There is an expression in Russian - Какая муха тебя укусила (ka-kaya moo-kha tib-ya oo-koo-seal-ah) - which literally translates as "What bug bit you?" but means something closer to "what's the matter with you? or "what bit you on the ass?".
I wish I knew what had sunk its fangs into me while I was walking around the Moscow Country Club's golf course one evening last summer, because it surely couldn't have been an insect, or букашка (bu-kash-ka). One potential suspect is the слепень (sleh-pen) or horsefly.
Getting bitten by a horsefly isn't pleasant. I last encountered these assholes back in Sarapul, my friend's Siberian home town, several years ago. Unlike a mosquito (комар - koh-marr), which just sort of stings a moment after it's long since buggered off, you can actually feel (well I certainly did) these arrogant bastards digging into your flesh. A victim's vengeance can be swift, however, as they don't fly very fast.
Nonetheless, it didn't seem as though a horsefly was the culprit, because I ended up feverish that night. A couple of days later I had to go to the doctor's for antibiotics (антибиотики anti-biotiki) as my right hand (правая рука - prah-va-ya roo-ka) ended up swollen to the point where my knuckles were no longer visible. So yeah, don't go anywhere near Russian nature.
Also contributing to last summer's countryside hijinx was a trip out to a place called Ruza. It's roughly a hundred kilometers west of Moscow, and you have to grab a train out to the small town of Tuchkova first before getting a taxi the rest of the way.
Once at Ruza, the local kids summer camp, or лагерь (lah-ger), was hosting a tango marathon called "El Huracan".
There some other bloodsuckers decided to feast solely on my feet, which is exactly what you want when you're dancing for three days straight. Regardless, the three days I spent there were marvelous and exactly the kind of weekend I needed. If it's not clear from the previous video, the dancing was all outdoors in a marquee at this summer camp.
But not content to limit my injuries to mere insect bites, I managed to screw up my left shoulder (левое плечо - leh-vo-ye pleh-cho) briefly. Way back in 2003, I did a magnificent job of yanking my left arm out of its socket (вывих плеча - vy-vikh pleh-cha) with the help of a cartwheeling pratfall on a dry ski slope. For those who live in countries with snow, this is what a dry ski slope looks like.
Dry ski slopes are a series of hard plastic spikes arranged in a diamond lattice with water sprayed on top, letting you (barely) slide over them. They are also the most miserable things you'll ever see and nothing like proper snow (снег - snyeg).
Since that time, like Mr. Pringle said, once you pop, you can't stop, because dislocations don't work the same way as broken bones do. In most cases when a bone (кость - kost') is broken, it grows back stronger, but dislocations don't get that Wolverine luxury. The glenohumeral joint is not load-bearing, which makes it inherently unstable. Get yourself into the right position like, I dunno, tumbling face forward downhill after tripping over a slalom pole and breaking your fall with your left arm, and ta-dah! Your muscles in that arm are now screaming in agony and you're not allowed any morphine until the x-ray is done. To top it all off your muscles are now weaker, increasing the chances of it happening again next time you decide to windmill your arms about.
I did eventually get surgery, leaving me with an awesome scar, followed by months of physiotherapy not unlike in the previous post. Of course, in my idiocy I ended up popping my arm out again a few years later.
Since then there's been one or two close calls - at tango class of course - but nothing requiring a trip to the hospital with me screaming like a girl. As much fun as it is, I think I'll stop talking about my medical ailments for now.
I'm on instagram nowadays. I don't post anything artsy. Mostly posters for shitty bands who - as mentioned in the U2 concert post a while ago - can only make money nowadays by touring countries who for some baffling reason still have some misplaced nostalgia in them.
|Go on - name ONE of their songs, and no googling|
Failing that it's pictures of my neighbor's sweet ride.
Periodically I end up leaving my umbrella hanging on the handlebars while I unlock the front door and then forget to pick it up again. To date, the umbrella (зонтик - zon-tick) has still not been stolen away from me those nights I've forgotten about it, which only goes to show how bad ass his bike is.