Moscow Day 5

March 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm (Uncategorized)

I realized on Monday morning that somehow I had been elected Team Leader of Group Garden of Stalin.  Drew said he couldn’t go because he was sick, but that he would meet up with us when we went to the Bulgakov Museum later.  So I lead Erin, Jeff, and Emily through the metro and towards where the map said the Garden was.  Because we were in Russia, and nothing is easy in Russia, the garden was not there.  There was also a mild blizzard outside.  So we tromped around in the snow for a little bit trying to find it before we finally decided to find a babushka to ask.  All too late we realized we didn’t know what the Garden was called in Russian, so we asked the first lady we found where the “really big, old statues” were.  She rudely pretended that she couldn’t understand our Russian, and walked away.  The second old lady was much nicer, and seemed to understand kind of what we were talking about.  She asked us if we could understand Russian well, and when we said yes, she gave us directions.  After we went across the street, the enormous statue of Peter the Great came into view.  Jeff said, “Oh great, that’s what the lady probably thought we were talking about.  Now she thinks we’re morons because who could possibly miss that statue.”  However, we decided to cross the bridge anyway to go explore Gorky Park (an amusement park with ice skating in the winter) since the Statue Garden seemed to not exist.  When we were across the bridge, we saw what looked like a bunch of statues in the distance, which of course turned out to be the Garden of Fallen Heroes (we think).  It was very far away from where the stupid map said it would be.  We had to force our way through knee-deep snow to get into the park.  We found a statue of a unicorn, and what we think was a bust of Stalin.  We couldn’t be sure because there was just too much snow, and it was probably covering the sign.  We all took pictures with who we hope was Stalin, and decided that it was too hard to continue through the snow towards the bigger statues in the distance.  So we went back to the metro and headed to the station where Bulgakov’s Museum was.

Upon arriving at the Mayakovskaya metro station, we decided to get lunch at Coffee House (the Moscow version of Starbucks).  The waitress asked to see our ISIC cards (international student cards) so that we could get a discount.  If by discount, she meant that she wasn’t going to ever bring Emily part of what she ordered, then yes.  But I didn’t care because I ate the best chocolate muffin, and it was probably the best thing I’d had in a long time (other than the McDonalds).

Drew met up with us right when we were finishing up lunch.  I knew that we were on the same street as the museum, but we asked the waitress where it was just to be sure.  She said that we were to turn left after leaving the restaurant, and it was close.  After wandering up and down the street for twenty minutes we learned that “close to” actually meant “directly next to” the Coffee House.  Of course.

I really enjoyed the museum.  There are two Bulgakov Museums right next to each other because they realized awhile ago that they had set up the first museum in the wrong apartment by accident.  So they created a second one in the real apartment.  We went to the first, incorrect museum because it was free and had a lot of artwork based on Bulgakov’s books.  Bulgakov is a Russian gothic author, and he is most famous for his book Master and Margarita.  I have never read any of his works, but now I really want to because I really love weird, gothic writing, and he is probably the weirdest of them all.  We weren’t supposed to take pictures, but I got a bunch anyway because I’m sneaky.

We had time to kill before we needed to meet back at the dorms, so we went to Cinnabon, for one last taste of America.  We sat there for an hour watched old nineties American music videos, and incredibly strange Russian ones.  One of the videos was for a newer Backstreet Boys song, telling people to “take it to the danger zone.”

We met back at the dorms, and then headed towards the train station to go back to lovely, cheap Vladimir.  We took an express train this time, which was nice because it didn’t stop every ten seconds, and there were no frightening men sharpening knives in anyone’s face.  Our car even had a TV in it, and they played a very weird American movie on it.

Moscow was very fun, but it was nice to be back in Vladimir!

I got back home and sat down to take off my boots, when suddenly I saw something creeping towards me out of the corner of my eye.  It was a cat.  Before I came to Russia, I got an email describing my host family, and it said they had a cat.  Upon arriving in Vladimir I found out that there was no cat.  I assumed something had happened to it, until now.  I tried to ask Iya about it, but I didn’t understand everything she said, so I am still unsure.  Apparently it IS their cat, but either their daughter was keeping it for awhile, or they’re keeping it for their daughter.  I don’t know.

Anyway the cat’s name is Zosya, and she is a very weird cat.  I am convinced she is the devil because she has HUGE yellow eyes, and she likes to sit and stare at me.  I woke up in the middle of the night the other night to find her sitting on my bed, staring at me.  It was one of the creepiest things I have ever experienced.  But otherwise, I like the cat ok, and she seems to like me.

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