Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Full-on Goose-ing and the Subway Cinderella

So while wandering around the city laughing last weekend, we took the Metro to a local Irish-Ex-Pat-Wow-People-Here-Speak-English-Bar, called Katie O'Shea's. Simple 2 stops on the Metro away from where we were, should be fine, right? This is Russia though, land of the no expectations. On the way to the restaurant, I got full on goosed. An underwear snapping goosing. This was really surprising to me because one thing I have liked and struggled with in Moscow has been how women are typically ignored by men. By ignored I mean, you don't get the under the breath comments on the street, the too long-wow-you're-making-me-uncomfortable-but-YESSSSS-I-still-got-it-kind-of-glances, the whistles, you just get passed by. At least that has been what I have noticed on the streets here, not just towards myself, but women in general. In the states I don't think a woman could walk down the street in a barely there mini and thigh high boots on a Sunday morning and not at least get a few glances. So the goose-ing was surprising. Also was surprising was how little power I realized I had in the situation. What could I do? Call for security? Police? Tell this guy he is an ass? I really need to learn Russian. Sigh-iski.

So that alone could have been the event of the day, however, after leaving the bar, where nothing notable or interesting occured, we were on the metro platform waiting for our train when I was approached by a hysterically crying woman about my age. She did not look crazy other than the sobbing, and looked put together enough to not have a sense of homelessness around her. But what is with the sobbing? She indicated she wanted me to sit on the bench with her, which I obliged because I had drank enough to not know better.

She says in very accented English "help me, I need help" ok this is scary. She points to her left foot which is missing a shoe. Her other foot has a 5 inch heel. She keeps ponting at her foot and sobbing. Missing a shoe? How can I help you? I asked her several times what happened, she was unable or unwilling to tell me, and asked if she could have one of my shoes. I was wearing flat sandals and not sure how this would help her and also unwilling to give up my shoe to Cinderellasova. She is hysterically bawling now, pointing at her empty foot, and the back to my shoe. I tell her no I can not give you my shoe, I am firm on this. She offers to pay me 200 rubles (about $8) which is ridiculous. My shoes were way more than that to begin with, I'd never replace them in Moscow for anything close to that, and I don't want to be hobbling around with one or no shoes either, lady. I offered to be a human crutch and help her to get home, instead of giving her my shoe. She told me to fuck off. I really need to learn the Russian equivelant of that phrase, for example.

This interaction left me with so many questions. What happened to her shoe? Was this some sort of scam? What if I had helped her back to her apartment and it was filled floor to ceiling with single shoes?


  1. Russian equivalent to "fuck off" will be "otvalI" and the crude one "ot''ebIs'"

  2. What did happen to crazy lady shoe? How freaking bizarre! (and I wouldn't have given up one of my shoes either... nu uh, no way)

  3. Perhaps she was a shoe scam artist. Either way, I'm sitting here in a mixture of awe/disbelief while full on guffawing.

  4. This stuff must happen to Maddox all the time! He has a bigger single shoe collection than matching.