“Is that a naked man on the balcony ?”

Judi had posed the question “is that man naked over there?”.
Well it is difficult to tell really the balcony is covered in up to waist height so “hopefully not” I reply. We are still in our temporary apartment and it is part of a small cluster of flats. All around 10 storey’s high although one of our lifts does have buttons indicating it should have 16 floors. We face East so we get the sharp sunlight which starts around 4 am. Facing us we have 2 blocks so around 80 balconies. In the afternoon when the sun is shining on them there is a constant stream of men coming and going on these balconies all of whom do not have shirts on. A sort of naked “whackamole”. Many with beer in their hand some with cell phones some appear to be grilling although the space is probably no more than 2 feet deep and 12 foot long.

The beer is no longer a surprise to us. Where ever you go there are people drinking beer out of bottles and cans. This is not to say there are lots of drunk’s just lots of people drinking beer. The other day I watched this lady who was extremely well dressed in a black suit with gold accessories holding the hand of a 3 or 4 year old strolling around with a rather large can of Heineken being lifted to her lips every couple of yards. A strange sight but it is just normal people doing normal things.

The Russians also seem to have a liking for t-shirts with English slogans although I wonder if they understand what they say. There was one very elderly lady with what you would term an ample chest which proudly proclaimed “booty call” across it. I do think the baseball cap extolling the virtues of the LA Lakers was also interesting (she would be pleased to learn they trounced the Magic in game 1). “I’m with stupid >”, “Your the one I have been waiting for”,”I survived the 80’s” and lots of name brands like Old Navy, Abercrombie, Gap, etc. 

It would seem every one under the age of 30 walks around with earphones in and everyone and I mean everyone has a cell phone and is using it. The kids could be transported to any other country and would not be out of place. They follow all of the “norms” with interesting hair styles and clothing, skateboards, pocket games etc. Watching them they are no different to anywhere else I have been with small groups of giggling girls sharing text messages whilst drinking coke or coffee. Lots and lots of coffee shops around with locals dominating the scene but several Starbucks around.

We are getting the hang of things but will be glad to move into the permanent apartment when we come back in a couple of weeks.
I picked up the keys yesterday, well I say picked up the keys. What I actually picked up was a magnetic key to get into the building and the two which open the 3 bolt deadlock locks. I still have to pick up.
The second set for Judi
The keys to the cupboards on the landing for the winter wear.
The key for the balcony
The key for the walk through gate
The electronic key for the car park barrier
The key for the underground car park
The key for the stairway door
all of these for a place with 2 X 24 hour security guards.

I am sure it will all work itself out and today I am going to take over some of the clothes we have been accumulating on our various trips. I should be ok as we have emailed the landlady with our car registration so hopefully they will let me in, we shall see.

Anyway back to the original question, I had stepped onto the balcony to see what Judi was on about and of course I had no shirt on as it is still very hot here. I am now looking across at a lady who is looking back and probably thinking “Is that guy naked over there”