Guns and the expat family

>> Thursday, 21 June 2012


I had a classic Moscow Moment on Sunday.  In a quiet corner of our compound, one of the bodyguards who works for a fellow-resident was exercising in the sunshine.  What's remarkable about that?   Well - I say 'a quiet corner', but he could be clearly seen from our carport.  And I say 'exercising', but what I mean was tai-chi, martial arts moves, and push-ups on a bench.  So far, so par for the course, in this rarified world that we've somehow found ourselves living in.

He was doing this all without his shirt on - which in itself, is also not remarkable here.  When it's warm enough it's not unusual to see Russian men without their shirts in town, whether it's exercising, just taking a walk alongside the main road, or sitting in the sunshine.

No.  What was remarkable was that he was doing his shirtless exercises with a hand gun tucked into the waist-band of his trousers.

Now, you can raise your eyebrows, shrug your shoulders and say 'Only in Russia' as many expats here do.  Or, you can do what I did, and complain to the management of the compound*.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not naive enough to imagine that the bodyguards looking after some of the more illustrious residents of our compound aren't armed.  I know that they are.  When you've got a follow-car and a couple of heavies in your entourage, of course your protection will be carrying guns, I get that.

But when those guns are carried in full view of my impressionable children, as if it is the norm, acceptable, and everyday behaviour to carry one?

Not OK.


* The management were helpful, by the way.  I'm hoping that at the very least, he keeps his shirt on next time.  Or leaves his gun elsewhere.  Either will do... 

3 comments:

About Last Weekend 22 June 2012 at 02:01  

That's scary, very. Mind you we live in Oakland and I suspect loads of people have them tucked into their very low low down pants.

manycoloured-days 22 June 2012 at 08:36  

I don't know how to post a picture in the comments, but one of my most remarkable pictures from Moscow was taken at the entrance of the European Shopping Mall (go take a a picture). It's one of those pictograms that tell you what you can't take in to the mall -ice cream, bicycles, rollerblades and I can't remember all of them but one was definetely guns!

Irene 22 June 2012 at 15:07  

That would have bothered me too for the children's sakes. I'm glad you complained and was listened to. xox

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