Saturday, October 14, 2006

Strange that My Moscow Diary is actually beginning with My Vienna Diary, isn't it?

Hey folks. I'll tell you's hard to stay on a computer in Moscow for long enough to download pictures and even "blog", as they say, so instead, I came to Vienna. I came to Vienna for a variety of reasons. 1) It's beautiful. 2) Moscow is exhausting. 3) I've never seen figure skating up close and personal. And of course, 4) I can now write something for you, dear readers, to peruse at your leisure. So where exactly does that leave us? Okay.
I've been in Moscow almost exactly two months. I've surely learned a lot of Russian but it doesn't feel like it because I still constantly struggle to have interactions more complicated than ordering coffee and food and fetching things for my three year old host sister. She's adorable. Her name is Masha. There's also an eleven year old boy called Zhenya, and their parents, Irina and Viktor. And Irina's parents, but I can't totally remember their names and they're still at the dacha anyways. Soon they'll be back with cats two and three and a dachsund. It's a four room apartment, people. Welcome to Moscow! Here are other fun facts about my life:
I am consistently jostled on the metro. No, I am consistently sweating and squished on the metro. The people running to get on the train sort of just run at the crowd as hard as they can and hope the doors don't close on them. That's fun.
A cup of non-instant coffee costs about four dollars. However, a delicious baked potato or khatchapuri costs about ninety cents. Getting into Dostoevsky's boyhood home costs approximately forty cents. Go figure.
I live in a really ritzy neighborhood. All my neighbors have German automobiles.
No one stops for pedestrians.
There are more monasteries here than you can shake a sin at. It's strange because it's one of the more sinful cities in the world, I think. Plus orthodox Russians cross themselves backwards. Like up, down, right shoulder, left shoulder, rather than left then right. It's bizarre. It looks scary, for some reason.
If I never see dill again, it'll be too soon. They are crazy for dill.
On Saturdays, people get married and then drive through the city partying in different places. All the brides get their dresses muddy and sometimes brass bands follow them. It's completely amazing.
The phone system is willfully inefficient. It's controlled by the mobile phone company Megafon. Megafon is apparently owned by Putin. Go figure. He's a smooth talker, that one.
That's about all I got for now. Really there's so much more but I'm not sure how much I can fit into digital expression. You're all just going to have to see my metro face to understand what's going on. It looks like this:

See, that doesn't tell you much, does it?
So tomorrow I return to Moscow from this ideal place, Vienna, where the streets are clean, the people smile, and around every corner is the most beautiful building you've ever seen until you turn the next corner. At the end of the month I'm going to Italy. I vow to be a more faithful blogger from here on out. Keep me to my word, dear readers, by acknowledging this Very First Entry with thoughts, comments, questions, non-sequiters, what have you. Thank you and good night.


Emily said...

Hello Katie! Hm, maybe I don't want to ride the subway with you, after all.

How much is the instant coffee?


Carla said...

i'd have to say that i like the moscow pics better. beautiful, peaceful, and clean is so *done*
are those new boots you're wearing?
here's what you've missed in america:
--several lindsay lohan crotch shots on several gossip blogs. (mostly, i think, fabricated, because no one's pussy could *really* look like that
--the addition of this to my daily web travels:
--katie holmes killed tom cruise. just kidding. you didn't miss that yet.


square meals said...

tremendously enjoyed your narrative and photos. So glad to see you well and wondering, showing you at your best, and being very Katie.
Could you catch up on your fruit/veggies in Vienna?
~~~much love~~~

square meals said...

Did the photo of your "metro face" not get uploaded? I hate missing a chance to see your face.
~ mom ~

CLAY BANES said...

what's with Анна Степановна Политковская? can you just walk up to somebody and ask?

i hope you drank coffee in vienna. and ate pastries.

heidieden said...

Marvelous to hear from you. I love the Vienna pic of you. Even though it's really far away! Have some fun! Tell Masha a funny story! Make some puppets! Miss you and love you lots!

jowrsh said...

I believe it's "non-sequitur." I like the big loomy tunnels that look like they should be in the secret catacombs under the elementary school from which I leap out and capture unsuspecting twee milk cartons. I still think Vienna is a mystical fairy place you made up. You look green in a skirt, or at least the foliage behind you does.