Today was the First Day of School, not just for my kids, but for every school child in Moscow. MoscowMom, one of my blogging buddies here, mentioned the "huge white Russian schoolgirl hairbows" on her blog.
Boy, oh boy, were they out in force today. And for once I had my camera with me.
These are especially ginormous:
Here is a whole flock of hairbows having celebratory milkshakes.
We say "a school of fish," "a mob of kangaroos," "a gaggle of geese." Two of my favorites are "a murder of crows" and "an exaltation of larks." I wonder what the correct measure word is for a group of hairbows?
As usual, I digress.
Another lucky little girl got ice cream after her first day back at school.
This girl skipped the seemingly obligatory white tights and Mary Janes, but her hairbows are still pretty spectacular.
This one stuck with the standard look.
Question: What do little boys wear on the first day of school?
Answer: A necktie.
This one is adorable. I'll bet he had to suffer through endless cheek-pinching and photos this morning.
Back at the French school, my girls had two very different schedules today: Skittles went from 8:30 until noon, and Baboo went from 1:30 until 4:30. This was just for la rentrée; it will not be the norm. But it meant I had a few extra moments to enjoy a coffee with friends. The weather was so nice today, we sat outside at a new coffee place near the school.
Pretty cool, eh?
Skittles enjoyed a meringue.
I have always liked the building across the street.
"So how was the first day?" you may ask.
High fives all around.
Skittles had a very unfortunate situation last year with a combined class of third and fourth graders, plus two teachers who did not get along in any way. One of them was practically debilitated by culture shock and the stress of living in Russia. It was his first overseas gig. All of this made for a very unsatisfactory and stressful experience for us.
This year Skittles got an older, more experienced teacher. In fact, he is one of only two returning staff this year. I think he sometimes skates a little close to phoning-it-in, but in this case, a little mellowness may be just what the doctor ordered. The bottom line is that Skittles is pleased: the vibe in the classroom is 180 degrees different, and that's a good thing.
Even better, she "graduated" to the second floor of the building.
"It makes me feel bigger," she says.
Baboo entered college (sixth grade in the French system) today with a lot of trepidation about this new level, but that was all for naught. Everything was fine.
She was most amused by her "professeur principal" (sort of like a homeroom teacher) who, coincidentally is the English teacher for her class. Mme B. had told the kids to call her "Teacher" instead of the French term, "Maîtresse."
"But I'm thinking of calling her 'Teacher Lady'," Baboo confided.
I think that's funny.
What is not so funny is her schedule this year. Yikes! For one thing, her day never ends at the same time as her sister's. Every day is different. She might finish around noon, 4:30, or even as late as 5:30! Seems like a big leap for her, and a logistical challenge for me as it doesn't make sense to run back and forth between home and school in the afternoons.
Rumor has it that the school is going to offer some sort of after-care that Skittles may be able to utilize (details to come from the PTA). But that makes for a very long day for both of them. And we haven't even added Baboo's fencing or any additional activity Skittles may want to do this year (the PTA will give us that information next week). I am not eager to start cello lessons for Baboo again the way things look. It's just too much.
On a brighter note, since I had my camera with me, I finally got some pictures of details in the Metro stations I frequent. I must point out, however, that these are, by Moscow Metro standards, lesser stations.
And the kids were glad to see our local dog friends were all fine.
From nearest to farthest, we call these three fellows Rex, Spot, and Ting-a-ling.
Note, Elton John will play Moscow October 7. See the billboard?
We stopped for this photo op outside the Ukrainian restaurant.
And I was tickled that I can read this sign on the Italian restaurant downstairs. I will certainly mispronounce the words, but I at least get the gist.
Across the top it says "Italian Lunch, Quick, Tasty 250 rubles." That's about US$8.
The small panel on the left says "Pasta Non-Stop Every Tuesday from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m." (Er . . . so it does eventually stop. I guess they mean unlimited seconds?) The panel on the right says the pastafest will set you back 399 rubles (US$13), but I must confess I cannot tell you what the text below the price means. The middle word is what I say when I want to ask "How much?" I think.
Keep in mind, that eating in this outdoor portion of the restaurant means dining alongside the Garden Ring. That's like eating on the berm of the Interstate to me.
Waiting... - *In October on Manezh Square, outside of the Kremlin* It's the final countdown until the Olympics... Here's a link to an article that was in the "Russia ...
4 years ago