Friday, January 29, 2010

Moscow By Night and By Day

I hesitate to share this link because I do not believe it is in any way representative of the majority of Russian women. That said, it's like a car crash: you cannot help but look. And I will say that I have come across this demographic in Moscow.

I sat next to one last night.

Now, in fairness, Russian women outnumber Russian men, so they have a lot of competition. They tend to be extremely well-educated, attractive, and smartly put together at all times. Age and BMI is no excuse: above all else, you must be well-dressed, well-shod, and womanly (I hesitate to say "feminine," for that could carry a negative connotation: Russian women are not weak nor are they subservient).

That said . . . Moscow is . . . well . . . Moscow.

So I was at this little Thank You Do last night in a local English-style pub. (No, they didn't give me anything for mentioning them . . . the Thankers paid.) The owner or manager or General Big Cheese stops over to chat with us briefly about some plans he has to promote the place with the expat sports crowd.

And he brings along his companion.

I don't know if she was his steady or his Pay-As-You-Go. But she was a hoot. Asian features (I thought maybe she was Thai or Chinese, but the Russians with me said no). Pretty and very slim. In the tightest, most sprayed-on-looking lavender mini-dress I have ever seen. Bare legs. Super high heels.

Honestly, she looked at me and I looked at her, and then I looked at the woman across the table from me and she and I both rolled our eyes.

And then I turned to Miss Thing and said, in all sincerity, "Girl, you are working that dress."

That was it. We were officially BFF.

"What clubs do you go to?" she asks me.


" . . . I went to Krisis Genre once . . ." I say meekly.

"Oh, that's not a good club," she tsk-tsks. "You should go to We Are Family. It's a good club." She then proceeds to describe someone she saw dancing the last time she went there.

"A drag queen?" I keep asking, but she didn't seem to get what I was saying. Hmmm. Maybe she's the drag queen? Note to self: If I ever see her again, I will look for an Adam's apple.

"You should go," she repeats.

"Now how am I supposed to get past face control in a place like that?" I ask her.

"Oh, you just reserve a table," was the [obvious . . . duh-oh!] answer. "Then there's no face control."

N.B. Reserving a table in one of Moscow's ultra-popular clubs could run you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

We are from vastly different planets.

But she gave me her number. Just in case, I guess.

I was still laughing a few moments later out on the street as my hostess hailed us a gypsy cab. The driver was charming and courteous, if gold-toothed. He chatted amiably with my companions, all of us more covered in warm, winter clothing than not, as we flew through the dark Moscow night. I was home within five minutes.

Today had its own adventures. We had to run an errand at the Luxembourg embassy. It's over near the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The church is another one of those rare places where photos are not permitted, so I don't have any to share of the interior, but you can read about it here.

Outside was a real winter day. In spite of the Mayor of Moscow's claims that he would seed the clouds and prevent snow from falling in town, we had gray skies and light, but steady snowfall all day.

Very Russian-y.




This is the famous House on the Embankment. Wikipedia gives a very bland description of it here. A more thorough explanation about the significance of this building can be found in this blog.  

Can you see the ghost of one of the Seven Sisters in the background?

Here you can see the dreadful statue of Peter the Great. This article gives the background.

And here we are looking towards the Kremlin. The Moscow River is actually frozen. We could see footprints in the snow on it.

By then it was lunchtime, and at first we thought we'd head back to The Spouse's office as there is a quick, but uninspiring restaurant in the basement. But we spied a cafe/pizzeria next to the cathedral and ventured in. When we lived in Slovakia we had lunch together more days than not, so it was a really nice treat to sort of have a date in the middle of the day. We just had the set lunch menu or "business lunch," but the cafe was elegant and chic and the weather outside delightfully frightful.

Then it was back to work for both of us.


Major Allen Espy said...

nice photos and funny story. love that church.

Jojo, Julz, Julianne said...

You are number 12 today...Keep posting that link and I will keep voting..
I am sort of sad that you are leaving Moscow..

valentina said...

Ditto! Who said "Very Russiany"? Was it Skittles? xov

moscow daily photo said...

Great post. I'll just reserve a table. Fine. I like this winter better than last winter. It's more Russian-y and intense.

The Expatresse said...

It is a better winter. Really. It is.

Anonymous said...

I am clearly not going to the right places! haha

That Kind of Girl said...

Oh man, face control, that's a blast from the past. When I lived in Moscow I once got face controlled out of an elevator. An elevator.

krutoi said...

The article about the Peter the Great statue doesn't mention the oft repeated rumor that it was/is actually a statue of Columbus that Tsereteli tried to gift to Spain. When Spain turned him down, he modified it a bit and foisted it on the city of Moscow. This sounds too much like the way things work not to believe :-)

Jennifer Eremeeva said...

I LOVED the description of the dyev in the dress...
How too too sad you are leaving Moscow!