Thursday, December 07, 2006

Walk on the Wild Side

Two weeks in and already we've received her important cards (social security, green), found a place to buy gretchniya kasha, and gone to the beach. The essentials, you know. Have I forgotten anything? Yes, to write about it. And I wish I had, if not for the handful of people who might be interested in it out there, then for my own future writing. Seems so rich, this first two weeks. Three trips to Ikea, a car ride longer than any she'd ever been on in Russia, and an apartment so clean you'd think I was hoping to wake up tomorrow to collect a full refund on my apartment's deposit.

I should jot down at least one anecdote, one for now. Okay, so we went to LA's Russian neighborhood the other day, a three-block long stretch of magaziny near the area of Fairfax Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. It's just east of West Hollywood, not far from where Hugh Grant picked up the prostitute Divine Brown. We parked, got out, walked the sidewalks. Then: "That was a man," my wife said, and yes, those were my thoughts too: the transvestite passed us on the sidewalk, dressed in low heels and a matching green mini-skirt. What else could it be? "Very possibly a drug addict as well," I said. "What's a drug addict?" "In this case, a man who wears a short skirt." "And what do you call them?" "The drug addicts?" "The men who wear women's clothing." "Transvestite," I said. We walked some. She repeated the word some. I nodded when she had it right. By that time, we were back in the car and leaving the neighborhood with our purchases, which included some Kharkivsky Tort, made by my very own beloved Kharkivsky Bisqvit, chocolate company of my dreams. As we drove off, my wife saw the transvestite once more. He/she stopped in front of one of the Russian stores--"Oh, don't stop there"--and stepped into the street, eyeing the approaching motorists. My wife craned her neck to get one final look before I turned us toward The Valley. "That was very exciting," she said. "It was?" "That was my first one," she said. And hey, who'm I to say what shouldn't excite a new arrival? If they're going to keep the Statue of Liberty closed due to a permanent and elevated terrorist threat, maybe we should be looking more closely at the little things like this.

Anyways. It's late, I haven't posted in ages, and I'm in the midst of writing a paper for a class in feminism and cultural studies centered around colonialism and The Male Gaze and a reading of the film Heading South, which I posted about once before, somewhere down there, and which is all about women going to Haiti to drum up a little sex tourism. But I thought I'd write a little here, because it's so much easier than writing a little there, and so now at least I can say I'll be back, soon, very likely, maybe in days, not more than a week, to give you the story about How You Can Tell Who's Russian at LAX, or go on about that damn Latvian Girl at the Atwater Village T-mobile store who thought I didn't understand a word of Russian when she started talking to my wife in their shared native tongue. Until then, just a periscope popping up above the water to signal hello to those kind readers who keep reading, and pose, perhaps, more metaphysical rejoinders, such as: "Where the hell am I?"

Something exciting to come, I think. More later.


Consul-At-Arms said...

Only two weeks to get both green card and social security card?!?!

That's terrific. Can't wait to hear what the Latvian girl said to your wife.

Life As I Know It said...

I am glad that she is here and hope all goes well in your life together.

The Author said...

Consul -- I guess the Green Card had a head start. She was cleared at the embassy Oct 21st, arrived a month later. Then three weeks after that, the Card came in the mail. So just shy of two months total, though I imagine that's on the good side of things.

Snowy said...

The photo is great. It brought a smile to my day. I think it is the first photo of your wife you have published on this blog apart from the wedding shot from behind.

I saw a Ukrainian transvestite on a dating site once.