In 1991, Lori Cidylo shocked her Ukrainian Polish-born parents when she told them she was leaving her reporter's job on an upstate New York newspaper to live and work in the rapidly dissolving Soviet Union. For six years she lived on a shoe-string budget in Moscow, in tiny, run-down apartments, struggling with broken toilets and indifferent landlords and coping with the daily calamities of life in Russia. Fluent in Russian, she rode on public transportation, did her own shopping and cooking, and shared the typical Muscovite's life-unlike most Westerners who were still sequestered in the heavily guarded compounds reserved for diplomats and journalists. As the country experienced its most dramatic transformation since the Bolshevik Revolution, she realised she had stepped into a fantastical and absurd adventure. Cidylo's wry, insightful account of what it is like for an American woman living in Russia is a dramatic tale full of insouciant laughter, in which the immediate sense of vivid experience shines on every page. With the sharp eye of an acute observer, she captures the momentous events no less than the everyday trivia: how do Russians address one another now that the familiar 'comrade' is passe; or how do you find your way home in a city where the streets keep getting new names? As Russia even now continues to struggle with the Cold War's aftermath, Cidylo gives a delightful, surprising, warmly human view of post-Soviet life.