Play the Hand You’re Smelt

   I’m pleased to report that male chauvinism is alive and well in Russia, a fact that was brought home to me recently at a gathering of some of HRH’s military school buddies. Readers of this blog will remember Borya, who hails from the polar naval base of Zapolyarniy and is Russia’s poster child for male […]

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Charge up your Light Brigades, Chaps! It’s Crimea 2.0!

Lucy Milne made two rather foolhardy bets last night over the sukiyaki and sushi. She bet 50 bucks that Hillary Clinton will absolutely be the next president of the United States. Not just the Democratic nominee, but President. I took that bet, and have already decided to invest the proceeds in Sarah Happ lip scrub, which […]

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Vladimir Putin’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

On one thing, at least, Vladimir Putin and I can agree:  this week has been uphill work. In just seven, action-packed days, we’ve gone from Russia Redux to Russia Redundant.  To recap: the harbinger of doom (dark figure skating costume; dark words) Evgeny Plushenko pulled out of the men’s short program, putting paid to any […]

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Valentine’s Day/День Святого Валентина: Romance: A Primer

  Today is Valentine’s Day!  Russians have taken to this holiday with gusto!  You can’t move in Moscow today without tripping over something heart-shaped or red.   St. Valentine was a Roman who performed the Christian marriage rite when Christianity was about as legal as gay marriage.   He was imprisoned and…well, you know the […]

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Russia, Olympics

Test Your Knowledge of Russia — History and Geography

Readers, the Olympics are less than a month away! The eyes of the world will soon be trained on Russia! Be sure you aren’t caught out in your expert knowledge of Russian history and geography! So, how did you do?  Are you a serf or a tsar?  Admittedly, these are hard questions, but Russia Lite […]

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Новый Год

New Year’s/Новый год: Is This Christmas??

The holiday season in our American-Russian family is a marathon, not a sprint.

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A Tale of Two Torches: The Week in Review

Cabin Fever Strikes A sinus infection – I seem to get one each time I re-enter Russia after an absence of more than two weeks – has kept me indoors for a few days, resulting in an ancillary case of cabin fever. I’ve been a little too listless to work but alert enough to become […]

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Day of the Bureau of Technical Inventory BTI/День инвентаризатора (День работника БТИ): HRH Updates His Dream Home

HRH and Jennifer dust off their Bureau of Technical Inventory documents for an apartment renovation that sounds so much better in French! Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home. ~ John Howard Payne Congratulations to all (and you are legion) the good people who work in the Bureau of Technical Inventory, known […]

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expat life in Russia

The Domestic Goddess of the Green Line

Here’s one of the great unsolved mysteries of the universe:  why does the Alumni Magazine get through the floundering Russian postal system with a regularity you can set your clock by, but The New Yorker almost never appears?  Why isn’t it the other way round?  Still, fresh reading material in Moscow should never be taken […]

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