Russian girls I know use pictures of themselves as screensavers on their computers and telephones. I remember visiting one of my female acquaintances after she'd been having a little "girl party" and she showed me dozens of pictures of them all posing in their underwear.

"Gosh, that's what guys always like to imagine girls do at girl parties," I said. "Who would have actually thought it was true though?"

As far as sins go, however, I suppose that's not even close to being the worst one.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Avarice and Gluttony

It occurs to me that I posted THESE PICTURES without telling the story behind them.

So English Teacher M and I were cruising around the cafes on the riverside embankment; there were a pair of slightly-gnarly looking blonde identical twins, in their mid-twenties perhaps but as usual with Russian chicks looking much older, and particularly so in this case as their skin was sun-damaged beyond belief or repair. They were sitting with a couple of fat even older women.

They were attractive in that beer-goggle, dolled-up Russian girl way, however, and had well-displayed breasts, and we'd had five or six beers already, so English Teacher M made his move and joined their table, and I was also invited to join.


We sat with them for a few hours, buying them copious amounts of beer. I can't remember what we talked about, the usual nonsense. They worked at an auto dealership and weren't married, but I suspected some bad-ass "sponsors" existed somewhere. They looked like real old-school gangster molls.


There was some dancing, but not nearly enough groping to make it very worthwhile; in fact when I asked for one of the blonde girl's phone number, she said she would take mine instead and call me.

Now fun is fun, and we certainly don't begrudge the local trollops the price of a beer or six.

But then they -- all four of them -- ordered shashleek. That's Russian barbecue, and is not cheap at 250 rubles per plate. (About $7 at the current exchange rate.)

English Teacher M balked, ostensibly because of the poor quality of the shashleek at the cafes; he warned them of the dangers of undercooked pork. "Fuck, I don't wanna pay for these bitches to stuff themselves with pig," he muttered in English to me out of the corner of his mouth.

I could see that he'd also received a text message from one of his fuck buddies and was formulating an escape plan.

I decided to be the bold man of action that I am, and got up without saying goodbye and left.

A few hundred yards down the embankment, my phone rang. "Where the fuck did you go! They already ordered the foood." I could tell he was putting it on for the girls.

"Yeah, I did a runner. If you're wise you'll do the same."

"Uh. . ."

"Yeah, just say you're going to the toilet or something and split. What, are they going to chase you?"

"Good idea," he said and hung up.

As it happened I ran into another girl I knew, down the embankment a ways, and the night even had a more-or-less happy ending, although such happy endings after 12 beers or so are never quite THAT happy, at least not in a guy recently turned forty.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Envy and Wrath

My social life, such as it is, has degraded to the point of waiting for different girls I know to call me because they've had fights with their boyfriends or husbands.

I had gone out the night before with one girl I know, whose husband had recently tossed her out (after 8 months of marriage) after a vicious fight with her in-laws. We'd gotten wasted on tequilla and gone to a nightclub: the next day, we were sitting around a beach cafe drinking beer and nursing our hangovers.

While she was in the toilet, I wanly decided to send an email message to another girl I knew. She'd had a fight with her fiancee a few weeks before, and we'd had a long night, she and I and one of her blonde friends, that involved a lot of vodka and redbull, a trip to the sauna, and a sushi breakfast.

I sent the following message:

Russian girls are like the sunshine. Warm and beautiful, and a potential source of burns and cancer.

A few seconds later the phone was ringing.

It was the fiancee, screaming threats.

I gave the telephone to the girl I was sitting with.

"Pretend like he's your husband," I said. "And you're having a fight."

Unfortunately the phone battery died before we got very far into the experiment.

(That's a picture of the inside of the toilet door at the nightclub near my apartment. Kind looks like one of the pylons from LAND OF THE LOST, doesn't it?)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Now That's What I Call Brazen

Here's one of those Russian girl things that particularly annoys me:

You take a girl out on a date, buy her $30 or $40 worth of sushi and martini, and the date then ends with. . .

her calling some other guy she knows with a car to come get her.

Sometimes they're more or less subtle about it; saying that she'll go around the corner and get a car by herself -- patently false because otherwise she'd expect you to pay -- or maybe just that she has some "friends" in the area who she needs to see.

This has happened to me twice this week. As an old Russia hand it has ceased to surprise or shock me, but I still can't help but shake my head in wonderment.

Sometimes this even happens AFTER they come to your apartment and have sex with you.

Brazen, I say. Brazen.

One of my colleagues even had a girl have her new boyfriend drive her over to his house to pick up some stuff she'd left there.

I suppose, to be fair, taking taxis can be dangerous and all, and public transport too.

So can dating Russian chicks. . . got a death threat last week too. More on that in the next entry.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Beach Discussion


Geez that makes my eyes hurt, too. I'll work on it. Click on it, it blows up and you can see it better.

Monday, July 13, 2009

And I Bet Their Boyfriends Threatened Him Afterwards, Too

From the British tabloid, THE SUN:

Diplomat ‘blackmailed by Russians’

By ALEX WEST

Published: 11 Jul 2009

SHAMED British diplomat James Hudson may have been targeted for blackmail by Russian spy agencies, it was hinted last night.

The podgy envoy, who quit in disgrace after being filmed having sex with two hookers, could have been the victim of an elaborate plot by Moscow’s intelligence services.

Speculation was growing that the Russians tried to use the sleazy video to “persuade” Hudson, 37, to work for them — but that he refused and owned up to his UK Government seniors instead.

One security source said: “It is possible that, having been caught, Hudson refused blackmail attempts by the Russians which would have amounted to treachery on his part.

“He may then have admitted his misjudgment to his bosses, being allowed to resign without disciplinary action.”

The film showed Hudson — British Deputy Consul General in the Urals city of Ekaterinburg — romping with two blondes in a brothel.

And the mystery over the video deepened after it emerged it had been posted on the internet for a MONTH without identifying him. He only resigned on the day someone who knew his status offered the story to Russian tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets.

Denis Tokarsky, who runs the Urals edition, said: “A source offers me information from time to time, and on this occasion it was about British diplomat James Hudson. Nobody made me publish it.”

It is not believed Hudson had access to any high-grade secret information so his value to the Russians would have been minimal anyway.

Russian intelligence agency the FSB had no comment but local cops have suggested Hudson might have been blackmailed by criminals trying to extort cash or UK visas. He has gone into hiding since quitting the Foreign Office.

His visibly upset mother Kathleen said at the family home in Poplar, East London: “I haven’t seen or heard anything from James. I don’t know where he is.”

Hudson’s ex-wife Sally told yesterday’s Sun she was revolted by his antics and glad she divorced him in 1997.

* * *

Man, why don't they try that on me? I'll give 'em whatever they want.

I'll leave you to your own devices in finding the video. The hookers look okay, I wonder what he paid for them, or maybe their fee was included with the blackmail money. . .

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Some Reviews of Movies Concerning Russia or Russians

Eastern Promises -- Viggo Mortensen plays a mysterious thug working with a white-slave type ring of Russian gangsters in London and getting involved with a hot blonde English doctor and the abandoned child of one of the prostitutes.

This is a cool movie, and Viggo gets the inscrutible bad-ass Putin imitation down pretty well. And they obviously had advisors about the tattoos and the "Vor V Zakone" old school gangster stuff. Also loved the fight scene in the banya -- that's just the shitty kind of thing Russians would do, jumping you when you're relaxing naked.



They blew a couple of small things however -- a guy like the one Mortensen is playing probably would wear a cropped or shaved head rather than the slicked-back pompodour; and I've been told that those old school gangsters in fact had a rule about never wearing ties. And there's a scene where a guy is drinking vodka out of the bottle, without a shotglass or pickles. Wouldn't happen.

All the white-slave prostitute stuff sounded about right. (Lured with promises, rather than just stuffed in a box, as too many movies would have you believe.)


BIRTHDAY GIRL -- Guy sends off for a Russian mail-order bride and ends up involved in a bank robbery scheme when the girl's Russian "cousins" come to town. This was better than I thought it would be, and Nicole Kidman really nailed the pale, anemic, dead-eyed tawdry sexiness of a Russian girl pretty well. Vincent Cassel is also suitably overbearing, unctuous, violent and threatening as a Russian hood.


A few questions come to mind about how she -- and her cousins -- managed to get visas to go to England so easily, however. Normally he'd have to go see her in Mosocow or wherever.

As for the "happy" ending -- well, without spoiling much, let's just say his troubles might just be beginning, hooked up with a chick like this.

HITMAN -- Video game chraracter Agent 47, gets mixed up in plot to assassinate the "moderate" Russian president and a conspiracy that, coincidentally, involves a Russian hooker. (I'm glad these movies are being accurate about the profession of every single Russian woman on the planet.) The hooker is played by Olga Kurylenko, who is in fact Ukrainian, however, and invests the prostitute with far too much humanity to be an accurate portrayal. She looks pretty awesome naked, though, I must say.

I liked the way the President of Russia's brother was a drug-dealing long-haired slave-trader, although he and his henchmen seemed too Eurotrashy and long-haired to be good Russian thugs. (Not a track-suit in sight.) The KGB -- oh, sorry, I mean FSB -- agent was the usual guy doing a German imitation, however.

Of course, if you wanted to train a bunch of ghost-like inconspicuous international assassins, why you would shave their heads and tattoo a barcode on the back of it is beyond me. . . and why a barcode, anyway? Did they have to scan their heads occasionally to ascertain prices or something? Well, what can you expect from a secret organization that just calls itself "The Organization" . . .