Thursday, I went out to find a place to get a new battery for The Spouse's watch. Easier said than done. LOTS of places had signs that said "Watch Repair." But when I inquired, they would apologize (or shout) that there was no "Master" there. In two places the clerks pointed down the street.
I headed down the street, twice, but had no luck until I ran into a French friend (her kids are classmates of mine).
"Oui, there is a place near here," she told me. "You continue up the street a while . . . maybe 400 meters. By the church on the left is a small street. Turn onto it, and you will see a door with a sign. Go through the door and downstairs. But I can't promise he's any good."
It was one of those typical Moscow places that you would NEVER in a MILLION YEARS be able to find if you did not know it was there.
But I found it, and the Master was on duty, and not only did he have the tools to open the watch, he had the right battery, AND he cleaned up the watch a bit for me before putting it back together and charging me 400 rubles.
"Do you want a receipt?" he asked me in Russian. "It's got a two-year warranty."
I declined the receipt.
"TWO YEAR WARRANTY!" he shouted after me as I left. "ALL THE BEST!"
Friday, the girls were hungry after school, so once we entered the Metro perehod (under-the-street-mall) I bought us all sloiki (pastries). We were standing outside the Metro entrance, eating our sloiki, when a man walked by and said something to us. Twice. He was clearly addressing us.
"Any idea what he said?" I asked the girls.
"I'm pretty sure he said 'Eat with you mouth closed'," said Baboo.
Today, we had to go sign up for after school activities for the second half of the year. It was extremely well-organized, and so we were in-and-out in all of ten minutes.
Since we were already up, fed, and dressed, and since Baboo had recently remarked that she wanted to see inside St. Basil's, we decided it was a perfect day to walk over to Red Square and go in St. Basil's.
I don't know why they all look so morose. I made them stand here because this is THE first Star/Crap Dogs stand I ever photographed in Moscow.
But when we got to Red Square, we realized that Lenin's Tomb was not only open, but there was virtually no line. I'm the only one in the family who had seen Mr. Lenin. After the trip to Gorki Leninskiye, it seemed appropriate to make sure everyone made the pilgrimage inside Lenin's Tomb. So we did!
Baboo: He was waxy and weird. I would have enjoyed it better if it hadn't been FREEZING!
Skittles: Mlah! Don't waste your time!
The Spouse: That was weird. Wow, look at all the flowers in front of Stalin!
The Kremlin wall has a necropolis where you can find "Iron Felix" Dzerzhinski, Josef Stalin, Konstantin Chernenko, Yuri Gagarin, and American John Reed, among others.
No cameras allowed in Lenin's tomb or along the wall, so no pictures to share. You have to check your cameras (including phones with cameras) for 20 rubles each at a small office in the History Museum building.
Then we went inside St. Basil's Cathedral. The inside is especially beautiful and my lousy camera cannot begin to capture what a jewel box it is.
I took lots of pictures of the murals. In case I ever decide to paint my dining room walls.
St. Basil, who is interned in the cathedral, was really a bit passionate in his beliefs. Next to his tomb was a sign with information about his life. He was apparently a "Fool for Christ" and what the sign called a "nude walker." That made me run right home and google him.
St. Basil's tomb.
Here is St. Basil doing his famous Nude Walk.
Religious Zealot or Neighborhood Nutter?
Religious Zealot or Neighborhood Nutter?
You Make the Call.
There are windows in the cathedral. I was able to take a few pictures from inside.
Lenin's Tomb is blocked by the statue.
A lovely blue sky. We've had great weather the past few weeks, actually. Yes, it's been cold. But it's been sunny like this: not a cloud in the sky.
Souvenirs for sale inside St. Basil's. We bought a book about czars and a Faberge-type egg charm.
Babble.com blog contest update: As I type this I am currently ranked #28 over here. NUMBER 28!!!!!! That is SO COOL, and I thank all of you for voting for me. Today was especially wonderful as I watched my blog ranking pass that of Mommy Wants Vodka, a blog I and LOTS of other people follow. She's actually well-known in the Blog-O-Sphere. And, she's been nominated for more serious competitions, namely this one over at the 2010 Weblog Awards. Go over there and vote for her (and The Bloggess). Spread a little love.