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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I lost my shoe at Kievskaya

Technically, it wasn't me that lost the shoe, but Q did.

We decided to be adventurous and have a day out in the city, no tour guides, no help from school colleagues, just us, Google Translate and a stroller.

First stop was the U.S. Embassy to check out the commissary and see if any new car ads had been posted. We haven't had luck finding anything yet, and our apartment complex is the furthest outside the city, which makes it a bit harder to do things.  Our commute to school is longer, and we don't have as many shops and restaurants close by. But on the plus side, there's an amazing forest behind our building.  We went to a duck pond with some new friends earlier in the weekend and fed the birds all of our crackers, which the boys thought was amazing!

So, we walked to the metro and traversed stairs and escalators. Q reached out for random strangers and they rushed past us and was occasionally rewarded with a smile. He also tried to share his pretzels with every person who looked at him.

When we arrived at our first stop, we were riding up this enormous escalator that was easily 100 yards long, and about 65 degrees vertical, and at the precise moment we reached the top, Ryan looked down and asked, "Where is his shoe?"

Sure enough, our beautiful boy was kicking his feet happily, sans one very brand new shoe.  We went over to the men that were in charge at the metro ticket counter and had a very strange conversation that involved a lot of me saying Spasiba (pretty much the only word of Russian I remember on a daily basis) in different tones to imply different meanings.

Something like, Spasiba (said like excuse me) point to remaining shoe, then point down the big ass escalator and shrug my shoulders Spasiba (said like pretty please sir?)

I received a very Russian shrug of the shoulders and Da in response as the man pointed me through a side entrance and back down the escalator.

It only hit me later that the one time it was appropriate to use Spasiba (thank you) was completely forgotten as I raced down the escalator.  And I really did race, not full blown boobs bouncing in my face, but I was jogging down those stair, zipping by people who were standing for the ride. I'm not really sure what my hurry was, but I think there must have been subconscious thoughts of the shoe being picked up and stolen in the few minutes it would take me to get back downstairs. I don't know, it was all very frantic.

By the time I got to the bottom and scoped the station out, I couldn't find the missing shoe, and had to ride upstairs empty handed. So, Q lost his shoe on the train from Kievskaya and we shall never see it again. On the plus side, this does give me a good excuse to go buy the kid another pair. Insert evil laugh here.

We then spent the next 45 minutes wandering around the city trying to find the U.S. Embassy.  We had a map, we had an address, Ryan had even been there once before. We stopped several people along the way who all pointed us in a very long/wrong/convoluted/circuitous route that did finally end up at the Embassy, but we're pretty sure it should have only take 15 minutes to get there.

Q did get to hang out with a statue of his "namesake" outside.

By the time we got inside I was super excited to see what the legendary Commissary had to offer.  And in truth it was pretty good.  Hint of lime tortilla chips, brown sugar, cheddar cheese, cans of chile peppers.  The place didn't have everything (Urggg, no French's mustard to be found) but it did feel good to know we can stock up on American staples when we need to.  Even if the import costs make a block of cheese $7.

I've learned in this life abroad you don't sweat the import costs, just buy the damn cheese and enjoy every last bite.

After the embassy, we walked down to Arbat street, which is this super quaint and cute walking street with fun shops, restaurants and vendors.  We had lunch at the Shake Shack, where I had the most amazing burger of my life. It had a fried portabello mushroom stuffed with cheese on top of it.  Enough said.

All in all, it was a great day.  We probably walked about 5 or 6 miles, and we were all exhausted by the time we got home. But it really felt good to get out into the city on our own, to start exploring and to get an idea of what life is like in Moscow.

So far, it's pretty damn good, just a little tiring; even for Superman.

1 comment:

  1. one can never anticipate what the day holds. The loss of Q's shoe must have some deep meaning that will be revealed to you and Ryan when next you venture forth to explore the cuty and see the sights. just seeing Quincy has made my evening and I shall rest easy knowing you have it all under control. love to all. Papie