03 July 2007


Says the graffiti on the wall not far from school.

With all my worries before leaving--what to pack, how many books to fit in my luggage, how to keep up with my FOIA requests from abroad, how to avoid getting harassed by the militia--I forgot about looking forward to all the little things I like about Moscow: the fact that I'm typing this post at 10.30 pm and watching the sunset, the perfect summer weather, the way the Metro escalators don't synchronize the belts on the steps with those for the armrail so you might absent-mindedly start leaning into the woman in front of you... And the graffiti. I'll have to start carrying around my camera for some examples.

Also the television! As I was unpacking, I got to catch the velikii kombinator do his stuff, followed by sekretnyi agent Makguiver later the same evening.

And now that I'm unpacked, I'll share what the place looks like:

From the top, living room, living room, where the tea gets made and the view I'm seeing right now.

In other news, I've taken a complete break from academia for this week's reading. Almost done with M. Chabon's latest, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, which is actually a nice read. The writing evokes older noir, without being imitative (the problem with Bukowski's attempt to do the same, stylistically speaking, in Pulp). And the historical hypothetical premise is a nice one to muse as you work through the plot, though I wonder if he doesn't account enough for the possible impact of Alaska on the counter-factual setting (making it more of a tabula rasa than a place with its own identity, beyond a few indigenous references). I tried to find an Alaskan review, but, lo, no luck finding one. Maybe it really is a nowhere?

Also finished up the first volume of O. Tezuka's eight-volume comics biography of Buddha. Some real translation problems --both of words and of ideas-- leads me to not want to work through the next seven volumes. And I'm continuing my Asian American detectives reading with the new Naomi Hirahara and finishing the last two of Howard Fast/E.V. Cunningham's Masao Masuto series. Will write more about that later.

Plus more on Moscow, including classes, food, and sundry observations. And maybe a little politics, once I get my feet beneath me.


McFly said...

On the subject of Asian-American detectives: I just heard about "Chinatown Beat" by Henry Chang. Familiar? The novel is noir, Chang's debut, rumored to be a gem, and the protagonist is named Jack Yu. Came out to critical acclaim-ish-ness in late 2006 and brings up to -- what? two? -- the Chinese-American detectives starring in current crime fiction. Haven't read it yet but I'm pretty excited. http://www.iexaminer.org/archives/?p=668 has a blip on Chang and on Hirohara. - mc

tom said...

hey ani you're in moscow! did you ever get my bday present for you? i never got to actually wish you a happy birthday in person. anyways, now you're in moscow, and i'm just sayin' hi!

Didi said...

Wow, that carpet really pulls the room together!

Seriously, looks like a nice place, looking foward to the grafitti and food tales.

BusterPh.D.Candidate said...

McFly, will have to have Chang sent to me along with the other books of mine you're hording!

Tom, no worries, your bday present is prominently displayed in Brooklyn and awaiting my return.

Didi, the Big L. references--they just keep coming at me, but I didn't expect it from the hot shot herself...

elwood el encanto said...

I think the graffiti says animooks.org

at least that's what my online vandalism decoder makes of it.