Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Putting on my "B with an Itch" hat for a few minutes

An open letter to the citizens of Mytishi:

Fellow comrades,

I've been living here for almost seven months, and for just about every morning of those seven months, I've been going for a run on the streets of your fair town.

So I have to ask...WHY do you still stare at me, point, mock, laugh with your friends, and chase after me? I'm RUNNING. For pleasure, for sport, for fitness...yes, people actually do such a thing.

I know that some of you have severely antiquated opinions on women and sport. I've been told by various people here that women with muscles are unattractive and unnatural (how do you prefer women then? Limp and flaccid?), that girls who play soccer must be lesbians, and that women don't need health magazines, because, well, why would they be interested in such a foreign and unnecessary concept?

I've seen for myself what passes for female fitness here. Basically, smoking and stalking around in high heels. Oh, and floating listlessly in pools while calling it "swimming."

Its been seven months. Surely you're able to realize by now that the crazy girl with the Canadian mittens running around the neighbourhood is NOT going to stop. No matter how many times you chase after her laughing hysterically at what you presume is the funniest joke ever.

I'll just turn up my ipod, roll my eyes, and miss Canada.

That place where people run. For fun. Crazy, huh??

I normally hate it when people move to a different place and spend all their time complaining about it and missing home. (Kinda like how in "The Magic School Bus" Phoebe prefaces EVERYTHING she says with, "At my old school...we never got baked in a cake/ended up in Arnold's stomach/hung out with dinosaurs.") After awhile, it's just like, "If it was so great where you came from, why don't you go back there???" But seriously, I've had enough with this whole attitude towards running here. It's just really disheartening to be laughed at every day. But I love running so much, I'm just not willing to give it up. So even though I hate being a Negative Nancy and complaining, well, sometimes you just have to vent. Please bear with me!


  1. As IF you just made a Magic School Bus reference! You are way too cool for my school. Yes, I tuned in every day and watched anxiously as Ms. Frizzle would take her class on scientifically themed adventures. I particularly liked the episode about sound in the haunted house.

    Keep up the running! I personally feel weird going to a different place and preaching my own values abroad, however their antiquated ways need to modernized whether they like it or not. Keep up spreading the good word!

  2. Run Forest Run! Pretty soon you'll be back in West Galt where everyone runs and all the neighbours who have missed you will know that all is well with the world again. That will leave the people of Mytishchi to talk for years about that crazy foreigner who ran even though noone was chasing her.

  3. Run in stilettos and pick up chain smoking, that'll show em!

  4. Thanks for the support guys!! It's 11am here right now and I'm about to venture out for a run :)

  5. What confounds me is how nothing of the sort has happened to me while running here. I only live like a mile away from you.

  6. do you run mainly on trails or on the street? I stick to the street where there's lots of people so maybe thats why...I dunno...

  7. MWAHAHA, A girl running for no visible purpose, that's just hilarious!

    Oh, just kidding, sorry. Though it is true - I haven't seen a lot of young female fitness lovers around here. What I see a lot is a kind of Russian (sports?)men in their 50's or 60's (so their naked torso is NOT a very pleasant look) running around in parks and forests. Sometimes in the winter... and still with only striped trousers or shorts on them and sometimes a little hat on the head. No ipods, ofc :-) I think we should consider this as a true face of Russian fitness.

  8. hahaha oh I haven't been lucky (?) enough to see half naked old men running through forests...yet...!

  9. And by the way, what's you favorite running time? I don't think it will attract any attention if you do it early in the morning (6-8 AM or so). Local drunks are asleep at this time and you'll even have a chance to encounter aforementioned sporting oldsters :-)

  10. hahaha 6-8am is a little early for me! :) but I love your bit about the local drunks being asleep! Actually today I saw two men (clothed) running in the park - progress!!