Lenin ... RABOTAYET!!!

Trip Start Mar 11, 2006
Trip End Aug 01, 2006

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Flag of Russia  ,
Monday, June 19, 2006

Our plan to see Lenin this time around was going to require more of that military precision we had so well displayed in India, and the train would have flunked out of boot camp for depositing us a half hour late into Moscow to initiate the engagement sequence. No matter, we got our tickets to Kiev for that night on the second try, stashed our bags at the station (claiming they were only worth $5 to save on extra charges, though that wasn't far from the truth by that point), I committed a grave technical error by guiding us onto the wrong subway line, and we arrived in the center of Moscow at 12:50 PM.
Lenin closes at 1 PM.
If he's open at all.
We run up, guard says (you guessed it), but, unwilling to take that for an answer yet again, I ran to the other side for a last-ditch effort. The guard predictably says "Lenin ne rabotayet", I say please, he says no, I launch into our sob story, say I'm from America, he asks if I'm from Texas, I say no I'm from California, he asks if I know Arnold Schwarzenegger, I say "Know him? Please! I just graduated from the University of California and Arnold personally signed my diploma!"
That got us in.
Like Papa said, Lenin was little and yellow and oh-so-anticlimactically-wonderful and we had then a little walk along the Kremlin wall, where important people have their ashes lain to rest in a very important fashion. I stopped to pay respects to Gagarin and to send nasty thoughts to Stalin for the things he did to my family and so many others, and, feeling lucky, we continued on to the Armory.
Armory ne rabotayet.
Ah well ,what did you expect. Final scores: 1/4 for Lenin, 0/3 for Armory. We stopped to pick up a few souvenirs for home (only a few, so just because you're reading this, doesn't mean you should expect one ;) and rolled into Sbarro's again, this time with our arms raised to the air in triumph. It was an allergy day, so I gave myself license to eat whatever I wanted, and I did.
Mission accomplished. Now to Kiev on the train with the older sisters and grumpy Nagg and Nell.

Moral of the Story: To paraphrase Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can ... see Lenin in the Moscow on their 4th try over the span of a week and a half.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
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