Sometimes I sit around pining for the good old days in Russia. You know, when you had to use your elbows while occupying a queue at 3 a.m. or saran wrap your bag to be granted access to a grocery store.
It’s almost like life is too easy these days in Russia. You can do most of your bureaucratic hoop-jumping online and for those moments when you need to visit the government entity in question, you can normally “take a number”. There is, of course, home restaurant delivery, together with just about any other service you could imagine. I recently saw a service that will even take your trash out for you. All of this is boring… and degrading, to say the least.
To be serious, Russians are more in a hurry these days, less likely to drink tea for hours, and more likely to be busy making money. Sometimes it feels like they took capitalism and put it on steroids. Can’t say as I blame them, but it also feels like something valuable went missing.
Another fantastic part about Russian culture that seems to be particularly absent in Moscow is mechanical ingenuity. I remember the brake system of my brand new UAZ being jerry-rigged in the freezing cold of January along a lonely highway in the Urals with a random piece of wire (obviously, by a Russian, not me) in the late ’90s. But in 21st century Russia, an increasing number of folks are coasting into the American way of not using any mechanical skills but just calling roadside service.
With this deterioration of mechanical ingenuity, I decided to go to Avito, Russia’s online classified portal, to get some much-needed reassurance that Russia was still held together in the hands of Russia’s genius village engineering wunderkind. And here are a few items I found that you too can purchase for the right price:
If you have enough spare parts, through the miracle of evolution, they could possibly fall together in the correct configuration to produce useful machinery.
Alternatively, you could end up with something like this:
Imagine pulling up to the village disco on this bad boy on a Friday night. You would be Vasya #1 in your neighborhood and all the local Tanyas would be clamoring for a ride.
Why waste your hard-earned money on a store-bought tractor, when you can always have a repair job to occupy any free time in your life?
The lack of apparent usefulness in this particular model is compensated by, um, personality? This wonder of village technology, boasts new tires, according to the ad, and can be yours for one low price of 46,000 rubles. This is an exclusive offer, available only in the village of Orlik, you know, the village of Orlik in the Belgorod region. There is no mention in the ad if the chicken and dog will be part of the deal.
Homemade Freight Truck:
If farming isn’t your cup of vodka, and you’re more into transportation and logistics, but on a budget. You can make your own homemade freight truck. Or not to waste any time building your own, you can buy this beauty.
With a price tag that is suspiciously lower than a homemade tractor, you can soon be transporting the harvests of the Motherland for just 36,000 rubles.
According to the ad, there is need for some work on the brake system, BUT the rear axle is from a Studebaker. And now, as so often happens in this great nation, I’m left with more questions than answers.
Bonus Homemade Freight Truck: Have more metal and random buckets of paint than you know what to. do with? Spend your Saturdays combining the two and this will be the result:
This reminds me of a vehicle I rode around in Tunisia on once. Please note the windshield wipers and flags. I feel like I need to stand and take off my hat.
Perhaps you’re more into the out of doors and relaxation than any kind of work? And winter’s just around the corner!
Or maybe because you’re Russian, you don’t have any wheels laying around, just some skis.
Well, here you go:
This sleek Arctic fox will set you back 41,000 rubles, but the ad boasts a Honda engine and lots of fun for both kids and adults alike.
Alternative popular homemade snowmobile model:
Russia, please never stop building whatever idea just randomly popped into your head. Only you know how to make humor and resourcefulness collide in such a way to inspire both amusement and a little bit of fear from comrades worldwide. Never stop doing that.