Tuesday, August 08, 2006

"The cheaper the car, the louder the music" (My Week in Russia)

Photo: Somewhere in Russia, en route to our resort

The Finnish radio in Lapeenranta was covering the forest fires outside of St. Petersburg, and going into the country, I saw them. This was one of the first things that bestowed my eyes after clearing Russian customs (and dealing with a lady who gave me customs forms to fill out, of course, in Russian).

Russia has changed TONS since my last visit in 2000. As I've told friends here in Finland, there are 3 words to describe Russia at the moment. NEW - BUILD - REBUILD. Going into St Petersburg, you see tons of NEW things and en route see billboards for WONDER ISLAND (English translation), a Russian Disneyland of sorts. First off, there's more than just Ladas and you see tons of NEW cars entering the border. Then you see MALLS. New malls of course, loaded with things you can buy. I can now say I've looked at Timberland boots in a Timberlands store in Russia, along with shopping at OKAY, kind of a Russian hybrid supermarket (think Super K-mart) where I could buy CD's, a roast chicken for dinner, and look at shoes or suitcases.

My week was UBER busy. After a day of flea markets and looking at CDs, we went to a great resort (new as well) called Ravola. My days were spent on Russian beaches, playing ping pong, and drinking more cider (which wasn't even a Euro!) Ahhh, the life. Did I mention it had all you can eat Russian food?

Going back to the city, I got to do some more flea markets and on Saturday hung out on Nevsky Prospekt. With Igor, Katja and their friend Andrei from Moscow, we drank some weird boozey drink with mint, then walked around downtown before going to a place we went last trip, a Mexican eatery which was not too bad.

I almost bought a new 16mm movie camera, which now I kick my ass I didn't. 500 rubles (around $20 USD). But the time FLEW by.

As we approached the border for Finland, we stopped for a quick moment by a Russian truck stop so I could sneak in and see what CD's they had. We hung out here many a times on my last visit and it was a nice send off to the new Mother Russia.

Back in Finland today, it was down to more promotional business. I did an interview with a reporter from a magazine called NWT, which comes in Friday's Helsingin Sanomat, the most read newspaper in Finland. They also snapped photos of me at Lahiradio, where I spun some strange worldboom on Pekka's show, shortly before returning back to Porvoo.

Tomorrow, I have another interview, and maybe then I'll add a new music video if I'm able to get to the computer, but for now, it has been a LONG day. How am I going to bring back 60 plus new CD's, not to mention DVDs????????

Any ideas???

Oh yeah, what's the title mean? Outside Igor's flat in St. Petersburg, guys would boom their shitty music out of their Ladas. Igor then turned to me and said, "The cheaper the car, the louder the music". Some things ARE universal!


Post a Comment

<< Home