Saturday, February 21, 2009

Snapshots of Moscow (Except I Didn't Have My Camera)

Argh! How often have I stumbled on something hilarious or horrible or incredible and not had my camera! That said, I think there are folks who would not appreciate having someone document them for an international audience (yeah, I'm taking some liberties with that definition).

Anyhow, in no particular order, since Friday I have seen the following:

1. While in line at the grocery store I find myself behind a woman in a powder blue fur coat. It's really fluffy fur (I have no idea what it could be). She looks like she is wearing a pale blue cloud of cotton candy. Her hair is bleached a very pale blond and pulled back tightly in a slicked down chignon. Her cart is full of party supplies: clear plastic cups, white paper plates, packages of sliced salami. She has about four baguettes.

As she leans over into the cart to retrieve her items, she can't help but raise one foot in an arabesque. Her shoe is practically in my face. This shoe. Note that on eBay, this shoe goes for $545.

I watch Sex in the City. I know shoes this expensive exist. But I have never had real designer shoes, Jimmy Choos no less, right under my nose.

How can anyone walk outside on the Moscow sidewalks in $545 shoes? How can anyone walk in these shoes at all.

They were gorgeous. The photo doesn't do them justice.


I'm completely green with envy.

2. Last night while waiting for a friend at the exit of the Lenin Library Metro (in the under-the-street-mall part . . . not where I saw the Pooping Guy. But close.) I saw what had to be a Person in Transition. How can you tell if someone is a transsexual? I've heard some people say the wrists are a dead give away. This person was extremely tall, wearing black high-heeled boots and an orange silky skirt under a black wool coat. She had on just a bit too much blue eye shadow. And she was perusing the kiosk that sells lingerie. (Yeah. You can buy lingerie in the Metro. Don't ask me how that works.)

I tried to get a photo of her with my mobile phone, but she decided to look at the purse vendor instead. I didn't want to stalk.

3. But while turning to see where she went, my eye caught a nicely-dressed woman . . . swivel. That's the only word for the movement. She swiveled. She looked to be about my age . . . maybe a little younger. She was wearing a sporty-looking pink, suede jacket with pink fur trim on the hood. She looked like someone's mom. And she was . . . weaving. She looked drunk.

I was wondering, "What if she's having a stroke?" (That's what Aeroflot said was responsible for their obviously drunk pilot a few months ago.) I know there are some simple questions you're suppose to ask someone you suspect is having a stroke.

NB: I had to google them. Turns out we should ask the person to
  1. Smile (look for one-sided facial weakness)
  2. Raise both arms (look for them to be raised at the same height)
  3. Speak a simple sentence (listen for slurring)
Now: how to do this in Russian?

But crisis averted. She ricochets over to the ticket kasse (there are ticket booths around town, often in or near the Metro, where you can buy tickets to all sorts of cultural events). Ticket Kasse Lady greets her like a sister. Hands her some tickets. Huh. She doesn't seem to think anything is wrong. Maybe the woman has already had a stroke and always walks a little funny? Ya think?

3a. (Because it wasn't weird at all) The Spouse took me and a friend to a totally cool little bar/restaurant not far from his office last night. Above an old theater, the joint used to be a restaurant for actors only. Now it has a charming ambiance, high ceilings with crown moldings, a bar you can actually belly up to, a pleasant menu (I had the pâté assortment and it was good), and very reasonable prices.

4. While walking home around 11:00, I saw two young women riding horses in the park in the middle of Tverskoy Bulvar. Actually, it is not that unusual to see people riding at odd hours because the traffic is less of an issue then.

5. Today, while walking through the under-the-street underpass by Triumfalnaya Ploshad/Square, I heard music. Often young guys with guitars hang out there. Some of them play while their buddies hit up the pedestrians for money. They are never interesting enough to make me want to give them anything. Plus, I resent being pressured.

But today there was an older woman wearing the most incredibly thick and woolly sort of fur coat I have ever seen. With the hood up, she looked like Mama Bear. She was sitting at an electronic keyboard, playing classical music, while wearing gloves. That's gotta be tough, no?

I met The Spouse and the children for lunch at Starlite Diner (I love Starlite Diner. They always have the best music playing.) and when we walked back, she was still there. I made The Spouse give me some money for her. Baboo put it in her tip jar.

New Topic: Monday, the girls and I go to Bratislava until March 6. So things might be a bit quiet here Chez Beet. If you remember, stop by and vote for the blog. Here's the link again. There's not much in it for the winner, but I have a real competitive streak. Then, next month, go back and vote for the woman with the DogCents blog. Seems like a real worthy cause.


TRex said...

Nice post, have agood trip!

MoscowMom said...

Enjoyed all your visual snapshots! Don't you just wish you could pictures of some people without their noticing??

The shoes, I know, the shoes... Unbelievable...

Bon voyage!

MoscowMom said...

OK, I meant to say "snapshots to visualize" or "literary snapshots," you know what I mean :-)

Tina in CT said...

I know what Jimmy Choo's are but never have seen any. $545 for a pair of shoes that are just about impossible to walk in! My dog would love to chew on them.

That blue fur coat sounds "different".

Hope you and the girls have a good vacation.

Living in Moscow does give one the opportunity to see a lot of different things not seen here in the burbs in Southern New England. I can say that I've never seen anyone peeing or pooping while out doing my errands (thankfully).

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