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At twenty-eight, comedian Audrey Murray took a look around at her peer group-established in their careers, getting ready to take the next step in their relationships-and thought, “I should probably start to think about doing that.” Then she promptly boarded the next flight to Kazakhstan.
A combination of Wild and whatever Netflix series you’re currently binging, Open Mic Night in Moscow chronicles the episodes of Audrey’s solo travels through the former Soviet Union-adventures that take her from a lookout on an American military base in Afghanistan, to a burning crater in Turkmenistan, to a wedding in Uzbekistan, through a Belarusian forest, to crossing Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railway-and includes a cast of characters Tolstoy would have envied. But don’t worry; her book is 800 pages shorter than the average Russian novel.
Audrey’s keen observational eye and curiosity about human nature lead to fascinating excursions through parts of the world that are infamous to Westerners but seldom visited by them. Take the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant-do you assume, as Audrey did, that the Chernobyl accident took place in a place called Chernobyl Through her encounters, Audrey experiences a panoply of perspectives on being a woman traveling solo, on the concept of home and the idea of “settling down,” and the pros and cons of sleeping in yurts.
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