Tuesday, December 11, 2007

An Observation or Two...

Since my driver is currently out of action (apparently sick on his deathbed, but since he's just started dating a stripper & her girlfriend, I suspect he may be skulking elsewhere), I have to take advantage of Moscow's efficient (if somewhat unorthodox) taxi system to get around.

After flagging down a random gypsy cab last night, my initial suspicions that my ride was a little rickety were confirmed when the back door refused to close. After several good whacks, the driver got out, lit a page of newspaper, and held it under the (admittedly greasy) latch. Once this had melted the ice buildup, the door closed fine.

Unfortunately, several corners later, the rest of the door fell off- and although the valiant hinge managed to stay its course for a few more metres, eventually the whole door hit the road and was left in the gutter.

Undeterred, our new quasi-convertible headed back to the city, where my Uzbek driver regaled me with graphic details of the benefits of his multiple wives and the condo he was building for both of them (and his six children) in PodMoskovia. The chill breeze and swirling snowflakes in the car added a certain poignancy to both the tale and his sincere inquiries as to why I was still unmarried and childless at the advanced age of 30.

Meanwhile, in other unimportant news, we have been blessed with the appointment of both our new President and new Prime Minister in the space of two days. Our esteemed President, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin made his long-awaited announcement (well- technically it came from his party of stooges, United Russia) of his "supported" successor, the Chairman of Gazprom (and coincidentally the First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia).

The markets breathed a sigh of relief, the siloviki worked themselves into a frenzy, and the reactions from those on the street ranged from "Who?" to "Who cares", but thankfully, the following day, our new President nominated none other than Mr Putin himself to be the Prime Minister in his new administration (please keep in mind that "elections" don't take place until March), so at least we can be assured that nothing's likely to change.

Now that this mystery is solved, back to the beautocracy...

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