Wow, three years later and here I am, still blogging about life in Russia and how Russians still can stand in lines properly.
Sure, my blog has failed to earn me millions or allow me to cash in on mad blogger pussy, but regardless of my lack of hot, young blog groupies, today I wanted to take some time out and reflect on these last couple of years of England-Moscow on the webs.
There was a time when (like most bloggers probably) I thought that starting a blog would be stupid, after all, who gives a shit about what I, some devilishly good-looking douche behind a screen, would have to say? That all changed when I saw a blog of an expat housewife who would post about her cats in Moscow, seriously.
What shocked me even more, was that each detailed post about her cats latest antics (there's only so much interesting shit a cat can do) generated a ton of comments - the currency of all blogs. Seeing this blogs weird amount of popularity made me realise - if the cat lady is doing it, I am going to be all over that shit.
Naturally I've been through my share of ups and downs writing this blog and I must admit, the writing has been great for blowing of steam on many an occasion when times were tough, but that wasn't why I started it.
I used to be quite active on the master Russian forums about ten years ago and even when I first found my way to Russia I was still on there (before some bug wiped my account). Since I was the guy in Russia among a whole group of people who were interested in visiting or studying here, I would often answer a load of questions.
Since some of the questions were so common, I decided I might start a blog where I, king of information, would hand down nuggets of wisdom from my ivory tower of handsomeness.
well, semi ivory
Once I had written the stuff I thought was more informative (like visa guides, how to get registered etc) I naturally gravitated into more opinion-based stuff. This was just after the crisis and hit - I had been financially castrated by unscrupulousness employers and my stuff was more rant-tinted.
To this day, my rant on corruption is the only thing, out of hundreds of posts, that gets translated on some Russian forums. I mostly get flamed to hell by groups of disgruntled, Putin-worshiping Russians who only know how to suck down the party line.
They believe that the courts or police here aren't really corrupt at all and all foreigners are Russian hating enemies, just waiting to invade (remember, Putin is still fairly strong on the Soviet-line of foreign enemies, especially NGOs).
Around this time I graduated into my darker days of Moscow life. Sure, I had just moved in with my girlfriend of the time, but things work wise were dead, as illustrated in this post from that period, aptly titled Down and out in Moscow.
That post was written after I had just split with my girlfriend of the time - I had developed an insane addiction to Modern Warfare 2 which may have had something to do with it.
As you can imagine, the combination of endless gaming and no work was a powerful afrodisiac to my then-girlfriend.
After some splitting up, some soul searching I decided I was going to stick around. I was lucky enough to find official work that pays well, unlike some of the other jobs here that demand hundreds of diplomas, grueling hours and offer up a shitty 30 thousand roubles a month.
I also had another great run of being single and slaying everything in sight.
Things worked out and so I'm still in Moscow.
My views have definitely changed over the years, although not too radically. Because of work, I have a lot deeper knowledge of some of the political aspects of Russia, although I still try and stay away from political topics.
Like before, I still have the odd rant and still post stuff that I hope will come in use to people out there who want to come and see Russia, but that don't have a clue where to start.
Oddly enough, I still have a lot to say, even after 100+ posts, shit I might even adapt a chunk of this blog into an kindle book and fail to shift a copy!
After all these years and surprisingly little hate mail, I want to say a thank you to all of you - the people that take time out of your day to stop by and read my blog or give me a like on Facebook. I don't plan on going anywhere any time soon and I look forward to sharing more rants and other bits of my life here with you all in the future, who know's maybe one of these days I'll even get my comment section sorted out!
In the mean time, thanks and keep reading!