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Four jobs I’ve had:
– Dishwasher in a trendy Japanese restuarant
– Manager of national network of student housing cooperatives for hippies
– Financial manager for a US third-party presidential campaign
– Kindergarten teacher

Four movies I can watch over and over:
– The Royal Tenenbaums
– Antonia’s Line
– Triplets of Belleville
– Best in Show

Four places I’ve lived:
– Great Barrington, Massachusetts
– Chicago
– Washington, DC
– St. Petersburg, Russia

Four TV shows I like:
– South Park
– The Simpsons
– Curb Your Enthusiasm
– The Daily Show

Four places I’ve vacationed:
– France (all over)
– Spain (Madrid and Seville)
– The Baltic Sea (all over)
– Egypt (Hurghada and Cairo)

Four of my favorite dishes:
– Leniviye Golubtsi
– Baba Ganoush
– Palak Paneer
– Age-dofu

Four sites I visit daily:
BBC
Engrish
Salon
Everyone Drunk But Me

Four Books I’ve Read This Year:
– Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
– Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, David Sedaris
– This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald
– Solaris, Stanislav Lem

Four bloggers I’m tagging:
W. Shedd
Neeka
Jane
Brooke

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Once upon a time there was a Cheburashka, found in an orange crate, homeless, unemployed, and lonely. Eventually he created a sort of life for himself, well documented in Soviet cartoons

Then the 2006 Olympics came along, and a new breed of Cheburashkas was engineered

Now Cheburashka has a special friend

And can do all sorts of things Soviet cartoonists never intended

We flew from Hurghada to Cairo early in the morning and were met by a van with a driver and a Russian-speaking tour guide. There were three other Russians on the tour with us.

Cairo is a huge city. 16 million people, and currently growing by a million a year, according to our guide.


First we went to a mosque. This is the courtyard.


This is our guide, Nadia. She was really sweet. Her Russian was good too, though she’s even worse than I am about getting the accents on the wrong syllables of words.


Here’s the ceiling of the mosque.


They made me wear this robe in the mosque, though I’m not sure why. There were plenty of female tourists not wearing them. I suppose they didn’t have enough to go around, but it’s a mystery how they choose who will wear them. I wasn’t wearing shorts or even a short-sleeved shirt.

I forgot to mention yesterday: At the kindergarten on Wednesday, we talked to the kids about the Men’s Day holiday, that it was a day to congratulate their dads, and said a bit about military professions. Later, when asked what the holiday was called, Dima piped up: “День Защитников Любви!” — Day of the Defenders of Love. I suppose he was confusing it with Valentine’s Day. Anyway, I thought it was kind of nice, the pacifist’s version of the holiday.

About This Blog

I'm an American who started blogging when I moved to Russia in 2004. Eventually I moved to Sweden, where life is pleasant but uneventful, and stopped blogging for lack of interesting things to say. And then I joined Facebook, which further destroyed any motivation for blogging. Maybe someday I'll start blogging again, but for now, this blog is dormant, an archive of The Russia Years: 2004-2008.

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