Tenspeed & Brownshoe

Monday, April 03, 2006

No, that's not the dad from ALF.

It's Vladimir Putin.


Where was I?

Oh yeah...

ACT II: "What do you think of our country? Please translate..."

I soon realized that my initial impression of Russia was kind of...off. Apparently not every guy in Russia looks like Drago. Just the ones at the airport.

The next day my girlfriend wanted to take me to see RED SQUARE. How could I resist? I've seen that place in so many action movies (and a boring Sean Connery one) that I just had to see it up close. But before we left, she said something to me that sent shivers down my spine. She said, Don't forget your papers.

Don't forget my papers?

I was pretty sure she meant "passport" but that's still kind of a scary concept. When she said the word papers, it made me think of 1942 Germany and I was Anne Frank, destined to keep all my thoughts in a journal...hopefully I'll lose my virginity to that nice Jewish boy. No, it was just my passport. But the Russian police are prone to random searches and it was imperative that I carried my passport at all times. On a side note: Every where else in the world, the police are referred to as "the police". In Russia, the police are referred to as The Militia. And if you ever saw one up close you'd understand why.

To get to Red Square we had to take the subway. She warned me that the subways are packed and crazy with people all rushing to get to their destination. She warned me that they'd be rude and pushy. Obviously she forgot that I'm from New York. The Rude and Pushy capital of the world. And the Russian subways are pretty much the same. The only difference was that nobody could understand me when I called them an asshole. Actually, there is one major difference. Efficiency. The subways are so efficient I felt embarrased for the MTA. And then I felt pissed off. First of all, the escalators in the subway system FLY. This is not an exaggeration. They're fast as hell. I'm guessing around 7 mph. I know that looks slow with that single digit just lying there but it isn't. Most escalators go about 2 mph. In a Russian subway: 7mph. In fact, whenever we'd get to the bottom or the top, the metal stairs would literally launch commuters onto the floor. I counted at least 5 people who would lose their balance, including myself of course. The subway trains need bear a special note. Subway trains come about every minute. Yes, that's right every minute. If a train was too packed, my girlfriend would tell me that we'd have to wait for the next train. Before I could even say "SHIT!", another train would come whizzing into the station. Lastly, here's somthing that would NEVER happen in NY. When a train is approaching a station, the doors would open before the train stopped. And people would jump off...Before the train stopped.

How's that for efficiency?

So when we got off the train and walked into Red Square, the funniest thing happened. 4 people (2 guys and 2 girls) walked up to us and asked if we could take a picture of them. At least that's what my girlfriend initially thought. Nope. Turned out they wanted to take a picture of me with the 2 girls. Strange. I thought maybe it was a sex thing. You know, 3 on 3. I believe it's called Borschting. Which is Russian for "No, my brother. You got to get your own."

Not 20 seconds after that, an actual camera crew complete with pretty lady and a microphone ran up to me and asked if they could interview me.

Ahhh...okay, so what was occuring here was that they thought I was a famous...something. Which I guess would make sense to them considering I was the only, and I mean ONLY black guy there. And it was obvious that I was from The States. Now this is the first time anything like that has ever happened to me. Probably because I don't look like anybody. I mean that. I don't resemble a soul. Which is funny because my girlfriend looks scarily like Cameron Diaz. When she was in NY, she was stopped all the time. Now it was my turn because I look like...I don't know, Ben Vereen?

So the interview lady would fire all these questions at Anya, wait for her to translate and then I would answer. The most important question would be: "Vam nravitsya nasha strana? Pozaluista perevedite...". Which means, How do you like our country? Please translate...

Please translate after every damn question.

I fought every urge in my body not to say, "Just read my blog bitch. Please translate..."

Apparently this was for Central Television which is the equivalent to America's NBC sans Matt Leblanc. Then again, NBC is now sans Matt Leblanc, finally. I think it will probably take them a bit to figure out that I'm some stupid producer from NY...not Ben Vereen. Oh well, at least now I know how Zhang Ziyi feels...

P.S. One more ACT to follow.