Mankind's only alternative 5   FEB.   23  
Mankind's only alternative

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

City Beat December 25, 2002
Death March to the Mega-Mall
By John Dolan Browse author Email

The eXile sent out ace city beat reporter John Dolan to experience first hand the new Mega Mall, billed as Eastern Europe's largest mall. His report is an eXile eXclusive.

The problem is that the Mall is about a kilometer south of Tyoplii Stan', the nearest metro station. When we popped up to the surface at Tyoplii Stan', we were in the middle of an open-air market. A blizzard was in progress. No sign of any buses; no signs to the mall. The crowd at the mall

Sure, we should've asked somebody, but Katherine and I aren't like that.

In a cold climate, shyness can be fatal. We were going numb, inch by inch. I was almost ready to take the plunge and ask someone for directions when we stumbled out onto the bus stop. A crowd was waiting. A big crowd. A Moscow crowd. Were the two of us really up to elbowing our way onto those buses, if they ever even arrived? We were out of our league, incompetent refugees. We took the easy way out and started walking south, where the IKEA arrows pointed.

After that walk, I understand why the retreat from Moscow got Napoleon so depressed. You squint into the snow, looking for a sign of your destination, getting colder from the extremities inward. For the first time in my life, my penis hurt from the cold. An odd feeling, not entirely unpleasant but kind of scary.

After a hundred versts, we saw our first landmark: the ring road. A freeway! My California DNA vibrated with hope. Where there are freeways, surely there are malls!

As we approached, we saw a line of marching people leading up to the off ramps. They were stretched out single file in the snow, like a photo from the Eastern Front. The marchers were mostly women and girls eager to get to the mall and willing to march through blizzards and dodge freeway traffic to do so. When you saw them up close, many of the girls look like the pubescent females who are the prop of every mall in California. But no California girl could have survived the death march they took for granted as the price of getting to the mall.

They were totally unfazed by the blizzard, the traffic or the cold. They ran across the on-ramp and slid into the snow on the other side, whooping in triumph. They obviously knew what they were doing, so we followed them.

Another hundred versts or so, and we reached the edge of a cliff. From there, we had our first sight of the promised mall, gleaming like a giant gray Quonset hut in the valley below. The parking lot was full.

We slid and stumbled down the cliff, following the path worn by these winter-tough women and girls. We ended up at the giant supermarket which anchors the mall, suddenly moving into a cheezy pseudo-tropical world complete with eucalyptus trees and an ice rink blasting bad accordion music. There was a food court, mostly inoperative, and a hundred shoe stores. They were all empty-because the crowd was in the "Gipermarket," standing in line for smoked fish. We couldn't believe it: the only place in the mall doing any business was this supermarket. And we saw, in the crowd, something very rare in Moscow: pregnant women. We counted four of them-the entire Russian birth rate was at this store.

There was no way we were going to walk back. We jumped for the first bus we saw. An old woman behind us hit us with her purse, yelling, "Hurry! They're leaving!" Emboldened by her urging, we elbowed our way into a prime seat on the warm, comfortable bus. But the rest of the crowd was surging through the middle door and the driver reacted by shutting it on them. It broke, and we all had to get out and stand in the snow again.

Another bus arrived. The driver was yelling, screaming at his passengers to get the hell off his bus, that it wasn't going anywhere. They stayed put.

An hour later, the crowd waiting for these buses was around 10,000 people. We knew we'd never make it onto a bus if we had to compete for a seat. We took the long path up the cliff, into the snow, back toward Tyoplii Stan'. But you know, it wasn't bad. The wind was with us, and we were veterans now.

SHARE:  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit

Browse author
Your Letters :

Nine Years, Nine Whores, Nine Hours :

Your Letters :

Medvedev’s Ipod Nano Playlist :


Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442