Tenspeed & Brownshoe

Friday, April 07, 2006

I hate Lufthansa. But I'll get to that later.

Act III: Dr. Strangkova or How I Learned To Stopped Worrying and Love Russia.

So here I am, back in The United States writing this post from the comfort of my own home. I travel a lot and Russia will indeed be one of the more memorable trips I've ever had.


Because I kind of feel like that squirrel that runs across a highway. It should've been run over but somehow the squirrel made it to the other side of the street unbeknownst to how close it came to being run over by those new Chryslers that kind of look like Bentleys. There are no two ways about it, Russia is not a pleasure travel destination. But by the last couple of days I learned to appreciate the country for its blatant stereotypical way of living. So...I kind of enjoyed it. Here's why:

  • If the Militia pulls you over, you really don't have to worry about getting a ticket. You just pay them off and hope it's enough. (No, really. This happened).
  • I can't stress how much I loved the subways. No waiting. Ever. And it never smelled like urine.
  • My girlfriend is going to kill me for this but I have to bring this up. The women there are gorgeous. No, not pretty. GORGEOUS. I'm not a mathematician but the numbers have got to be like 93% gorgeous, 5% very attractive, 5% okay looking. How much is that? And it's not like visiting most countries where everyone generally looks exactly alike. The women were all mixed with the neighboring countries so...yeah. Good times.
  • Russian television. Everything is dubbed in Russian. I watched a martial arts movie that was spoken in Mandarin, dubbed in English, and then re-dubbed in Russian. The result? HILARIOUS.

I also figured a couple of other things out as well. Remember that story I told where the 2 girls wanted to take a picture of me and the camera crew did the interview. Originally I thought it was a case of mistaken identity. I was wrong. Here's the thing. On day 5 I finally saw another black person. He was obviously from Africa and he kept his eyes trained on the floor. The next day I saw another black guy, same thing. But they did look at me. They didn't say anything but their eyes spoke volumes. They were saying:

"Help! Help Me!!"

I kind of felt like Oskar Schindler. Maybe I could help them. But I didn't. They were trapped. They were beaten. And that's when I figured out the whole picture taking and the interview thing. To the people in Red Square, to Russians, I must've looked like I was from another planet. I must have looked like a complete alien. Not like ET, the even weirder alien from Mac & Me. My behavior--the constant smile and silliness--was totally bizarre to them. The only thing they could do was get it on tape and hope that someone believed them when they say a molasses colored man was acting like a jackass in their country.

So that was my trip. I went there entirely for my girfriend but I learned a couple of things. And one of them was that in the real world...Drago would've kicked Rocky's ass.


On the way back home I had the worst flight of my life. The seats on Lufthansa were so small that there were at least 30 people standing in the aisles trying to relieve the intense pain. I will never fly Lufthansa again. I was sitting next to a 120 pound lesbian and even she could barely fit in her seat. So, in honor of the plane ride I've written this haiku.


Concrete slabs you call seats, tiny and unforgiving, I think you gave my ass exuma...fuck you.