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  • "Drink this shot or you will ruin my wedding." It sounded better in Russian, but that was what he meant.

    One relative of the groom had a hand that showed no knuckles because the scar tissue from beating people to death had filled in all the gaps. It was like a giant flesh mallet. Another cornered us and told us stories of the massacres in Chechnya. Russian men are tricky (read: frightening). Others eyed us with suspicion and watched us watch their women. They had good reason to fear. Russian women are something special. All of them. I loved every single one. And many are looking for foreign husbands.

    When you are the honored guest, even by accident, at a wedding in an empty hotel deep in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, you must learn quickly how to navigate a complex series of chutes and ladders, between and around the bruised knuckled men, strange meat products, gorgeous women, and vodka shots. Despite the language barrier we understood, upon arrival, that it was time for the ponies to dance. We were those ponies.

    Luckily the music was deep and heavy and electronic in a way only Russian and German underground-glitch-dub can be, and the vodka was tolerable (though on occasion we would have to find cleaver ways to toss it into a plant). We did not ruin the wedding by refusing the shots. And we danced with the women in 4" stilettos until the hotel shut us down.

    чертовски блестящий партия.

    I wish more parties were like this.
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