May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets’ towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkey’s howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches where storms come and go as lightening clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you---beyond that next turning of the canyon walls. ---Edward Abbey (thanks Trudy Hall)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Theater District, Kremlin, Red Square

What a sight we were to Russian passersby who saw us staring intently at the theater announcements, sounding out words in ultra slow motion!  3 second vowels followed by a variety of consonants-- "Moliere" turned into, "Mmmmmmm-oaoaoaoll ieeeyyyyyyyyeeeeiiiii prrrr."  Les met some graduates of the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater Actors Training Program: Nicola and Vanya.

We spent some time at the Kremlin.  I was surprised that most of what we saw were cathedrals.  Amazing art on all the walls shined in gold and black.  The halos and deep set eyes of all those important to the Russian Orthodox religion kept us gazing at each other.  I thought I would bring Jack Easterling to see the architecture and the Bolshoi.
The Red Square had the famous St. Basil Cathedral that was whimsical, colorful and astounding in its form.  The area of the mausoleum looked almost exactly like that for Uncle Ho in Vietnam.
The guys at the hostel raved about this Russian non-alcoholic beer, but it tasted too much like Molasses for me. 
Now I'm back at the hostel after making an omelet and brownies and sharing them around.  I'm not sure where I will be able to access the internet again, as we are off to the train tomorrow: Siberia!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

First Days Arriving in Moscow

Andy brought us to the airport, and for days we slept and wandered in airports.
We met our first Russian on the plane who sells equipment that prints 3 dimensional objects.  Veronica is holding some things she printed out.
What would you order off this menu? 
Our guidebook helped; there's something very humbling about not knowing the language.  There's something wrong about going to Russia without much to go on except, "Thank you, excuse me, please and sorry." But people have been either understandably irritated with us, or immensely patient.
I'm happy to be in a foreign place, uncomfortable with holding out money for berry sellers to take what they need and give me the rest back, or for cashiers to  run me back to the produce area to show me how to weigh a banana for a price sticker.  Les and I got better at getting help with getting to where we wanted to go without speaking, and learning how everyone waits, and waits....   The residents in the hostel are very nice, outgoing and helpful.  With one, we communicate in Spanish!  Tomorrow, a walking tour!