Saturday, April 19, 2008

"The Office" (Not the popular television show... This is NOT funny.)

Time for a pet peeve. I was about to say, "Only in Moscow...", but for all I know, this concept has spread beyond this cultural mecca of a city...



"Sorry, honey-- I can't make it home tonight; I have to stay late at the office." When guys in Moscow say this, they aren't necessarily at work. They could actually be here, right next to the famous Moscow Zoo. Yes, you got that right... Practically sharing an entrance with the zoo is this building--THE OFFICE--where the last thing on men's minds is their paperwork. I was appalled when I first saw this place four years ago--at that time, you could even enter it directly from inside the zoo. At one point, it looked as if it were closing--and then it sprang back, being so mainstream that there's even a popular cafe, "Shokoladnitsa," in it's entrance.



This strip club will even drive you home, with a businessman escort inside who apologizes to the wife that they had to keep the husband at the meeting for so long. They provide phone alibis, too. How do I know all this? They're written about in mainstream publications! You'd think that such publicity would kind of kill the effectiveness of their alibis, but the place seems to be thriving, judging from all the coverage it's getting. The existence of such places certainly compounds the stress felt by those husbands who are working super late, who can't help it, who wish they could be at home, and who know that in this city, someone will always raise an eyebrow about a guy who "works late"...

SICK.

All of this is right up the street from the US Embassy, smack in the center of the city.


7 comments:

Annie said...

That's depressing. And, I agree, not funny.

For some reason it reminds me of when we first moved to the house we live in now, a couple of blocks west and a couple south there was a McDonalds. So that moving day I took the kids there for lunch. Since I was raising readers, they were excited, and so was I to see a big sign "Bookstore" across the street - only when we went over there it was a pornographic bookstore! I was stunned. Right across from a McDonalds, next to a Kentucky Fried Chicken and close to a little strip mall with hardware store, card shop, grocery, etc. No hint at all that it was what it was. Only now do I realized that from that time on I have almost never gone west of our house. As my office/church/school and everyone we know is east of our house, I guess that was easy anyway, but those shops (and especially that McDonald's) never got our patronage.

Anonymous said...

SICK AND SAD!

I FEEL BAD FOR THOSE MEN WHO ACTUALLY HAVE TO WORK LATE WHILE THESE OTHER MEN WHO HAVE THE CHANCE TO BE HOME WITH THEIR LOVED ONES ARE DOING THIS INSTEAD.

Chez les Charles said...

Bonjour, et merci pour votre message sur mon blog. Je découvre votre site aujourd'hui. J'ai un peu de mal car je ne lis pas parfaitement l'anglais (mes cours sont loin et je ne pratique pas assez) mais je comprends l'essentiel. Vous avez une bien jolie famille, vos filles sont ravissantes.
Au plaisir de vous revoir... Un petit bonjour d'un coin de France.

garnet said...

This is so, so sad -- sad that it exists and sad that there are enough clients to keep it in good business.

Is the picture at the bottom the U.S. embassy? If so, I'm impressed. The one here in Nairobi looks like a high security prison. Understandable since the last one was blown up, but sad. You can't get anywhere near it or even see anything except a huge high wall. They've even done away with all parking and expect you to go to a nearby mall and take a taxi from there. Not fun since I'll have to be renewing my passport any day now.

Nataliya said...

No kidding. I read about this kind of businesses that provide alibis in the Russian fiction books (those that are sold everywhere from the street vendors. It's hard to believe that this kind of poor written "literature" is very popular). I thought it's a fiction! But apparently, it's very real. How sad...

Tina in CT said...

I think what's even sadder is that men keep this business thriving!

HRH said...

That office thing is crazy. Love how it is next to the Zoo! OMG. I think "only in Moscow" may apply here.