Once I talked with a young and advanced Muscovite, whose worldview is formed by magazines "OM" and "PTYUCH", who goes to a certain club and reads incomprehensible books. In the middle of the conversation, she confessed, elegantly flicking ash with her index finger from a long cigarette, that she was nowhere other than Sweden, England and Australia. Moscow in this case was not taken into account, and that's understandable - she lived here since her birth. "How there, I wonder, is living in remote places?" - looking thoughtfully somewhere in the smoky farther side of a not cheap cafe, she asked, and I choked on the beer. "It seems to me that outside the borders of Moscow everyone walks in felt boots, they heat an oven and sit without money."
In a drunken head, I figured that somewhere in Ryazan people in the morning go for firewood, creaking old boots, and at night freeze from the cold, envying the bears for the fact that they sleep in the winter. A few days later, having finished studying at the institute, I was already on the train, which drove me south for five hundred kilometers from Moscow. The end point of my mini-trip coincided with the settlement under the name Krasnoe, which is in the Lipetsk region. I chose it by accident, guided only by aesthetic predilections - the name is painfully beautiful.
After spending thirteen hours in a slow and jolting train, I left at the chosen station. The station was empty, - it seemed that no one lives here, except for sleepy dogs scurrying between the ways in search of food. I did not find any traces of felt boots, if only because it was in the middle of June. After fifteen minutes of agonizing hesitation, I met an old woman who, it turned out, was going to the market in the village. Her name was Claudia Stepanovna. Learning that I came here with goals purely cognitive, not journalistic, she began to praise this place and incidentally regret that I'm not a journalist of any major newspaper, otherwise she would have subjected our government to ruthless criticism. The village turned out to be large and extremely beautiful - the name did not deceive. It is here that the smallest nature reserve in Europe is located - Galichya Gora, where you can see elk, foxes, and villagers tired of the working week.
They like to rest here. They go to the Don with a reserve of soaked meat for shish kebabs and banal vodka. The youth here was extremely curious - at the first disco I was knocked down and asked where I was from. The stranger is seen right away, and if you do not give a decent answer, you can stay without a pair of front teeth. A few minutes later I was sitting and talking with the local youth under the quiet rustling of the park trees and the gurgling of the pouring moonshine. And the conversation was unhappy. The peers complained that there is nowhere to go and there is nowhere to come off. They are only entertained by the local flammable liquid, which is sold in every third house. Disco is, and even then not always, but democratic: the music here is different and not strictly specialized, as in Moscow. Sometimes, however, lovers of the heavy style come across, who make a micro-revolution, sweeping away all the DJs, and then over the rural plains, extreme "dolbage" (i.e. hardcore) is exploding.
In general, after school many young Krasnoe residents strive to leave far away, in some large city like Moscow, Voronezh or a nearby Lipetsk. Most do not return. I met only one patriot of a small homeland, Sanya. "Ah," he said, "I will learn in the Agricultural Department, become an agronomist, I'll come here to raise the village, and there's nothing to do in the city as there are some gangsters, especially since we already have the Internet and MTV." Yes, in an ordinary Russian village there is Internet. Now you can access it from any nearby village. So "OM" and "Ptyuch" here are read simultaneously with that my friend Muscovite. And MTV is shown around the clock. To freeze here in winter is simply not fashionable - almost every house has gas. At night, after disco noises, you can hear the screeching of the wheels and the roar of motorcycles. The guys increase the dose of adrenaline in rabid walks in father`s cars and at their own motorcycles. And more adult village residents have to break away on Friday markets, where you can meet all your friends and take a look at the new product. I left this place with a feeling of incomprehensible anguish and with a hangover syndrome in my head, imagining how I would tell my friend about a beautiful village in which there is gas, the Internet and MTV.