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Antonov An-225 Cossack: The worlds largest airplane

She was the grandest sight at the air fair in Paris: the Antonov 225 is the biggest airplane in the world. Even larger than the new Airbus A380.

Matryoshka dolls at a souvenir booth in Moscow featuring Harry Potter, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Lenin, Winnie Pooh and Osama Bin Laden
Picture by T. Micke

A souvenir booth in downtown Moscow. The merchant is well prepaired for tourists from around the world. He offers his products in Russian, English, German, Spanish or French. Even bits of Japanese are in his repertoire. On the folding table infront of him there is a colorful collection of "Matryoshka dolls", traditional fortune bringing gimmicks for pregnant women and newly weds, because every one doll contains a child within which another child and grandchild are hidden.

But the illustrations of the twentyfirst century don't feature simply scarved fat women as they tradionally used to. Harry Potter sells very well. Under his wooden shell sits a Hermione doll, Ron is next followed by Dumbledore. Keith Richard hides beneath Mick Jagger. If you open John Lennon Paul McCartney will smile back at you. Lenin beholds Stalin.

The merchant closely follows the eyes of the potential customer: Down there in the first row right next to Jesus, isn't that...?

"Osama! Only 80 rupies", the merchant cries out in perfect english. "What might be inside the Osama bin Laden doll?" the customers wonders and thinks of US-president George W. Bush who probably would like to know as well after 9-11. Die the artist who made this doll find an answer to that question. Curiously the customer opens the Bin-Laden-doll to find – another Bin Laden. And after this one a third. "How dull" the customer thinks to himself returns Bin Laden to his place next to Jesus and buys Harry Potter. But when strolling down the Red Square he wonders: "After Bin Laden simply anther Bin Laden? – Maybe the artist was thinking into the future after all..."

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© A report by Tobias Micke (26-01-03) – Contact