Monday, November 29, 2010
2010 11 29 - Are Moscovich Men Often in Trouble?
On the day I arrived in Moscow, I asked Billie Jo what the Hell UBETies were because they had signs for them EVERYWHERE. Every Metro Stop has at least one and many times more. And if you look at the top of the Photo above you can see as sign that specifies 24 with the word below shielded by yet another UBETbl Sign - well the hidden sign is for the Hours they are open.
If you haven't guessed this is a flower stand - check the pic on the stand between the Red Signs - And this is a pretty modest one - I pass it everyday on the way to school. The UBET word is pronounced something like TSVETTY - it makes me think of a certain sketch on SNL with Alec Baldwin. The U like character with the tail makes a TS sound (as in TSAR). The B is a a V - E and T are the same the lower case b and l are actually part of a single character (sometimes referred to by outsiders as the 61 character) the "bl" character is the long E sounds as in frEEzing.
I am not exaggerating when I state that the stands are all over the city. And every one of them is 24 Hours.
This is what has led me to the Question in the title of this Post. I mean why else would you need so many flower stands, and why would they need to be 24 hours?
I mean if your running out to get flowers at 4am, my guess is a bouquet of roses lined with gemstones ain't gonna solve your relationship issues!!
Now if we're dealing with some clown that just made some sort of sexist blog posting he is probably ok - First off - He can probably convince the young lady that he was only joking, and secondly, He can hopefully fallback on his Extremely Good Looks and Infinite Charm.
Turns out the joke is likely on the Author of the blog posting - Sasha is one of those unisex nicknames in Russian (it is short for both Alexandra (f) and Alexander(m) - Like Chris/Christine/Christopher). Imagine a certain students dismay when he was listening to the mp3 of this particular exercise and Sasha turned out to be an Alexander and not an Alexandra.
Maybe this is a me from hickville thing - Moscow is a Gihugic city and it runs 24/7. Perhaps in New York they have these 24 hour Flower stands on every corner, Is Duane Reade some fancy French Phrase for Flower Shop that I am unaware of?
Flowers in Moscow are serious business and there are customs related to them. You are to give flowers only in Odd Numbers (3,5,7 etc) - A single flower can be given, but this is rarely done. Even numbers considered bad luck and are only given for funerals.
The Russian words for Flower and Color carry the same root and are quite similar. This makes sense, The flower stands across the city are very colorful and do help to brighten up the dreary winter days in Moscow.