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Moskau, dritten Tag

September 17, 2008
By Asmodeane in Posts, Travel


...and behind me rises the glittering mass of Moscow University of Industry and Finance.

...and right behind me rises the glittering mass of Moscow University of Industry and Finance.

100 years ago today the aircraft claimed its first victim. Let us be silent for a moment and remember the thousands lost since then. Sigh. Ok, that’s over and done with. On with the post. Thank God the training seminar, all bloody 8 hours and 17 minutes of it, is over for today. At some point I honestly thought that I was going to flip and jump out of the window, or at least smash it with a keyboard and slit my throat with a particularly nasty shard. Fine, ok, before you raise a quizzical eyebrow, I must say it wasn’t all that bad. It’s just that, appart from a somewhat limited concentration span and all the intelligence of a retarded cocker spaniel, I have this weird thing with falling asleep in seminars, meetings, lectures, you name it. It’s strange, I can be fully rested and alert, have an ounce of pure Colombian in me (coffeine, that is), and I still begin to uncontrollably nod off at about the 3 hour mark. It’s awful, I can’t keep my head up, my eyes roll back in their sockets, I often start drooling and snorting, and worst of all, I have been known to trumpet off a gust of fell wind during these involuntary lapses in consciousness… Funny thing is, I tend to perk up after about an hour or so of seemingly terminal lethargy, and later during the seminar or what have you, even if opportunity presents itself, I am unable to slip into this elven-like (if you discount all the farting and drooling) reverie.


Obligatory photo of Saint Basil's cathedral.

Obligatory photo of Saint Basil's cathedral.

Seriously though, the training was well presented, fairly well organized, and the guy really knew his shit and looked well groomed. The host, Moscow University of Industry and Finance, fucked up a tad cos they had Windows 2000 (there were a lot of compatability issues) installed on the machines we were supposed to work with, and some had as little as 30Kb (how the fuck!?) of HD space left! So about an hour was wasted while a team of their own very enthusiastic nerds installed XP on all the machines (16 all in all). Oh, I guess I should clarify for those not in the know that the seminar dealt with Biolink’s BioTime biometric identification software, as well as the use and installation of biometric identification hardware made by the same company. Sounds all grown up and impressive, don’t it? Damn right it is. And I am intimidated to hell and back by that. I think I got the gist of it, but ”the gist” is barely enough in this case, I’m afraid. I will honestly have to read the manuals and memorise a ton of shit if I am ever to make a good impression back in Finland. Thankfully the subject is fairly interesting, with a lot of practical implementations and a bright and rosy future that positively reeks of money. And I like money…


GUM, too, of course.

GUM, too, of course.

Catering was another thing that the seminar had nailed. During those 8 hours and 17 minutes we were fed no fewer than 3 times. Two ”kofi breiks” and one proper ”biznes lanch” (these terms are firmy engrained within the Russian business community) with 3 courses. They must have taken up at least an hour and a half alltogether, and provided a thankful break from the flood of information. The fare was pretty good, typically Russian, mayo-based salads, borsch, and fish under a layer of what appeared to be some sort of cheese. I hate fish, but there was plenty of corn, green beans and broccoli on the side, so I was fine. Besides, the coffee breaks had an overabundance of pastries, both of the sweet and cheesy varieties, as well as ham sandwiches, so I was all set. Oh, and everything was naturally free of charge. My diet took a bit of a hit with this one. There was a lot of it and it was free. What did you expect…


Moscow was graced by a couple of hours worth of sunshine...

Moscow was graced by a couple of hours worth of sunshine...

After the seminar I was supposed to go to celebrate an old family friend’s 50th (or thereabouts) birthday, but when faced with a whirlpool of rush-hour masses at the entrance to the metro station I decided to have a beer nearby instead, and wait out the horrible rush. After the beer the full extent of my weariness hit me square in the head, I wanted nothing to do with parties and relatives and I certainly didn’t want to have anything to do with pretending to have fun. I hate that, especially when tired and meh. So I went to Hot Dog’s Bar n Grill instead. Yeah. Oh ok, yes, I didn’t wanna party or anything. Yes, I was tired and grumpy. I don’t have much money, sure! But for fuck’s sake, they have free WiFi and the beer’s relatively cheap, and it sure beats laying alone in bed under two blankets in a freezing appartament without internet, listening to creepy noises and trying to fall asleep. I might regret this tomorrow though, unless I keep the boozing in check. Have to wake up at 8am and brave the meat grinder once again. Plus there’s 8 hours of seminar to stay awake through…


And what the hell, people? While I was gone AIG went tits up (and it matters), Lehmann Brothers bought the farm, Russian stock market suffered what could be termed a seizure, Finnish financial papers are shitting elephant-sized bricks… Oh, and Merrill Lynch sold to Bank of America? Jesus. The list goes on and on. Some mutter darkly that this could be worse than The Great Depression.  Sigh. I just hope I manage to keep my job through all of this. The financial sector in US alone has already shed 120,000 jobs… Luckily I don’t have any debts, so I’ll be pretty much fine whatever comes, but man, there sure is a strong whiff of disaster in the air. Whatever is going to happen, it is at least going to be interesting.


Sigh, guess I should get the links off my shoulders and head home before I decide to buy some tequila from the big breasted mini-shorted tequila girl that’s been making rounds. Remember the guy with 86 wives? Well, guess what. Allahu akbar! Oh, and I’m sure everybody has heard about the growing problem of piracy in the waters surrounding the Horn of Africa. Fairly recently a yacht with a French couple on board was captured by Somali pirates and held for ransom. Now yachties have always been close to my heart, as I hope to become one of them at some point. So I was rather suprised and delighted when the story received a happy ending, with an unexpected show of balls by the French government thrown in as a bonus! Vive la France! And since I am in Russia, and having had to fend off the attentions of prostitutes already twice today, an article on why men visit brothels, from a prostitute’s point of view. Oh, and here’s something on perceived racism in USA. Read it, it’s not what you’d expect. In fact, it raises a some questions that should have been addressed a long time ago. And to lighten things up, here’s 9 types of problem drinkers identified by the Brits. I guess I’m either a boredom drinker or a depressed drinker, right? Feedback more than welcome. I think it’s time to go home now, before more drink is consumed and more money is lost.

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  1. Ha-ha! I have exactly the same problem with falling asleep during lectures, etc. I once even started falling asleep on the first day of a new job, while sitting next to an employee who was rattling on about the tasks that were going to be assigned to me! xD At some point he glanced at me, cleared his throat, and said perhaps it was time for a coffee break…

    Not to mention how I fall asleep at movie theaters–even during the loudest, action-packed movies (a fellow reader of this blog can attest to this fact–tell em, Ivy!). Meh. <:)

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