Perhaps the gods will punish me for this column

But I really don’t see why Vladimir Medinsky is apparently The Most Horrible Person Of All Time. I was genuinely afraid that a genuinely polarizing figure such as Nikita Mikhalkov or Stanislav Govorukhin or whoever was about to be appointed Culture Minister – so when I heard it was this guy, I was busy beingContinue reading “Perhaps the gods will punish me for this column”

Also – Ukrainian beer is cheap and good

Just sayin. Reading the comments, I have to reflect on how much British readers don’t understand the way Ukrainian government works. When I say that “racism in Ukraine is no longer being swept under the rug,” they say, “Aha! But your Foreign Ministry is denying it even exists!” That’s because Ukrainian government doesn’t really *do*Continue reading “Also – Ukrainian beer is cheap and good”

Keep Istanbul weird

I’ve decided that I highly recommend seeing a strange city through the prism of something like a film festival when you first arrive. You can begin to contend with it then. It was because of the film festival that I didn’t find it strange when a beautiful woman drinking coffee from a disposable cup parkedContinue reading “Keep Istanbul weird”

Way down south

… From Kiev, that is – and Istanbul, as I always suspected, is just as glorious in May as Kiev is. It’s a different gloriousness – calmer, I think, less tragic (but tragedy is endemic to natives anyway – a foreign spring always feels gentler, it results in possibilities, as opposed to memories). Now IContinue reading “Way down south”