I Went To Russia And All I Have To Show Is A Prison Tattoo

When I was growing up® there was an old joke (which I may have told here before, but I only remember about three of these so I have to recycle): An American is walking around in Moscow and falls into an unmarked open manhole. He screams: “I can’t believe some idiot left a manhole open here without any warnings! Where were the cones, tape, warning red flags?”
An old Russian passer-by says “When you were crossing the border did you see a giant red flag?”
“Yes” -American replies,
“That was your warning!” (I need to brush up on my dialogue punctuation, but you get the idea)
Few Americans who comment here have actually been to Russia and they will confirm that being a foreigner there is like running a plow through a minefield, you never know when it’s gonna blow, but you are pretty sure it will, sooner or later. The only protection is your wallet but you can’t just go around openly paying people off, it’s an art. Apparently at there are enough foreigners who have not mastered the art of bribery to have a special international prison described by one unfortunate victim in his book Zone 22 ( I am pretty sure the same book is published in the US as Tomorrow You Go Home: One Man’s Harrowing Imprisonment in a Modern-Day Russian Gulag)

zone-22 Tomorrow

I haven’t read the book yet, I am waiting for my turn at the library, but there are plenty of blurbs around to suggest that if you don’t know what you are doing you may come back from Russia with a couple of prison tattoos instead of Matryoshkas for your girlfriend.
If I like the book I may review it in a few weeks.

  • midtown miscreant

    I may have mentioned before, I saw a documentary on Natl. Geo channel about Russian Prisons. Hard time doesn’t begin to describe it.

  • SmedRock

    I saw that one too, (keeping up on the competition), and you are right. DAMN SCARY. Repeat offenders pretty much don’t exist in that country.

  • Leonardo de la Paor

    Why don’t we out-source our prisoners to Russian prisons? It would cost far less & you wouldn’t have that many repeat offenders. If big business can out-source its manufacturing, the government should out-source serious criminals to Russia & Eastern countries. They have the prison space & would be happy to accept this work.

  • I am sure they would show it to be cruel and unusual punishment

  • Leonardo de la Paor

    Yo M.V.

    Your missing the point. These SERIOUS CRIMINAL prisoners, many who should have got the Death Penalty for the CRUEL & UNUSUAL VIOLENCE they perpetrated on INNOCENT VICTIMS, deserve the type of punishment given in Russian prisons.

    And the threat to other prisoners, if they don’t behave in a decent, human manner in our prisons, will be sent to Russian prisons.

    Do you want to SOLVE/CURB the crime problem in your country? Then you must CULL the “animals” that are running wild. This is done in nature & also by Animal Welfare Groups.

    When a person, with malice a forethought, takes the life of another human being, they forfeit the RIGHT to life. A society who rejects that standard, is heading for chaos.


    • I am not missing the point. I agree with you on the idea that harsh prison conditions are what these people deserve, but if this ever happened it would be immediately appealed and banned. That’s why they give pain killers to people before the lethal injection, so it doesn’t amount to “cruel and unusual”