Thursday, March 20, 2008

In Which I Lose a Weekend

First things first: POUX UPDATE!

Can’t find a one. Nary a nit nor louse. I’m still scratching, but I am also still waiting to hear from Good Dr. Olga on why that might be (a long story involving a rather brusque exam and the announcement “Let’s discuss!” yet I remain unable to reach Dr Olga, and she seems incapable of dialing my telephone number . . .).

This past weekend was a Lost Cause of Children’s Parties. Sigh. The things we do as parents. Saturday was the Fête du Printemps at the school. The theme: L’Epoque Hippies! Costume Contest! Karaoke! Moms Will Be So Kind as to Bring Crêpes!

Yeah, since I can buy them at the grocery store, no problem.

That was two hours of my life I’ll never get back. The Spouse and I and BH’s husband sat against the wall, carp-like, waiting for it all to be over. BH’s husband even refused to eat the crêpes, saying, “Everyone in here has touched them!”

Probably true.

But I was hungry.

Sunday was even worse. Baboo was invited to a birthday party. The time was 1:00 until 6:00. This mother had to be out of her mind!

I looked at the map and decided it was no big deal to get there by Metro. It was a long way, but not that hard to find.

I was wrong.

I suspected we might arrive late to the party when I left our house at 12:30. I expected we would arrive by 1:30 at the latest. I never expected we would get there after 2:00, and this after wandering around a jungle of similar-looking high-rises, finding Building 14/2, Building 14A, Building 14/4, but not Building 14/3. My friends in Slovakia will know what I mean when I use the word Petržalka.

And 2:00 p.m. is a long time from breakfast. Being extra hungry and frustrated makes me weepy.

This resulted in a long mental list of questions for Russian Teacher.

When we finally did find the party, I asked the mom, who only spoke French, and with an African accent, the fastest way to get back to the Metro.

“Oh, that’s too FAR!” She was horrified. “Just go outside and take the little bus . . .” and she began to describe the bus stop.

Except that would require knowing where I wanted to get off and recognizing it without having ever been there before.

And possibly speaking Russian.

And having cash in my pocket for a ticket (which I didn’t have at that exact moment).

She very kindly tried to press 50 rubles on me and even recruited her oldest son to escort me to the bus.

But Skittles and I fled when she wasn’t looking. We found the Metro, got cash, put credit on my phone, called The Spouse, and arranged to meet him at Pizza Hut.

And got BH to bring Baboo home when she returned to collect her daughter from the party. By car.

Today, Thursday, life is a bit more cheery.

First, BH lured me back into the one shop I know in Moscow. It’s a little Italian clothing boutique near the school. So far I’ve bought two sweaters and a skirt there, all inexpensive and a bit disposable, but fun enough. Today I found a down-filled jacket, quite stylish, for the equivalent of $60 US.

So I bought it.

And I wore it to the market.

Where the Spice and Nut Guy did not hit on me (he was not there and all his colleague said was, “Where are you from?”).

The Butcher did, however.

I think.

What is it with these guys inviting me over?

I think he was attempting to lure me with foie gras (good try). There was much discussion of “dom” (Russian for home) and the Russian word for “husband” and an “away” gesture. And much good-natured laughing.

Nothing like new clothes and a jovial Russian guy with two gold teeth to cheer a girl up.