From the Archives: Hash in the U.S.S.R. (1974)

It was the CIA who sent me to Russia. I didn’t plan it that way. But after three years of his studies of the Russian language and culture at the University of Miami, his yearning to visit the great Slavic homeland was unrealistic for one silly reason. So I got a job with the slab collection in the school library.

The only irony was that this generous library of rare Russian-language books and obscene journals was invaluable during my research. These very straight, hard-boiled guys and they had no flies. crocodilea Russian humor magazine) and request the latest issue of soviet naval monthly, or the Kremlin Report on Chilean Youth Groups. A few weeks later I read in a newspaper about sudden riots among Chilean youth. My boss, a cheerful Polish man, confirmed that many of our visitors were in fact his CIA, and hinted that the Slavic collection was his CIA property. Anyway, I worked there until I saved enough money to go to Russia.

Soon I was flown in with other members of a three-week commercial charter tour to Moscow and Leningrad. A whole glamorous, enigmatic and glamorous prospect loomed before me, but I hated the idea of ​​going on for six weeks without getting high, being the plump Southern Belle who went on tour a year ago. I said the same thing to “Texas Genie”.

“Don’t worry,” she dragged on. “Their Lasky got some of the best dangerous shit east or west of Pecos. Depends how you look at it.” I was a little perplexed, but my fears were allayed when I changed planes and stopped in Poland to visit my beloved Chopin’s birthplace. You should,” Genie said. At first I thought this was an invitation of a twisted and slick nature, but then I went to the back of the great composer’s birthplace and found patches of marijuana growing tough and well. When I understood. From this moment on, my understanding of detente underwent a cartwheel or a rethink.

On my second night in Moscow, I wandered the streets and, returning from sightseeing, found a letter from Genie on my hotel door. When she reached her room, she found her and her five other tourists sitting on the floor, her head covered in a cloud of nostalgic-smelling smoke. At Genie’s welcoming bid, I fell to my knees and was handed a pipeful of dark green flakes. Kaif, smelled like hashish, but tasted like grass. It came from the Georgian Caucasus Mountains, just like Stalin, and was just as powerful.

Genie traded one of her many blue jeans for a Russian head. Kaif we were smoking.She says that the craving of Russian youth for American things such as jeans, rock and jazz albums, psychedelic posters, and what have you got is so great that they have samovars, balalaikas, possibly military secrets, and of course Kaif In the most indiscriminate way to get the trap of decadent American youth culture. The perception that my old Moby Grape albums are Saigon’s equivalent of black cigarettes and stockings in his market seems to disgust American hippies, but the words to throw nothing away It reminded me of the inexpressible value of karma.

Last week in Moscow I was with some new Russian friends looking for a place to party. This is a big problem in Russia as the severe housing shortage forces Russians to live in rather small spaces. It reminded me of the high school scene in my hometown where most of our youth are spent scouting.

Russians find it strange that all Americans have their own apartments, cars, food, cigarettes and orgasms.In the Soviet Union, these are collectivized. , likes and dislikes, cutlery and crockery, vodka and ideology must be shared, but they are “monolithic” only in mutual conflict.

In short, it seemed unlikely that I would find an orgy site. That’s when my friend Volodya struck up a conversation with a little man with a black beard and horn-rimmed glasses as thick as a stove lid. He turned out to be a Russian bohemian of sorts, and within minutes invited us to his apartment in a staggering old housing project. He told us that we could use his little two-room ‘flets’, and even his bed, while he socialized with us and shared our wine and wine. Kaif.

After all, he considers himself a painter, and his apartment is a grimly shady canvas of dogs urinating into space, lampposts firing darts at children, and peering into endless space. It was full of pictures of a man spreading his buttocks out for a look. through his hole. Our host was one of those real crazy Russians you hear about, 12 of us him cramming wildly into a small place and blowing pipes. Kaif And take turns bowling on the bed. The little man became more and more rude and drank more than half of our wine. I played some of my rock albums on his record player, including Hendrix and Pink Floyd. I asked him if he had any examples of Russian rock music. He went to the shelf and pulled out a paper jacket album. He put the record on the turntable and we only listened for a few seconds. He then lifted the record out the window. “This is Russian music,” he said.

“I knew Nicholas before he was a superstar,” he raved, recalling his family. A man offered to buy classified information on my missiles… No, really, she’s very talented, she’s being sent to America on a cultural exchange program, in exchange for Texas and Brooklyn. , get Raquel Welch!” Finally, he took off his pants to reveal the long, ugly scars left by Stalin’s tormentors.At one point, Mad I was a young Muscovite when his Russian came running brandishing a small scimitar I was sleeping honey. My friend dragged him out and soon we left him lying on the floor. His snoring and nightmarish cries were mixed with laughter, sobs, arguments and songs that flowed from all the apartments into the common courtyard. For some reason, the entire episode seemed to epitomize Moscow.

Leningrad is closer to the West than Moscow in several ways. For centuries, during the imperial era, the city reflected the Romanovs’ imitation of Western European culture. The tradition continues today. When I first walked down Nevsky Prospekt, I actually felt at ease among the younger, longer-haired, more stylishly dressed communists.

kids are hip, Kaif Abundant. One evening I, along with his three young Komsomoltsy (members of the Lenin Youth Organization), stopped at a local disco called “Molotok” to hear top local rock bands. Their music consists of loud and fancy guitar chords, flashy drum licks, [an] It’s almost a funky bassline, surprisingly together, reminiscent of the high school band that used to play in the garage back home. On impulse, I asked the drummer if he could join one number. “Konieshno!” he cried with laughter. The leader then announced that an American rock’n’roller was going to perform, and it knocked the house down.

I could barely hear myself in their clapping and screaming. Over the next few days, some “group skis” who believed me to be big rock stars followed me.

Soon I met my first Russian drug dealer. His name was Misha and he was as freaky as any Russian would expect. He was tall, dark and bearded. He lived his life wearing black market Levi’s and cowboy jackets. A billboard painter, he spent time with foreign tourists and sold drugs. In fact, for this activity he served in a concentration camp for five years. Hip Russian and the streets of Leningrad With his slang curse, he invited us to his apartment to smoke. Gouache.

Gouache Guish A hash of people imported from Uzbekistan, a Soviet republic in Central Asia near Afghanistan. He shared an apartment with a beautiful young Lenin named Natasha.When we were there for the first time, Misha papilosa (tobacco), and bitter Russian tobacco mixed with hash from a small leather pouch and expertly poured the mixture over the tobacco.

After that, I gave Misha an American pipe and some screens. He was so impressed (and stoned) that he vowed never to smoke Hush again, but Natasha, in revisionist fashion, vowed to keep smoking good Soviets. papilosaBut she was so hungry that she “shotgun” the freezer.

Misha’s scenes were pretty loose, so one day I asked my neighbors what they thought.

“They think I’m crazy,” he said. “And do you know, are they right? Every time they see me coming, the old One-legged and the Ugly Witch runs into the room and slams the door.” I delighted him with stories of Florida rednecks.

The last time we saw Misha, we were taller than Yuri Gagarin. Dostoevsky, the dark Russian who once said “consciousness is a disease,” would have been proud of us. Our minds met in cosmic de-escalation, and Misha and I became more and more mysterious. I told him about my lifelong dream of being stoned with a real Russian. He told me about his dream of throwing stones with real Americans.

“Estbog!” he cried excitedly. “God exists!”

high times magazineAutumn 1974

Read the full article here.

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