Friday, October 2, 2009

Inside Your Head, On Every Beet

I'll let Glenn tell you.

It has been the hot topic of conversation these days (forgive the pun) as it has been cold and damp outside which = chilly inside. When a fellow expat asked, "When, oh when will they turn the heat on?" one of my Favorite Fellows here in Moscow answered thus:

When will you guys realize that the heating will be turned on when there has been three consecutive days at below 10 degrees, and the heads of MosEnergo, Transneft, and of the city municipalities meet with their specialist engineers, the sub committes of the raion councils concerned with these matters and the gas suppliers to confirm all is in readiness, OR, when the Moscow Meteorological Office notes what it would classify as "medium to heavy" frost on the ground at 11am on three consecutive days in three different raions in Moscow, and the date is after October the 4th, and the price of gas is below a figure calculated by a congress of the gas suppliers of Russia's representatives, the executives of the energy generation companies and the thermal heat providing stations in the 6 largest cities -- by heat generation -- in the Russian Federation. Whichever happens earliest.

It's very simple.

The heating came on late last year, because all the above criteria were met, a memo had been sent to the pigeon holes of all the members of the Moscow City thermal provision sub-committee, who three weeks later had met, considered the matter, and agreed to forward it to the chief executives of the Moscow Raions, who had, after consulting with their own experts, agreed to forward authorisation for the relevant bureaucrat within MosEnergo to consider the matter. He agreed that criteria had been met, and then asked his secretary to send triplicate forms of confirmation to each of the eight organizations who confirm that the criteria had been met, which were then returned within the two week deadline, and then he authorised the thermal provision sub committe to pass its final recommendation to Luzhkov [the mayor of Moscow] for his final signature. The sub committee duly considered this matter, before forwarding the recommendation to Luzhkov, who, after confirming each of the steps had been followed, consulting with his own experts and -- impressively -- an independent, western consultancy, agreed to give his signature. The form was then sent to all those concerned for counter signing.

So it was all done very quickly and efficiently, as you can see, but unfortunately, Slava, the guy who turns the whole thing on, was taking a late holiday, so nothing could happen till early November.

This year, he holidayed in August, so everything should be fine.

I wish I had written that!

In other, unrelated news, I had a jolly day today.

First, I volunteered to do an English-language voice-over for a small documentary about a music festival that sounds a lot like a Russian Woodstock. The director was a very cool woman who walked with a cane and a limp that she explained was the result of a hang gliding adventure gone wrong. She said her doctors wanted to amputate, but she refused and, if I understood her, largely on her own and with a lot of meditation, she saved her leg. She needs to have all the metal stuff removed at some point in the not-too-distant future, but she is walking. And she still has two legs.

We talked about meditation then, and how, when we do it, the universe fills us with warm fuzzy love and good things just seem to happen. I know, I know. But it does!

After that, I took the Metro and exited into one of those malls-under-the-street. I was walking by a sloika stand. These are sloiki. (One sloika, two sloiki)

They can be sweet or savory.

Standing there, in front of the sloika stand, politely but expectantly, was a dog. A medium-sized, generic, shepherd mix dog.

I was already past the dog and the stand when I thought, "You know what? I'm going to buy that dog a sausage sloika." Because once, last year, I walked past a Star Dogs stand, and there was a street dog sitting there, and I did not buy that dog a hot dog. And I always felt bad about that.

So I went back to the sloika stand and looked at the sloiki, trying to find a meat or sausage sloika for Nice Dog. I identified a meat sloika, and just as I did, the Sloika Sales Clerk snapped it up and handed it to the woman in line in front of me!

Who gave it to the dog.


Mission accomplished, I went to Kayser, my favorite French deli/bakery/restaurant in Moscow, and had the spinach soup and a great roast beef sandwich with arugula. While I read the Susan Orlean article in The New Yorker about backyard chickens. Now I want an Eglu. I wanted backyard chickens this summer, but now I know where to buy a really cool chicken coop PLUS chickens!

Get me one, please.


Anonymous said...

I loved the chicken story in the New Yorker! And the chicken plastic house sounds nice. Some people around us do keep chickens. I know, because I can rear a rooster every now and than. I love it, too bad I am such a chicken about it.
On "sloyka" topic - why do you call them sloyka? I always thought that sloyka is very particular type of sweet pastry, sort of like danish, but not with anything inside. The traditional Russian savory pastry is usually called piroshki (they can have sweat filling as well). If you bake anything in the dough, like a hotdog, I would expect it to be called bulochka s sosiskoy (or yatsom) etc. The use of words must of changed a lot over the years. Do they put the word sloyka on the kiosk?

Tina in CT said...

It bothers me to see the stray dogs and cats when I'm in Moscow. I'm glad that dog got a sloyka.

I came home from scrapbooking after midnight tonight and it was 62 in the house. I broke down and turned the heat on to 65 to take the chill off the house. I'll be going up to bed and will be warm but I feel badly for my dog. She was wrapped up in her flannel blanket in her crate and had her head through the big hole (that she chewed) and was wearing it like a poncho. I'd take her up to bed with me but I don't want her waking me at daylight since tomorrow is going to be a rainy Sat. and that means sleeping in late.

The Expatresse said...

Olga: Yes, the signs on the kiosks say sloyki. They might also say piroshki, but I'll have to check.

The Expatresse said...

Olga: If you click on the photo, it will get bigger, and you can see the tags under the pastries. Several of them are labeled as sloyki.

Jessica said...

I Love that you were going to buy food for the dog! I dont know many ppl that would just randomly do that.

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest

Megan said...

Awww puppy!!! So sweet that you were going to buy him a treat. Glad the other lady was {and did} too.

Wanted to come by and say thanks for visiting me on my SITS day!! =D

The Mom @ Babes in Hairland said...

What a fun blog you've got! Just stopping by from SITS to welcome you aboard! Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

I enlarged the picture! Wow!
That might be also the local usage too,sort of like a Moscow dialect. I remember that my cousin who lived in Moscow, used different words for bread and sugar then we did in Leningrad. I will see my friend, who was born and raised in Moscow, tomorrow and will question her on the subject of sloyka.

Gretchen said...

Very sweet of you to buy food for the pup! Very fun blog. It looks like you really have great travels. Visiting from SITS. Enjoy your day. ~gretchen

valentina said...

Greetings. It is gray but pleasant here, 62 out, although I have had my furnace off and on for the past week at least. That Moscow furnace regime is certainly mesmerizing!

God forbid someone should turn in their form late? It would throw the entire system into chaos! Anyhow I am glad you have heat at last and will be toasty which beats cold any day in my book!

And brava to you of course for intending to feed the dog, although it seems to have worked out well for him! Maybe you will have another opportunity, or I'm sure there will be more dogs needing sausages. (Aka "round meat" ala Skittles! Remember when that was virtually ALL she would eat!? It's a wonder she survived!)

AS for the chickens, there are quite a few in town here. They passed an ordinance forbidding roosters I believe. My friend Stephen keeps them but they live out of town 8 miles. He has a new rooster named "Le Dauphin" but who has not begun to crow yet. He also says that not all roosters crow the same way nor at dawn. Their calls are different and so is their timing. Who'd a thunk it?

But the chicken thing is really catching on. You have to watch for foxes around here, and raccoons and dogs and snakes and well just about every thing... Of course in the suburbs of your home dacha I suspect it would be much safer! You can investigate the possibilities at Christmas when you come to visit! xov

Anonymous said...

Stopping by from SITS to welcome you...Welcome! :D
I love that video and song! We turned our heat on this past week and it's been going pretty much non-stop....nothing worse than shivering and icy cold hands...brrrr!

How cool that you did the voice-over for the documentary! That sounds like it would be fun:)
Mmm, mmm....the spinach soup sounds delish...I've never had it, but we eat spinach all the time. Will have to look up the(a) recipe for it.

Take Care,

MotherhoodFilm said...

She gave it to the dog? What a crime!

Popping in from Twitter to let you know about my new movie about a Mommy Blogger! Follow me @MotherhoodFilm for chances to win tickets, prizes and more!

Aunt Becky said...

Man, I want to send you some heat somehow. Like maybe I can ship you a furnace.

MoscowMom said...

Our heat came on today! We've been able to hear the water dripping through all the pipes since Friday, but only today could we feel the heat. If only we could strike a happy medium between freezing our ****s off and feeling as if we're in a banya...!

How sweet about the dog!

The Expatresse said...

Oh, I know. I woke up last night in a SWEAT! Maybe it's my age. Or maybe not. Hard to tell during Heating Season.

Martha said...

Great post, visiting from SITS!! Greetings from Los Angeles where I turned the heat on this AM for a chilly 61 F. I know, I know, spoiled American.

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