Don't tell ANYONE, but it is possible, albeit only slightly, that Moscow has started to, well, maybe grow on me.
Just a little.
I've seen the weirdest things here. No, seriously. I swear my kids have seen every bodily function in public except, perhaps, childbirth. And, anymore, I wouldn't be surprised to see that. In the Metro.
We did see a guy puke in the Metro this week. I heard a funny splashing sound, and, sure enough, there was some poor man, in a wee bit of a corner, vomiting. A very splash-y vomit.
We sort of had to step O-V-E-R the resulting river.
Sorry. I probably didn't need to share that detail with you.
He ended up on the escalator in front of us (although we were separated by a good many empty steps). The girls were skittish. ("Is he going to do it again?" "Do you think he was drunk?")
No. He completed the ride without further incident. And, no I do NOT think he had been drinking. Since you didn't care much for my last TMI detail above, just trust me here. Swine flu? Maybe. Liquid lunch? Er . . . nyet.
Today I saw an albino woman in the Metro.
An Asian albino woman.
Now many People With Russian Passports (and even this is an over-simplification) have Asian features (it is complicated . . . see Comments). One Russian woman I know looks totally Asian. I thought she said she's of Tatar origins; other friends say that her last name is Korean. Anyhow, my point is that Russians are not as homogeneous looking as one might initially think. So maybe the albino woman was a citizen of Russia or the Former Soviet Union. Or maybe she was Japanese.
Japanese was what I thought first because they would be likely to be bleach-bottle blond by choice. And she was really blond.
Her skin was the most remarkable color. Maybe she was an albino with a jaundice issue. Combined with full eye make-up, she looked like she was on her way to a kabuki performance. And since I'm slow, it took me until I had completely passed her to think, "Oh! Maybe she's albino!"
Have I ever mentioned that my Metro station seems to be the meeting point for every deaf person in Moscow? They hang out in the central hallway between the two platforms or outside in the park. Chatting away in sign language. It is a lovely thing, actually: all these people speaking in sign language.
But back to the strange sightings.
As I was waiting to cross the Garden Ring (which is wider than I-70, the interstate highway that cuts through my ancestral village), I saw, across the street, a cute little black and white dog trotting along. He was clearly not a street dog. But where was his person?
By now, I had crossed the first half of the street and was waiting for the light to let me complete the second half.
I saw a woman with another, larger dog on a leash.
Ah, ha! She must be Little Dog's mom.
The light changed, and I crossed the street only to fall into step with her while Little Dog checked pee-mail messages.
Larger Dog had a collar, but his leash was just a length of clothesline. Now that I was right next to her, I could see she, too, wore a slightly ragtag air.
But the strangest thing was that while she held the leash in her left hand, in her right hand she carried a clump of sod.
Made me think of this scene from Love and Death:
But the best thing came later. I was walking near Chistye Prudy and saw a couple walking with two dogs on leashes. The young woman had on a rather large backpack. The kind you might use if you are really going for a trek.
On top of the backpack rode a cat.
He looked just like our Cat-O. He wore a harness and a leash that she held in one hand. He did not care much for this mode of transportation: he was hanging on like grim death and, as they turned into a building courtyard, I heard him meow.
I told the girls, "I saw Cat-O. I think he has a secret life and goes out when we aren't home."
"Don't be silly," they didn't buy it for a minute. "He's always home when we get there."
"True," I conceded. "But have you ever noticed he's always right by the door? Like he's only just got in?"
Waiting... - *In October on Manezh Square, outside of the Kremlin* It's the final countdown until the Olympics... Here's a link to an article that was in the "Russia ...
3 years ago