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21 March 2012

Russians actually liberating the smiler within

"Anonymous" commented yesterday on the post about Papa's Place (Perils of mis-pronunciation) as follows:
"...what keeps you here in Moscow? I sincerely believe it is not the money as it the matter with the other expats. You, as really sensitive and educated person, must have some other reason to live in such a place which indeed is not a proper place to live for such a refined gentleman as you are."
     It is a question I am often asked, in one form or another. Let me reply generally by now giving an example of what the "other reason" is that "keeps me here in Moscow", and why the city can be a "proper place" for a "refined gentleman" to live in. It is the sort of thing that is shown in the YouTube video below, which a friend sent me recently, and which features many people I seem to remember meeting at the Bolotnaya Square, post-election party on December 10th. I don't claim to be either sensitive or educated, but a certain sort of refinement probably does help one enjoy life. See what you think:


Language point: one lady shouts out "super-pooper", which is a common expression in Russia. Better in multi-national company to say "super-dooper" as the song does. To poop is, well, shall we say: to commit the act for which sensitive dog owners in London and Edinburgh carry "pooper-scoopers" with them when taking their pets out for walks in public places.


  1. I'm sure it's possible to buy such kind of action for your wedding in any place. But advertising this and making it so "public" is really abnormal for highly cultural society.

    Very very wierd "other reason"

    1. Call me "weird" if you like, but I profoundly disagree. I think it is fun, and a lot more creative than the sort of thing you see in Four Weddings and a Funeral (though the Funeral in that film was, in a strange and eery way, the most moving and creative part).

    2. Well, at the beginning I might think that perfomance is a kind of spontaneous action. It's like an amateur perfomances. And at the end I see the whole croud is dancing including even streetcleaners. So, there's no doubt that action is well prepared, well directed and coordinated.

      Most of russian "intelligentsia" consider this perfomance as a very obvious cheat. And this makes them (and me too) very skeptic and intolerant to things of that kind.

  2. Ian, what an absolutely horrendous video that is. Smug, self satisfied, obnoxious gits. And they even had two cranes set up with video cameras. So much for the independent spirit of flash-mobs.

  3. Ironically, дупа ("doopa") is, well, shall we say: the part of body from which this act is commited. At least, in some slavic dialects (most western, like Polish or Belorussian). So you should not make a hurried decision in multi-national company, should you?

    On the other hand, Russians have an idiom Пуп земли, or The hub of the universe. It seems to close resemble super-dooper characters of the song. And that's why most Russians automatically say Супер-пупер here.

    Oh, East is East and West is West...


    P.S. Thank you for your amazing and amusing blog. It's very funny to see myself in your mirror. Funny and, er, useful.

    P.P.S. This "Anonymous" was so huffy and sarcastic! May be, he really lives in Khimki?

  4. Купечество гуляет с медведями и цыганами. =В

    When the power of money is demonstrated so shamelessly (especially by the people who are considered to be not better than the majority of viewers, and who definitely do not deserve anything special), it irritates a lot! =))

  5. I think it's a remarkable well done performance though the "Putin molodets" phrase in the very end does not sound pretty.

  6. Dear Ian,
    The anonymous from you post was me.
    I bag your pardon again for my irritable nature and inappropriate comment.
    And it is true, i live in Moscow suburbs, and tired of the certain manner of dividing people here into 2 sorts - city dwellers and suburb dwellers. Though it is true, property stratification is very high between us and the quality of our "панельных" apartments is way too low for the money they cost.
    And thank you for your efforts to give us the taste of English.