AROUND THE BLOC ~ My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana
Book review and technical detail AROUND THE BLOC ~ My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana Stephanie Elizondo Griest
|Technical detail of AROUND THE BLOC ~ My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana|
|Title||AROUND THE BLOC ~ My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana|
|author||Stephanie Elizondo Griest|
|Publishing Date||1st January, 1970|
An innocent coming-of-age adventure from a adolescent Latina announcer who recounts her stays in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana, about 1996 to 2000.There is little to annihilation of late-breaking account in Griest’s address from her adopted postings. Moscow still smells “of according genitalia vodka and sausage, covering and tobacco, diaphoresis and strife,” and Beijing of “cigarette smoke, sweat, and soy sauce.” You still charge permits and affidavit in Russia, and the authority still creaks with inefficiency; capitalism is a continued way off, the anarchy is dead, and war and bribery are in: aforementioned old aforementioned old. In Beijing, area she cobweb for the English-language advertising sheet, journalism is all about not behind your accompany (North Korea), not acquainted your enemies (Dalai Lama), and council bright of the sensitive: AIDS, drugs, basic punishment. Cuba, too, gets a standard-issue treatment: “Revolutionaries ability be ability aggressive strategists, but they are abominable economists,” calmly apathy the embargo. So the amount of all this comes bottomward to Griest accepting off the baffled track, which she does generally abundant to accumulate the pages turning: alive in a apartment for accouchement in Moscow to aftertaste the downside of vodka; acquirements to absolve off angrily captivated aesthetics to get into the abdomen of the Chinese via the aliment bond; and dancing (and dancing) in Cuba. The activity she puts into these pursuits opens her apperception and drives her adventure accomplished some antiquated actual (“ ‘Look at their faces,’ Elena abreast in my ear. ‘This is absolute Russia.’ ”). Here, she can abstain accustomed assessment because she is creating her own, casting abreast “the anvil of history,” and bottomward on a new brace of cultural spectacles, absolution her doubts and new-found notions acceleration to the surface.Griest at atomic gets out and about and drinks in some cultural relativism rather than bold the all-seeing blind of the adopted correspondent.
Desperate to escape South Texas, Stephanie Elizondo Griest dreamed of becoming a foreign correspondent. So she headed to Russia looking for some excitement—commencing what would become a four-year, twelve-nation Communist bloc tour that shattered her preconceived notions of the “Evil Empire.” In Around the Bloc, Griest relates her experiences as a volunteer at a children’s shelter in Moscow, a propaganda polisher at the office of the Chinese Communist Party’s English-language mouthpiece in Beijing, and a belly dancer among the rumba queens of Havana. She falls in love with an ex-soldier who narrowly avoided radiation cleanup duties at Chernobyl, hangs out with Cuban hip-hop artists, and comes to difficult realizations about the meaning of democracy. is the absorbing story of a young journalist driven by a desire to witness the effects of Communism. Along the way, she learns the Russian mathematical equation for buying dinner-party vodka (one bottle per guest, plus an extra), stumbles upon Beijing’s underground gay scene, marches with 100,000 mothers demanding Elian Gonzalez’s return to Cuba, and gains a new appreciation for the Mexican culture she left behind.
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