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!Details
Day of Holy Baptism by the Apostolic Great Prince Vladimir as Basil /День равноапостольного великого князя Владимира, во святом крещении Василия (1015): Russia Goes Christian
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.Details
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 CenturyDetails
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.Details
Day of the Founding of the State Fire Inspectorate /День создания органов государственного пожарного надзора: Where There Is Smoke
The peat bogs outside Moscow are burning, spreading their acrid, foul-smelling smoke into the city. Now I know what Mordor smell’s like…Details
The Birthday of the Naval Aviation of the Military Naval Fleet of Russia/День рождения морской авиации ВМФ России: How I Met HRH
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.Details
“What has been the most…just amazing thing about living in Russia for 17 years,” asked an American visitor.
“Affordable smoked salmon.” I answered promptly, which made everyone laugh for some reason.
If Dmitry Medvedev is really serious about beefing up Russia’s economy, he ought to put Skolkovo on the back burner and turn up the flame on the catalog mail order business!Details
Lighting is another one of those issues that makes me gnash my teeth here, particularly in my own living room, where we have 400 watt, gut-wrenchingly expensive recessed lighting and no dimmer.Details
The All-Russia Day of Family, Love, and Fidelity/Всероссийский день семьи, любви и верности: Happy Families
Today’s holiday affords a timely reminder to any tempted to stray from the bosom of the family, what an awfully big mistake that would be. Take Anna Karenina for example…Details