1. Last Saturday was a great day to be a bus. Almost seven hundred public utility vehicles took part in Moscow’s Parade of Municipal Service Vehicles. Every vehicle got its moment to shine, from humble buses and street sweepers to concrete mixers and police cars (although as one Tweeter noticed, the organizers wisely left out the police vans used to haul away protestors just a few weeks ago). After the parade, Muscovites were treated to a riverside water show from the city’s rescue boats. Overall, the vibe was: Ask not what your city service vehicles can do for you, but ask what you can do for your city service vehicles.
2. Have you ever beheaded a pumpkin with a sword? If not, then you can visit the “World Executions Tournament” in Markova, a town over 40 miles from Yekaterinburg, where Cossacks stage mock executions using pumpkins instead of people. According to one of the organizers, the tournament is a harmless “parody” of Cossack traditions, such as the kazarva, where bottles were chopped up in a similar fashion. But not all Cossacks agree: one protests that the Cossacks were “warriors of God,” not human guillotines. Regardless, if you ever feel too lazy to chop your pumpkins, now you know who to call.
3. The city of Arkhangelsk has a typical problem: drivers accelerate dangerously on one section of highway, leading to accidents. But the city has an odd solution: Install a statue of the Grim Reaper at the section. Some defended the city’s “creativity,” but others objected that the statue would scare children and waste money that could be used for real road improvements. To top it all off, thieves stole the statue hours later (not sure if they liked it or hated it). In any case, like real-life death, the city’s Death statue isn’t going away anytime soon. The city plans to turn it into a “mobile” statue. Clearly this Death statue is not taking any holidays.
Thanks to David Edwards for a story idea!
Want more where this comes from? Give your inbox the gift of TWERF, our Thursday newsletter on the quirkiest, obscurest, and Russianest of Russian happenings of the week.
Russian Life is a 29-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567