Let me take a break from the travelogue to offer the following adjectives:
Hilarious. Offensive. Smart. Profane. Witty. Brilliant. Touching. Incredible. Sad. Hopeful, Relevant......Stunning.
That and more about Absurdistan, Gary Shteyngart's absurdly entertaining novel which came out to almost universal acclaim a couple of years ago. I just finished it on our trip and was absolutely knocked out by his tale of Misha Vainberg, misplaced Russian Jew and wannabe hip-hop singer, who longs to be in New York but finds himself trapped in the fictional country of the title. To say more would give too much away. This is must reading!