Mermaids in Odessa

One of the first things you can't fail to notice, if you visit Odessa, is that the girls are rather spectacular - and made up and dressed to the nines. When Mark Twain arrived in Odessa he was delighted that there were "no sights to see and that I had nothing to do but to idle about the city and enjoy myself", which consisted of walking around the city streets, eating ice cream and admiring the people. Deribasovskaya Street is the main thoroughfare for this activity, full of people wandering up and down doing exactly that. The habit of display goes beyond the teen years:-


Postcard from Odessa

I've begun scanning the first few pictures. Here's a taste, more to come.

Russians - or Ukrainians - have a weakness for reliving old Soviet films as part of their lifestyle. Much of their love for drinking vodka in the banya (bath house) is inspired by Ryazanov's "S Lyokhkim Parom" or "Ironiya Sudby" (An Irony of Fate).

Another curiosity is the habit of wearing Captain's hats at the seaside in general and in Odessa in particular, as worn by the heros of quite a few cult Soviet films, such as the 1976 Ilf and Petrov classic "The Twelve Chairs". Ilf and Petrov themselves were from Odessa, and there is even a statue of a bronze chair in the city centre in their honour.

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