February 6, 2012

Once upon a time, I weaved a short tale of drunken antics and rogue, but economically minded, prostitutes inhabiting the dank space beneath a high-end Russian hotel.

Since that post was about traveling in general, not solely about my time in Russia, I dropped bits and pieces of stories, just enough to get you interested in what really happened overseas.

It was like that first Pringle. Once you pop… well, you know.

Before my time in Russia, I had been told basically the worst things about the country.

The Cold War. The KGB. Yakov Smirnoff.

You know… the bad stuff.

I knew there was poverty and crime. Of course, this made me realize the similarities between their country and ours.

Regardless, when I was 16, I had the opportunity to visit the glorious golden fields of Moscow.

Of course, the golden fields and green trees are almost always covered with heinous amounts of snow, so they never get to live up to their full potential.

And flying in right after Christmas meant we were ensured to face the most bitterly cold conditions of the year.

The temperature hung around 15 degrees the entire time we were there. We were told that it was a “heat wave.”

Apparently, it should have been around -20 instead.

So, we hit our first stop, a small orphanage/boarding school in Elektrostal, a city east of Moscow, where we stayed for most of our two weeks.

We were fed warm borscht at lunch and cold vodka at dinner.

Yes, I was 16. Yes, they gave me vodka. Yes, that was the first time I had alcohol.

Perhaps that explains my penchant for drinking White Russians now.

I won’t recap the stuff I wrote in the “Traveling” post. You can follow the link and get all of that. Just know that it is absolutely true.


Even the hooker discount card, and I really do still have mine because I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to use it. It’s tucked in my scrapbook between the hotel key and some weird chocolate wrapper that is covered in Cyrillic characters.

One thing I do recall fondly is the attention that I got from the women. I was a young American boy in a country with a low age of consent and somewhat negligible sex laws. What wasn’t to like?

The trip overseas turned things sideways for the boys who were used to all the attention back home. The thinner, sinewy boys were looked over by the ladies, and the far larger fellows on the trip (myself included) received most of the attention.

Apparently, larger men are assumed to be wealthy in countries like Russia. They think that larger men have enough money to eat well and keep a few more pounds on their bones.

So, the ladies wanted me, and I was happy to oblige…

well, as far as flirting and dancing went.

I swear I still had my card when I came back.





This is not included in the 500 word limit.

Thanks to Sam Jones for yet another challenge.

It turned more into a travel thing again, but I have so many stories from Russia that I can’t really ever get them all out.

And I did have my card when I got back, and I’m not just talking about the hooker discount card. Whoa.

Truly ghjr


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