Sunday, October 14, 2012
Turn And Face The Strange Changes
Okay, first order of business is to address some comments made recently on the internet along the lines of "Oh,English Teacher X is full of shit, he just got old, Russia hasn't changed."
First of all -- I DEFINITELY got old. I'm 43. I have flecks of not just grey but pure WHITE in my hair. I cherish them as reminders of my mortality.
But what I have to offer you is perspective -- what happens at the end of a long run like that? Is bitterness and death inevitable, or is there a happy ending? How do you extend, change or conclude a life spent fucking around?
'Cause we're all getting older baby. Me, you, Britney Spears, everybody.
Second of all -- of COURSE FUCKING RUSSIA CHANGED A LOT! I was there for NINE YEARS! I first went there TWELVE FUCKING YEARS AGO! A lot of you were probably in middle school then.
Back when I got to Russia, people listened to CASSETTE TAPES! You know what those are? No of course you don't. Google it and find out.
Can you still get laid and have fun in Russia? Well hells yeah! Where did I say you can't? You're a fucking awesome playa, right?
But it's a Russia that costs four or five times as much, has a lot more restrictions on drinking in public, has high-speed trains and shopping malls, has about eight times as many cars as it had, has 8 percent of the world's billionaires, and has 116 countries that Russians can now visit without visas. You don't even have to go to Russia to meet Russians anymore!
In general for a foreign visitor there, it'll be much better than it was back in 2000. There's a wider choice of food options, it's easier to get clothes and electronics and shit, and easier to get around without speaking the language. And you probably won't have to wash your clothes in the bathtub.
Someone made the comment:
Less enjoyable is all this business of this is a Russia that’s gone. Really? Shopping malls and Russian x factor aside, you can still see a 3 wheeled car on a motorway and still get put in jail for 2 years just for doing a silly dance in a Church…
Yeah, you know who was doing that silly dance? A feminist punk rock art collective!
The mere fact of their existence shows how much shit has changed. Feminist art rock?? Russian pop music in 2002 consisted of 16-year-old fake lesbian schoolgirls:
So it's not like I was there for two years or something, I was there for nearly a DECADE. The whole WORLD fucking changed. Now the USA and EU are broke and China and Russia have big cash surpluses.
So it's still Russia and it's still a Russian experience, and Russian chicks are still awesome, but it's changed tremendously. Don't take my word for it, get a second opinion.
You know what's worse than an old guy who complains that everything has changed? An old guy who hangs around pretending nothing has changed.