Saturday, June 26, 2010

Nevski misunderstandings

Russia needs a lot of jobs. Walking around the city, we have seen interesting job creation projects - the ubiquitous museum guides,one for every room of a deserted museum, the armies of people planting gorgeous flower arrangements in parks, or the bus ticket controller whose job could easily be replaced by a machine, but isn't. Mind you, the wages are a mere pittance, but the state still seems to have a special responsibility for employment. However, the private sector is adding into the mini-job category, most strikingly by the tons of flyer-distributers on Nevski prospect. I have a hard time understanding the rationale behind this business idea, there are so many distributers that close to no passer-bys take one. Plus, they don't even have coupons. Pshsh. I have only ever caved out of pure pity - there is a guy dressed up as a giant cupcake, one as a bear and one as a pink bunny - and out of curiosity, like when this business man next to me suddenly pulled out what seemed like a business card and handed it over. Who could've guessed that exactly that one was a flyer for what I think was a drug rehabilitation centre? when I laughed incredulously, he just smiled and handed me a copy of the new testament in Russian. Thanks. So apparently when I walk around town, in comparison to the Russian girls I look like a drug addict in desperate need of help. Interesting. Well, I guess that is still better than my friend's misunderstanding : when she was waiting for the bus on the curb after the opera we went to, apparently she was propositioned to by 10 to 15 guys in cars driving by who all thought she was a prostitute. But then again, she was wearing very high heels even for Russian standards.

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