Sometimes I like to think I know what it feels like to be Russian. My buddy, Roman, always loves to tell people that I am half Russian. No matter what he swears I am one of them.

In my heart I can say that there is nothing like being around people that are understanding... maybe even a little sympathetic. The contrasts are neverending.

I don't ever think I have encountered a family like mine in Russia, although it seems to be a common theme in our culture. Ever since perestroika there are a lot more women raising their families alone without a father figure. It makes me wonder how interpersonal relationships between the sexes are going to change.

Lena has a BMW. In Russia, that's almost unheard of unless you live in a big city. When we drove from Volgograd down to St. Petersburg we were stopped by every GGDB station. They told me when they hear the song Give it Away from the Chili Peppers they think of their corrupted cops.

When I think of corrupt cops I think of the ones in the Ukraine when they pulled Lena over, gave her a breathalyzer test and told her that if she didn't give them $150 they were going to keep her car for 3 days and put her in jail. That happened in Yalta. I hate Ukrainian cops. They make the LAPD look like a bunch of choir boys.


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Road to Volgograd