Pictures from the Motherland

No, not my motherland- THE Motherland. The Rodina.

That's right, lads- I was in Russia.

Specifically, I spent a week in Moscow. And I had a blast.

Now, the universal reaction that I've gotten from everyone that I've told about my vacation is: "Why MOSCOW???"

Well, for one thing, I've wanted to visit Russia since I was about 15 years old and started learning about the country's rich, turbulent, violent history.

For another, the most beautiful women in the world are supposed to be there.

And for a third, well, you hear a lot about Russia within the 'Sphere. We manly men of righteous manliness look at Eastern Europe as some sort of haven of unadulterated masculinity, where the men are men, the women are beautiful and feminine, and the language is... well, impossible, but still pretty damned interesting.

More on all of that later. For now, here are some pictures, with more down below:

St. Basil's Cathedral in Red Square

Panorama shot of the Kremlin and surroundings

The Bolshoi Theatre

Buran, the USSR's answer to the Space Shuttle

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

Monument to the failed 1905 Revolution

The Girls

Okay, first things first- I know that everyone reading this is only interested in the answer to one question:

Are Russian women in fact as amazing as everyone thinks they are?

Answer: sort of.

Don't mistake me. I saw some truly gorgeous women while I was there. Every single day I saw at least one hard 10 and probably two or three solid 9s, no matter where I went. On the streets, in the metro, at the art galleries, walking along the rivers, in the parks, in coffee shops and restaurants- regardless of location, the ladies were elegant, graceful, and feminine.

However, I probably didn't go at the best time of year to judge the overall beauty of Russian ladies. October in Moscow is a pretty miserable month, and to be honest Russia doesn't get a whole lot by way of good weather in general.

If you're only interested in babes and game, the best time to travel to Russia is probably July or August, when the temperatures can easily hit +30 degrees Celsius. (Those are proper units for you Yankees.) While I was there, it was cold and wet and windy, so all of the ladies were buttoned up and in coats, so I didn't see much by way of real eye candy.

I will however say this about Russian women, as a general observation (which means that there certainly are exceptions): they have Western women completely outclassed in terms of looks, femininity, and refinement.

Most of the women that I saw were not, for the most part, the stop-traffic model/actress types. But they were reasonably slim, well dressed, confident in their femininity, and notably absent of the extremely irritating brashness and coarseness of their American and British counterparts.

This was true even for older women, up to and including grandmothers.

Of course there are fat women in Russia. I saw a fair few in Moscow, and I saw a couple more that had bleach-raped their hair and had desecrated their flesh with piercings and studs on their faces. They were ugly to look at, and knowing what I do of women who willingly ruin themselves in such fashion, they were likely ugly souls too.

But these were VERY much the exception, not the norm, and it was clear to me that Russians, even in Moscow, are generally conservative in terms of dress and appearance.

Walking through the ancient city was a very enjoyable experience for this precise reason. The women actually acted like women.

For someone used to the nearly insufferable nature of Western women and their amazingly unjustified sense of entitlement, their lousy dress sense, their total lack of impulse control, and their foul mouths, it was like breathing fresh air after years of living in a cloud of smog.

Unfortunately, and speaking of smog, Russian women also tend to smoke in far higher numbers than their Western counterparts do. If, like me, you find this to be a disgusting habit- I grew up around a father who has smoked for nearly 50 years and cannot stand the stench of cigarette smoke- then this will be a problem for you.

Also understand that Russian women come with their own major issues. If you date a Russian girl, be prepared for constant shit-testing and massive drama at any time. You have to have rock-solid frame to deal with them, and you have to be willing to tease them mercilessly when they do silly things- which they absolutely will.

And realise that they are extremely materialistic; an expensive gift of earrings or a necklace can very easily be met with a mocking smile and a response along the lines of, "it's such a small thing!". I found this to be a bit of a rude shock; where I come from, it is not the value of the gift that matters, it is the fact that a gift was given in the first place.

The benefits of being with a Russian or Ukrainian girl, though, largely outweigh these negatives.

Once you break through their initial cold reserve, their women are graceful, charming, intelligent, caring, and passionate. They can be difficult to deal with, and that makes the low points of your interactions with them more acute- but they also make the high points far better.

One last thing about Russian ladies: they hit the Wall much later than their Western counterparts, but damn do they slam into it hard when they do.

As commenter Lucas Daigle once noted on another article of mine related to Russian ladies:

They are disproportionately hot, but they have a very firm "sell by" date. And it's not a gradual turn, either; once they hit a certain age, BAM! It's Hottya [Hottovna] to Mrs. Kruschev overnight.

This is absolutely true.

Western women hit the dreaded Wall pretty much by 33 or so. Slavic women in general extend that out by up to 10 years, and up to 15 in some unusual, well-maintained, cases. (See e.g. Melania Trump.) But when they do hit, they pancake straight into it, going virtually overnight from ballerina to babushka. (Ivana Trump, for instance.)

The People

Moscow City, seen from outside Oktyabrskaya Metro station

In terms of the people of Russia- or at least, Moscow- I found them to be very different from what Western stereotypes would have you believe of them.

The West's lack of understanding of Russia is, frankly, appalling. Westerners know little and understand less about the history and culture of the country, and as such, the stereotypes of Russian men as being a bunch of disorderly drunks and Russian women as being a bunch of fiendishly beautiful gold-diggers are more than a little ridiculous.

Moreover, the people have long since moved past the barbaric savagery and soul-destroying drabness of its Communist past- though that age of misery has certainly left its mark on the Russian psyche.

And, much as I loathe the Communists and their Satanic ideology, I'll say this for the bastards: they sure as hell knew how to build stuff. Take a look at this picture of the entrance to the Museum of Cosmonautics on Prospekt Mira:

I found a country with a very strong and proud culture that believes in itself and that does not brook outside interference, yet is welcoming to strangers as long as we act as good house-guests. Because I had taken the trouble to learn Russian before I went, I generally had a pretty good experience meeting people. Ordering food from various places wasn't much of an issue.

However- and this is key- you must take the time to learn at least the basics of the Russian language before you go. Do not show up in Moscow and expect to be accommodated if you do not speak any Russian at all.

If you do make the effort- and it is an effort, Russian is a deuced difficult language to learn for many reasons- then it will be richly rewarded. The language itself has a beauty and a romantic quality to it that I have not found in any other, and while it is devilishly hard to get the grammar right, if you at least try to speak some Russian, most ordinary Russians greet you with genuine warmth and effusive praise for doing so even if you mangle the tongue in the process.

The Culture

The Three Bogatyrs in the Tretyakovskaya Gallery

Russian culture is highly conservative when it comes to gender roles and the place of men and women in society. (Which is one of the things that I like about it, to be honest.)

Russians have a reputation for being cold and distant. Once you break through their initial reserve and distrust of strangers, though, they are a good and decent people with real souls. In my experience they are actually more publicly demonstrative of affection, especially between men and women, than sexually repressed Westerners and South Asians.

However, there are extremely clear limits to what is and is not permitted in public in Russia.

Public displays of homosexuality are almost non-existent, even in Moscow. The degeneracy of the sodomite crowd is kept firmly behind closed doors, where it belongs. Russians have an extremely dim view of sodomite fairies and do not disguise their loathing or contempt of them. (Again, I rather like this.)

In racial terms, Moscow is a very white city, and if you are darker-skinned (like me), then be prepared to be treated quite differently. The few blacks and Indians that I saw there stuck out like sore thumbs, and in the case of the black Africans, in particular, it was made extremely clear that they were considered second-class citizens.

You can get around this by speaking Russian- and if you can manage it without much of an accent you will get major props for it.

The fact that I spent most of my time in the company of locals that I knew made my life infinitely easier and my trip vastly more enjoyable. I recommend that any traveler to Russia do the same- you'll get far more out of it.

More generally, Russian culture is ancient- and the Russian people know it and are, rightly, extremely proud of it. They take great pride in their achievements and demand respect for who and what they are.

There is a richness, a depth of feeling, and a degree of cohesion in Russian culture that you no longer really find in the West. The country's long and bloody history of war, conquest, and identity crisis, coupled with the strong hold of masculine orthodox Christianity upon the nation's psyche, and the brutality of the Russian winters, has bred a deep-seated darkness into the Russian soul- but it has also made the Russian people resilient, self-reliant, and tough.

Russians have a deep appreciation for art and culture, and that shows in the way that they have preserved and displayed their art and architecture.

You could spend days wandering through the Tretyakovskaya Gallery (the old one, not the landfill of modern art that is the new one) and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. And those are just two out of God only knows how many places in Moscow alone that house amazing works of art and sculpture. I love wandering through old art galleries and museums; to me, there is no better cure for a cultural hangover.

Despite the strangeness that comes from being in a very foreign country with a radically different language, Moscow is in fact highly cosmopolitan. I stayed in the city centre in Kitai-Gorod, and while walking down Varvarka Street I often found myself thinking that, if it were not for the signs all being in Cyrillic and the language being completely different, I could easily have been walking down the high street in Sloane Square in London.

On the whole, I found Russian culture to be a very welcome respite from the suicidal, self-destructive nihilism of the modern West.

The Architecture

The truly gigantic main building of Moscow State University

Like I said earlier about the Russkies: them glorious bastards know how to build. The architecture was something else entirely.

I live in the northeast USA and I spend an awful lot of my time surrounded by ugly steel and glass skyscrapers and narrow streets full of potholes. I'm used to a subway system that is hopelessly outdated, dirty, overcrowded, and extremely fragile. I work in a concrete jungle and I live not far from another one.

Moscow, by contrast, is very old-world in terms of its architecture. The streets and avenues are broad and lined with trees, the buildings often stop at 10 stories (at least in the city centre), there are parks everywhere, the metro is astonishingly efficient and fast, and for a city of 16 million people- twice the population of New York- the traffic isn't nearly as horrific in the city centre.

There are not many skyscrapers in Moscow; they're all concentrated over in Moscow City itself. This is very much unlike Manhattan, which is nothing but overbuilt ugly-ass skyscrapers and tall buildings.

There are churches and monasteries everywhere within the city centre, with the beautiful onion domes that are the signature of Slavic Orthodox Christian architecture. Not a day went by that I did not feel my spirits raised by the beauty of the country's Christian past and present.

Autumn leaves and trees in Botanicheskaya Sad

More than anything else, I loved the feeling of walking around old buildings designed by architects who understood true beauty. There was a sense of openness and beauty there that I simply have not found in any American city that I have ever visited- with the sole exception of perhaps Austin, Texas.


Statue of Prince Vladimir the Great outside the Kremlin

I loved just about every minute of my time in Moscow. I highly recommend it to any masculine man with a sense of adventure for a visit. You could spend months wandering all over Moscow itself; every little part of the city has something new to show you, and virtually every street corner of the city centre has a monument or a famous building or a noteworthy place to explore.

And that is just Moscow. Russia is the world's largest country and there is so much more of it to see than just this one (enormous) city.

Also, if you're worried about the food- don't be. Russian cuisine alone exhibits enormous variety and diversity, far beyond the stereotypical pickled cabbage and meat and black bread. You could walk into a food court in any Moscow shopping centre and find yourself confronted by a wide array of possible cuisines.

Moscow is, however, a rather expensive city. Prices are not quite as horrific as New York, but it's still pricey. If you're used to paying New York prices for things, you'll find that eating and drinking in Moscow costs about 70% or so of what it does in Manhattan. Transportation, however, is significantly cheaper and simpler, and the aforementioned metro system is amazingly fast and efficient.

To be honest, I didn't want to leave Moscow, for many reasons. I had a great time while I was there and would certainly go back. I don't know if I could live there- my Russian needs to improve a lot before that becomes feasible- but I don't think I'd mind it too much if I did. (Other than the fearsome winters, of course- I hate winter as a general rule, and a Russian winter is probably the worst kind.)

Coming back to the States after time spent in Russia was an unusually jarring experience. I felt immediately depressed upon my return to America- and that is a highly unusual reaction for me.

When I came back from my overseas assignment to London in 2015, I came thisclose to weeping for joy when my feet touched American soil, such is my love for this country.

When I came back from Russia this time, though, I immediately found myself back in an ugly, coarse, dying culture with a rude, bloated, and inefficient bureaucracy. And that was before I was confronted by the realities of "dindu dysfunction" at the airport and its attendant irritations.

The worst thing for me, though, was the shock of looking at and dealing with American women again, after a week spent among their Russian counterparts. It felt like being slapped in the face with a wet mackerel the first time that I saw a bunch of corn-fed land whales waddle past me with their hair chopped short, their disgustingly ugly tattoos visible, and their piercings openly displayed.

I'm not saying that every Russian girl is an angel- because they most assuredly are not- but, as stated above, there is a level of class and grace to them that you just do not find in the metropolitan USA anymore.

If you have the time, the money, the opportunity, and- most importantly- the will to visit an incredible country with a rich culture and a deep sense of history, then make Russia your next holiday destination. Just make sure you put in the effort to study up on your Russian before you do.


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