That would be Europe in general... where a tiny glass of bottled water is about 8 dollars and carbonated, and beer is 80 cents. (Except of course Greece, were they invented clean water... but then poisoned it with turpentine to keep the turks from stealing it.)
This place is so un-American in every way I almost feel bad about being here... like I am spoiling the snow with footprints. I'll get into the cultural weirdness in a minute. First I should answer the most important questions about any new place... "How is the beer, and the women?" The beer... well, this place has confirmed my suspicion that energy and mater are not the only conservative substances in the universe, instead it is a general operating principle of existence. As evidence: I payed over $20 for two crapy beers in New York about a week ago... now I am paying about 80 cents per bucket of absolutely excellent beer! I think it is called ZPRKZCETYHC... I am just kidding, that is not what the name of the beer is, that is the name of everything here! What I am getting at is that the universe knows that a $10+ beer must have it's equal and opposite... and it is here.
Having established the conservation of beer as a law of the universe, I am troubled by the thought that women may also be a conservative substance. Because after this place... I am owe the universe like it was a pissed off loan shark with mafia connections... and that is just for looking. There is absolutely no concept here of the american female idea of not wearing something because it makes her look slutty. There is absolutely no fucking way to describe the women here. Mind scrambling is the closest thing I can think of. 90% of the women start off armed with 8' legs and perfect tits... and they improve from there. I didn't know that it was possible to have a camel toe with jeans on... but it is... it is the way they wear their jeans here. (In fact they may just be spray painted on.) Continue that concept with at least knee high, if not thigh high, stiletto boots and you have an idea of the most conservatively dressed women I have seen here. I swear to god I am not making any of this up. They have an aviation college here... sort of a aviation trade school as far as I can tell. In the heyday of soviet pilot training they where graduating about 400 pilots a year. Now they are down to about 25. This leaves them with a huge surplus of classroom space. How would you fill the rest of the classrooms? Of course... you would expand your program to offer training in "Book Keeping." This is for real... the collage trains pilots and office girls, at about a 1 to 15 ratio. And since they are going to the "Flight College" they must wear the uniform of the institution. (This is where VMI and the Citadel fucked up) The female uniform is a mid-thigh mini skirt, fishnet stockings, knee high stiletto boots, and a very tight light blue blouse (obviously no buttoning regulations...) If I didn't see this place with my own eyes, I would never believe it. The female uniform looks like one of those novelty costumes... but better quality. I swear this is all completely true! It is very hard to concentrate... how can you learn very technical subject matter in a foreign language with that all around you?
We have solved the tactical problem of procuring drinking water. We have saved up enough water bottles and have found a source of fresh water so that we will probably not die of dehydration... though the locals give us very odd looks for drinking water. Now for the next tactical problem how to get a haircut. While finding a barber is the first step, telling him how i would like my hair cut with no common language should be the more difficult one. How do you say "a one on the sides, leave the sideburns, tapered in the back, and long enough to still part on top" in Russian... or Ukrainian...?