Saturday, October 9, 2010

Beautiful and Dirty Rich

I arrived to Moscow, happy to become reacquainted with this city of my past.  My first experience in Moscow was shrouded in dishevelment and sleep deprivation.  Instead of using the train system to get from St. Petersburg to Moscow, we were forced to take an old Soviet style bus that sputtered along the somewhat unpaved roads, because my study abroad program was banned from taking the train system.  Why you might ask?  Turns out the students hosted a Toga Party, got ridiculously drunk and made fools of themselves.  At the time I though this was ridiculous, but having lived on the trains for the past few weeks, I can see how this scenario is totally plausible.  Unable to sleep on the bus ride to Moscow, feeling incredibly dirty after sweating through the night, and wearing tennis shoes all sucked enjoyment out of my first experience with the capital of Russia.  

This time, I resolved that it would be different.  After almost a month of carrying around more makeup than necessary for a backpacker who is traveling for 3 months, buying a hair straightener in Beijing, and carrying a pair of useless heels, I finally am reaping the benefits. 

My traveling tip for you: If a club in a foreign country looks like they are doing Face Control (controlling the people who come into the club based on how cool they look) just speak in English and tell them you are from California.  Works every time.  Second tip: Do not be afraid if an old Russian man walks up to you to smell your beer to make sure it is of high quality.  This is an act of friendship.

The clubs we went to that night did not disappoint.  We spent the evening dancing to tunes such as Shake, Rock and Roll, Girls just wanna have fun, The Ghost Busters Theme, popular hit by Romanian band Ozone, Cotton-Eyed Joe, Vanilla Ice, Hammer Time, and a few other random eclectic songs.  My favorite random song was played at the end of the night.  It was meant to be a slow romantic song - but there is nothing romantic about slow dancing to Stan by Eminem (song about a deranged fan who drive his car over a bridge with his pregnant girlfriend in the trunk).  "Oh hunny, dance with me!  They are playing our song!"

At the end of the night, or start of the morning as it was already about 6:15AM when we finally got to go home, we decided it would be best to take a short cab ride home. I flagged down a taxi, asked him in Russian if he could take us to our hostel.

Cab Driver: "No, that is too close.  It is better if you just walk."
Erica: "Please, sir.  I am so tired,  We will pay you.  Help me"
Cab Driver: "No, you walk."

He drove away and I was left wondering if he learned his taxist manners in China.

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