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International Women`s Club
The International Women's Club has organized additional coffee mornings & meetings during the summer for newcomers and members wishing to greet them. Dates: July 11th & August 8th, 10-12 am at the Hard Rock Cafe, Stary Arbat,# 44. M. Smolenskaya. For more information: Anke Grossman or Joy Harris
No reservations required.

American Women`s Organization
Are you new to Moscow? Or looking to meet new friends? The month of July is a great time to visit the American Women's Organization! Our coffee meetings this month will be on July 5th & 19th at the Hard Rock Cafe, 2nd floor, from 10.30 am -12.30pm. 44 Ul. Stary Arbat, M. Smolenskaya. Additionally, join us on July 19th after the meeting for our quarterly ‘Neighborhood Lunch’, a time to get to know other people who live close to you in the city. Due to summer travel, the July meetings tend to be smaller and more intimate, which is perfect for good conversation! We look forward to seeing you soon. Membership is open to all North American passport holders and their spouses. For more information, contact:

Moscow Youth Soccer League
Moscow Youth Soccer League's season starts 26 August 2006. We are registering children ages 5 -18 for the upcoming season. For more information call: Tanya Granger 763 6621 or Svetlana Korshunove 232 9290.


St. Andrews Anglcan Church – July 2006 Schedule
Sunday services:
8.30 BCP Holy Communion 11.00 Sung Eucharist with Sunday School and Creche 18.30 Evening Prayer Weekday services: 8.30 Morning prayer 18.30 Evening prayer 19.00 (Wednesdays only) Holy Communion and Bible study Note: From July 19 — end of month there will be no Holy Communion services. During that time, on Sundays at 11.00, there will be Sung Morning Prayer. Every Thursday at 19.30 is Concert Night with classical vocal and instrumental music! (Tickets at the door.) St Andrew's Anglican Church Voznesensky Pereulok 8, Moscow. (Metro Okhotny Ryad or Pushkinskaya)

JCC Jewish Community
Events for July 2006 Sunday July 2 at 7pm: concert of cantor Vadim Tunitsky, one of the most famous cantors in USA. Program: Jewish and opera music. Venue: Moscow Jewish Community House, ul. Volochaevskaya, 16a (Metro Baumanskaya). Entrance free Friday night services — every Friday at 7pm. Venue: Vsevoloszhky Per, 2, entrance B (Metro Kropotkinskaya). 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th of July.


Downsize up 
Downside Up 11th Annual Charity Red Square Bike Ride Join us from August 24th to August 27th as we bicycle 160km around the city of Ruza in Moscow Oblast. Bicyclists from all over the world will take part in this fun-fillled, three day event. There are many different sponsorship categories including a corporate team ($6000 for 4 participants) or a private participant ($1200). Proceeds from the event will benefit children with Down Syndrome. For more information please visit our website at: or contact Chris Council at: or (495) 165-5536.

Business Associations

Associations of European Businesses
July 5 — energy committee. Open Meeting with Mrs. Belova, Deputy Head of Concern ‘Rosenergoatom’ July 6 HR and IT committees: HR Aspects of IT July 11— energy committee: Open Meeting with Peter Davies, vicepresident and chief economist of BP. Presentation of BP statistical review of World Energy 2006 July 12 — corporate governance working group: Board of Directors' Practices: Remuneration.


Business After Hours at The Blue Elephant

On May 22nd, the 5th Business After Hours of 2006 was hosted by The Blue Elephant, a royal Thai restaurant offering the widest selection and most authentic Thai dishes available in Moscow. Nearly 200 AmCham company representatives turned out for the informal networking event and were treated to a buffet featuring delectable entrees of Thai cuisine.

The Blue Elephant, located in Novinsky Passage, makes all its dishes with fresh ingredients flown in from Thailand on a regular basis.



Renaissance Pink Party

On June 7th the Renaissance’s Vienna CafÎ was swimming in pink as the hotel held its Pink Party for corporate clients as part of its 15th anniversary celebration programme. Presided over by Charles Banks, the hotel’s general manager, guests were dominated by the many ladies in travel companies and travel departments who book rooms and events with the Marriott-owned hotel.

The pink theme extended from the pink stretch limousine on the outside terrace to the pink spotlight on the ice sculpture rotating above a pink buffet conjured up by Michael de Wildt, the hotel’s director of food and beverage.

Pink salmon and tender pink lamb chops all the way through to the strawberries, melon and a tempting array of pink confectionery were continuously replenished by the attentive waiting staff. A spirited entertainment programme included a violin soloist and the popular Novy Para pop duo, while the many guests could enjoy free hair-styling, make up and manicures.

Joining The Tourists In St Petersburg
Photo by Tania Teschke

Last month, I hosted tourists who, in another life I could call family and friends. This month I became my own worst nightmare; a tourist in St Petersburg, the city of watery light and 18th century palaces. My friend and I joined long lines at Catherine’s Palace, pushed and shoved our way into the Hermitage Museum, and willingly paid exorbitant prices for food and shelter. As residents of Moscow we learn that St Petersburg is the Holy Grail for Westerners seeking culture and beauty in Russia. So off I went to seek a different kind of city.

Like most of us in Moscow, we took the train. Not the sleepover train, since I knew I wouldn’t sleepover. Instead, we took the fast train, which isn’t really fast, but just doesn’t go as slow as the sleepover train. No bullet train, but a leisurely 5 ? hours watching the scenery of little villages and slightly decayed towns whiz by. The highlight of the trip — getting out of the train in Tver for a leg stretch and watching the local ladies sell smoked eels and fish to the train passengers. The eels were giant and a bit scary and I didn’t have a clue how you eat them – sliced on toast? – therefore, I skipped that purchase.

Arriving in St Petersburg late on a summer night, we were energized by the sun still glowing in the sky. How can you go to bed when it looks like 4 o’clock in the afternoon? But this weird time warp caused by the northern latitude’s romance with the summer sun can cause tourists to exhaust themselves by investing in a few more hours of sightseeing. Why not get in a few extra tourist sights at midnight and then concentrate on the big sights the next day? I call Catherine’s Palace and Peterhof and the Hermitage Palace the big sights, since they are really big and rather overwhelming. And they take all day. Ah, the humanity at these places! The hours spent in lines, the eagerness to pay big bucks to see the insides and outsides of these palaces. These are indeed the Holy Grails for tourists.

We were joined in our trekking by hundreds if not thousands of other tourists trudging along the streets of St Petersburg. In fact, the cruise ships were in the harbor and the tourists were leaving them like lemmings. Most of them were on tour buses, which were charging $200 for visas and guides. But the tourists eagerly come, since where else can they see the best architecture, the best views and the mostly unrestored facades of urban 18th century Russia? Not in Moscow, that’s for sure, even though we love our everchanging capital as buildings go up and buildings come down on a regular basis.

In fact, we were more than ready to return to Moscow after an extended weekend of visiting the Russian past. Here in Moscow, we see the Russian future, maybe not so pretty, but definitely worth a visit by any tourist ready for a different kind of town.

‘Golden’ Football
Katia Moskvitch

It is great fun to play football. But it feels even better when you know you play for a reason. Moscow Expat Football League raised $30,000 during their third annual end of the season ball held on June 3 at the Renaissance hotel in Moscow.

However, this money won’t be used to buy new footballs. It will all go to charities, continuing the tradition started three years ago. Back then, a group of Moscow expatriates decided to help blind people and disabled children. They started raising funds for the Russian Guide Dogs Association and for Diema’s Dream, a Foundation for Disabled Russian Orphans.

Over 300 people from 28 different countries gathered to celebrate the end of the football season. Great dinner, unlimited drinks, Russian pop stars Blestyashie, a British band and a DJ helped to keep spirits high during the night. But beside that, the expats listened to moving speeches from representatives of the two charities they’ve been helping for the last three years.

“Everyone who is here tonight, they’re not just here for the football. They are here to celebrate a very big evening,” said the event’s organizer and football player Nick Rees, Partner Antal International Ltd, alluding to the league’s involvement with the charities.

Right now, the league has eight teams, whereas it all started with only two three years ago. Anyone is welcome to come and play. Games are held every Saturday, and are not limited to only kicking the ball. After a game, players get together for ‘shashlik’, drinks, and other fun stuff. What can be better than a hot summer day spent in the open air!

Happy Birthday America!

Being outside the U.S. doesn't mean missing American Independence Day celebrations. Taking advantage of the weekend before the holiday, the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia held its 12th annual Independence Day bash on July 1. The Chamber worked with the event's major sponsor, Coca-Cola, to make 2006's celebration an unforgettable event.

And unforgettable they were. In addition to one of Moscow's most extravagant fireworks displays, the day featured musical performances by some of Russia's best-known bands, traditional American fare on offer from a variety of food vendors, sports tournaments and a special children's play area with moonwalks.

This year's headline band was Moralny Kodeks, a Russian rock band founded in 1989 by Moscow producer and poet Pavel Zhagun and saxophonist Sergey Mazayev. Last year the band opened the Live 8 Concert in Moscow.

The Radisson SAS Slavyanskaya hotel served up its annual hit, the quarter-ton supercake, a raffle was held at the end of the day for prizes provided by AmCham member companies, including two roundtrip tickets from Delta Air Lines to the U.S.

There was a large play area for kids of all ages, and volleyball, football and soccer tournaments for the adults. The celebrations ended with an amazing pyrotechnic display, courtesy of Wrigley.

Gone in 60 Seconds
Fred Flintstone

That’s about how long it took us to fall to earth from our brief Jetson adventure. Less than 24 hours after Wilma, Fred Jr. and I picked up our light blue, Japanese wonder from the dealer, it disappeared from the Garden Ring in front of my office on a Monday morning. It had been a lovely Sunday when we walked over to pick up the keys. It had just four kilometers on the odometer and the scent of a new car. The dealer’s representative showed us our car, gave us instructions about the special security coded keys, and even gave us some hints about how we might secure the computer panel under the dashboard to discourage theft.

We cruised over to grandma’s apartment to pick up some plants and then on to the dacha. Fred Jr. got to drive the last kilometer from my lap, just like he always does with our pomegranate pyaturka. Home by 9, we debated whether to park it next to our Zhiguli in a nearby paid stoyanka (parking lot). We somewhat nervously chose convenience.

Fred Jr. rummaged through the nicely packaged mandatory aptechka, the kit that contains the first aid kit, fire extinguisher and triangular reflective emergency road sign. During the ride to the dacha, I described the safety systems – the airbags, body construction, seatbelts.

The next morning we got out early to take Fred Jr. to the school bus. Relieved to find both cars in their place, we tooled off to the bus and then on to work. I called Wilma from the road to rave, “This is the way life on the road should be in Russia. It’s so quiet I can even hear the radio.”

I parked on the Garden Ring in an evacuator (tow truck) safe zone. I didn’t yet have a parking space in the office compound – I had previously heard that our office director was concerned about what building security would think if I parked a Zhiguli in the lot. I couldn’t resist checking on our light blue breeze at lunchtime. She was gone. Even after the militia left two hours later, I still walked up and down the street to see if she would come back. The worst parts were thinking that our pet was in dirty hands - “Some dvor (crook) with his gryazami lapami (grubby paws),” said Wilma – and breaking the news to Fred Jr.

No word on the car, but we don't expect much. By evening the consensus was that someone at the dealer was in on it. I talked to an expat acquaintance who has an auto security systems company in Moscow – “there are ‘issues’ with that dealer, though it’s difficult to prove anything.” The dealer has our home and business addresses and can make copies of keys.

It's a little difficult to imagine that someone with the right computer was cruising Monday morning near my work address, and this was a random event. But then everybody has to work, and I suppose the morning is the best time to take a car from an office area – providing a possible 8-hour head start.

Of course, it could have been jealousy. My two cars were parked next to each other for one night.

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