Monday, August 29, 2011

In Moscow you find...

turquois in every shade, at every corner.
 Stalin look-a-likes taking pictures with tourists in the underground, casually.
 Farmers-markets that blow you away with their diversity.
Cathedrals that once had been blown to the ground in Soviet era, and then were re-built as soon as possible, in an enthusiastic, gloriuos way that´s hard to imagine for western europeans.
 Kittens being sold at noisy high traffic roads.
Art Deco. In heaps.
And graffitti.
An orthodox service held on the stairs in front of a movie theatre.
Starbucks coffee, just as all the other western franchise companies, usually with their logos transferred phonetically into kyrillic.
Impressive soviet art in every, and by that I mean really every metro station, they feature marble and mosaics and huge murals and giant chandeliers even in the outskirts. 
 Georgian tschau-tschjella, that´s a sweet made of nuts, drawn on a string, hung to the ceiling and being treated with a mixture of wine and gelantine, available with white and red wine, the death of my teeth, and lots of other fascinating food.
And... of course... Masha and her little Eva in their tiny flat in the 13th floor in a typical Moscovian concrete skyscraper, stashed with books and toys, where we immidiatle felt at home. A lot more than in the fancy hotel. Yay for Couchsurfing, again. Masha and I were similar to a point that was unreal, so I´m not sure if it counts as an intercultural experience when the person you meet practically thinks identintical, but it sure was very beautiful. And oh, she can make a coffee, this Masha, and blini..., hmmmm! And I loved cuddling her Eva, while my Eva was not available. 

Furthermore, in Moscow you can find air so tight you can cut it, prices far above western European level going along with wages far below it, 
very educated young kids whose parents are struggling to make a living, 
friendly, intellectual people eager to show you around, incredibly generous and very open, 
soldiers who lost all four limbs, but crawl through the underground without even a wheelchair, 
the Kremlin so clean and smooth it feels unreal, 
old women, in their eighties, sitting on the street selling fruit from their gardens, 
many uniformed policemen, 
the orthodox church bursting in bright, shining colors, with sparkling golden kupples, 
drunken men falling off benches at noon,
street musicians and construction sites and traffic jam. 
Moscow really is a metropol, and probably it´s the most metropolian metropol I came across so far. It´s diverse and colorful, it´s vibrant and scary and beautiful at the same time. 
Just so you know. 
And just so I can remember. 

I like the "I got an atlas in my hand" line. On the plane back, we met some british guys who just flew back home after participating in the mongol-rally, and they told us their stories about driving a tiny car from Britain to Mongolia, crossing Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and Kazastan, and it was such a pleasure to listen to them. This world is such a huge, gigantic place. And at the same time, it´s pretty small. There are so many things I still need to see and do. Right now, I´m off to answer Masha´s mail. Make cookie dough with my kids, ignoring my toothache. And update my couchsurfing profile on available :)

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