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Headlines From Moscow

Four views from the center of Red Square. It is neither red, nor a sqaure but rather a black rectangle. We were there our first day in Moscow.

Before we get to the real news, I want you to know I have not seen anybody drinking vodka straight from drinking glasses besides myself. My top reason for wanting to visit Russia was to see how a country could function with people drinking glasses full of vodka. So far, all I have seen is people drinking small shot glasses of vodka from the menu, with their meals. Mostly they drink beer, just like us.

Front page news from The Moscow Times August 14-16, 2015: (English language newspaper at the Marriott)

1. Russians are supportive of ban on foreign made condoms. 2. Russia bans imports of food from Albanian, Montenegro, Liechtenstein, and Iceland. 3. Siberian court sentences a Russian man to 18 months for joining a Ukrainian nationalist group.

The big news in Russia are the economic sanctions against them because of Ukraine. Russia is trying to retaliate with their own economic sanctions. They are considering banning foreign made condoms even though Russia can only supply 4% of the total condoms used in their country. It will not be a huge problem because it does not prevent corporations or individuals from buying foreign made condoms. Their government will only be buying Russian made cordons. Kind of like our government not giving money to Planned Parenthood so poor people can have abortions although corporations and individuals can still have them. The ban will still be an economic boom to the one factory in Russia that manufactures condoms.

As for the other two stories, I did not know there were countries named Montenegro and Liechtenstein. Also, I cannot image that Iceland is a big food exporter. The third story plays into my stereo type of Russia. Since I first arrived, our bike tour guide, Vado, told us Putin told the Moscowites to knock off the vodka drinking and they have. If you get drunk on vodka now days in Moscow you get fired. They’ve switched to beer. More on Putin in later blogs. We’re headed out for an outdoor jazz concert. I hate jazz, but I do like the idea of outdoors after 12 days on a train.

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