Tag Archives: Night of the Living Dead

Cemetery Man – Exploring Moscow’s Incredible Graveyards

There are more than 13 million people in Moscow, and sooner or later every single one of them is going to cark it. Of course, with the amount of vodka the Russians guzzle, they’ll leave a bunch of well-preserved corpses, but all those bodies have to go somewhere. Not surprisingly, you can’t swing a lynx (they’re native to Russia – I’m an expert on this place now) without hitting a cemetary around here, and they’re absolutely fascinating.

I don’t even know the name of the necropolis I visited, but it was as strange as it was large. Thousands of intricately-carved tombs stretched out for kilometres in every direction, while the forest dumped neon-yellow leaves all over the tombstones. I’ve been to a lot of graveyards over the years (I guess you could say I’m dead keen on them), but this was by far the creepiest I’ve ever seen. The contrast between the well-maintained and highly decorated graves and the ghoulish plantlife was unsettling, as was the near-perfect silence even in the middle of the city, and things only got worse when I realised I was lost amongst the maze-like architecture. It truly was a nightmare come true.

After 15 minutes of trudging in circles, I was in tears and contemplating a night spent curled up in a tomb in order to survive the harsh Moscovan conditions, but then I just sort of found the exit and went home to smash a few beers and watch professional wrestling. It ended up being a pretty good night!


Night of the Livingstone Dead

Zimbabwe is falling apart and there are beggars and troublemakers everywhere, so I decided to cross the birder to the relatively stable Zambia. Livingstone is the most prosperous city in this dusty, landlocked country, and I had a top time exploring it while waiting to jet off to Malawi tomorrow… right up until the zombie apocalypse broke out and I nearly had by brains sucked out of my skull by a bloodthirsty ghoul.

Livingstone isn’t full of tourist sites and won’t rival Prague or Cape Town as the world’s most beautiful city, but it offers a vibrant and authentic look at the real Africa. It’s relatively safe (when not overrun by swarms of undead monsters) and is small enough to explore on foot (but keep a chainsaw handy in case you need to dispatch a recently-reanimated ratbag).

Livingstone’s best known for its proximity to Victoria Falls, but unlike the associated town on the Zimbabwean side of the Zambezi, it feels like a proper city and not a tourist hub. There are run-down markets, expensive restaurants, colonial buildings and people carrying shit on their heads. It’s got a bit of everything.

I was minding my own business when a putrid, flesh-hungry zombie stumbled out of an open drain and started dragging itself toward me. I stared into it’s dead eyes and smelled it’s rancid odour, and nearly shat myself when it stumbled towards me on broken legs. I turned to run, stumbled, and let out a scream as the thing reached out for me.

A tough guy pulled up in a ute, jumped out and smashed the zombie across the face with a piece of wood, but the creature wasn’t even stunned. It snarled at the would-be hero and then leant in and sank its horrid teeth into his neck, sending blood spraying into the air like a fountain. I was soon drenched.

Somehow I got back to my feet moments before the zombie could pounce on me. I kicked it in the nuts, which did nothing, then followed that up with somw perfectly-executed punched that knocked the monster backwards. I scooped him up, keeping his teeth away from my flesh, and then hurled him into the street just as a semi trailer roared past. The zombie splattered on the front like an overripe watermelon. It’s a good thing I escaped, because I never got my anti-zombie shots before coming over here.

I looked down at the dead man who’d tried to help me, then saw a beautiful African woman step out of his ute. She looked at her dead husband, then at me. No words needed to be spoken, and she fell into my arms. We kissed passionately, and then we headed back to my hostel for several hours of passionate lovemaking. It’s not easy being a hero to people around the world, but it can be rewarding.