eyes still burning after an extended and tremendously emotional good-bye to Moscow, where i was treated with such open love and kindness that i feel i’ve left an enormous new family behind.

so exhausted and stupid with heartache that i walked off a train without my suitcase in Austria where i’d arranged to have some more CDs delivered (please forget previous panic-stricken emergency message, now deleted – apparently someone has found my suitcase somewhere near Vienna, and i will hopefully get it back in a week or so).

as for my dear friends Kirill, Zlata, Lera and Jenya, who took such lovely care of me, i miss you terribly already. because of my missing suitcase, there will be no samogon to toast you with tonight upon my arrival in Sofia. this makes me sad. on top of being so far away from you, i also lost my beloved green journal at SVO, along with the copy of ‘The Golden Finch’ that i bought in Bamberg. clearly i’m not fit for travelling today. but in all the chaos i have been holding tightly to the memory of our last embraces. and so i am okay. i hope you are too.

спасибо, Россия. thank you to all who helped arrange this very special show, for the beautiful hugs and gifts and conversations you travelled so far to bring to me, and for the lovely moments we shared before, during and after my set. thank you ДИч for having me. the past two nights i sat in my cozy little hostel room surrounded by memories of all of you, the team translating your messages and comments from vk.com for me, and i felt like i was being held by all of you at once. i will not forget you. thank you for welcoming me, for stomping and clapping along to ‘night fighter’, for stopping my heart (and the song in its first few notes) in the most shocking and lovely way when i started singing ‘still inside you’. thank you for putting up with my awkward banter and struggles with the microphone stand.

long after the show, K, Z, L, J and i walked to Red Square in the blowing snow – the first snowfall of the year. the square was wonderfully deserted, the snow swirling kaleidoscopically about in the spotlights, the sky huge and glittering. we laughed together, and explored, and drank together, and as Lera said, it felt like our weekend had lasted a whole month. i have felt so brilliantly alive in Russia. and so loved. thank you for that.

i hope to come again next year to see you all again. possibly to St. Petersburg too. the thought of these possibilities makes being away from you all easier to bear.

before i board my plane for Bulgaria, i must also say thank you to Andria, a once-stranger who became a friend over the past two hours. in spite of all she was in the midst of herself, once she found out about my predicament(s), she drove me all over the city to track down my CDs, and back to the airport, and has even offered to hold my suitcase for me when it surfaces. i cannot thank her enough for saving me today. people are fucking awesome.

speaking of fucking awesome, much love and a good night kiss to my Russian friends. i will see you soon.

eric.
(эрик)