Doing Moscow: ASAP (As Short As Possible)

Posted: September 6, 2009 in Out of Town
Tags: , , ,

I think that I understand why Russian literature tends to be so lengthy: if I were to try to enumerate and explain everything that’s happened to me from moment one on the ground in Moscow to moment 3498523049857 sitting here in “my” room at “my” apartment here in Irkutsk typing a blog to post the next time I happen to be around an internet connection, I could probably fill two tomes the size of War and Peace. Though, my version would be a lot less of the “peace” side, and though I can’t describe it as “war,” it wouldn’t be too far from it.

In light of that fact, I present. . .

My Top Ten from Moscow
10. Waiting 2 hours in the passport control mob, the first of an almost infinite number of situations where there’s usually a line or some sense of order in the US.
9. Having my first convo with a real Russian with my taxi driver about the city and gas prices, among other topics.
8. Getting my first internet access to the Western hemisphere, and consequently to the loved ones back home.
7. Seeing familiar faces, that is, Sophie’s and Ashley’s, walk into the lobby of the hotel (in a huge tourist complex built for the 1980 Olympics, complete with a kremlin-looking gypsy market).
6. Placing my first orders for things like Rum-Servis, breakfast at a pastry stand, my metro ticket, and so on.
5. Putting on my non-smiling Russian face for the first time in the context of pushing my way through the Moscow metro.
4. Hiding my smiling American face for the first time when I more or less stumbled upon the Kremlin, Red Square, and St. Basil’s Cathedral for the first time and realized I was actually there.
3. Walking around Moscow’s Izmailovsky Park of Culture and Rest (yes, I’m doing literal translations for purposes of humor) and finding a “Vestern Park” complete with huge pictures of plains indians with tomahawks and a roller coaster.
2. Getting (not literally) b**** slapped with typical Russian ignorance of strangers for the first time (don’t worry, it’s not rude here, so I’m all good) by the lady changing my money at the hotel who was wearing an Arizona tourist shirt. Well IIIII thought it was cool. Guess not. . .
1. Having drinks and lively conversation with old friends, with soon-to-be American student friends, and with new, Russian, middle-aged friends at various bars and on-the-street locations around the hotel complex on what we promised would be our one and only stupid-American-tourist night.

So that was that. After orientation at the hotel and saying our goodbyes to our fellow MiddKids studying in Moscow and Yaroslavl, we hung around the hotel til 8, when we took a 2-hour ride to the Sheremetovo airport to catch our red-eye to Siberia. Hey. It beats 6 days on the train, right? (Stay tuned for the winter break travellog for that. . . .)

  1. […] (appropriately named Soup-Kafe) after our leg-aching day of roaming around Red Square (we actually got in this time!), taking a quick tour around St. Basil’s Cathedral (actually the Cathedral of the Ascension […]

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