Lazy Sundays (with pictures!)

April 18, 2010

Дорогые Товарищи (Dear Comrades)

Moscow is quite an exhausting place to carve out a living. Whether it’s because I constantly have to live my life in Russian, expressing myself only in a tongue I still barely understand, or because of the general hustle and bustle of life in Moscow, I rely on my Sundays to be a day of rest.

Today I started off pretty late, made some breakfast and headed to meet up with Trevor. Unlike most Sundays, today I had a mission; purchase a spring jacket. My original plan to rely on my hoodie for the spring turned out to be a no go, because wearing a hoodie in Moscow makes you really stand out. Not that it makes you look like an American so much, but in the eyes of Russians (and Russian girls especially) my age, it just makes me look like a scrub. With that said, clothing in Moscow is unreasonably expensive and unreasonably tacky and ugly for the most part. This means that I had about one option, H&M, to find a cheap Swedish-designed Chinese-made jacket. With this in mind, Trevor and I made our way across the city to the enormous mall known only as Метрополис in order to find such a jacket.

I had remarkable luck in finding a jacket that was reasonably priced and at the same time reasonably European-looking. Given that the trip on the metro takes about 45 minutes and is completely on the other side of the city, we decided to do some exploring.

What we found were some interesting American imports. During our prep for Russia class last quarter, we had to read articles in Russian and give a brief presentation on the gist of the article. I vaguely remembered doing one of my presentations about the first Burger King in the Russian Federation, and had completely forgotten that it was located in this very mall!

Finally, at long last, Burger King has come to Russia. No, I didn't eat there.

I'm sorry to say that T.G.I. Fridays has also found it's way to Russia.

We wandered around the place for a little while looking for something to do, and happened upon a couple of other interesting American things. It’s always interesting to me which things get translated into Russian and carried over the chasm between our two cultures. In a country in which no one recycles, scarcely anyone is a vegetarian, and health and wellness are pretty low on the priority list of your average Russian, I was pretty surprised that this movie had made it to Moscow.

It literally says "Corporation; FOOD," but if you recognize the cover, it's Food, INC.

After perusing the mall for a while, we had worked up quite and appetite and also conveniently noticed a restaurant called “Cantina Mariachi.” The menu lacked some pretty important staples that you would expect to find at a Mexican restaurant in America, which led us to our biggest ordering fail yet. I asked the waitress which dishes were vegetarian, and when she got to one that looked good and cheap enough, I pounced. I ended up ordering jalapeno poppers, which is not exactly what I was going for, but they weren’t too bad.

After the Mexican popper things and some nachos and beer, it was time to start our long trek back home to southern Moscow. I had accomplished my mission of finding a reasonable jacket, and it was time to catch up on some work and relax for the rest of the afternoon. On our way home however, I saw a couple more things that I thought picture-worthy.

One of the things that has surprised me the most about Moscow, and Russia in general, is the ways in which it’s just like America. Something as simple as seeing a father and son dozing on the metro on a Sunday afternoon can really reinforce this sentiment.

Everyone loves lazy Sundays.

Now I’m back at home, and the day is winding down. I need to get to work on some homework, but I would say it’s been a pretty successful weekend.

One last thought. Even thousands of miles away, oceans apart, I still cannot escape this face:

There is no escape.

I hope you enjoyed the update and I’ll be sure to keep them coming. Have a good week everyone.




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