Sunday, 1 August 2010

Summer has come... I almost wish it hadn't

Yes it's incredibly lazy to just embed YouTube vids haphazardly, but it saves me time because I'm awfully lethargic. Since the last post I've been in between jobs - which actually means I've been doing two jobs until the latter is done with - so the prospect of coming home to read and write more stuff (that I won't get paid for) has been a little unappealing. That and the year-long honeymoon period of keeping a blog has nearly ended. But fret not, I shall endure!

Coming back to Martha and The Vandellas, it's been hot. No really. It started off as fun, but then came forest and turf fires, thick smog from the infernos completely blanketing parts of the capital, people's dachas (country houses) burning down in the Moscow outskirts, crop failures, and states of emergency being declared in 20+ regions of Russia. The past three weeks of drought have been hellish for a lot of people, but it's finally cooling down.

As a result it has added to the whole being idle thing. I have mostly hidden away indoors because there are only so many sunbeams the Northern Irish tan can take, as well as the fact that I am being less wild with my money - though what I would be spending on eating out is now being spent on keeping my air conditioner working overtime (my bedroom window faces the setting sun). On top of all that, the student loan Sword-of-Damascus over my head has finally made me paranoid enough to start paying it off.

So what is there to say? Well, my friend Mitya (formally Dmitry; Russians have various diminutives, e.g. Benjamin = Ben/Benny/Benster etc.) has finally released his first book, called «Секс в саду камней» (Seks v sah-doo kahm-neigh) which means... umm... "Sex in the Stone Garden". It's an erotic satire consisting of a collection of short stories, of which I've read the first four, which revolves around Japanese culture.

The huge irony is that, while Mitya spent a lot of time in China in his formative years, he has never once set foot in Japan, and instead bases his stories on various stereotypes and his own perverted mind. With each passage, I begin to look at him in a slightly different light, as they get ever more extreme in content, but all the more hilarious.

Pending his approval, I'll eventually put pictures of the book presentation, which took place at the Mayakovsky Museum, on my flickr account. It should be noted that in order for any book to be printed in Russia, the publishers must have a letter from what is ostensibly the propaganda ministry declaring that it does not contain extremist material. I would have been interested to see the expressions on their faces upon seeing the cover of Mitya's opus land on their desk.

Aside from potential book pics, a lot of (mostly untitled) photos have been added to the new Moscow 2010 flickr album They feature sunshine, and there are some ladies contained therein. Enjoy.

Update: Moscow continues to be enveloped in smog. There was brief respite on Friday afternoon, but it came back with a vengeance at the weekend. I took some pics last Wednesday, which more or less show what it's like currently.

But if that's not enough for you, someone made a video on YouTube of what it's like.

Thankfully I have an air conditioner in my apartment, as well as some surgical masks.

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