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Letter from Russia

The pleasures of being briskly birched by a naked stranger

By Edward Docx   January 2014

Moscow. Intense cold. When I blink, my eye-lashes feel crunchy as if they might be on the cusp of freezing. I am on my way to the Sanduny Baths, “the Tsar of all banya,” first opened in 1808 and frequented by Alexander Pushkin and John Travolta alike. Also Naomi Campbell. Also members of the KGB, which is around the corner in one direction, and the Bolshoi, which is round the corner the other.

I am here on the recommendation of Tima, an Uzbek madman of my acquaintance. His idea is that I use my free time in the taking of…

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