Monday, June 29, 2009

Sex, Drugs, Rap & Roll

Here homosexuals get lumped in with everything bad. If there's a protest/demonstration against Chechens or some other ethnic minority people hold up signs that say "death to all Chechens, Muslims, and "homosexuals" (they write the "f word")" And they use the f word frequently. There's also a Russian equivalent to that word as well which is really bad. So homosexuals in the United States have nothing to complain about. Gays here can't be out. Much less have a parade. I actually feel safer being Black here than I would if I were gay.

I paid my 4500 rubles for my trip to Moscow. I'm so excited. I've always wanted to be on a really long train ride. All my life. And now I get that experience. I'm pretty excited about the Moscow trip too.

This place still smells and it's not one of those things that you can get used to. I was wondering if there was a laundromat nearby but I couldn't find any. Hang drying clothes sucks. And I just like doing my own laundry.

It's sunny outside today but still cool. I wore a jacket to school this morning because there was an overcast but now it's noon and the sun has come out but the air is still cold.

There's a politician coming to the institute today and he's going to be talking to the students. I have to go back there in about an hour to hear him speak. I think he's the Russian equivalent of a senator or whatever. Which brings me to my next point. Politics, governments, legal systems, laws are all a big joke. If you're ridiculously rich you can do what you want. The Chinese gangsters I saw at the club that night probably had all the cops in this city on payroll. The police here are ridiculously crooked. I've heard multiple stories about people bribing officers so they don't have to face legal charges. It's the exact same in the US but we keep it under wraps. Here it's no secret that for 10,000 rubles you can buy a Get Out of Jail for Free Card.

I'm also about to purchase some tickets to the Мариинский театр (Marinskii theatre) to see the ballet version of Don Quixote. I'm excited about it. The program isn't paying for it I have to pay for it with my own money but I'm really interested in seeing something so spectacular in a Russian theatre. I should be getting my haircut sometime before then so I'll be looking my best when I go to enjoy the show.

Class is almost impossible to understand. I'm not taking the type of class where they'll pause and explain in English. It's just Russian Russian Russian! Like ESL classes. You don't have to know Spanish or Korean to teach people how to speak English. One of my teachers speaks German so every now and then she'll explain a little bit in that and I'll catch it. There's a German girl in my class too. She speaks English perfectly but considers it her 3rd language (after German and French). Everyone in the world wants to learn to speak English. Every time I meet somewhere here all they want to do is practice their English with me. It's annoying and sometimes I pretend like I don't understand so I can just speak Russian with them.

I've also learned that Sif is somewhat of hip-hop/emcee legend here. Firstly, every Black person we see in the city he knows. They're not all from Zimbabwe either. There are lots of people from Cameroon and Nigeria here too. But when we're walking around even white people will come up to him and ask if he was preforming or would be at the club later tonight. He told me when he first got here that all he did was party and go to clubs and that's how he met everyone. But he's settled down since then and now he's really focused on working on writing programs and his jobs.

However! These other Africans he introduced me to might be the type my mom and Ugochi tried to warn me about earlier. They're both college dropouts and all they do is "rap" and work random jobs to get money. Which brings me back to my original theory that 1 in every 3 Black males at some point in time in their life want to become a rapper or think they can rap. That was my original theory. Way back in High School. Before Alchemy, before the Philosophers stone, before Russia, that's what I wanted to be an expert on. And it's valid. Just look at the Dave Chappelle skit about Black people getting reparations for slavery. If that was to happen apparently, "8,000 record labels would be started every hour."

Anyway, I met up with both of these guys with Sif and they both aspire to be rappers in Russia. They rap in both Russian and English and they sound terrible. Their producer is this cracked out Russian kid that looks like a weird hippie and his beats sound like techno with bad samples of Russian singing. Next to someone scratching a chalkboard or a bad violinist their "music" was the worst sounding thing in the universe. I hope they will one day enroll back in college and realize that rapping is not for everyone and it's not a viable career they need be in pursuit of.

The pictures are random. That's me and Peter and those girls are his friends. They were funny cause they only spoke a little English and one of their favorite things to say was "Я Best!" (Я pronounced Yaa) "I Best" They were trying to say either I'm the best or I'm better. And the other one is just some Russian souvenirs.

Stay Tuned.

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