Sonntag, 12. November 2006
Visit Pjotro, the Musical Machine

and don't miss the about-section and the picture of his childhood. Watch his appearance on the TV-show as well. Long live Russia (if the show was real)

Pjotro's website. (

Don't forget to let Pjotro dance.

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Mittwoch, 15. September 2004
'Hätten Sie's gewusst?'
9. Das Wort "Deutscher" (auf Russisch: nemez) stammt im Russischen vom Wort nemoj, was auf deutsch "stumm" bedeutet. So wurden im alten Russland alle Ausländer bezeichnet, da sie kein Russisch sprachen. Im Laufe der Geschichte beschränkte sich diese Benennung nur auf die Deutschen.

Quelle: [Deutsch]

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Montag, 13. September 2004
Zagorsk: Where I Heard The Angels Sing
I thought the Bolshoi Opera was heaven when I heard Rimski-Korsakov's "The Bride of the Czar". But it was just the entrance-hall.

70 kilometers away from Moscow you can visit the old monastery Zagorsk which has been called - as I have just found out - Sergiev Posad since 1992. Since I got there three years before it was renamed I'll stick to "Zagorsk".

Zagorsk. (novala)
Zagorsk was a little village. It was March and it was white. I was strolling through the monastery looking at the "onion-towers" as we call them in German. (Whenever we went on holidays when I was a kid, my parents kept us busy counting "onion-towers" - Zwiebeltürmchen - in Southern Germany).

Zagorsk. (novala)
Blue, white and gold - what a fairy-tale mixture. I actually wasn't sure whether I was dreaming or just walking around in the real CCCP.

I heard voices and went into a little church. From somewhere in the back I listened to a monk's choir. It was the most unbelievable music I had ever heard. Sounds that wrapped you into layers of tones, sound-waves, voices like celli and violines coming from the center of the earth rising to heaven. They comforted you, they lightened up your soul, they gave you some kind of inner peace and warmth.

If angels do exist and if they can sing, they look like Russian monks in an old monastery called Zagorsk in 1989.


Zagorsk [English]
Picture-Gallery Zagorsk

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Samstag, 11. September 2004
Moscow In March
Sometime in the morning I reached Sheremetyevo International Airport. The girl next to me had been flying for the first time in her life and Aeroflot wasn't excactly the type of flight-company to diminish her fears.

Boarding Pass. (novala)

Still pondering about the dogs climbing on trucks, hunting for refugees at the East German border, it was my turn to step forward and wait in front of this little glas box. Two young Russians inside. Blonde. Not much older than I. They looked at my passport, looked at me. Looked at my passport again. I looked at the centimeter lines which were stuck onto the glas. 1,67 m. Silence. Then big grins. Very big grins. And a question. "Is that YOU?" ("Bist DU das?", they asked in German using the informal Du) one of them pointed at my passport. Miss Charming: "Yehees!"

Moscow. (novala)
Moscow, view from Hotel Belgrade

"Don't change your appearance", I had been warned when applying for the visa. But my passport was gone for half a year and I was craving for a new haircut. (I had to buy a second one because I needed to go to Berlin in the meantime.) Straight long hair in a braid on that picture in my passport, shorter hair and wild curls when I stood at the airport.

I took a camera with me, but I didn't intend to take pictures. I'll take them with my mind, I said to myself. I want to keep it all inside of me.

The food didn't agree with me. Too much fat. Oil must have been on the five-year-plan, but I couldn't drink Vodka for digestion all day. Somebody wanted to make me drunk with Krim-Sekt.

Moscow, Red Square. (novala)
Red Square: People are queued to get into the Lenin Mausoleum

I remember the famous Russian circus, some kind of museum with satellites or rockets (connected with Gagarin), the Kreml, the Bolshoi Opera and the subway. Going by subway meant having enough time to read a book while taking the escalator down to the tracks. Each station was different. Different colors, sculptures, tiles and stones.

Ticket Circus. (novala)
Ticket for the circus

Russian paper
You can judge the state a country is in by the quality of its paper. I went into the Gum departement store and bought a drawing pad and some exercise-books. If you didn't intend to use an eraser or a fountain pen the paper was suitable. They offered clothes. I remember patterns with big flowers.

Exchange. (novala)
Money exchange

Walking around Moscow
"When you know the Arbat, you know Moscow", it says in Russia. I walked around Moscow on my own, asking myself why none of the cars had windshield-wipers. I was a stranger and everybody could see it. The musicians in the pedestrian street fiddled a song while I was looking a the empty shop windows. I can't remember where I was walking. Down the Arbat, somewhere to the Red Square. Someone asked me something. I didn't understand.

March 1989.

Inspired by moncay who went to Russia in 2004

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