The Russians have some very odd and funny ideas about heroes and political villains.
I had a very interesting evening out when I was in Moscow this week. The day after the launch of the Russian edition of Spear’s, I ended up in a cool boutique bar-nightclub named after eponymous Russian fashion designer, Denis Simachëv. Grooving on the dancefloor to the cutting-edge electro, one very jolly boy sidled up to me and asked me where I’m from. When I said “Venezuela,” he broke into applause.
Hugo Chávez is a hero in Russia for aligning with Putin against the Bushies. I’m not sure I agree with the Russian position, but I made a mental note to use my Venezuelan passport (not my Czech one) when I returned. Maybe then the reception desk wouldn’t request and keep my immigration card – in case of what, I wasn’t sure, but I thought it rather glamorous someone thought me so dangerous, so John le Carré.
The Russians have some very odd and funny ideas about heroes and political villains. Behind the bar at Denis Simachëv was a painting depicting all the great political leaders gettin’ down and partying. George W was leading the pack grooving on a tabletop with Putin, Bono, Mandela and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini-Khamenei.
Then I looked closer and realized they were all wearing blue jumpsuits: they were in prison. When it comes to Russia, Bono might do well to leave any passport at home.