Watching Nadezhda Repyeva’s Eugene Onegin

  Last night, Irina and I went to the opera. More specifically, we went to the Erik Sapaev Mari State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet to see Nadezhda Repyeva’s staging of Tchaikovsky’s lyric opera Eugene Onegin, based on Pushkin’s verse novel of the same name. Yoshkar-Ola only has about a quarter of a million […]

An Advertisement for McDonald’s in the Kazan Airport

The first thing I saw after getting off the plane in Kazan was an advertisement for McDonald’s. A quarter pounder with cheese looked smugly out from a banner hanging above the baggage carousel. I was bleary-eyed and vaguely depressed after a full day in transit from Toronto, and nothing captured the unreality of arriving in […]


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