Alex & FaceBookies on tour through Russia. Moscow, Nov. 28th, 2009

Adventures of agents in Moscow.
(a report by J. Bezbakh)

Part 1.

I start from 27 November, as the adventure began for me on that day:) I don’t know how it happened, but all important things to do before the trip I left on this last day somehow… My train to Moscow departed in the evening, but I still had to:

1. Meet the man from Donetsk, who brought Lisa’s violin (a little girl of 7 years old, lives in Donetsk, made the beautiful violin of clay and asked to give it to Alex)
2. Pick up on the train station the “heart” of Natasha Bezrodnaya.
3. Print the cards!

Here I should stop and to explain more detail to our Western European friends what does it mean – the “heart” and “cards”;)) I have already told cards in previous reports, and Irena perfectly demonstrated it on Youtube (skip to 0.22):

We believed that Alex has lost our cards which we gave him in Kiev 22/09/09. We’ve no reaction from him since September. Also, we decided to print 2nd enlarged edition as there weren’t all Russian Facebookies included in the 1st edition.

The fact is that we were a little bit angry with the Smurf… after our numerous gifts to him, without comments from him….Our gifts were either informative (our posters, letters, cards) or practical – eg, t-shirts, that we made and presented in Vitebsk, with a hint to make him wear smth else but the same monochrome t-shirts all the time;) But mostly we became angry after you have given him the Book, but he had no time to read it! Then we decided that we should present him something very childlike, very sweet but a bit stupid (to do not think a lot of it and to do not detract the Smurf of his crazy life) and surely hand-made, and (required!) with a detailed instruction HOW to use it)) The idea was to give him … .. our hearts! Of course we didn’t dare to the operation of replacing our hearts,;) we just decided to sew the soft hearts, each made his/her own, and to embroider our names on them. All hearts should be laid down in a pillow-case and finally we’ve made a pillow, stuffed with our hearts 🙂 Masha did the short movie as an instruction, where someone can see our hearts, can hear sounds of well-known Russian lullaby, can see the subtitles state that we love Sasha and knowing of his constant lack of sleep we wish him get some sleep finally;)) and the very gentle verse that appears at the end of the video is written by Marina Ageeva… BTW you should ask her to translate it into English for you;)

But let’s come back to my crazy day … I had something else to buy for my friends in Moscow, who’s house I was to stay …. In addition, I still had to do my work … In general, the day was soooo mad, I ran by the office, was talking on the phone, was worn around the city. I managed all the things in th eend, but Istill had to print the cards….and it was 6 p.m., and my train departed at 8.15 p.m.! I stood in copy-shop over the guy who printed the cards, having of a lot of the heavy package in my hands, and suddenly I understood that I have no idea how to make the cover! How should it be cut and folded! The last time it was Zhenya (aka Zhenya Russian) who did that job, while we were drolling happily and didn’t look at her! Actually, I propose money to the guy to do everything himself:)) He was nervous too, because he was afraid to spoil it …. he made an extra cut …. But finally everything was ok and I flew off to the station:)

Settled in the train, we (Lilya, Ira and me;) we started examine the gifts:))
Just have to say that not only the Lisa’s violin surprised us! But the box in which it was packed too! At the same time I checked my miracle camera down with a giant zoom) And of course all the night we spent non-stop-talking and came to Moscow really very sleepy … at least me …

Next morning we came to Moscow. I’ve been there quite often, so I wasn’t impressed by this great metropolis, but girls were delighted:)) We learned quickly where to go, observed map of the Moscow subway, where we had a little adventure – the train has cut us off from Ira! It was so unexpected! We are accustomed in Kiev that the driver is waiting for a quite long time, until all passengers come out and enter. So we had our bags and of course were a bit slowly – and suddenly – bang – the door slammed shut and Ira remained on the platform behind the glass doors …. We showed her by signs that we will wait for her at the next station:) All turned out well and we went to look for our hostel.

Actually we found our hostel also fast, just a few minutes circled between Bolshaya and Malaya Ordynka streets:) BTW I’ve had my personal pleasant discovery – the Moscow passers are responsive:))) (you know, we have a lot of jokes about Moscow habitant’s hospitality or rather about total lack of it;)) One old man was so imbued with our problem of searching for specific addresses, that he ran over the streets and pointed us the right direction:)) Amazing!! The hostel has pleased us, too:) This is, in fact, a large apartment in the heart of Moscow (near Tretyakov’s gallery), good repair, with a large common kitchen, bathroom and rooms with beds, a huge plasma TV in the hall. There is even a Wi-Fi)) So we could enter Facebook at any time;) (yes, we are freaks of FB, that’s for sure!). After some hassles with the documents, I suddenly realized that I had turned off the sound on my cell phone! And there is already a lot of sms and calls from various Russian numbers:)) So, after many happy greetings, we tried to arrange a meeting. The fact is that at night when we were going by train, I’ve got a message from Masha from Ekaterinburg, saying that Alex will arrives at 14.20 at Domodedovo aiport. We all decided that we should go to the airport to meet him. Yanis shown himself as an excellent organizer and devised a plan how to go to the airport and to gather all 20 people together. I thank him for everything! He is truly our knight! How would we do without him? I have no idea:)))

Part 2.

The first news we’ve heard having turn on our huge TV plazma in hostel was about the explosion in train Moscow – St. Petersburg: ((We were terrified for the guys who were supposed to go this route this night! Their trip to St. Petersburg was threatened …. and exactly this explosion was the reason why Irina Zhernosek couldn’t come to Moscow: ((We are so sorry that she wasn’t there with us! We discussed this topic with girls a little and continued our preparations, since the first girls were already on their way to hostel:) They were: 2 our dear Lena’s (Sokol and Andrievskaya) and Julia Kabanova – all from Ukraine, Marina Ageyeva from Sochi, and Masha Grenaderova, who arrived from Yekaterinburg in the early morning. I ran out to meet them:) We started screaming and hugging, all had news and emotions:)) I took Marina to check in, and while we were inside the huge crowd appeared at the entrance! We went out and were blown away! About 15 people stood at the entrance and shouted and waved :)))) Many of those people I saw for the first time:) Those are: a lovely Tanya Kudinova, Margarita Vorobieva, Anton Markin (!), Galinaya Kirsanova (whom we didn’t expect to see, but it was good surprise for us!). But of course I immediately jumped screaming on Tanya Kuzmina :)))) I begged her to go to Moscow for so long and so mane times! So I think she had a numerous nightmares with my voice saying: “Tanya, please, come to Russia!”:)))))

After that kissing and hugging things our friendly crowd marched to the nearest McDonald’s to eat smth and to meet Yanis there) Actually he had already bought 2 bags for Alex;)) You should remember “bags story” from the Ekaterinburg report;) so I won’t repeat it;)) We were all sitting at McDonald’s and wonder how is Yanis looks in real life:)) * you must excuse us, because we are all girls*:)) And then a guy in a bright orange jacket appeared! I recognized immediately:))) We all jumped from our seats and started scream and hug Janis! It was fun:))) Then we ate and discussed the news from Ekaterinburg, which were pretty disappointing … The flight which we were going to meet soon – there is no Sasha, no his team, no! This information we received from Olga Zhirnova, who was just boarding this flight to Moscow.

Well we were in a panic…. what we have to do … One thing was clear that it was absolutely no reason to go to Domodedovo, but our Vika Kashtankina was still on her way there!! (it was closer to go there than to our hostel from her home!) I have no idea who stopped her, but thank God it was done on time:) Yanis went into the Internet from his mobile phone and looked for suitable flights from Ekaterinburg to Sheremetyevo. There were some flights and we decided (!) that Alex’s one arrives at 13.45 … Yes, we decided…we didn’t know that exactly… Sasha could have arrived in the morning, or arrive 3rd Moscow’s airport Vnukovo … it was like Russian Roulette …brrrrrr…So we decided and we must hurry! It was already 12.00, and we needed not less than 1,5 hours to get to Sheremetyevo. Then it was a mess! We ran on the subway for Janis as a flock of chickens:)) That was so wise of him to wear bright orange jacket that day:))) People in the subway looked at us with amazement, as we went for Janis by chain, looking from side to side and sometimes not realizing that we were going round in circles:))) Then there was running to express train, collecting money on the road (it was necessary to collect money for tickets from 16 people!), then hysteria near the cash-desk because tickets were given very slowly….5 min to go…express train won’t wait for us! I was one of the first who got the ticket so we rushed to the train and yelled to conductor that they should wait for the rest!…. Then we saw the next batch of ticket-holders rushing to the train. And so on, until the doors shut just before the last 6 people! Noooooo! And then…it was a miracle (I do not know how, probably FB God helped us then) the door opened again, and our whole company was together within the Express) Our joy knew no bounds, we yelled, laughed, hugged, people thought we had escaped from the loony bin)) We had 30 minutes and we used them to communicate and learn, well and make some crazy photos with our famous poster.
Leaving the express train we had some confusion and excitement, because it was already 13.35 but we needed to go to the domestic terminal by bus …. We were a little depressed, because all our suffering could be in vain … But luckily for us the bus moved ahead of time and we became closer to the airport. We still haven’t been sure that Sasha would be there….. We rushed to the entrance of the terminal. Some usual trouble at the controls – you can go inside only through a metal detector … I passed the first and dashed to the counter arrival. And there …. I saw Alena! (Alex’s manager from Universal Music, Russia). She stood there all alone, modestly dressed and discreet … She recognized me of course;) I made a sharp turn for 360 degrees and rushed to guys shouting: ” Alena is there! Julia (Kabanova), where’s Julia? Julia, this is Alena, isn’t she?” Julia, craning her neck, watched her couple of seconds and confidently said “YES!”. Then I sighed with relief, smiled and announced a little calmer: “He is here! We guessed it!” All muttered excitedly and pulled into terminal towards Alena.

Part 3. “Meeting at the airport ”

We have gathered all, undressed our coats (it was really hot in the terminal). Alena stood in a corner and pretended that does not know us but we are not as shy as she may wish;) We’ve approached to her;) The first thing we asked her if she meets Sasha. She sighed and said “Yes”. _)) Well, then we introduced ourselves, and I said a phrase like: “Well. We figured out it! As always…. Although there has no certainty … ” In general, we talked very nicely. She admired our ingenuity, our gifts and us. We told her that we all came from different cities and even different countries and that we would be at the concert, and that it would not be the first concert for some of us in this tour. Then we lined up with our poster and waited.
A few minutes passed and we saw the musicians and dancers, and then we saw Dan. I was in complete panic! I don’t know what happened to me then, because I thought that I became some kind of veteran in these matters)) But my hands were shaking, my legs would not obey me … That’s why my photos from the airport were completely of bad quality And then……Alex came out! I was not able even to imagine … so tired he was, worn out, with a huge suitcase and some bags in his hands … He was walking like a usual passenger … Nothing was left of our harmony in the ranks – all rushed to him! I must to tell you, he noticed us right in a moment he came. And this smile just flashed on his face…
I still can’t understand its meaning … But it was something like satisfaction;) as he thought then: “He-he, yeah, I’m really cool!” ))) … I don’t know if anyone noticed this thing except me;) After this smile, he pretended he didn’t know who we are and what we want from him, and he tried to pass through)) It didn’t look very convincing, to be honest;) Then he stopped near by sandwiches….

We gave him a pillow with hearts and tried to explain what is it…..then girls from different cities gave him their presents (a lot of chocolate as usual) books about Moscow and other Russian cities and even one good painting of local artist. Ukrainian girls gave him Lisa’s violin and explained that it’s fragile … With every new gift he increasingly penetrated and woke up;) I tried to organize ourselves somehow, something prompted, and all this time I was trying to make photo and video) It was really difficult. He was so unfocused, so tired and we felt we couldn’t manage to make him feel better….. And in that very busy and confused times I missed one very important point …. No one of us didn’t say clearly who we are :(( It was said a lot, we’ve talked with him like an old acquaintance … he even recognized some of us ( Masha and Lilya) and he remembered our postcards and he even was surprised why we gave him some more (Shame on us! We thought that he didn’t mention our present in Kiev! ). That all made us relaxed and lost our vigilance! And we’ve forgotten to tell him loud that we are Facebook Friends!!! And this fatal mistake cost us really much:(( So now I can tell you, friends, that the we have failed, completely failed! Because if we didn’t make this mistake, no one doubt that he says about US here:

(the video from Moscow concert)….He said on 4.30 min from stage:
“Hey! Is there Russian club of friends from Internet?”
The crowd screamed:
“Here we are!” (we were in the first row, so we screamed as well….but there are a lot of members of International Club of Friends too…and they screamed also…)
Alex: “A lot of friends!”
Scream of crowd.
Alex: “Thank you very much for the presents: books, pictures…and I appreciate very much the chocolate…but chocolate… you know…Do you have any conscience? Do you want me become fat? (We all laughed and screamed) But anyway, thank you very much! So, I see that you all like dolphins, right?”
Crowd screamed “Yes” and he started play “Dolphin”…..

Well, it is obviously now that he confused us with International club of friends He thanked US at the concert for the gifts! He scolded US for the chocolate! And of course he was referring to US when he talked about dolphins (Our logo! He remembered it! He couldn’t remember our long Russian-speaking Facebook Friends!!! But he remember the logo and some words like “friends” and “Russian”) All that names mixed up in his poor tired head!

But then, at the airport, we certainly never thought about it … We gave gifts, we were happy to see him, we were joyful…. So it was the turn of autographs. Those of us who didn’t have it yet, reached out to Sasha with a postcard, which were kindly prepared by Irina Kuvaldina. Sasha had a lot of batches in his hands, so we decided to stop the autograph session and to do just one common picture with Sasha and our poster. Now, watching Vika’s pictures, we can see HOW he was trying to examine our poster, he grasped the meaning
… and we crowded around him like a flock of geese and gaggeled, gaggeled …

We realized that we failed so much only when we saw our videos and photos from the airport! Ohhhh poor us((

I remember another time when he asked Lily whether she is from Ukraine, and as he pleased, that she is from Kiev And then he began to look for someone with his eyes when he heard that her name is Lily … then I grew bolder, and said that it’s me – Julia from Kiev, and that it’s me who called him on the radio in New York)) I do not know how could I do it … he squinted so cunningly and tale “Yeah. Exactly!” I like to think that he remembered my voice… but I did not dare to remind him the promise to kiss… not then, nor at a concert …I’m too shy for this.
Thus, the common picture is ready, and we walked slowly behind Sasha to the street.

Me, Tanya Kuzmina and Vika Kashtankina appeared near the mini-van when Sasha sat in it. He looked at us and somehow confused asked: “What do plan to do before the concert?” I replied: “We will come early and will wait for you.” He said then: “Well, you better take a walk, go to McDonald’s.” Then I laughed and said that he gave us a hint where we can see him before the concert;)) And when we waited almost 4 hours in the club before the concert we joked that the concert was delayed because Sasha awaited us in McDonalds but we didn’t come))))
We waved receding van and went to seek our bus. Way back, I do not remember …. I remember that we watched photos and videos, excitedly discussing the meeting, we laughed and wrote our news on Facebook. But then I began to suspect that something wasn’t done well, or rather we have not completed something … even asked all, if someone said that we are Facebook Frends… Nobody remembered the proper thing…

Returned to Moscow we were deciding long what we do before the concert. I was very tired the last days, haven’t sleep well and the night in train was without sleep too – all this made me felt exhausted. I weirdly wanted to take a shower and to sleep … And we had the main event ahead – the concert! I really desired to go to the concert, much more than to the airport… I wanted to enjoy his music, have fun and sing with all our gang … these were my purpose of going to Moscow! But I haven’t my energy at all. So I just realized that I wouldn’t go for a walk, as suggested some of us, but I went to relax and brush up in the hostel before the concert. We agreed to meet near the night club at 18.00 – 3 hours before the concert! – to take places closer to the stage. So finally, it was me who dressed for so long then we had to ran to the club! We have already written and called by the girls and Yanis, that the club was open and it was already allowed to go inside, and that the girls kept us the 1-st row, but we had to hurry. Here I must say a huge thank to one of our dear shadow-reader Elena Naumenko:) She wanted to go to a concert is with us so much, she prepared a gift and she was waiting for us outside the club, and I called her every minute and asked to repeat how to find this damn club! To our horror, a fine rain began to drizzle, so all our efforts with the hair and make-up slowly became spoiled… Lilya could not go fast on her heels… I knew that every second is very important to us! After all, if we are not in the first row, how then Sasha can find Lily and invite her to «I love you baby!»??? Here I should stop and tell you that we had a special plan about Lilya;) As soon as we found out that she carries a beautiful dress for the concert, we decided that she should be on stage that day! That’s why it was so important to get it in the first row:) On the approach to the club I saw Lena. I recognized her immediately, although she has no resemblance to her avatar in real life;) But apparently we have recognized each other with some special “Rybak” instinct;)) We just ran into the club, getting acquainted on the go. At the entrance I was surprised by guards – they took my camera down! It turns out it was look professional and dumb guards asked for my journalist’s accreditation ((I had to leave my miracle camera down in the luggage and go empty-handed (and I heard the blaming voice of my husband in my head ….if I will come home without any pictures and video! I begged to buy this camera just for the concert! Poor me!)

Part 4. The Concert.

I will not try to retrace detailed everything was happening in my mind then) The events of that day was completely mixed in my poor head!:) So many emotions, meetings, joy and disappointment in one single day! I remember the stuffy and tedious wait … aching back and legs, all the swelling … The first 2 hours flew almost unnoticed. We met with those who weren’t at the airport (Lena Star and her friend Kate, Lena Khaustova, Lena Naumenko, and then, Tanya Levina – our dear poetess!:)), we shared our impressions about the meeting at the airport, about Sasha, about everything. It seemed to me that the whole crown listened to us … We looked back and saw that people are arriving and arriving. 21.00 – the concert didin’t start! We even thought that if it won’t start in a minute we just dropped on the floor by fatigue and exhaustion. I had my sense of humor still alive so I joked that Sasha is waiting for us at McDonald’s, and therefore the concert was delayed;) At least the light was sweached off aaaaaaand … ..
Well, I have already been at 2 concerts – in Kiev and Odessa, so I thoroughly knew what would be happen. But(t) I was frozen, my heart ached and throbbed of expectation … It was very interesting to me how could he recovered, how he made himself singing and dancing in front of us, because I have seen him so tired at the airport … But when he finally appeared on stage to the sounds of Springelik, I realized – everything will be fine! He came out so beautiful, dressed his Eurovision costume, with shining and incredibly eyes – we were so close to him! At this point I was just happy! And not just because he smiled to me personally as it seemed;) but also because I was able to listen calmly, to sing, to “eat” him with my eyes, and to not take pictures! ))) Then I was quite fond of those two bulls-guards who took off my camera!))) If they didn’t, I would take a gazillion of incredible close-ups, which could be taken quit simply, because he was sooooo close! And he always helped us favors, demonstrated his most seductive movements and facial expressions
and he knelt down in front of us,
and he took off his skirt in front of us,
demonstrated his muscles for us,
and he looked straight into our eyes!

To tell the truth, we would all have been bonked in the first 5 minutes of the concert! But thanks to the crowd which closed around us tight ring it never happened:) Unbelievable that we have survived after this!!!:)))))))

Certainly you have seen a lot of videos from Moscow concert on Youtube.

After the concert there was a little confusion. We didn’t know exactly when and where it would be an autograph session …. Sombidy left, but we as true veterans, of course, waited for Alex’s appearance;)) We had to wait quite a long time. Saved only by the possibility of walking after long standing, and by the talks with musicians and Frikar dancers. Then Sasha came! He was very tired – this was evident from afar …. So we didn’t approach close to the crowd which passionately desired an autograph and photo. Sasha did his job perfectly, he worked like a robot: a clear confident movements, very quickly and smoothly, he – takes a card or piece of paper or disk, asked the name, writes, puts a smiley face, if you want the photo – gives your camera to the guard, switch on a smile, a flash (his eyes expand, but he never blinks! I am always amazed by that fact! As for me, it’s very difficult to keep my eyes open while taking the photo with flash:( I often blink, because you can’t forbid your body to resist this voluntary blindness). We waited calmly and confidently. But after about 40 minutes of waiting our confidence hasn’t been so great, and we approached the edge of the stage and began chanting: “Facebook! Facebook! “And then our belief was supported by Sasha, he asked:” Where is Facebook?” We replied:” Here!” He then:”Ok, wait, I’ll come to you, be sure.”
But I couldn’t stay calm and ran from one group of people to another, from Ulf to Odd, and to Torfinn, and back to Sasha… so I didn’t heard a lot. For example, I haven’t heard, but the girls ran breathless and told me, that he asked them: “Are you Dolphins? How many are you?” Girls blurted out without thinking: “Sixteen”. And then he surprised: “But why there are more cards?” It’s unbelievable! He opened our cards and counted them when he was on the road from the airport!
My head spun one thought all the time: How could we explain him? He must understand! How to say that we are his friends, but we are not the friends from the freaking Club? That we’re Facebook Friends and we are not only from Russia, not only from the CIS countries, but we are from all over the world! Looking at his tortured smile and his chaotic throwing from one fan to another, the way he wearily takes 15th huge box from Friend’s Club, and asked: “What is inside?” They replied: “Albums!” He: “But there were also albums in the previous boxes! ”
Or “It is better to give all these things to children … “. I understood that he was not there, it was only his shell, and it hurts me … So he came to our side, glanced briefly and said: “Facebook?” We: “Yes!” He looked at the fence, at the guards and at us, and we all looked at him pleadingly … Both we knew that we don’t need this short program “card – sign – photo”! And he seemed to read our thoughts, said: “I go out to you”, spun around and went in the opposite direction …. to go around the fence and to be among us! We were so happy! But on his way he was attacked by a myriad of “friends”, who immediately started to grab him by the hand and to take the pictures with him!:((( It seemed endless! I already passed the nerves, and I said Janis in despair: “I don’t want the picture with him! I don’t like this, he was tortured by all … even if I have no pictures with him until now … “Janis began to persuade me, and eventually pushed me to him! Picture came out terrible (as I expected!) Forced smile – his and mine, tensed posture… But I’m more grateful to Janis than evil him. Who knows if I have more pictures with him … and so at least it’s something to remember;)

Here, finally, we all surrounded Sasha, and me and Tanya handed him our copies of the Book. He saw it, nodded and began to excuse himself hurriedly: “I have not read it yet, I have no time!” And took the book (Tanya’s copy). We started to explain that this is not a gift and that we want him to sign our copies. We said that there is a Russian translation we did, and that here are authors of Russian hapters of the Book (we show at Tanya Kudinov and Marina Ageev, and he was really surprised….I think he hasn’t reached Russian chapters yet) Suddenly he made such funny round eyes and asked:

– How could it be, that you wrote it? It was … as they … well, those ladies ..
I said (looking in his incredible eyes):
– Well, yes, the Nice Butt ladies! We all are from your Facebook fan page!
He was even more surprised:
– Nice what?
– Nice Butt (understanding that I’ve pronounced THAT WORD aloud and covered my mouth… hm…it was very funny! Especially for those who wasn’t involved in this conversation!)
– Nice bath??? (there is no limit of surprise in his eyes, he still doesn’t understand why everyone is laughing … So, I asked myself, why it always me who get into such idiotic situations with him ???:)))))
– Butt!
That moment he understood and cunning smile flashed, but only for a moment;) He immediately made a face as if he is saying: “Are you kidding me? I’m trying to work here!» and said the following:
– No, it … as … Art …
We all:
– Yes! The Art class ladies!
– Exactly! So, how could you be all together? They’re in Europe ….
– Yes, we are all together, we met on your official page on FaceBook, we communicate and we are friends.
Then I pointed on Tanya Kudinova and said:
– Here is one of the authors.

He was absolutely stunned by the flow of information, because everybody was talking at the same time, I do not remember a half of what was happening. But I remember well, what I said next for some reason (probably to demonstrate further our close relationship with our dear European friends;)):
– They’re very upset about cancellation of concerts in Berlin.
He (all at once, without thinking a second, only raising an eyebrow):
– Yes, I know, but we meet with them, I’ll be there.
And again all gibberd something simultaneously. I think I was pointed him on my blue button with the inscription Rybak’s Facebookies (thank’s Irena!:)) and explain that we all are Facebookies, we are international …. And then he apparently realized that he blurted, he turned and looked at his manager Alena, convinced that she’s listening very carefully, turned back and looked in my eyes seriously and said clearly separating the words:
– Just remember that it will be no meetings with international Facebookies in Berlin! (and he winked to me!:))))

Here, I think I must finish my never-ending story about Moscow adventures:)))))

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