Thursday, March 31, 2016

Saturday in Moscow

Friday night I had decided not to set an alarm and I ended up staying in bed until almost 9. After getting ready I had a delicious breakfast of coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice, and sirniki with sour cream and raspberry sauce at шоколадница cafe. I sent Mario a message while at the cafe that said, "I don't think I'm in Russia. The people are so insanely friendly." The waiters and waitresses in the cafe were extremely friendly and even making some jokes. What I'm used to in Russia is service staff who acts like you being there is extremely annoying and they hope you get out of there as fast as possible. Service with a scowl, so to say. In any case it was a positive start to my day.

It was immediately clear in the morning that I was going to be a beautiful sunny day. So any plans I had of holing up inside museums just weren't going to happen. I needed to be outside soaking up that sun!  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

First stop of the day - Moscow State University
My favorite cathedral in Moscow-Cathedral of Christ the Savior
Best view of the city 

Lenin Library 

It just doesn't get any better than this! 

Red Square by day

Большой Театр

Count down to FIFA world cup in Russia 
I hopped on the metro and was soon reminded just how loud the trains are here. I'm not used to it anymore and it made me grimace. It amazes me that there was a time when I accepted that as the norm. I once again got familiar with the complicated hierarchy of who gets to sit down on the metro. Men always get up for women, even if it's a young, healthy woman who is perfectly capable of standing on the train. Both young men and young women get up for the elderly, especially elderly women and pregnant women and children also have priority. Now, if a babushka, pregnant woman, and small child all get on at the same time and there is only one open seat....

Anyway, moving on. It's so easy to get caught up in the beauty of Moscow and the carefree life I lead while in Russia that it's sometimes much too easy to forget about some of the less pleasant realities of life here. For example, a woman in the metro was reading an article in the newspaper titled "Что делать если не платят зарплату" (What to do if they don't pay your salary) because that is the reality in Russia that sometimes your employer just doesn't pay you. I can't imagine how I would feel, let alone someone who has a family to provide for, if I had to fight my employer each month for the money I had worked hard for and was contractually entitled to. Just a reminder to myself lest I be blinded by the bright lights, beautiful parks, and astounding architecture.

A little after four I met up with Joseph and some of his friends and we stopped into a cafe which is supposed to be reminiscent of Soviet times for coffee and a small snack. We then parted ways with some of the group and checked out the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games. What's cool about the place is that it's not just a museum where you can look at the games, but you can actually play all of them! We had so much fun!!!
This game was a bit like snake, except you had to catch rabbits and they kept moving

Afterwards we were all a little hungry so we went off in search of an asien noodle place which was on my hostel map. Just when we were about to give up and thought we couldn't find it we just so happened to stumble upon it! It was just a little hole in the wall place, but what we ordered was delicious.

After a quick stop at my hostel we parted ways and marked down day two in Moscow as a success! 

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