Uncle Pasha's
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A western tourist (left) inspecting in disbelief shoes so old they consist almost entirely of patches. And this is the best (!) pair owned by a poor Russian peasant (right).

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No-nonsense methods of teaching English are practiced even at one of the best of private schools. Imagine what happens elsewhere! In this case the poor student, if we can apply this word to a victim of so crude of an educational technology, is trapped in the storage loft and threatened with a willow rod. She will not be allowed down until she does the assignment. To be fair we must admit that Russian students respond well to such barbarous methods.

 

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Misery Tourism

You have your photos against the background of every imaginable landmark. The pyramids make you yawn. You've been to luxury resorts. You've tried eco-tourism. You've gone to working trips abroad. You've done sex in Thailand and drugs in Amsterdam. You've stayed in Hymalayan buddhist monasteries and hand-fed pinguins in the Antarctic. You've seen it all. People, cultures and countries no longer amuse you. Realization that in six thousand years of civilization humanity haven't generated enough entertainment for just this one lousy lifetime of yours makes you dangerously bored.  

For the sophisticated misanthrope you've become we are pround to present the new revolutionary contept of

Misery Tourism

"Come look at, laugh at and feel for
those people not quite so fortunate as yourself"

The art of suffering, of experiencing and inflicting it, has been developing for centuries in this land of intrigue, murder, and slavery, of brutal revolutions followed by merciless supressions, of soul-less apparatchiks trapped in a self-devouring system, of powerless men, battered women and endlessly crying children, ragged cats, three-legged dogs and collective farm cows covered in a thick layer of dirt, all plodding about under high-voltage power lines between fallen over reinfoced concrete fences in the shadow of smokestacks.

For a lover of pain there is no place better than Russia. Pain here is of the most uncompromising quality. A bolivian farmer may live a tough life, but he, with his sombrero hat and unhurried macho manners, may at least be pleasant to look at. But a Russian druken muzhik lying in a ditch in his cotton-padded jacket and cheap Chinese boots represents wasted life pure and simple. And Ethiopian children starve in the midst of a vast majestic desert, and food caravans are on their way, thus reminding you that people are not quite so uncaring as you need to believe. In Spain they managed to make art out of killing cows. But in Russia you will see none of that. Here you will find the purest unadulterated misery of the true connoisseur grade.

You will see dozens, hunderds or even thousands of sad, grumpy, unwashed faces. In fact, a whole population of sick malnourished chain-smoking alcoholics will be there for your pleasure of contemplating the the vanity of human existence.

To our clients we offer two options. Your individual trip can be carefully designed as a participatory experience. You will be given the opportunity to sample heart-burn inducing food from bus station eating establishments. As a special treat you'll be allowed to use washrooms with toilets that don't flush - a site usually kept hidden from package-tour travellers. On your request for a small extra fee we will arrange for your money and documents to be stolen. Consumption of copious amounts of vodka combined with smoking filter-less cigarettes will give you a memoralbe headache combined with nausea, thus giving your a unique glimpse into an average Russian's soul on an average day..

Falling through uncovered manholes and stepping into excrements and exemplify the little sparkles we've thrown all over this immersion tour.

You may, on the other hand, prefer detached observation. From the luxury of your hotel or the comfort of your apartment you'll see garbage-strewen streets full of aggressive obnoxious beggars, flat-headed criminals with their jeeps and gold chains, and ugly prostitutes oozing with desease.

While our proposal primarily aims at private individuals, we are open to offers from governments and penitentiary institutions of western countries. Malcontents and radicals exiled to Russia for a couple of years are certain to beg for pardon. They will re-join the civilized humanity full of appreciation for clean decent middle-class style of living......

Write us to arrange for this unique experience..... 

February 27, 2001 update