Moscow by day and night.
Trip Start Aug 06, 2009
26Trip End Jan 01, 2010
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Peter has become a celebrity over night: we went to the park where much poi and juggling takes place and they all came to him, intrigued by his abilities with three sticks. Within mintues gossip had spread: "He's from Scotland," "he has been practising for 7 years!" "He trains in his garden". Of course, Peter unused to this kind of attention, became very embarrassed and modest, so we left to eat some Russian pancakes. They eagerly await his return on Friday evening
If we take ourselves back two weeks today, we had managed to register ourselves and were making our way to the MAKS air show. Jenny had been given tickets for the business visit, so we all got special badges with our names on (being called Dalaleish was a first). Unfortunately, the Russian commander of the equivalent of the Red Arrows had an accident and crashed his plane so we were only able to see the French fliers. It was still a very impressive sight, the noise of the planes was remarkable, and the field was filled amass with all kinds of machines. Jenny fell in love with a cute little hover craft whilst Chris immersed himself into the big fighter jets and concord. In the food marquee business people gathered together and bought bottles of vodka, easily consumed with their meals.
Since then we have moved to a different part of Moscow, as Chris and Jenny's landlady was not at all happy that we would be staying there whilst they were away. So a few quick phone calls later and we were put into a much bigger flat where we have our own room, a big empty fridge to fill and some fish to look at. The girl that lives here is called Helen, and at first she struggled dearly to speak any English, but she picked it up so quickly so now we can get by, sometimes with the help of a translator on the internet
Before Chris and Jenny left, they took us to Red Square and all the fountains which looked glorious with all the lighting. We tried to find somewhere to eat and failed miserably, so we just got on the metro and went to a specific place where I had an amazing Oreo smoothie. As it was getting late we were put in a gypsy taxi and were soon on our way safely home. Little did we know that the taxi would get lost and we'd end up driving round and round unable to communicate. It was rather unnerving as the driver muttered under his breath and tried to get rid of us. Eventually we recognised where we were and were able to point to keep him going, saying supermarket also helped. At home awaited a very anxious Helen who had been worrying as we were back so late.
Somehow, over the next few days I had a cold, so we didn't really do much. On Wednesday we met with Robin who knows so much about Moscow and was great company. We found our way to this art exhibition, called How Do You Do... Moscow, about all the foreigners living here and all their different ways of life. It was really interesting finding out that there were so many non-Russians living here and reading about all their little jokes and quirks about living here. Such as the amazingly cheap efficient metro or hailing down a random car on the street and immediately five will pull over (gypsey taxis) or how beautiful it is here in the Winter and you can go snowboarding after work
Robin also showed us the ultimate tourist street, filled with artists, buskers and people desperately trying to give you leaflets. We shared a very nice pizza together as we had a crash course in learning Russian numbers before he had to dash off on business. The next day we went to the ballet, Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev. Unexpectedly Google maps had confused us by showing the theatre as being on the right hand side of the Bolshoi, but it was no where to be found. We asked for help and no one had even heard of the RAMT theatre. We were ten minutes late by the time we found it, on the left hand side of the Bolshoi. Luckily they let us stand at the back until the interval. The theatre was much smaller than I expected, and the orchestra was also small, but still impressive. The costumes were absolutely amazing, and the dancing beautiful, Peter even enjoyed it. At points it was even dark and scary, as the ghosts appeared to take Tybalt and Mercutio away to the afterlife.
We met Robin again on Friday, by the man on the horse outside what we thought was the biggest museum in the world. It went on forever and ever. I managed to get a student ticket so I could also get a ticket to use my camera which was lots of fun. There was this whole exhibition on gold which went on and on, gold from Europe, gold from the Middle East, gold from the Olympics, gold from the huge expanse that is Russia..
Then Peter felt a wave of boredom as we got to the fossils and pots and other ancient tools so he began to make silly jokes. Time was running out so we had to quickly skim through the Tsars and such and then we were off to meet Maxim to be taken to and English club.
It was very strange to be in one room where so many people spoke English, we expecting more foreigners and the like, but they were mostly Russian and all told us about how they loved Scottish veeskey. We met someone who had wanted to do Astrophysics! Suddenly a half naked girl appeared and started doing Latin dancing. Then people got up to join in and everything went crazy. We joined in on the last dance, managing to pick the hardest one to take part in, but it was all good fun and maybe we will go again.
We look forward to Chris and Jenny's wedding next Tuesday, and a trip to St Petersburg, and maybe the circus!