Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ice Sign

Today, as I was walking around with a friend, we came across a sign made out of ice. It had an arrow, and said something and 2009.

I signed my lease today for my new apartment, and will move tomorrow. Click on a link for the Moscow metro. I am on the circle line (brown line)- sort of in the southern center.

I am actually closer to the Dobrininskaya metro than Polyanka. So, it is one stop to Paveltskaya to work.

Oh, and I also figured out how helpful "google find" is in map feature. I typed in "grocery" and found a really good one less than 10 minutes walk - so I will be able to find good food now!! And, in addition, my new place is near McDonalds! But since my landlady and my realtor gave me demonstration of how to light the gas, I may be ok :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Shabolovskaya Metro

Here is a picture from my metro stop. Most of the metro stations are stunningly beautiful in some way - marble, chandeliers, paintings, etc...
I'll sneak in some pics when I can!@

Some pics!

A car parked on the sidewalk!

Notice all of the snow still on the sidewalk. This is why walking can be hazardous.
Exactly why you do not wear good shoes outside.

So, at work, there is a huge "wardrobe." It is the first place you go. Take your coat and boots off. I have been leaving my shoes at my desk, so I walk down the hall in my socks.

I haven't seen any furs at work really. Wonder what that means? :)

The people here are really great. Last night, we went to a sausage restaurant. I'm sure there was more than sausage to order, but it was an interesting, fun time!

I believe I will be moving on Sunday to my new apartment. Good thing I only have 3 bags... so, it should be an easy move.

Another fun thing coming up - Superbowl Sunday - which will be about 2 am Monday morning for us. Several of us are going to a sportsbar somewhere here in Moscow to watch, then we will go to work!

It is still pretty warm here - above freezing. I am told it will be -15 C pretty soon. I think in the US we alway think of temperature in F - so, if it were -15F that WOULD be really cold. But, I know recently there has been some pretty severe weather in the US. I hope everyone is safe and warm.

I'll talk to you later!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Interesting observances

Obviously, I can't walk around with a camera taking pictures of people, but here are some interesting things I've seen:

  • The ladies here have figured out how to walk/run in high heels on the ice.
  • With the young men, they like to slide on the ice like they were ice skating.
  • I have seen two dogs wearing pants - like a whole snow suit!
  • I have seen one cat in my building, and it looks very scared.
  • The furs - yes, there are lots of fur coats and hats, and yes, they do wear the square-type fur hats we think of.
  • Interesting clothing patterns - like tights/pantyhose with rose designs.
  • Sometimes people wear the same clothes for several days at work.
  • The metro at rush hour is CRAMMED full.
  • In public, people hardly talk or make eye contact.
  • Women do not shake hands here, however men are always expected to.
  • The checkout girls at the grocery near me wear little blue hats and blue eyeshadow. Perhaps it is a themed grocery store?
  • The apartments vary wildly here. Some unusual furniture and decorations and colors.
  • I only have Russian tv right now. I watch alot of MTV and SouthPark.

That is all I can think of right now. I'll try to get some more pictures soon.

Work is going well, and I think I've found an apartment I like, so eating is still my biggest challenge. Last night, I had instant mashed potatoes and bread and cheese. I just need to take the time to go to one of the big, good grocery stores. I guess it is kind of like trying to eat from the Minit Mart.....

I'll talk to you soon!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Well, believe it or not, the broomball game was cancelled this morning because it is so warm here that the ice was metling.

So, I am going exploring again today - to a grocery store that is supposed to be pretty good. The small, local neighborhood shops are OK, but it has been hard for me to find anything I recognize, and even harder for me to cook it - since I still haven't figured my stove out. I did find the manual this morning, but I am still afraid to light it.

I feel much better now that I have internet at home, and they will let me install skype on my work computer. I will also get my cell phone on Monday, and I will be able to sign up for Russian lessons then too.

I'll take my camera with me today on my excursion, and see if there is anything worth taking pictures of.

Then, I think I'll do yoga via CD (thanks Jim), and then probably take a nap!

Das Vidanya!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ok, obviously I have alot to learn about doing this

Sorry for the duplicate pictures, and the format (again).

Here is the other pic from Red Square

More detail on the pictures

Sorry about the format of the last post. I was in a hurry at work.

So, you can see my apartment has laminate wood flooring - no carpet - which is good because it would be a muddy mess. Basically, the sidewalks and streets stay a bit icy. They seem to clean it each day, but it really does no good because the snow keeps falling. However, this morning, there was no new snow. You really have to be careful about falling.

I like the yellow walls and crown molding in my apt. I like the green in the bedroom. The kitchen is very small, but that is ok. I really think eating out will be the way for me. On Sunday, I went to a couple of grocery stores nearby - small, local ones - and I really struggled to find something I wanted. I ended up with pasta and spaghetti sauce. When I got home, I realized I had to light the pilot on the stove. I had no matches, and was scared to try, so I had kinda hard pasta cooked in the microwave for 30 minutes..... The next night, I bought a cheese pastry at the metro stop for like 50 cents.....

Notice the little chandeliers around the light fixtures.... cute.

So, all I have is Russian TV....good thing I am not home much...

To get to the office - I have to walk to the metro - less than 10 minutes, go three stops, and then take a shuttle to the office. If you get to the metro before 8 am, it is not so crowded. It is VERY crowded at rush hour. I am certainly getting my exercise by walking, which is good. It really has not been very cold here - in the 30's - very tolerable with my coat and boots.

We have two offices here in Moscow. I am working with one group here, but will move to the other office in a few months.

Oh, here are a few pics from my Sunday outing (I wanted to make sure I could find the office on the metro)

These are both in Red Square:

And here is one of the park in front of my apartment -

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sorry it took so long

Ok, well I arrived on Saturday - about 11 am. Got through customs ok, and my driver was there to meet me. He took me to my apartment, which takes 3 keys to get into..... On the wall, it is painted floor #6, but you get off the elevator at floor #3 (imagine that)...... I have no internet at home, so that is why it has taken me so long to post this...... Here are some pics from my apartment (I actually quite like it!)
I looked an an apartment last night of a girl at my work who is moving to Germany - but I really think her place is bigger than what I want to pay for. The market is very soft here, so I should be able to find something much cheaper than what her place would cost me. So, I will begin looking with a realtor later this week or next week.
Two interesting things happened in the last 24 hrs. When I got home last night, there was an obviously drunk man trying to get into my apartment building. I have a magnetic key that opens the door, but I guess you can call people's apt., and they can let you in. Whoever he wanted to see was not letting him in. He was wobbling, and about to fall over. He walked away from the stoop, and I quickly moved in and opened the door, and quickly pulled it closed.... He kept knocking on the door, but could not get in......
Then, this morning on the metro - I got on the car, and a man motioned that there was an empty seat. Well, in the process of sitting down, I must've sort of sat on him..... He was cussing me, I am pretty sure! I just looked at him... I have no idea what he said....
It is all really interesting here. I am glad I am here, and I will keep you updated!
oh yeah, if you are sending email to my old work email address, I don't think it is forwarding yet.
Love you!

Friday, January 16, 2009


With all the weather mess yesterday, I did not make my flight to JFK, and certainly not to Moscow. I am now in ATL, and will fly out to Moscow this afternoon.

Since I knew that I was moving to Moscow, my family has been monitoring the weather. To our surprise, it has not been much colder over there than it has been here. But today - something truly unbelievable has happened - it is warmer in Moscow than it is in Nashville. At the current moment, it is 9F, with the high expected to be 21F. In Moscow, it is a whopping 27F!

The next 10 days, the highs should be in high 20's and low 30's. So, don't worry about me being cold - my coat has been well tested.

Hopefully my next post will have pictures of my new apartment.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone. I hope 2009 is starting out well for you!

I just wanted to give an update on my move. I will be leaving January 15th.

The will pack me on Monday and Tuesday, the 5th and 6th. I thought I'd take a break the painful organizing and cleaning of my place and send out the link to my blog.

You probably will not hear from me until after I am settled in Moscow. I have the address of my temporary housing, and am told it is near a convent! So, not to worry, I'm sure the nuns will help me out if needed.