Monday, March 15, 1999

Russia, Moscow

I have a bust of Lenin on my desk and a flag of Deicide over my window. (“Behead the Prophet!”)

I’ve been asked by so many Russians if I was afraid to come here. Then they tell one of the countless stories of some friend travelling to the States, and after seeing the American news, calling home in a panic to ask when chaos erupted in Russia.

The biggest international news story of 1997 was the death of Princess Di. Meanwhile, try to find someone informed about the civil war in Tangiers.

Went to this Moroccan hang-out. Clean, bright, and packed, mostly African and Mid-Eastern expats. Soccer on the wide screen. Two big spindles of lamb’s meat getting sliced up for shuarmas. A tile brazier with a coal fire roasting shishkabobs of four different kinds of meat. A bar in the back with a big tattooed Russian bartender and his big-breasted sidekick. French, Arabic, Russian, and English diluting the air.