1

Peeling, Meeting, and Shopping

NEW YORK – In mid-December, while trying to understand what was happening in Russia, I checked Twitter and found a tweet that somehow signified everything. It was from a young woman, and it said, in Russian: “Gotta sleep! Tomorrow I go to [face] peeling, then to meeting, and then to shopping.” All three words – peeling, meeting, and shopping – were in fact the English words, rendered in Cyrillic.

What this reveals is that the Russian protests – called “mitings” – are no longer just for old people, radical extremists, or jobless, unskilled, feral youth. They are for sociable people who have time and money not just for politics, but also for shopping and, yes, even cosmetic procedures.