Musings on the daily events in politics and sports as well as some local bar stops along the way in LA.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Damn that was a crazy club last night, easily the best club I’ve ever been to in my life. I might have been to crazier ones but theres something about this one that was just insane. Its now noon and we decide to get an early jump on the day so we wont have a repeat of last night where we didn’t get moving until 4 or so. Trying to figure out where to go we decide to check out Freedom park. Since they just got their freedom we figure its probably a cool place to go. So we all put on our jeans and make sure not to wear shorts and take the subway over there and notice the closer we get to the park the more people we see smiling and looking like theyre having a good time. Now seeing Russians having a good time at night at the bars or clubs is one thing, but in broad daylight where the elders can see them is crazy, that type of activity is frowned upon around here. We walk out to the park and its crazy, theres kids skateboarding, rollerblading, cross country skiing on these ski’s with wheels thingies its so not something you see anywhere else in Moscow. I’m not sure who we talked to but somebody was telling us “ya freedom square is like that theres lots of people playing, its very American influenced.” What? I didn’t know we were exporting fun but we’ll take credit for it. These days when American foreign policy is the world punching bag everyone forgets what we did for these people. Obviously I’m not going to get into a big geopolitical and cultural debate here but that statement says a lot. The only place in Moscow where there are people smiling is considered the place that influenced by America. It will really make you proud to go check it out and realize that these people were oppressed for so long and no matter what propaganda they were trying to feed us they really did want freedom and now theres a slow change in the mood of the country and the American influenced freedom square is the center of the change. Hell ya. In the center of freedom square theres a World War II museum. Since all we hear about is the holocaust when we hear about WWII everyone forgets how many Soviets died in that war, it was some ridiculous amount like 25 million or so. There was an exhibit that had these hanging strands from the ceiling representing one for every Soviet person who died as a result of WWII, very interesting stuff. The entire eastern front was handled by the Russians while we were storming the beaches of Normandy they were marching towards Berlin and taking heavy casualties in every way. Anyway it was a very interesting museum even though it didn’t have that much in there it just showed the respect they had for WWII and the way they thought of it is so different from the way we view that war.
When we left the area we realized its our last night in Moscow so we should eat some authentic Russian food. We head to the part of town that’s supposed to have the most restaurants, but as were trying to find a Russian one we noticed that there aren’t any. All the restaurants are from other parts of the world, we even found an Armenian one. So Noubar starts asking randoms where we can get some Russian food and someone actually directed him to TGI Fridays how ridiculous is that. We end up walking into some random place that looked cool and had a bunch of hot girls inside. We walk in and see the TV is on some fashion channel and everyone looks like a model. We think we walked in to some sort of model bar but it turns out that its just your average Moscow spot. It’s has a wide variety of foods on the menu from all over the world but of course nothing from Russia, they did have Borshk which is some Russian soup Noubar was all about so we ordered 3 even though it so wasn’t a place to order it. Turns out the Russians are so sick of eating Russian food since its all they’ve had for about 100 years that they now eat anything else. The only real Russian food I had was still at the Moscow airport during the 11 hour layover to Yerevan where I had the Uzbeki pilaf that was good. After eating and drinking at the model bar for about 2 hours and basically checking out the local talent (ala Martin) we see on the menu that the General Manager was Armenian so we asked to meet him but sadly he wasn’t there that day.
It was getting late and since it was our last night in Moscow we decided to get back to the hostel so we can get to the drinking. On the way home we pondered whether to get the Absinth we saw at the market by our hostel or not. We decided not to get it because it was about $30 US when the vodka was about $1.50 US. As Noubar and I were walking to get the vodka we were randomly talking and I, as an Armenian, was talking with my hands. Now apparently in Moscow you cant do that because cars started swerving thinking I was hailing a gypsi cab then realizing that I was just talking they would be on their way. Its funny how we spent like $80 to get from the airport to the hostel from an official taxi and now the 2 buck taxis are pulling over when I’m not even hailing them. So we get to the market and see the absinth- the conversation went something like this Me: “what do you think?” Noubar: “How stupid are we gonna feel when were paying $35 for a bottle of grey goose in LA or $250 for a bottle at some club and we tell people we didn’t get the absinth cause it was $30” Good point absinthe it is. We get back to the hostel and Sevag was there already sure that there was no way we were coming back without the absinthe. We want to get going early tonight but its already 11 or so so we start drinking. The first glass goes down decently and we start to feel some effects, halfway through the second glass you start feeling what absinthe is and it basically makes you want to smoke and we look at the bottle ¾ still full and say theres no way were finishing that bottle tonight. Well an hour later the bottle is obviously cashed and we’re wasted. We head out to the strip club in the hostel which sucked so we left to the city at roughly 2am. Not knowing where to go I honestly couldn’t tell you where we went at first and obviously the rest of the night is damn hazy so from what I gathered after consulting with Noubar and Sevag was that at one point we were gonna go into a club but it was late or expensive or something so Noubar talks his way into them letting him check it out to tell us if its worth it or not. Apparently Noubar fell down the stairs and was basically sprawled out at the bottom of the steps and nobody inside seemed to care, they were basically stepping over him without missing a beat. He comes outside all injured (even though I don’t remember that) and tells us its no good in there. Its about 3 something am so what do we decide to do? Call the Turkish girl! We figured that’s the great thing about Turkish girls, we could care less if we bother them or not, actually we prefer being a nuisance. So this time Noubar calls so when the Mom picks up he can talk to her, but im guessing after the last nights incident the mom didn’t want to pick up the phone so she picked up and apparently again was really nice and told us sorry she cant go out tonight but to definitely give her a call tomorrow. We’ve called her everyday between 2-3 am and yet she’s still being nice to us, damn Turkish sluts. So not knowing what’s going on or where to go we end up at a strip club with a game plan. We only have so many roubles left with us, actually I think Noubar forgot his wallet and had nothing on him, so we decide to sit there for a while and hang out without getting a lap dance too quick cause we cant afford many. When we walk into the strip club we notice that there isn’t a single other customer in there and theres about 35 girls working there. They see we’re Americans and that we’re customers so they swarm us like crazy. We tell each other to remember the plan but its not looking good. Since Noubar speaks English he’s the main catch for these girls so he’s got basically what was a harem around him and he immediately stopped translating for us while Sevag and I were trying to communicate with random I don’t even remember how. They keep asking us for lapdances and when we say later they ask us to buy them all drinks. Needless to say the plan didn’t go too well, of course after the dance she asked me to “take a walk” with her. Once were done we go back to finishing our beers but they say they’re closing up for the night and Noubar yells at them let us finish our beers like men. That’s the thing with Russia if you don’t have a quick response for them they’ll eat you alive. So we get into a cab to go home and I pass out, when I wake up for some unkown reason we’re at McDonalds. I have absolutely never been so disappointed in my life, what the hell are we doing here I just want to sleep. They weren’t even open and we had to wait outside for them to open up so those losers can have their breakfast egg mcmuffins. As I was passing out over there they shoved a hash brown in my face which I consumed in about 2.2 seconds before passing out again.
We wake up around noon again and our flight is at 3 so Sevag and I leave Noubar and get on our way to the airport. Now it took us 20 min to get to the hostel from the airport so we figured we have more than enough time. Ya right. If you think the 101 or 405 has a lot of traffic then you’ve never seen a Russian freeway. It was so packed that a car put two of its wheels on the center divider and was driving sideways. There were huge trucks everywhere that weren’t moving, after about an hour and a half we hadn’t moved anywhere and we were figuring out what would happen if we miss our flight, we were pretty sure that Aeroflot wouldn’t give us a later flight for free so were calculating a million different things when we notice our driver is going off the road and were in a mcdonalds parking lot adjacent to the freeway going over the grass and through any opening we can find. We get to the airport 30 min or so before our flight and are running full speed and somehow made it on the plane. On the flight back I discuss writing a blog about our trip so I wont forget all the amazing times I just had. I never expected to get it done but apparently im good for something.
The next day instead of being in NY getting a good nights sleep for my flight back to LA and reality I was backstage at a System show in Philadelphia drinking at about midnight while my flight was at 7am out of JFK, and I didn’t have a car. No better way to end a trip of a lifetime.

Nous sommes finis.


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