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On Moscow, february, 1998
Bitter, bitter cold winds that burrow under every layer of clothing like an unwelcome pet.

Large, burly men dressed in black extending menacing stares beneath heavy slavic brows.   
Long, sentimental toasts over small very cold glasses of vodka and steaming bowls of pelmeni, pickled salted vegetables and caviar.
The stark contrast of a minimalist Red Square echoing history to anyone listening
And the soaring golden kupolas of the kremlin promising more than any Muscovite dares hope for.
Mink coats and diamonds
Beautiful women and body guards
Mafia and beggars
Dirty snow and uninspired architecture
A Russian babushka serving me coffee, bologna, dark bread and cheese in her small kitchen while her grandson practices his English on me.
A long, dirty crowded ride in three cars from Moscow to a Dacha in the countryside.
More blini with caviar, dark aromatic bread and sawing wood in the deep snow with the old man.
Walking in the deep snow in the moonlight, body guards trailing in the distance
Held at gunpoint and robbed by the police at 2AM in the blowing snow
The taxi driver was in on it
Beautiful subway terminals, like much of the beauty in Russia - subterranean.
Prostitutes knocking on my door at the Moscow Aerostar Their siren calls answered by others who opened doors mumbling assent in six or seven languages.
A thousand dollar phone bill
Escape at the airport with no regrets.

Nyon, Switzerland, April 13, 1997 Beau Rivage Hotel

The French call it L'heure bleu; that moment when the sun is gone but its memory is still reflected in the sky. I stand here on the shore of Lac Leman watching fishing birds cartwheel over its smooth surface, reflecting the dying colors saturating the snow-encumbered slopes of the French alps and Mont Blanc.

Fortified as I am by a bottle of Swiss wine I resolve to never leave, but I know that resolution will be gone in the morning, replaced with the omnipresent urgencies of life.

Lost in Egypt - Part One - Being an account of how I ended up by myself in Cairo three weeks after the massacre at Luxor. My flight to Israel from Frankfurt was cancelled due to a strike by the border guard and I made the dubious decision to fly to Cairo and cross the border into Israel once it reopened. I wandered across the country for four days, dove in the Red Sea and finally made it to Israel. More to come. Click for PDF