Sunday, May 3, 2009

Not for the Sake of Glory

Weather: 25C/70F, cloudless blue skies, warm and slightly breezy. Very nice.

Movies: Last night I saw (actually, "stumbled upon" is a better description) I'm Not There, the Bob Dylan bio-pic, which, while enjoyable, was very confusing. I had to read about it today, and then it made more sense. But, wow . . . Cate Blanchett is something else in it. Also saw Sleuth, with Michael Caine and Jude Law. The reviews are lukewarm, but I liked it a lot. But maybe I just liked looking at Jude Law for 86 minutes.

Washer/Dryer Repair Update: Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. My money is on Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m. because that's when I have a doctor's appointment. This is starting to get critical, and not just because I am running out of socks and underwear. Baboo decided to shake up a bottle of Skittles' Coke today while we were out in the detsky (children's) park behind our building. Sticky Coke all over. Oh, and this morning, as I toddled into the bathroom, I discovered a cat had pooed on the bathroom throw rug. I cleaned it up as best I could (and then put the rug out on the balcony to await Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday). But ew. . .

Some seasonal photos of Moscow for you. The following four photos are of posters celebrating the May 1 and May 9 holidays.

Below is one for May 9 (obviously). Sorry about the shadow on the left, but there was a tree . . .

May 9 is Victory Day (День Победы or Den Pobedy) in Russia, and celebrates the defeat of Nazi Germany. I finally learned the significance of the orange and black ribbons, which I noticed all over during the holiday last year (I even have one, although I have no idea where I got it).

On our trip to Dmitrov, I asked the tour guide about the ribbon, and she explained that it symbolizes the Ribbon of Saint George, a medal originally given to those who participated in battles by Catherine the Great. The orange and black symbolize the fire and ashes of battle.

The poster above was displayed next to the one below, which is for May 1. The rest of Europe, probably the world, celebrates May 1 as International Workers' Day. But in Russia, it is Spring and Labor Day. The poster says Happy Holidays of Spring and Labor.

Bonus points for the Beet-nik who can answer "Where did the May 1 Labor Day holiday originate?" If you answer "USA," you are correct and have won the people's admiration forever. And, for our non-American Beet-niks, note that in the US, we celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday in September, far removed from any pesky associations of labor activism and the radical left.

Another May 9 poster. The one I have not gotten a photo of, and really is my favorite, is one where the ribbon is shaped like a dove. I see that one in the Metro, but haven't seen it on the street.
But this is my very favorite poster for May 9. The text reads, "VICTORY . . . not for the sake of glory, but for the sake of life on earth."

"For the sake of hyperbole," muttered The Spouse as he translated these for me.

Since I was out and about, I finally got some pictures of a "mall beneath the street." This is the closest one to us. Now there is a pet supply store there, which is handy. I also buy nuts from a little shop down there. On a Sunday, most of these businesses are closed but in other parts of the city, that might not be the case (near my gym there's one, and more shops were open this morning as I walked by).

Here are the machines where one can pay bills. I use them to put credit on my mobile phone and to pay for the cable/Internet service.


Angels and Demons, in theaters starting May 14. Can you see where it says "Tom Hanks"?

Spring/May holidays mark the beginning of the flower season in Moscow. Everywhere you turn, the City is making every effort to beautify.


I don't know what these little birds are, but they are cheeky and very fun to watch.


This is the vegetable truck near us. It is right in front of our grocery store. Even it got a fresh coat of paint. Honestly, I saw a guy slathering black paint on the wheels. The truck never moves; I doubt if it even can anymore. The Coke cooler in front has a May 9 poster on it, too.

6 comments:

valentina said...

OH THESE posters are really lovely! And the flowers too! I love the fresh paint! Is there no vandalism there?

Even here in Athens the little planters would be torn up and garbage stuck in them. They have tried to plant lots of stuff in baskets from lamp posts but they always get torn down. Rowdy students. Pains in the ass! Or should that be pains in the asses or pain in the asses?

Anyhow it makes it hard to beautify! In Belgium everyone varnishes their door with fresh varnish and starches their lace curtains. I love this spring tidiness.

I certainly hope your washer gets fixed soon. Being without one is a real nuisance I am sure!


Meanwhile I am waiting for the mowers to cut my grass. It is looking very shaggy! I am so glad that you are finally enjoying spring! You sure had a long wait! xov

Tina in CT said...

I will be seeing those posters and flowers in person later this week!

Hope the repairman comes on Monday.

My neighbor just came over to help me weigh my suitcases and one is 4 1/2 pounds over. Don't know what I can take out. Dropping the weight down to 50 lbs. make it difficult as my large suitcases aren't even full.

Wonder how much they charge for over weight? Think I'll give the airline a call.

Margarita said...

if you are interested the bids are called wagtail.
We used to call 1st of May - international labor day - the same as the rest of Europe. When Soviet times gone it was decided to give it another name as seemed like people were fed up with Soviet names.
You know, even Revolution day was converted into something else, I forgot the name.

The Expatresse said...

Thanks, Margarita!

hexe said...

Hope the washer guy shows up soon. If the vegetable truck doesn't move, how does it get new vegetables?

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