Ohhh Russia

April 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm (Uncategorized)

This weekend was no less strange than any other week.  We went to Ispensky Cathedral and Dmitrievsky Cathedral on Friday for our excursion, the two biggest, most important monuments in Vladimir.  Ispensky Cathedral was very beautiful inside because it was completely decked out in gold.  There is a tomb for Alexander Nevsky, one of the famous, early Russian tsars, inside the Cathedral.  It contains his finger.  Apparently people chopped up his body and distributed it among the big cities in Russia.  I am not remotely surprised.  So I got to see the finger of some royal dead guy.  We also saw the tomb of another 900 year dead king.  Our guide told us to step up on a platform to get a better look at it.  I was only minorly surprised to find that the top of the casket was glass, and we could see the decrepit body.  It must have been really well preserved because it was 900 years old, but still retained a body shape.  Its hand (missing a couple fingers) was clutching a giant, gold sword.  It was pretty cool.

Springtime after Easter is apparently a very popular time in Russia to get married.  As I said before, couples in Russia go to famous landmarks in their city to take pictures after their wedding ceremony.  On Friday, by the Golden Gate, we saw a grand total of eight wedding parties.  You’d think that it would somewhat ruin the experience, to have three other brides in the background of your wedding photos, but I guess it’s tough luck.  We saw one wedding party taking jumping action shots off a hill.  Anyway, Fridays in Vladimir have become hellish days to be in a car or a bus, because there is a lot of traffic due to these caravan wedding parties everywhere.

On Saturday Erin’s tutor found out that a free movie was going to happen that night.  Emily, Sarah, Erin, and I all invited our Russian friend Misha as well, and went.  The building where the movie was played looked like an abandoned hospital.  We got there rather early, and a “concert” was still in full swing.  They let us sit in on the concert while we waited for the film to start.  We are still unsure what the heck it was, because the “concert” consisted of one man, who was wearing a flashy gold shirt, singing, reading excerpts of his books, and showcasing magazines.  We were the youngest people there, apart from a boy in front of us, who was playing a game on a gameboy-type thing.  Emily and I spent most of the time watching the kid’s game.  So did his father.

Finally, the Renaissance man finished (late, naturally), and they started playing the movie.  The movie was an old Russian comedy, which had a strong resemblance to “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”  In the movie, a geeky-looking man built a machine that melted his wall, and revealed Russia hundreds of years ago.  Of course, the tsar got stuck in present time, and two people from the present time got stuck in the tsar’s time.  It was absolutely hilarious, because it was so strange.  There were lots of cat moments also, because it wouldn’t be Russia if there weren’t cats in every aspect of life.

Speaking of cats, Zosya is just as bizarre as ever.  She likes to claw the bathroom door open in the morning while I’m doing my make-up.  Then she sticks only her head in, meows loudly, and then leaves.  It has become a daily ritual.  The other day, I was reading in bed, and she came in and jumped up on the bed.  I was too lazy to make her go away, so I said, “Ok fine you can stay.  I’m allergic to you though, so just don’t come near my face.”  Of course, she immediately smashed her face into mine, and began rubbing it all over my nose.  Thank you, devil cat.  This morning, Tanya brought Zosya into the kitchen, and she looked very wide-eyed and innocent.  I thought, “Aww you’re actually cute today.”  Five minutes later, when everyone had forgotten about her, I looked over and saw her glaring at everyone evilly, with an expression on her face that appeared to be, “I will terminate you all.”

This afternoon, I got the first healthy food I have ever gotten at home.  Iya came into my room and asked which would I rather have on my salad, oil, mayonnaise, or sour cream?  I immediately sprinted into the kitchen, telling her that I didn’t want ANYTHING on my salad.  She didn’t understand, and kept trying to put globs of mayonnaise on my beautiful, healthy salad.  I literally had to guard the bowl with my body to keep the mayonnaise out.  I won.

Right now Volodya is disassembling his couch.  I don’t know why.  The living room (which I call “Volodya’s space”) is a mess.  He is humming gleefully to himself, while prying nails out of the couch.  The other day, Iya wasn’t home when I returned, so Volodya served me dinner.  He set out my tea, potatoes, and meat, then began wiggling his hips and swirling his wooden spoon in the air, and asked me if I “required” anything else.  When I said no, he informed me that his bath was ready, and he was “Going to go swimming now.”  When he finishes baths, he likes to wrap a towel around his head, like women do to dry their hair.  Except Volodya doesn’t have much hair, so he looks ridiculous.


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