Dare to ask Dare
Ex-pats and Russians alike ask celebrity columnist Deidre Dare questions about life in Moscow.
Photo by Maria Savelieva
I am a Kiwi boy who has been expatriated from New Zealand for about 15 years now in various places, lastly here in Moscow. My job is now forcing me to go back home, and I’m scared to death of repatriating: New Zealand seems so dull to me now. I’ll die there. Do you have any words of encouragement for me?
I believe that there are two major problems for long-term ex-pats who return home (both of which I’ve experienced when I spend any great amount of time back in the States).
The first is that, suddenly, you’re nothing special. You’re no longer an interesting foreigner, just another local. This alone can freak you out and drive you to search the Help Wanted ads in Afghanistan (I speak from experience, of course).
The second is that, for the most part, the other locals are boring. They get up in the morning, go to work, come home, make dinner and watch television. Day after day after day. They live what my friend Joe calls a “Groundhog Day” existence. Something we ex-pats have avoided like the plague.
A little anecdote might make this point clearer for you:
I was once in bed with an Australian in Sydney and I was explaining what a grand adventure living in Oz was for me. He laughed and said, “What are you talking about? You’re living in the suburbs.”
“No,” I said to him. “You’re living in the suburbs. I’m living abroad!”
See what I mean?
The only thing I can offer you is the following link. Though you probably don’t realise it quite yet, you’re going to be jonesing for this information pretty soon.
See you in Kabul,
How is your court case going against that law firm here in Moscow? Weren’t you recently in London about it?
Frankly, after that recent week at the Employment Tribunal in London, I’m not so sure anymore that litigation is the best way to actually get at the truth.
I think we should seriously consider going back to torture.
Why are the Russians so glum and surly? Is it the weather that does it to them?
I recently had a revelation about how we view other cultures when we’re on the outside, looking in.
I was on a dolphin sight-seeing cruise in Florida over Christmas and every time the dolphins jumped and played in our boat’s wake, we all hung over the side and screamed in ecstatic delight.
I realised that dolphins must think human beings are the happiest species on Earth because they only ever see us laughing and cheering.
Dumb dolphins, no?
I feel really lonely here and can’t think of anything good about living in Moscow. What in God’s name do you like about living here?
That I can smoke wherever and whenever I please.
Buy yourself a pack of Marlboros and head to Vogue. You’ll see what I mean.
Dear Delicious Deidre:
Can you kindly help me please? I am a Brit with a problem. For months now, I’ve been trying to persuade my Russian girlfriend Natasha to shave her privates. She shaves her shapely long legs and armpits, but refuses to “prune the bush.” “Too cold,” she says. So being a good sport, I shaved mine. But she STILL won’t budge! What can I do to persuade her of the sensual benefits of shaven havens? P.S. Do you shave “down there”?
Natasha must be the only Russian gal who doesn’t have a full Brazilian. At least from what I can tell from my experiences at Gentlemen’s Clubs and in the locker room at World Class Fitness.
If it’s that important to you, I suggest you just get another Russian girlfriend. That should be easy enough, but if you want, I can ask around at my gym for you.
P.S. Only on Valentine’s Day.
I’ve recently gained a lot of weight and often think about suicide. What do you think will help me?
I can assure you that no matter how often you think about suicide, I think about it much more frequently.
Killing oneself has always been, in my opinion, a valid life-style choice for those who find their situations intolerable.
However, there is something that always stops me dead in my tracks (no pun intended) whenever I have a knife to my wrist.
I once heard about a woman who interviewed everyone who had survived jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.
Every single one of these survivors said the exact same thing: that twothirds of the way down, they figured out all the solutions to their problems, save for the problem of having just thrown themselves off a bridge.
Here’s your (what I call) “two-thirds down solution”:
Get a full Brazilian and hit the gym.