Travel

Russia – Day 3 – Sergiyev Posad

We’re in a new town today, which is just outside of Moscow, called Sergiyev Posad. My brother’s friend lives here and took us to a small but nice tourist hotel which promptly spotted us as Americans and put us in their most expensive suite. Oh well… not like we had the language skills to argue. 🙂

We have an hour or two of down time until we all meet up again later. John and i are going to walk around town and get pictures of the amazing churches. We ate at the local McDonalds, just because!

I have to say it was a LOT better than in the U.S.because it tasted really good for fast food and looked just like the pictures of the food on the posters in the restaurant. That never happens at home. Then we walked around town and went to the actual Matryoska factory and of course loaded up on souvenirs. They had dolls, wooden sculpture toys, paintings and traditional Russian jewelry. We of course bought a lot of goodies…see below for a picture of some of it.

We then went to a nice little cafe for coffee and snacks, which consist of the traditional plate of Russian pickled foods such as cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, a whole head of garlic, mushrooms, sometimes squash. They had borscht and some other soup, and I had a cafe latte (more caffeine…I’m almost an addict).  

We went to this particular cafe at 3 pm Moscow time so that we could use their wi-fi to call Jack when he woke up at 7 am his time. Gotta love the free Internet! McDonalds has it also. We talked with Jack for a little while and showed him our food and the source of the loud booming music in the background, which was a giant flat screen blasting the Marc Anthony and Pit Bull video. haha.

Jack was cute because his hair was all messy from just waking up. He missed us a lot and then told Bella that I was on the phone. Haha. Bella said meow. 

It’s so good to skype with him because it recharges my own battery. 🙂 We had a nice talk and Jack was happy to see his uncle also.

After walking around town all afternoon, we were hungry for dinner. Pasta! Mine came with pesto sauce…so good. Wine of course…red. And a healthy dose of second hand smoke (cough). 

At midnight we went back to McD’s for wifi so I could skype with Jack. He was very sad and wanted me to come home. 😦 I was talking in the bathroom because there was such loud music playing. Then Jack got my eyes watering…you can guess what I looked like in the bathroom crying into an iPad lol!!! Then they kicked us out because they were closing. 

Right now we have the beat pumping loud from the basement disco right under our room. Guess I’ll need more caffeine to wake up. Sigh…

Jack: Can you come home tonight?? Please?
Me: Awwww I can’t because our ticket isn’t until next week.
Jack: (sad at first, then perks up) Then I’m not doing my homework!! 

Travel

Moscow looks a bit like the Bronx

I’m here! In Moscow. Now I’m homesick…Wahhh…
Luckily our friend has arrived to help us translate! So far I’ve asked for or said the following things IN Russian mind you:
A phone card (no luck)
How far is it to the hotel (our nice driver Evan said 25 kilometers)
What’s your name
My name is
Do you speak English (many people do! The ones that don’t are very apologetic.)
One bottle of water (my brother can ask for his own, ha!)

So yeah, we haven’t eaten yet. It’s 8:05pm. Still very tired…
Jack got pretty upset yesterday when it was time for us to finally leave the house.

Jack: Waaaaahhhh, why didn’t you buy me a ticket!!! (pitiful sobs, then they immediately turned off as this thought occurred to him)…Sniff, but you’ll buy me some extra special presents right? like a megaphone??

Travel

So, what time is it in Russia?

Jack: Is it getting dark already??

me: Yep. Shorter days and longer nights…

Jack: I used to LOVE when it was still light out after Tae Kwon Do.

me: Me too.

Jack: (thinking) Well what if we reverse the polarity of the sun and make it daytime all day?

me: Polarity?

Jack: (waving me away) Yeah yeah, so like it pulls the earth around and the sun shines on us ALL day.

me: When would we sleep?

Jack: Moommmmm, you can sleep in the daylight, just close the curtains. Sheesh. Then we would have flowers all year and it would be beautiful.

me: Nice idea. What about the rest of the world?

Jack: What’s on the other side? Moscow? Is that where you’re going?

me: Yeah, so it would be dark there all the time?

Jack: And cold. It would always be night…nothing would grow, then they might starve…

me: Hmmm, I don’t know.

Jack: That is a very cruel thought.

me: It’s YOUR thought not mine.

Jack: But what time is it there?

me: It’s 8 hours ahead, so it would be nighttime there now.

Jack: Eh, then they’re used to the dark and the cold. I won’t worry about it.

 

Health

A big hefty shot of rude

Today I had to go to the health center to get my shots for my upcoming trip to Russia. (Two weeks sans Jack…what will I do???) My regular doctor can’t, or won’t, give out any travel-related inoculations. So off we went today after school, Jack sitting with a snack and a book in the backseat, and me reading my blurry Google map. No GPS yet. Anyway this is a main sort of health center that treats a variety of, shall we say, cases… I was ushered past a few different waiting rooms to the empty travel vaccine waiting room. The other rooms were quite full.

Jack: I can’t wait to watch YOU get shots Mommy.

me: Watch how brave I’ll be. For some reason shots don’t bother me.

Jack: Well they bother ME!

me: I just think about something else. Now be a good boy while they do the shots okay?

Jack: (adjusting his halo) Okay Mommy.

The nurse calls me in, and prepares 4 shots. (ugh). I would rather be safe then sorry on this trip so I opted to get everything that she recommended.

Nurse: Now how old are YOUUUU? (I ignore her thinking she’s talking to Jack) Uh, excuse me…Ma’am? How old are you?

me: Oh sorry… I thought you were talking to my son.

Jack: Ha ha ha, Mommy’s so old she doesn’t know to pay attention. (he and the nurse have a good laugh over this one)

me: Very funny.

Jack: BUURRRRRPPPP! (the nurse jumps)

me: Jack!

Jack: (silence, while the nurse looks horrified)

me: Jack!!! Where are your manners.

Jack: Oh, Excuse me. It’s okay because my mom farts in my face all the time.

me: JACK!!! Can you stop being so rude!!?? I’m sorry, I’m not sure what’s gotten into him. (I stare daggers at him)

Nurse: I have grandchildren about his age, so none of this fazes me.

me: Oh, good. Geez, he’s usually not so blatantly rude. (yeah right)

Jack: I’ll just go read these books near the door okay?

me: Please do! (he wanders over to a rack of pamphlets)

Nurse: All set.

me: Thank you.

Jack: (reading from a pamphlet) Mom! What’s oral sex if you’re a gay man with STDs? What does that stand for??

me: GAAAHHHHH! Give me that!!!

I dragged him out mildly horrified at what else he might have been reading in that 2-minute span. Do we ALWAYS have to be on guard? Always?? I know the answer is yes, I just wanted to vent.