1 Dec 2017

Two things before I get into today’s video: I live in England and I don’t shop (any more). They are both relevant and contribute to enhancing the enjoyment of this clip in which them Moscovites, after what I presume to be a standard few hours of queueing outside that normally precede high-fashion labels (in this case Balmain) for H&M sales, are flooding in and ripping the store, and each other, a new one. The duder in the white sweater swinging his arms about to better navigate turns and pick up momentum? You KNOW he’s going to get his hands on the best pieces even though he appears too disoriented to know where to run next. I am not worried about him.

Like I said, I live in England – once, my best friend Kelly has sent me a picture of when she was waiting for a bus: the queue must have consisted of tens of people, each one standing immaculately behind the other, breathing precisely on their neighbour’s neck, in formation of the most perfect line I’ve ever seen. Welcome to England, where queueing is an art from that is to be respected and admired. And not just at bus stops, either. My sister and I were also once determined to give high-fashion-for-H&M a go (Alexander Wang) and, after debating and deciding against spending the night outside the store like many others, joined the line at 6am for a 4-hour wait in winter weather. The difference from the Moscow scenario, is that each batch of shoppers was given a 15-min time-slots in order to make it a more structured, organised and non-traumatic experience. The Brits adore health and safety. Not Russians though. Health and safety who? Perhaps, because most of us are still sprouting in post-communism, with memories of the empty shops and deficit in everything, remembering when a stampede was a seductive sign of a longed-for consumerist indulgence. Or maybe I am overanalysing and Russians simply are tough mother-ckers – the assumption supported by this gif of how Russians are born.