I'm back to report the glorious return of Moscow's nightlife action. The New Year's zapoi, when everyone leaves for their dachas or some foreign country, is now officially over. I chose not to stay in town because going to Red Square on New Year's Eve with a bottle of Sovyetskaya champagne is no longer interesting for me. Instead, I've been meditating on life and my future plans, getting my thoughts and body organized, and this was the reason I skipped my last two columns. Hope you didn't miss me too much!
Among Moscow's "in the know" crowd, the place you chose to spend your New Year is itself a measurement for how cool you are, and now that everyone's back, they're all trying to impress each other about where they went.
I don't care about public opinion so much so I decided to be and went to see my aunt who lives in a small village in Karelia, next to Finish border. I think I was one of the first downshifters who decided to stick to Russia and not exchange local joys for capitalistic debauch.
When I was on the way driving 2,000 kilometers in my Passat I was dreaming about unspoiled people who live in perfect village environment, breathe fresh air and eat clean food. Also I was dreaming about local beauties who I will seduce in the hayloft after showing my passport with Moscow registration.
Besides, I have never traveled to Saint Petersburg by car and I was inspired by the book of Alexander Radishchev--"Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow" where he described his adventures that happened more than 200 years ago.
Reality turned to be not so sweet as my dreams. First 200 kilometers were quite bearable but the way after brought me to thoughts that roads were not fixed since the German invasion.
Local truck driver who I talked to on the gas station told me that because of the bad roads the speed of traffic is quite low. This is what local bandits need. When they see the truck full of goods they use hocks to jump on it and throw the stuff to their car which follows the truck. Meanwhile, truck driver notices nothing.
I was impressed with this story thinking that Mother Russia has own James Bonds who misuse their talents. From the other side I thought some things would never change, as this kind of robbing on the roads was already known in Radishchev time.
Anyway, the road was the toughest part of my journey. When I got to aunt's village all worries disappeared. Locals treated me like tsar: I enjoyed great meals every day, endless visits to banya accompanied by never-ending bottles of samogon (self-made vodka) and generous attitude from village dyevs. I even didn't have to flash my passport with propiska--most of them were tired of their hard-drinking husbands so they were happy to get a fresh fuck from a stranger and asked nothing in return.
Time flied quick and I had to give up these simple pleasures and come back to Moscow to review new clubs for the eXile readers.
After reading all of mostly useless emails I found the right one. My friend DJ Fonar, one of the fathers of Russian electronic scene, with his 22 years experience at turntables was celebrations his birthday at GOROD.
Gorod is one of the biggest Moscow clubs located in pre-revolutionary mansion with two big dance floors and endless rooms.
Many years ago when I was a pioneer at my school we went to see Lenin mausoleum. The pleasure to see Lenin corpse took you through three hours of standing in line with hundreds of other visitors. I didn't realize that DJ Fonar was as popular. The size of the queue was similar to my childhood memories. There were all kinds of people standing and patiently waiting to get it.
The crowd inside the club was very mixed and didn't have one style. In this case in Russian you say it is a "demokratichniy klub" but it is far not the same as "democratic" in English. "Casual" could be a better word but still it didn't describe the situation.