Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'm All Shook Up

So I'm celebrating Elvis' birthday while typing merrily away on my New Christmas Laptop in my Moscow dining room.

Elvis would have been 75 today. Well, make that yesterday. It was January 8 when I started my day.

Jet lag, you know.

The Spouse's Potty-Mouthed Grandmother is/was 94 today/yesterday. And she's still rockin'.

Our 22nd wedding anniversary is today.

Really today.

January 9.

At least that's what it is where I am.

We celebrated by dragging our luggage on the Airport Express train, through the Metro (with one line change), and across the (surprisingly) snowy Moscow streets.

WTF, Moscow? What happened here yesterday? I've never seen so much snow. The mayor promised he was going to seed all the clouds so the snow would not fall here.

At the apartment, the cats were actually happy to see us. Cat-O, who apparently was on a bit of a hunger strike protesting our departure, looks a bit thinner. Crooky looks bigger. She even climbed onto my chair and sat behind me for a bit while I typed. For her, that's the equivalent of full frontal nudity. Or at least getting to second base.

Late lunch/early dinner where else? Taras Bulba. So I could have a slice of their heavenly Kievski torte.

Now I am celebrating the Festival of Laundry. Both The Spouse and I have unpacked and put away the things in our suitcase. So I have time for some observations about this traveling between Russia and the Ancestral Village thing:
  • First, this summer my suitcase was filled with odor eliminating products on my return trip to Moscow because the cats had been using the children's room as a means of protesting our absence. Seriously, I must have brought back four or five products, at least three of which were large, heavy spray bottles of liquid. Result: I arrived back in Moscow in September to a surprisingly pleasant smelling house. This trip the heavy and (probably) over-purchased items were shampoos/conditioners and moisturizers. What was I thinking? Cheaper in the US, I guess. If you have an odor problem, let me know.
  • Why is it Americans don't provide a place for your coat in restaurants? Maybe we tend to leave our coats in our cars, but I found myself thinking, "The Russians ALWAYS have a ГАРДЕРОБ/garderobe/coatcheck or at least plenty of coat hooks near your table."
  • The American cashiers never tore my receipt, but insisted on handing it to me intact. That's just wrong. Now I know I've lived in Russia too long.
  • I found myself mortified at the condition of my boots while in the US. Practically the first thing I did upon arriving at our Moscow apartment was polish my boots. They look so much better.
  • Hot water: here it's UNLIMITED!!!
  • And the heat, my God, the heat. Granted, it was a (beautiful) sunny day (all the better for enjoying the snow), so that just added to our already very warm apartment. I could not get out of my traveling outfit and into the shower fast enough.  Actually, the dacha was warmer than I expected, and in spite of the unusually winter-y weather, I did not need my long underwear. But back in Moscow means back to t-shirts and shorts. That Festival of Laundry actually dries faster on the line this time of year than in the dryer.

We did a basic grocery store run . . . just enough to get us through breakfast tomorrow . . . which for us meant eggs, bacon, and alcohol. I got some coffee, too. Because I might have more to write about tomorrow after I've had a decent night's sleep.


Luna said...

Yipee!!! You made it. Welcome home. When I saw the post title, I thought you might have been detoured through Graceland. Enjoy the snow!

The Expatresse said...

No, no, we're fine.

The snow really is lovely. Today was one of those very cold/crisp but very sunny days. What I was promised winter would be, but haven't seen much of. This winter seems much snowier and sunnier than the last two.

Major Allen Espy said...

love the comparisons!

valentina said...

So glad you all arrived safely and are pleasantly ensconced! Here there is about 6" of snow but my friend Suz is coming to take me to the gym so hooray for 4 wheel drive cars! Mine is parked in my drive which was shoveled last night in the dark at 6:30, ON A FRIDAY! by my trusty handyman and his helper. It is all salted and clear. The problem is the street which the city inconveniently ignores.

It was great having you home and despite the obnoxious travel arrangements I suspect you think it was worth it?

How nice it is to be able to celebrate the festival of laundry with your OPERATING washer/dryer! And not even in a basement! Oh how I love my adjacent laundry room! No stairs! The smell of freshly laundered clothes is indeed perfume!

Happy Anniversary to you both... And to think that 22 years ago I was sitting with my sweet ex-husband by the side of the highway in a dead car instead of dancing with you! Alas. Life's small disappointments! But 22 years is no small accomplishment! And you have those 2 splendid daughters.

I figured the cats would be glad to have you home. After I am gone a short while Valentina ignores me and finally comes around but Orlando is right on top of me the moment I walk through the door...

So nice that Crooky is finally warming up! And
Cat-o's hunger strike is not unusual. My mom had a cat who didn't eat for 2 weeks while she was gone despite having food put down for him everyday! It just wasn't the same without her! He was very skinny when we got back from the shore! Our 4 footeds are peculiar aren't they?

Now I am off to the gym! Enjoy what's left of your anniversary! love to you all! xov

Tina in CT said...

Happy Anniversary!

Is bacon, eggs and alcohol the new Russian Breakfast of Champions?

Of course there should be lots of snow as it's January and Moscow. What I don't get is the horrible plowing on the streets. I suppose with no parking bans, it is impossible to accomplish.

My daughter told me about all the snow yesterday and her nightmare of a drive back home and how she got stuck. Two men took pity on her and stopped to help. She did have the kids get out of the car with her in case they wanted to steal her car. They were good samaritans and didn't take off w/her car but got her out of the deep snow.

How was the trip back? I don't know how you manage to go by subway to and from the airport. You must travel a lot lighter than we do.

Long underwear? Sure don't need that inside Russian buildings. I must say that it was nice to be back in my cold house. Each day I'd wait until we were ready to go out the door to put on my slacks, jersey and sweater and the first thing I did each night was change. I can tell you that a Russian visiting my house would think I lived in a igloo as I can't stand it hot. As I type, my dachshund is spread out on the floor in front of the den couch as there is a heat vent behind the couch and when it's blowing the warm air, she loves it. Of course, she has it blowing right on her tummy and face.

*#*# - my cable TV is not working and this is the 2nd time in a week. I called and they need to send a tech out. She asks if Monday afternoon will be ok? Hello, some people work during the business hours. Now I have to wait until next Sat. AM. The only one working is in my bedroom and I hate being up in bed watching TV.

I'm a big Elvis fan and one of the radio stations was playing a lot of his songs this weekend.

The Expatresse said...

Tina: no, the long underwear was for the US. I probably should have left it there, but thought I might someday travel to the UK from here (Moscow) which always seems to require extra layers no matter the season.

I do the public transportation to and from the airports because it is so much cheaper . . . esp with 4 of us. We would require two taxis. And it is generally faster because traffic is not an issue. Yes, it is the worst part of any journey. But it really doesn't last that long. Last summer The Spouse sent a taxi to meet us at the airport, but he asked the guy to swing by the office first to pick up my set of house keys. So the driver charged him for TWO trips, effectively doubling the price. I told him not to do that again.

Rabbit blogger said...

welcome back. it's been a sloshy dirty sloppy snow-fest for the last 2 weeks in moscow. and today, -26c!

katbat said...

welcome back!! and happy anniversary! we went to shesh vesh last night for dinner and I thought about the coat situation in moscow vs us, why arent there more coat check rooms in the US? Even the dentist office we went to before dinner (leo and I both had our teeth cleaned) had a coat room. So nice and convenient.

anyway - welcome back!

The Expatresse said...

Rabbit: It's only -11C now according to my thermometer . . . right balmy.