Moscow: Day 2

Unique observations about Moscow:

1.)  Toilet paper can be and is colored and scented in some places. Both the apartment we are staying in and the Salvation Army’s district headquarters had colored, scented paper. The pastel green paper at the apartment is scented like apples.

2.)  Russians take their fur very seriously. Most women I have seen have knee-length fur coats in all varieties. Some appear more natural, and some are dyed colors like purple, red and teal. They like to wear fur beanies also. Russian men sometimes have full-length fur coats, but I have observed that at the least they have a fur collar to their coats. The fur hat is very popular among men. Even children wear some fur. I’ve seen lots of furry pom-poms on top of knit beanies.(Aside from fur, can we please discuss how precious these children are in their winter outfits? Much better than the ones in "A Christmas Story.")

3.)  Russians are very quiet people in comparison to westerners and generally keep to themselves. The noise of the metro area is mostly just the metro. It was eerie at first for us to ride on the metro because no one spoke or looked at each other. Now we’ve caught the knack of sitting quietly while averting our eyes.

4.)  Do not touch a stranger on the metro, even if it’s an accident. There have been a few close calls here.

5.)  Like my time in England, it is customary to stay to the right hand side of the escalator when riding to allow for people in a rush to climb by on the left.

6.)  If asking for directions in English, ask a younger person. The older generation wasn’t taught English like the younger generation.

7.)  In major intersections, there are no crosswalks for pedestrians. Moscow traffic is crazy. Instead, there are underground tunnels that go underneath the roads to protect pedestrians and keep traffic moving.

8.)  Lots of vendors have enclosed shops along the underground tunnels of the metro, and the variety is interesting.

9.)  Different metro stops have different themes. One of our common stops is themed after Rome’s beginnings, having statues of Romulus and Remus. Another is a tribute to the revolution. At this station it is considered good luck to lay your hand on the statues as you walk by. In the metro, Russia’s past is still visible. Lights with the hammer and the sickle as well as murals still abound.

Today was a slower day because we got off to a late start. The other group’s power went out in their apartment, so they weren’t able to contact us as we planned. Because of this we waited for them until 3:30 p.m. before starting our day. We ended up meeting them at Subway (accepts Visa and has wifi) and eating some interesting sandwiches. The vegetable selection was way different than the states’. My lettuce was more like cabbage and well, you get the picture.  

Meg and Kyle befriended some Russian men while waiting for us. They talked for two hours through Google Translate. 

Meg and her friends.

Afterwards we went to the Red Square and took some night pictures because it is beautiful at night and the sun sets earlier here.We went to a nearby market and I bought some nesting dolls (matryoshka). I love them. I’ve always wanted some and they are so neat. 

Matryoshka

Afterwards we came back home and settled in for the night. Julia leaves for a work trip tomorrow to Georgia to visit some cadets, so we said our goodbyes. She and Natasha will be in Sochi for the Olympics with the Salvation Army. We hope to connect again there. Tomorrow’s our last day in Moscow. Hope it’s a good one!