The Russian Monologue:
All of this bleak, cold and snowy thing got me thinking of my friends over in Serbia, Czech Republic and the other Eastern Bloc states. When I was in Serbia a couple of years ago, there was an unseasonable warmth, 20C in October! Then in the last 6 hours of my stay, it dropped to -5C, and the entirity of Belgrade was covered in about 6 inches of snow. My friends told me that the -5C was a far more normal temperature for them… and it often goes lower, to -10 or -15. It’s that continental cold though — no humidity, so you just wrap up warm, drink a little vodka, and everything’s OK.
So, the point I was trying to get across was that while it’s kinda snowy here, in most of the northern hemisphere it’s a lot colder. These guys have also been through an awful amount of strife in the past 100 years. Sure, we’ve had 2 world wars; but so have they. They’ve also had the rise and fall of communism, and the Cold War. Then, in recent years the NATO bombing and the disintegration of Yugoslavia into seperate states that followed was also very harrowing.
Seb: ‘Did you want to be split up?
Serbian Friend: ‘No… we still consider each country our brothers. It was very odd to have NATO come in and tell us we are now different countries.’
Slobodan Milosevic is also a bit of a national hero in Serbia — another thing that was oddly reported by the media. But the discrepancy might come from the fact that the Serbians backed his genocide… while most of us think he was a bit of a monster. If anything, it’s just proof that the reported truth should always be analysed before taken as fact.
Oh, another fun thing — in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, the bombed governmental buildings are still there, as bombed-out wrecks. ‘Why didn’t you pull them down?’ I ask. ‘We leave them for the tourists to see,’ my guide quickly responds, with a big grin. I’m amazed they welcomed me with such open arms…
Anyway! I was inspired to do a semi-serious penis monologue in an attempt to describe the current state of the former USSR: the Commonwealth of Independent States. Life is hard, miserable and misogyny is rife. At least in Serbia, women seemed to get a little more respect — but really, it’s a bad thing when a nation has so many women that they are exported as ‘mailorder brides’, or trafficked to other countries for prostitution.
I don’t want to rant on about it for too long, so I’m just going to give you a fantastic link: A High-Heels Running Contest in St. Petersburg. The following picture says it all:
(And for any men out there, check these cheerleaders)
I haven’t got that site favourited… honest.