Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The one where Mike makes an incredibly pathetic pilgrimage.

The day I was in Yalta I got up super early. I had some shit to see, and I was gonna see it.

First on the agenda was the Yalta lookout, basically a hill/tourist trap. But hey, it wasn't like anything important was open before 10AM.

Another Church:

And finally I was at the foot of the hill. During the on-season they run a chairlift to the top of the hill, but I wasn't having any of that shit. THIS IS WHAT WEAKNESS LOOKS LIKE:

And who's the sponsor of this Neo-Nazi travesty against nature:

Why, none other that Swedish pop sensations Ace And Base. What's a conjunction between friends? (Ace&Base is a cell phone provider, as far as I can tell)

Here's the view halfway up the hill:

That was right about when it started to downpour. But soon I was the top, where I was greeted by this:

And this:

And am empty field:

There was some bizarre construction going on at the peak. But luckily there was still the chairlift landing, full of epicurean delights.

Like the brand new chairlift chairs, awaiting mounting.

And this peaceful authentic Zen fountain, for calming yourself before doing a mob hit for the Russian government.

And some more, uh, "beautiful" views. Nice rainclouds!

The walk down. This totally isn't depressing.

A wave at the pier:

After a hearty breakfast, it was time to fulfill my destiny. Indeed, the whole reason for my trip to Yalta was because a certain dead writer had taken up residence there. I'll be telling this story again at my next meeting of Fags Anonymous.

Uhm...so...what the fuck is that? I'll give you a clue:

Oh yeah. Nice bust. Another clue:

It's the Yalta home of Anton Chekhov, the most important person in the history of humanity, after Morrissey. This is where Chekhov lived the final years of his life, writing his most famous works and generally being awesome. The museum has three parts--a visitor's center featuring the best film ever, Chekhov's gardens, and the home of the master himself.

The video was simply amazing. A 12 minute masterpiece narrated in broken English, featuring shots of Yalta and still photos of Chekhov crossfaded together. Underscored by a soundtrack of pirated music, notably "Somewhere out there" from "An American Tale".

Then the earthly effects of Anton Pavlovitch himself.

Report Card!

A portrait of Conor Oberst...I mean young Anton:

Original Moscow Art Theater posters. On the left, 'The Seagull,' on the right, 'Uncle Vanya.'

On the right, 'Three Sisters.' I don't know what's on the left because it's in Polish.

Chekhov designed his very own garden to go with his brand new house. It's supposed to be an eternal garden, with something in bloom 365 days a year. It was raining a lot.

This is the bench of Gorky.

Chekhov planted a birch tree to remind him of Russia. Why anyone would want to be reminded of Russia is beyond me.

Then, the house. Look, Chekhov's coat!

It's the desk where all the magic happened:


Here's my proof. I've now completed all necessary tasks for this earth, and will soon be taking my life.

The final destination (FINAL DESTINATION) was the Great Livadia Palace, which you think you've never heard of.

Believe me, you have. Does this ring a bell?

Hmmm. Let's see. That's Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and uhm...JOSEPH STALIN?!?!?

Livadia Palace is where the Yalta Conference took place. That's where the 'big three' played Go Fish with Europe, slicing and dicing Germany and the various spheres of influence. Here's where the dirty work happened:

"Veery Naice, Meestr Roozeevelt. I see yoor Eetaly, end I raise yoo a Poland"
"Bloody Hell, Roosevelt, he's a bluffin! Id'a know 'dat face anywhere!"
"That's nice Joseph. I'd kick you out of Europe if my legs still worked!"
Then there was much laughter and merry making.

Nice Chandelier!

Best photo ever!

"Meester Roozeveelt, pardon mee, but, eh, how doo yoo and Eelanoor, eh...make sexhsee, veet yoor veek, capeetaleest legs?"

"Joseph, she's a dyke."

(akward silence)

"Ehh,soo...vare ees Churcheel?"

"Why, bloody hell boys, come 'ere and join me for a cigar!"

"You should be careful with those, Winston. You'll die of a Cerebral Hemmorage!"

"More like a bloody stroke. What's for dinner, Jo-jo?"

"Dee blood of capeetaleest peegs...I meen Borsht."

Pretty pussy:

Shaving is for pussies!

All this imperialism makes me hungry for something long and hard.

I guess I'll have to settle for sausage. But I could still go for something big, black, and full of cream:

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