May 19th, 2015

The Beauty of Simplicity...

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The simplest things can leave a lasting impression on our lives. Anything from a smile, a person's beauty, their harsh or loving words and, particularly, a random act of kindness. I continue to review my photos from Kazan, and recently came across this image. I remember that my Russian travel companion in Kazan had a very emotional reaction when he encountered this note and lollipop, but two months after the journey I can't remember exactly why. I spoke to my Russian friend Alexey yesterday and he translated the note as follows: "This rabbit is 10 years old. He was brought from abroad but the child felt sorry for him and didn't eat him. And then the child grew up and brought him to the museum. Live eternally, brother!"Collapse )

Cossacks Battling in the USA!

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American bikers, simply legendary! They're the subject of films, urban myths and play an important theme in American cinema and culture. I'm not sure if this news has made its way to Russia, but this week two Texas biker gangs are at battle, and in a very violent way. A major shootout on the streets of Waco, Texas, during which nine people were killed, dozens injured and the locals in shock and awe that a scene from a Hollywood film became reality in their hometown. Now, over 170 bikers are being detained in Texas, with their bonds set high (over $1,000,000)! But, I'm most curious about the name of one of these gangs - COSSACKS. Why did they pick it, or what is the significance to biking culture? About Cossacks, I never understood their role in modern Russia, or its security forces. I wrote about it in my Sochi post, where they stood as guards at various places during the Olympics, as in the following picture.Collapse )