Russian Soul would not be complete without the Russian Extreme. They are like Yin and Yang.
Welcome to Russia ~ The Land Of Extremes…
~ 1 ~
To be more precise, Moscow Traffic! Wow! If you can ever survive Moscow traffic, you will survive anything! Those people in Los Angeles who cry about bad traffic, should never say another word about how bad traffic is in LA LA Land, after this post. 9 years ago it was much better, but now Moscow has become a true CARMAGEDDON. It doesn’t matter what time of the day, there are always insane jams everywhere!
(pictures taken from google)
You can easily spend 4 hours just standing in a jam… No, I’m not kidding. Sometimes, people have to leave their cars and take a metro. But the thing is, that metro is even worse… I really don’t know how people get anything done in Moscow, in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
This kind of insane traffic and crowded metros with little oxygen, are the main reasons, why I love to visit Moscow, but would never live there again.
~ 2 ~
“Rublevka” is the Beverly Hills of Russia. It’s located in outskirts of Moscow. It’s a home to Russian Oligarchs, Russian upper class, bankers, Russian and foreign movie stars, Russian Presidents and their families and of course, Russian gold diggers. These women flock to Moscow from all the former USSR regions in search of a short, bold, but wealthy husband. The competition is fierce, ladies! The ex Rublevka wives even write books and give paying seminars on how to land a guy from Rublevka! They are hidious!
Even if you paid me millions to live there, I would never agree to. Life in a golden cage is not for me. I’m a free bird and would like to remain as such, no matter what! To buy bread in Rublevka will cost you 5 times Moscow price. Rublevka is its own small country, within a country. My brother lives in Rublevka. Many of you will say.. “oh, so that’s how she survived in USA and travels around the world” … sorry to disappoint, but my brother haven’t given me a single cent in the past 10 years.
Some Rublevka residents, like to spend their Saturdays in a slightly different manner, than the Beverly Hills crowd…
After all, they are Russians!
They get their booze, food and good company, hop on their ATV’s and ride through lakes and forests of Rublevka… Leaving behind their mansions, suits and gold diggers…
I had a great time with my brother and his whole gang. It was a real treat to see a different side of Rublevka… a more down to earth side (literally)
We stopped for food and booze, laughed and even got stuck in the mud, several times…
~ 3 ~
Yeah, ok, we all heard how bad Russian Winters can be, right? But have you ever heard of someone deciding to jump out of the perfectly good airplane, for the very first time in their life, during what was one of the coldest winters in 50 years?
Do you know of such a nutcase? No?
Well, let me introduce you to such a crazy person – It’s moi. Surprise!
Yep, I went to Aerograd Kolomna for my very first skydive experience. I always wanted for my first jump to be in Russia.
The journey to and from Aerograd Kolomna is a whole book in itself. I had 2 cops escorting me on a train… to be completely honest, they were holding the doors for me in the middle part of a train that is outside… what can I say, when nature calls, you’ll try to make friends even with the cops! It was a two-hour train ride with no stops and a lot of coffee before hand.
In USA, these cops would have arrested me. Russian cops tried to open a jammed bathroom door to no avail and then agreed to hold the doors of a train for me. Those who said, that chivalry is dead, has never been on a Russian train with a broken bathroom. Who said men don’t hold doors anymore for ladies? Bullshit! They do in Russia! The whole bathroom fiasco was pretty hilarious. It was almost as hilarious as trying to balance a backpack in Uganda while maneuvering your way in a bathroom aka hole in the ground.
Anyway, back to my first jump. When I arrived in Kolomna, they told me that I might not be able to jump because of the bad weather… But thankfully, was able to do what I dreamed of for so long…
I was jumping with 20 other people. All of them were pros. I jumped with a true legend of the sky, Alexander Merz. This man has over 20.000 jumps under his belt… I wasn’t nervous at all as soon as I got on a plane… couldn’t wait to jump! All the guys were joking with me, the whole way up to the 4000 meters spot. I looked out into the horizon, breathed, smiled and let go…
I was free!
Will never be able to forget this feeling, of incredible freedom, peace and ecstasy all in one. I’m hooked! Didn’t want it to end…
I always say, that it’s important to dance, while the music is being played… Well I even danced in the sky, 4000 meters above ground!…
They gave me a diploma, on which Alexander wrote me a wish and another jumper also wanted to write me something…
” Be careful what you dream about, because dreams do come true… “
After the jump I crashed on the snow with a bottle of Russian Champagne…
My way back to a train station was as eventful as the journey to my first skydive…
First, I stole someone’s cab and made the guy pick up the speed so I won’t miss the train… He called dispatcher, saying that they need to send another cab to other people, because this crazy lady is late for her train. The cab driver ended up slightly crashing into another car, because it was too slippery… he wanted to kill me on the spot for telling him to hurry up. I turned on my charms, told him that he’s the most amazing driver in the world, smiled and run to the train station with a bag in one hand and unfinished bottle of champagne from my skydive, in the other. Leaving him behind with a furious driver of the car he crashed into and a big bill. Breathless, I gave money to the cashier’s window with my shaking hands and was told that the next train is going to be here in 1 hour… as it turns out I messed up the train schedules… well, only a tiny bit…
Welcome to my life! Someone should give Mr. Bond a medal.
~ 4 ~
Taking Russian Banya (Sauna) in Russia is a true art form, especially in Winter!
Me and my friend, Jules, went to her gym for some steam and fun. Jules is afraid to go back to her gym now, because I made my famous appearance in her neck of the woods…
You see, it’s a Russian tradition to jump into snow after a hot Banya. Yes, the drinking is also involved, naturally.
“Jumping in a snow wearing a swimsuit is for kids!”, I thought. Took off everything and dove into the snow naked. Jules should charge people for tickets from now on… who knows, maybe I’ll decide to show up again…
~ 5 ~
Yes, Moscow, has some jaw-dropping hotels with similar price tags. But it also has little boutique hotels, like Artel Hotel
It is in the center of Moscow, only a few steps away from The Red Square. It’s not like anything you’ve seen… each room is custom-made. Every room has a theme…
My room was number 5 ~ “Naked Dream” …
If you’re tired of boring rooms with no character and surprises, you’ll love Artel! The staff is helpful, welcoming and kind. If you want help with Russian Visa, they do that too, just email them. This hotel was made for artists, by artists, with a very affordable price compared to all other hotels in Moscow. You will never be able to find a hotel near Red Square for this price! There are restaurants, bars and clubs right in the same building. There is a very special club on the first floor… when you walk in, you’re taken back in time… into 20’s … They also throw “theme parties” in their clubs. I can’t wait to stay here again, on my next visit to Moscow.
~ 6 ~
Russian women really are beautiful!
Yes, they are beautiful, smart, proud and elegant. They are women and they let their men be men… they don’t need to prove anything. We know one simple truth, well the one our grandmothers told us; “Wife is the neck and husband is the head, where the neck wants the head to turn, that’s where it will turn it”.
However, when we turn the head, it thinks it was them who turned it and not the neck… It’s a talent.
No, not all of us are on stupid Russian brides sites! Come on people, it’s time to get rid of all those clichés!
Russian women wear 6 inch heels, like they are flats. We read classics and go to Theatre. We want to see the world and want to raise a healthy family. Most of us are magnificent cooks.
Well I said most, not everyone…
I have no idea how to cook and can’t stand cook books!
But I do know how to choose the right kind of apron! My sense of fashion at it’s best…
I’m 29 and not married. This is considered a “no-no” at my “old age” to still be single in Russia! My family is nervous…
However, I think it’s hideous, that women bury themselves alive by the age of 30-35. Sadly, 40 in Russia is a grandma age. I would really like to see this change! French women are ladies until their last breath, we should learn from them!
Guess what my reply is, to all the people who tell me “Lena, get married, while men still want you and while you’re still attractive and young!”
Yes, those 2 words exactly! Followed by, “I will always be attractive, young and wanted! I have decided that and you can’t change my mind!”