Monastery

Have you ever seen a rainbow imprinted on the clouds from above? Looks like those puddles of oil on the concrete.

Cinema “Sovremennik”

“Please take a look at clouds, you’ll see I’m standing all above, I’m stranded” (THOT)

If you are forced to fly as frequently as I am, it becomes quite a bore after a while. Limited hearing and moving abilities. A poor variety of scenery containing mostly chaotic patchworks of sandy brown and dark green with crystal beading of towns and villages and silver lining of rivers here and there. Poetic? Faceless. Always the same. Otherwise it’s just clouds. I hate flying. A turbulent purgatory between leaving and arriving, between a place to become my home and a place that used to be my home.
Anyhow, after almost 6 hours of sitting around, waiting and experiencing an absolute gastronomical disappointment I finally arrived in the capital of Mother Russia – bright and shiny always awake Moscow-City.

Bust of Stalin and a patchwork blanket made by children as a tribute to diseased during World War II

Perhaps I should say a bit about how I got stuck in between terminals like Tom Hanks in the first place. Long story short, five years ago I moved from Moscow to Northern Germany, let’s say, to study. After years of disastrous emotional roller-coaster and personal drama I got my bachelor degree and experienced the perks of Bologna process full throttle. Since my whole family still lives in Moscow, I try to visit them every summer. And every summer everything is the same, yet somehow totally different. The ship is sinking. The rats aren’t leaving the ship. I feel like I was the only one. The wall is still there, higher than ever. I’m watching my ship as it’s being devoured by thick cold waves of hopelessness.

A flooded road

Seriously, I looked everywhere. There was absolutely no hope to find here. I turned on the TV and the first thing I saw was the band Pussy Riot, punk-rock cats being held captive behind the bars for a little bit of riot. In my mother’s eyes they are terrorists. In my mother’s eyes Mr. President is kind of okay. But she’s awesome anyway. Like all those gorgeous women in those hideous outfits and incredible sadness in their eyes. And here I am, at my grandfather’s desk writing about things and people that molded me into who and what I am now. People like my grandfather, a sailor, an artist, a musician and a university professor all in one. He was passionate about everything he did. Especially about those love letters my mama still keeps in here secret drawers. She kept every single letter and he kept every single promise. And these people… I lived in Russia 18 years, perhaps, I might consider myself Russian in certain ways (if I would care about such crap as nationalities in the first place), but I still don’t even remotely get them. Maybe I will be able to show you what I mean.

Translation: Workers of Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Ivanovo has proven that revolution cannot be repressed (by Lenin)

Well, back to facts. I actually wasn’t born in Moscow. My hometown lies about 300 km north-easterly from the capital, which is in Russian measurements simply a walking distance. I used to spend here every summer as a kid. In retrospect, it was a time travel every time. The world froze somewhere between 50’s and 90’s. The stuff in the stores was about 30 per cent cheaper than in Moscow, so were the bus tickets, you could find multiple Lenin’s, Karl Marx’s and Friedrich Engels’s carved in stone around the town and almost every second street was named after some general, colonel or guerrilla from the war/revolution. Except for Stalin, of course, because he was, clearly, a bad guy. And look at them now: they have McDonald’s, shopping malls, nazis, punk-rock, traffic jams, emo kids and all kinds of fancy big city stuff. Thank you, internet. But the hair is still really bad. There’s a funny thing though. There is a very special record store about five minutes away from the place my grandma lives. And every year I find super rare CD’s there. I mean not rare rare, more what-the-hell-are-those-bands-doing-in-this-town kind of rare. For example, yesterday I bought myself a nice treat of a record: ULVER Wars Of The Roses. Now how about that? It may seem like nothing special, but it is actually very freaking unbelievable.

Old town circus

And there’s this thing. It’s called “Children’ town” (Detskij Gorodok) and I have absolutely no idea how to explain what it is. It is a kind of an enormous playground with ladders, carousels and slopes, giant, rusty and very creepy. I basically grew up there. I think it was built in early 70’s by a guy who lived in the same house my mom grew up in. He collected tons of disposed metal waste and built everything by himself so that kids could have a place to play, run around, go crazy and collect bruises. Unfortunately, it was mostly destroyed by age and teenagers suffering from suburban boredom.
Thank God, we have technology. Hence, I will do my best to expand my poor verbal presentations by digital visualizations like photos and maybe even videos. I would also love to introduce some extraordinary people to you via interviews… It’s gonna be a ride.