Life here in Russia is conveniently unexpensive enough for me to let hang out one of my most likeable properties: the eternal sluggish idler.
I spend my time sipping milkless tea in cafes, engaging in the simple art of observation.
I watch flowerprint skirted babooshkas, black booted militsia and grossly pink-lipsticked platinum blond ladies and their dutifully moustached male counterparts on their lunchbreaks. They usually uniformally absorb tiny portions of fatty carbohydrates as a side dish to their alcoholic mains -beer-sized cans of gin and tonic mainly- then have shots of brandylike substances for pudding, and maybe stock up on one or the other bottle of vodka -a pound fifty per item- while they're at it.
In the parks -where strawberry nosed singletons are hugging trees with at least some motoric difficulty- you'll really stick out if you are not with your bottle of beer after half past four.
All this, of course, is nothing new for me, but, rather than blending in with the general dipsomania, I simply sit down in another cafe to another cup of milkless tea and indulge in the narcissistic cacographia of diary writing.
Life here in Pskov -I poetically ponder over my book of days- is one of these proverbial long, tranquil rivers, carving its serpentine way between the gold-onioned kremlin, the few silver-onioned churches and those stark naked brick chimneys rising like raised middle fingers from the greenery by the riverside... Then, abruptly -and pleasantly often- I get disturbed by some sleazy Slav wanting my phone number, the occasion of which I selfishly play out to my own advantage by retaining him for a short lesson of Russian conversation -with a native speaker, too!-and all the reason I came here, really- before ditching him rudely. My Russian so far is just rudimentary enough (largely pantomimic in fact to be quite honest) for me to indiscriminatorily entertain chit-chats with these pitiable desperate specimen of the male kind whom, back home, I'd only grant a deprecating sneer to quickly gain back my peace.
Back with my pen and book, I get so carried away in the idleness of the days that it even seems otiose to specify the brilliant colour of the sky(it's blue!) on my page of descriptions, when I might as well get engrossed in some more of that simple, but effective, milkless tea sipping, and also some more of what now, by the end of the day, might simply term, um, staring, really.