You know you're in Russia when...fuck, you broke your camera and there's an SUV with jaguars airbrushed all over it right outside your front door. And there's a babushka in the metro swaddled in dirty clothes and pastel handkerchief per usual, but she's augmented this season's style with some huge fake Dior sunglasses with transparent gray-pink lenses. Or you go out drinking with colleagues at "Zolotaya Vobla," which is basically the Russian version of Applebee's, which is to say that it's a total Bizarro-world Applebee's, complete with incredible Bizarro-world Infectious Blues Band.
But at least this hideous behemoth with an eagle was available before the camera was broken.
This is what happens to snow when it doesn't melt initially.
A co-worker exhaling post-work.
An ad for fragrances you can use in your car. I wonder if "Extreme" actually smells like a real Russian car: B.O., cologne and cigarette smoke.
This is an ice bar, which is basically a room full of ice in the back of a gourmet grocery store. There's no bartender, not to mention patrons. To get any service you just have to find someone who works in the grocery store and tell them you want to hang out in this freezing room for a while.
Another lost-eye view from the dancefloor. The excited head popping up in the bottom is one of my roommates. This was the last photo taken before the camera was broken.
OK: since the camera has been broken and this will probably be my last post until January, since I'll be home in 5 days, I'll leave you with one of Russia's most fascinating contemporary personalities: Nikolai Valuev, the current WBA heavyweight champion of the world. He's seven feet tall and eats three kilograms of meat every day.
Valuev fighting, or rather, playing with, John Ruiz, who of course lost.
Valuev at home with his wife, Galya, who he apparently wooed with poetry he wrote himself. I don't see how this shit works. Isn't there some sort of law?
LOOK! He's jowling without moving his eyes! A true master.
Another touching shot of him letting some little kid play in the ring.
Now, if you're Evander Holyfield, and you were once the heavyweight champ but now you've got some serious financial troubles, and maybe you saw "Rocky Balboa" a few too many times, what do you do to raise money so that your next $10 million dollar estate won't get foreclosed on?
You challenge Valuev, who is 11 inches taller and 11 years younger than you are, in order to take back your title.
I mean, HOLY SHIT, look how fast this thing moves! Evander, take it back, man, it's not gonna happen for you.
OH SHIT! Last week was this guy's birthday!
OH SHIT AGAIN! Today is THIS guy's birthday!