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(Kevin Rouff) -, , . 13 , . 19 , . , . , .1September 16th, 2012, arrival at VKO, Moscow, with Transaero. Vodka, wine, and food served onboard. Good luck.-------The blonde, stoic young gal glanced up at me something was wrong with my passport, her eyes were chuckling that to me. A sigh escaped me as I thought of being sent back. Id be telling the others (what others?), Almost made it to Russia. They told me . Another lady this time with a shiny badge that gave her some authority came up and began snapping at me after exchanging a few words with the border-officer behind her glass cubicle. I mumbled .... She repeated her question: ? I mustve misheard. She pointed to my visa: , marked neatly. I laughed, and said . This seemed to lighten her up. But they both still eyed me like some alien transvestite, not without signs of malicious mockery.Anyways, it passed after a phone call (she let me use her phone nice police lady... are they really as corrupt as I hear?).Found G (Ill call him that) outside, waiting with miniature smiles erupting form his eyes and constrained facial muscles he always seemed like he was holding back from some bubbling emotion, but it always found ways to escape.And off we went fast, way too fast. These were big roads, big cars, with big-ass Russians at the wheel. I wished Id taken the train.Came past some police men. They always take bribes man. Its actually not that bad, at least it doesnt go to Putin! He-he-he!The road began to cut through a dense forest: tall, dark, eerie trees. The road narrowed to two lanes. This is Rublovko. Like the Ruble? Yea, Sure... You see those policemen? Yea, those. Well, there are more hidden in the bushes. This is where rich people live. This is where Putin lives. I live here too, but further. Oh... ok. Is this Moscow? Yea, kind of.The ocean of trees is split by this odd pilgrimage of sorts, a passing of Bentleys, Mercedes, Porches, and other heaps of shiny metal with tinted windows, and the occasional shy Lada, filled with faces, once smiling, but now no longer. Between the dark outlines of the pines and birch was a massive metal wall (could this be the iron curtain?), a fortress of sorts that seemed to keep them in rather than us out. Then there are billboards, evenly spaced, all selling some new house, boat, wife, or anything else that money could find out here. And then, there was us, in the middle of these caged worlds, between the massive towering trees, all of it seeming to inevitably come crashing inwards in one great silent blink of an eye.I imagined who could live here. A glanced at my driving friend; surely, not him. He was different. Right?His house was much too big almost empty. Strangely decorated, the furniture and lamps had metal monkeys crawling up them (who buys this stuff was already answered, but who the fuck makes it?).His dad was friendly, strongly built, with the same flickering eyes and restraint smiles that comes exploding forth when him and his son made collaborative jokes (I wont bother giving an example, they made no sense to me anyways).Went to buy groceries at some giant, terrifying, metropolis-type store, called Auchan. Its French he tells me. So it is. Scary nonetheless; everything is packaged, from the bread, to the cheese, to the vegetables, all of it in a sort of hygienic condom (they sell a lot of those too, conveniently next to the endless vodka aisle), everything reflective in the plasticized eyes of nouveaux-consumers. Capitalism, , Auchanism.We made shashlik. They marinated it in Actimel (normal?), and yes, it tasted like Actimel.We spent our days driving for the most part. I saw Moscow from the ring-roads. I saw Moscow by going around Moscow, circling ever nearer towards something intangible, some picture that eluded me relentlessly. It was too fast. Thought I was going to die any minute.G laughed at 180 km/h, handing me a bottle saying Maybe you should drink before getting in the car next time. His girlfriend laughed to. We drove to and from her place every day she lived very far. Moscow was too big, as far as I could tell. (It would only get smaller.)We finally went in to the center New Arbat. A terribly ugly street, with lego-buildings flashing colors borrowed from cheap casinos, Erotic Museums, expensive mediocre cafe chains, and over dressed nouveaux-riches. This is Moscow? Yea man, you like it? Uh, yea, think so. And I did. But not because of all that something else was lurking.We took the metro. I was sure I would fall down the endless escalator. I looked at everyone, especially the seemingly useless, statue-like person sitting in a little booth at the foot of the escalator.Man, stop doing that. You look like an alien, said G.His girlfriend giggled.Doing what?She answered by imitating me, staring about like a drunken ape. I guess I felt like that anyways. I couldnt help it; every babushka creature, every tall gal, every beefy broad bald man, every shriveling geezer, every long lost long-beard, every post-soviet post-punk, every normal neck-tied commuter my thoughts caught on every one of them.We finished this all off by shooting at vodka bottles in his yard. I got it first try, right on the neck; he couldnt believe my luck (nor could I).I was sad to see him go. He was returning to America, to university, and I was staying in his land.But now, for the real Moscow...*************************, 16-. , . - , . , ............., , - , - . . (?): " . ." - , - . : " ...". : " ?" . "" . "". , . , - . , ( ; - , ?) 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