Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Week in Pictures

I've done a terrible job of blogging this week, which might imply productivity or busyness on my part but actually signifies laziness.  Although I have watched an alarming amount of New Girl in the last few days, I have also been studying Russian, writing, and getting to know Moscow better.  Here's what that entailed this week:

Monday: The Fulbright ETAs (English Teaching Assistants) were in town for orientation before departing to the far flung reaches of Mother Russia.  I (and the other two Fulbright Fellows in Moscow) met up with them for dinner, followed by drinks at Kruzhka, a beer hall described to me as "the drinking establishment of the proletariat."  Given the exorbitant prices everywhere else in Moscow, I will gladly drink with the working class.

 One of the many Kruzhkas in Moscow

Tuesday: My first attempt at cooking borshch resulted in enough beet soup to feed an army, so I invited over some Fulbrighters and we had ourselves a Russian feast.  I rounded out the meal with vodka and an Olivier salad, which is about 9 parts mayonnaise, 1 part carbs, and 100% delicious.

$6 vodka, a massive pot of borshch, and what qualifies as "salad" only in Russia

Dining in my bedroom (because it's infinitely larger than the kitchen)

Wednesday: In what may now border on an identity crisis, I joined a group for Latin Women in Moscow.  I had the intention of scouting it out and practicing a little Spanish, but ended up dropping 2,500 rubles on a one-year membership and meeting a Nicaraguan diplomat who wants to set me up with her son.  Being a Power Latina has its perks. 

Thursday: After meeting up with a Stanford GSB graduate for Fulbright research, I dashed off for a Spanish tour of the Shilov Gallery with my new Latin besties. The excursion included a meet and greet with the artist (Alexander Shilov) himself and Spanish-style merienda

One of my favorite paintings, albeit the most depressing

Friday: After a slightly weird exchange with a British girl looking for a flatmate (it turns out I'm not a dog person...big surprise), I asked Molly to come along as my Craigslist Bodyguard while I checked out the place.  However, when I texted the Brit to say my friend and I were around the corner, she got super shady and refused to show me the place.  Then when I got home, I decided to get stalkerish and noticed that the Facebook profile associated with her email address belongs to a Ukrainian man.  I think I narrowly avoided being sold into sex slavery, but at least I discovered this adorable corner of Moscow? 

The aptly named Chistye Prudy ("Clean Ponds")

Saturday: I walked over to the metropolis that is the European Mall to buy a belt, but then ran away when I became too overwhelmed.  I think the Russians are better at capitalism than we are...

Sunday: I patted myself on the back for not being hungover on the metro like this guy...

...and then did some serious writing at an anti-cafe. I went to Антикафе Циферблат (Anticafe Tsiferblat), but there are a bunch of cafes popping up around Moscow where you pay for time, rather than what you eat/drink.  I think I need to bring these to America because they are amazing.


  1. So, if you pay for time - you can eat/drink for "free?" THIS IS FASCINATING.

    1. Yeah, it's kind of an awesome system! Especially in the most expensive city in the world.

  2. "I think the Russians are better at capitalism than we are." Hahaha!

    Definitely following along on your adventures.

  3. I had no idea Russia was so pricey ... At least the vodka is $6/bottle!