As I said before, in April I visited Moscow, the city where I grew up and where my main relatives live. The main purpose of the trip was to visit my mother. She is 84. She still lives in the apartment from which I would go out and walk to school and go to uni. It is near the Riga railway station, between two metro stations.
In Moscow, I intended to spend two weeks, mainly talking with my mother and helping her in different ways. This was going to be my annual trip, which I usually do in March or April.
I was at my final destination almost at midnight. A couple of hours later I went to bed, after talking with my mother and two other relatives. And then suddenly I heard my mother screaming, pleading for help – she had a fall and hurt her arm. We called an ambulance, they gave her a painkiller injection and offered to take her to hospital. However, my mother was too weak to go somewhere in the middle of the night, so we decided to wait until later in the morning. The ambulance staff, a young female and a young male (we are so grateful to them for helping us, and by the way, they arrived very quickly), said that we should definitely go to hospital emergency for an x-ray. At about 11 am we came to hospital emergency, where my mother was thoroughly examined. They made an X-ray and found a few broken bones inside her arm which was put in plaster. They said she should stay in hospital for a few days. Eventually, my mother stayed there for 9 days. I visited her regularly.
It turned out that during these 9 days other people were taking care of my mother – hospital staff. They did a good job, so there was not much to worry about. My mother was even reluctant to go.
As a result, I had a lot of time for myself. I decided to use it well: walked around familiar places, visited three museums, went to a huge expo (VDNKh), attended a flamenco show in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses (now the State Kremlin Palace) and the musical Anna Karenina at the Operetta Theatre.
And … decided to visit a gay sauna. You see, I had never been to a Russian gay sauna before and was curious to see what it was like. I thought that even if I had no sex there (although, of course, I secretly hoped that something good would happen), then just having a look would be worth it. I found on Google a sauna near the metro station “Taganskaya”. The name is “Voda (Water)”. It was not easy to find it, even with my iPhone GPS. The signage was bad and confusing, and moreover, there was no sign on the establishment (however, for obvious reasons – because of the hideous law on gay propaganda), but my instincts helped in the end.
It was a decent sauna, world class. Moreover, there was a muscular go-go guy, semi-naked, dancing on the stage, opposite the bar and the spa. I had a chat at the bar counter with one nice guy. However, not much was happening there for me, and so I left, almost empty-handed. Nevertheless, I was not upset, as I achieved my main goal – I found out that there is a gay sauna there indeed, and it’s world class. However, since I found it a bit boring, I decided to try another one.
The second sauna is called “xl-spa” and is located near the Kursk railway station. My iPhone successfully showed me the way. There were no signs on the building either, but my instincts helped there too. The entry fee is 700 rubles on weekends and 600 on weekdays. It is a large establishment. It has several floors, of which three are actively used, and two are in reserve (I’m sure a bright future is awaiting them : -)). Also, world class – clean, neat and diverse. The customers were nice guys, quite active – I did not miss the opportunity to get to know them better. However, the main thing is that they hold drag shows almost every night. It happens on the first floor, where there is a bar-café. There is a nice stage there where these funny creatures – drag queens – perform, actively involving the public. But let me talk about this in my next Moscow blog post.
And here’s my first Moscow photo collection. The last two pictures show “xl-spa” outside.