Saturday, March 12, 2005

the weather's whispering

it's still blustery and snowy here, but gradually growing warmer. the sidewalks are more often that thick would-be-slush snow, and huge blocks of ice are falling off rooftops everywhere. a few weeks ago someone parked a small russian car on the sidewalk for a few minutes and came back to find it nearly split down the middle from a snow/ice slide. or that's what they're whispering.

my host mom has been consulting with me lately on which tv-advertised products she should by. this morning she confessed to buying some milkshake sort of thing that is advertised to increase your beauty from inside. the ad features 20 year old girls in tight clothes, kind of prancing around and being really beautiful from the inside. i was reading the already empty carton this morning, until she took it away from me for laughing. among the claims that i had time to read were "the only product designed specifically for women" and "improving your beauty from the inside," but there was a whole list of bullet points i didn't get to. she confessed that it actually just taded like kefir, only with a funny color. and more expensive. and i think she might have hit the head on the nail.

the saddest thing about new markets in russia is that you can actually do that. just rebottle, say, milk, and sell it as a cure for wrinkles or something. and literally millions of pensioners are sitting around their televisions all day admiring the actresses on brazilian soap operas. enter the advertiser. she also wanted to know if some kind of magic wand ion clothes cleaning gadget was worth $100 or some ridiculous sum. it's a lot like that robin williams joke in his live on broadway HBO special....where he's talking about the weight loss thing that you strap to your abs and shocks the fat away....i will shit!

but you can sell it here, and make your million.

and her son and daughter in moscow tell her not to buy these things, and i did at first too. but i'm starting to realize that's not even really the point. except for the hundred dollar ionic laundry wand. i'm sticking to my guns on that one. but there's no real point in arguing against weight loss tea in a diet that sees a few pounds of mayo weekly. and it's kind of nice that she gets hopeful again and again after each new ad and each new...thing.