Category Archives: Memoirs

Belfries-1

Bells ringing in Brugge

As I was posting one of my favorite pictures from Brugge, I was reminded of one of the most vivid travel memories I have from anywhere. At least when it comes to aural sense.   On our very first trip to Brugge, climbing its grand tower (featured on this blog before) was one of the

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memoirs

A meal unlike any other

Imagine yourself, if you would, sitting on a terrace overlooking an amazing landscape. We will tentatively pin the place as a hamlet alongside Amalfi Coast, but it might as well be Albaicin in Granada, Amboise in Loire Valley, or any number of other places. The grand view is not a mandatory attribute – if all

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KrakowArtMarket-02

Travel memories: I once bought a painting

We never pass up a chance to walk through a street market. Sampling foodstuffs, stopping to admire craftsmanship, checking out odd or antique objects on display – there is little in the form of free entertainment that beats that experience. Yet, we practically never buy anything, not being much into collecting things that we probably

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memoirs

Travel anecdotes: Getting gas on a Sunday

Driving around the country in between sightseeing stops is one of my most favorite traveling pleasures. Pastoral landscapes aside, you can truly experience a foreign country only when you get away from its obvious touristy spots. And getting lost – figuratively speaking, of course, – on some back roads is the surest way to achieve

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memoirs

Travel anecdotes: Know your huevos

After penning my first entry in this series, I realized that we suffered through too many comical miscommunication situations in non-English-speaking restaurants, from randomly choosing a toast spray in a Parisian café and ending up with honey (which I can’t stand) to trying in vain to find something – anything! – that we could recognize

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memoirs

Of scars

Tania asked during my recent attempt at a Q&A session: [What] interesting scars [do you have] and how you got them? I don’t have much to flaunt in this regard, to be honest. I am only aware of two scars on my entire body, both of which were acquired by the time I was barely

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memoirs

Greasing my way on Russian Airlines

That day which started with my infamous detention for video-taping local police headquarters, continued with various amusements on my subsequent trip home1. I was already well-conditioned to the pervasive expectation of monetary “incentives” exhibited by everybody in the service sector. Truth be told, with the exchange rate of about 25 rubles to a dollar, I

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memoirs

Not very nomadic

Nathan, who often said in the past that he hates memes*, has actually created a meme of his own, listing the places that he resided in during his eventful life. I put together my own similar list and realized that I actually did not move around that much in my life. (Nathan’s rules are, basically,

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memoirs

Remembering high school

I haven’t done one of them meme things in a while, so I am happy to pick one from Jason. The meme is centered on my high school memories, which I am sure is a subject that will hold a lot of my readers enthralled, given the fact that my high school experience was so

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memoirs

Three hours under arrest

I only went back to Russia once in the years since I emigrated. Did not like that journey much, for a number of reasons. The pervasive state of dilapidation on Russian periphery at the turn of the century was the primary reason. The commonplace boorishness of service sector employees, from shopping assistants to receptionists, grated

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memoirs

The last time I drank vodka

As I mentioned in 25 things meme and probably elsewhere, I defy stereotypes of a Russian being a hard-drinker. I’m very partial to red wine, I order a screwdriver once in a while, I drink beer under right circumstances (such as when watching sporting events or gathering with friends for a barbecue), I enjoy sherry…

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memoirs

Jumping off a boat

Even a person who never seeks thrills, always drives under the speed limit and avoids the smallest possibility of appearing adventurous can probably name a few “close calls”, situations that had the potential of ending up with unpleasant consequences where it concerned his life and limb. Off the top of my head, I can think

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memoirs

Singing in Vienna

It’s a story that long begged to be immortalized in writing, and I finally decided to give it a try. I might even start a whole new category with it, aiming to relay some of the more remarkable and/or memorable experiences from our travels. Imagine Vienna. Among end-of-day things to do in the Austrian capital,

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