Note: these first 7 photos were all taken within a 50 yard-radius, directly outside of Red Square.
Mickey and Shrek hold it down by some porta-potties. FYI, these potties cost about 50 cents to use, and are some of the unhealthiest pits of sludge in Russia. They usually come in a line of 4 or 5, and the ones on the end are, no shit, used as offices by whichever babushka is collecting money from tourists who need to piss. When I say "office", I mean "hot, stinky broomcloset doubling as surface upon which said babushkas can lean against and sleep until they hear the telltale sound of human waste collecting, at which point they wait outside your porta-potty to make you pay up".
Spongebob keeps it real next to Mickey and Shrek.
A woman feeds one of two enormous hawks tied to a post, in very close vicinity to lots of small children.
The other hawk.
Right next to the hawks stands this man and his monkey.
Twenty feet behind the hawks is Mile Zero, the point in Russia from where all distances in the country are measured. Tourists stand on this and participate in an apparently nouveau-capitalist ritual: hurl change backwards and watch the babushkas gathered behind them scramble to see who can get it first. The gate behind them is the entrance to Red Square. I think these elements kind of represent everything about 21st century Russia.
Two babushkas and one babushka-in-training prepare to scrap it up over a few disputed kopecks at Mile Zero.
Red Square fashion.
I saw this ad in the Metro and thought it was something Rikk would find funny.
During my DJ set at a club called Plan B, two Russians from one of the bands that played before me jumped on stage and started jamming along. It went swimmingly, actually, as they both added some really great stuff.
Me and Vint as I ask Sergei (I think I met 5 guys named Sergei that night) to tone it down a little bit.
A quick snippet of the ruckus on the d-floor during my set.
At this point in the chronology, things get extra lost, resulting in the aforementioned threats of assault on my person and attempt to sleep in a dumpster. On the way home at 6:30am, we passed by these wild dogs eating what look frighteningly like human remains. FOR REAL--IF YOU SQUEAMISH, STOP NOW. It's very possible that these were animal bones from a butcher's shop, but there are enough half-dead people passed out on the streets that it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that they are human remains.
The next day, these guys were feeling the post-Soviet blues in the Metro station.