THE RUSSIAN ROAD RUNNER
You can learn a lot about a culture from its cartoons. This 1969 classic is the Russian version of the Road Runner. It’s called Nu Pogodi (“Just You Wait”), but instead of the Wile E. Coyote character coming up with elaborate booby traps and weird disguises, Volk the wolf plays guitar and does funny dances to lure in his prey. When he fails he just lights up another cigarette, vandalizes some buildings, and tries again the next day. Bo-o-o-o-o-o-o-r-ing. This terrible cartoon lasted for 16 years, which sounds amazing until you find out that the communists could only manage to churn out one a year. Post-open-market Russia just brought it back, only this time they promise to come out with new episodes at least twice a year and they fill every background shot with piles of product placement (seriously). Thanks to Zoya Feldman from Brooklyn, NY
Smell kind of weird and appear to be made out of dreads.
TURKISH DIET COKE
You know what I hate about Turks? Their whole culture revolves around those stupid little eye-shaped trinkets that are supposed to prevent people from giving you the evil eye (AKA talking about you behind your back). Um, here’s a notion: Who gives a shit if people talk about you behind your back? It’s none of your fucking business. What are you, a valley girl?
A hundred years ago all Russians wore these primitive-looking straw slippers made by peasants in Belarus. They look like Steve Martin’s “Cruel Shoes,” but holy shit are they comfortable. They feel like you’re putting your feet into vaginas.
BLACK MAN MUSTARD MAYO
If you ever want to see what America was like back in 1932, get on a plane and go to a place called ANYWHERE. Coal is “Negro” in Brazil, toothpaste is still “Darkie” in China, and fucking toilet plungers are “Black Man” in Southeast Asia. Who knew the whole world was a shitty Spike Lee movie?
Seriously, renew your passport and get out of here. We are not the leaders you think we are. In the field of potato chips, for example, we are pussies. The UK has hedgehog flavor, China has cucumbers with fish, and Russia has gay-marriage crayfish.
This “Russian” beer is actually Scandinavian, but is called Russian because it has Russian writing on it, is about half the price of other beers, and has twice the alcohol content. Russians were kind of insulted when they first saw it, but today it’s the most popular beer in the country. Whoops!
U.S. PRESIDENT MATRIOSHKA
Actually, it’s not. We thought this was going to have all the U.S. presidents in it and go smaller and smaller until a tiny John Adams had an even tinier George Washington in him, but you open up Bush Jr. and it’s a big bottle of vodka—SIKE! Is there anything in this country that is not filled with vodka?
Russian immigrants only drink bottled water from Russia because they are convinced it’s the only water that’s safe to drink. We’re not sure why. Russian water makes Mexico’s look like Antarctica’s. Even if you’re outside industrial shitholes like Ekaterinburg, where the water is so filled with chemical waste it’s yellow, you still have to worry about diarrhea-inducing parasites like giardia every time you brush your teeth.
STOP SMOKING CIGARETTES
Not the greatest idea in the world. These cigarettes have almost no nicotine and taste disgusting, and you’re supposed to keep smoking them until smoking makes you sick. They’re also working on a line of shit sandwiches to help fat people stop eating.
This month’s winner: THE RUSSIAN ROAD RUNNER
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