Saturday, March 29, 2003

ST. PETERSBURG (October 13, 2002)

Mollie's Irish Bar

Mishah returned from the bathroom with yet another confirmation that this city is Russia's "Cultural Capital" (as opposed to Moscow, which is just the capital):

In the bathroom, three men were peeing next to Mishah, and two of them were talking.

"Why did Alexander III dislike England so much? What do you think?" asked the one who looked like a Russian mafia guy (leather jacket-training suit-thick golden chain uniform, his pale hair trimmed too short, which, in a different situation, would have been a sure sign of lack of imagination and excess of discipline).

His friend, who resembled a legendary Russian rock musician Yuri Shevchuk (bearded, bespectacled and unkempt), paused, looking at his dick, and replied: "Perhaps they just forced him to say so?"

The third man (the gentlest of them, a lookalike of Valeriy Meladze, a pop singer) continued to urinate in silence.

One thing Mishah and I are still wondering about is which Alexander III they were discussing:

Alexander III, Czar of Russia, had strained relationship with Britain because of "the Russian expansion in Central Asia."

Alexander III, King of Scotland, "quarreled" with Henry II "over the old English claims to overlordship in Scotland."

Alexander III, a Roman Catholic Pope, had to defend "the rights of the Church during the quarrel between the two impetuous Normans, King Henry and St. Thomas Becket, though many a time exciting the displeasure of both contestants."

As I said, we're still wondering.

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