Wednesday, April 2, 2008

In Which I Show Signs I Can Read!

I guess I must confess that I have made SOME progress in Russian. Or at least in decoding Cyrillic.

Here are some signs I can read:

This one says "Big Ben." And the word below that says "school."

One of my personal favorites. This is a coffee house chain called . . . are you ready? "Coffee House." Except the way it is transliterated in Russian, it looks like it should be pronounced "Coffee Chaos." But if you say that to a Russian speaker, they don't get it. Meanwhile, the Spouse and I crack up every time we see one. They are as ubiquitous as Starbucks.

The sign below with strawberries on it says "BLINI."

This ad literally says (at least as I interpret it) "30 days without paying Internet." That is "Internet: Free for 30 Days" if you sign up for STREAM! You can see the word for "Stream," right? СТРИМ! = STREAM!

The brown sign says "Art Club Nostalgia."

This yellow sign says


Here's an easy one.

This one says "Bankomat [that's European for ATM] 24 Hours." But those of us who live here say "24 Yucca." It's wrong, we know. But we can't help it.

Another freebie: TOILET. You first? Really. Go ahead. I'm fine.

Finally, you can see that this movie stars Michael Caine and Jude Law. Sound it out . . .

Now some buildings I like . . .

This is the Tea-Coffee Store. It was built in honor of the Chinese ambassador's visit to Moscow in 1896. It is one street over from Baboo's school. I haven't gone in yet, but I have pressed my nose to the window.

I have two shots of this one. The yellow building to the right is where Skittles has judo.

I think it is just an apartment building. But I love all the wonderful animals.

This building leans backwards. A lot.

And this one is down the street. I have no idea what it is.

This tower is part of what was, for a while, the tallest church tower in Moscow. But it got struck by lightning and part of the very top was destroyed.

I stuck my nose in a courtyard and found this. That red is my favorite color.

This is the park at Chistie Prudy, which means "Clean Pond." Apparently there used to be a slaughterhouse in this neighborhood and the butchers used to throw the offal into the lake. In 1703, some prince had it cleaned up and named it. It's a lovely area.

This is the Tretyakovskaya Gallery. Last Friday I accompanied Baboo's class when they went to look at paintings that illustrated the Russian history they have been studying. That was a yawn. But there is a Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit there that I am going back to check out this Friday.

Here is the Baboo-One with some of her classmates.