Day of the Constitution of the Russian Government/День Конституции Российской Федерации: We, the multinational people
Russia is a constitutional democracy…on paper anyway.Details
Spending New Year’s in Russia is very much like working for a Russian company: most expats try it once, and then give it up because it’s way too dysfunctional and the food is terrible.”
Russia is a constitutional democracy…on paper anyway.
A Head of IT with trophy heads on his wall and no computer in his office…par for the course on Information Technology Day in Russia!
Rule of Law Lipstick? What?
Normally I don’t give a toss (pun intended) about where or when the World Cup happens, so what I want to know today is what are the FIFA people on and where can I get some of it? What can they be thinking?
Grown men talk in reverent tones about an inanimate noun as if it was a living, breathing thing: “The Market likes it,” they would say, or “The Market wasn’t sure how to take it.” And the syntax worried me: this crowd used “team” as a verb, and “win” as a noun.
It’s hard to be a humor columnist in Russia…so many subjects are off limits. This month, three time is the charm for this columnist!
Russians have their own Santa Claus (I know, right?) called Dyed Moroz and today is his birthday! He’s longer and leaner than Santa, much older, lives way further south, and is logistically challenged. Find out more!
Sberbank — the National Savings Bank of Russia. Next to that sweet spot between mattress and the box spring (which enjoys the only AAA rating in Russia) Sberbank is right up there in terms of reliability.
Dividing My Time turns one today! And what better way than celebrating with Russia’s militia, who are holding HRH hostage with 18-year old Scotch while I have my own entanglement with Noho’s finest! Log in and join the celebration!
Recently, a reader of my posts to the Russian-language BBC’s “Strana Russia,” warned me to lay off the satire about Russia, using a Russian proverb: “don’t take your own charter to another’s monastery.” [“Со своим уставом в чужой монастырь не ходят.”] What the reader was trying to convey was that no foreigner should never ever presume to write about Russia, and certainly never in a humorous or negative vein. Here’s my response.
Today marks the 100th post of Dividing My Time! And what better way to celebrate than by raking the surly crowd who make you get leprosy tests and Latin-Russian translations of your college diploma by papal nuncios…its another HR day!!
To get HRH to agree to shell out 5 figures for comprehensive international health insurance/medical evacuation with the dangerous sports rider, bodily remains clause, and optional US/Canada coverage, I resorted to what is known in the parenting world as “re-direction.” I asked for the world’s most expensive handbag instead…
The term of mandatory military service in Russia was recently reduced from two years to 12 months, which didn’t noticeably swell the ranks. Conscription remains for many young men a brutal first step in to the world of adulthood. I can’t think the food is up to much either.
According to my uber-reliable cyber buddy, Russian Sphinx, only 32.2% of Russians use the Internet, which seems woefully little for a country that has an almost monopolistic lock up on the cyber bride/dating concession.
The Pioneer Valley is, of course, a parenting Shangri-La. This is where you come if you want to be a hardcore breast-feeder until your child is old enough to go to the Middle School (which is the weak link in the public school chain, so many parents just keep the nursing through 8th grade).
In the world HRH grew up in, if you wanted a job, you made some phone calls to someone who knew someone, who might put in a good word for you. Executive jobs with great income streams might require a “business sauna” where all the parties met up at a sauna, got naked and beat one another with branches to seal the deal. You know the kind of thing.
Russian secretaries are part pit bull terrier, part Nanny, and part GPS system.
In the Putin era, the Guards are brought out of retirement, dusted off, and put to work again for the greater glory of Russia’s new empire: along with double-headed eagles, the Orthodox Church, money, and good old Russian excess.
“Well, what else do you think she needs for school?” I exploded, “a wand from Ollivanders…or maybe Quidditch pads?”
You have to hand it to the Russians, sometimes. Full marks for not giving up, where others might. In attempting to break through the Swedish lines, the Russians decided to drag their galleys across the peninsula on land, which can’t have been a walk in the park.
Construction companies in Russia, particularly state construction companies, are widely understood to be swindlers, thieves, bandits, money launderers and purveyors of shoddy products, delivered way over schedule and budget.
While Russia burns…the Kremlin works on a cosmetic name change for Moscow’s finest.
Three marriage proposals, eight invitations to drink beer, and encouragement to hop in the fountain with men who jump out of parachutes into war zones for a living. I’m having a blast in Gorky Park!
Twice, I traveled to Siberia to ride on portions of the famous Trans-Siberian railway: I’m still getting over having to explain to a woman from New York that the train did not offer pedicures, although what a very good idea that is!
Anecdotal Russian history says Vladimir was leaning towards Islam, but when the Ambassadors revealed the teetotaler clause in the fine print of the Koran, Vladimir gravely shook his head, proclaiming, “Drink is the great joy of the Russian people!” So he chose Eastern Orthodoxy instead.
Looking for reasonably priced, tolerably drinkable, New World Chardonnay that doesn’t taste like paint thinner in Russia is an experience akin to panning for gold in California in the 19th Century
Metals companies make a lot of money, which could, I suppose, make them fun to work for, were it not for the fact that they are all located in remote, inclement, and inhospitable regions of Russia’s interior – many of which began life as gulag penal colonies.
The peat bogs outside Moscow are burning, spreading their acrid, foul-smelling smoke into the city. Now I know what Mordor smell’s like…
In 1991, HRH and I were not living lives that were destined or designed to intersect. I was traveling the world as a free-lance tour guide and he was settling down to life in a military dormitory as a young 2nd Lieutenant in the Red Army.