Very likely that we'll be going to Kyiv at the end of the week and, if all goes well and according to the plan, I'll deliver the baby there. I'm very nervous about the move, tired of worrying about all the various little uncertainties that come with it.
I don't feel like writing now, so here's another bunch of backlog photos - 46 of them, from VDNKh in Moscow, July 5, 2005.
VDNKh is now called VVTs: All-Russian Exhibition Center (Vserossiyskiy Vystavochny Tsentr) instead of the Exhibition of Achievements of the People's Economy (Vystavka Dostizheniy Narodnogo Khozyaistva). This was the first time for me there - somehow, I never made it to VDNKh as a kid. Not that I regret it in any way. It's a very eclectic place now, very tacky, very surreal: a flower show dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the victory in the WWII; pavilions representing the former Soviet republics (including Ukraine), with all kinds of junk sold there (cameras, kitchen aprons, icons, honey) alongside occasional traditional 'ethnic' stuff (Armenian cognac, Kyrgyz felt hats, boots and blankets - and a beautiful silk shalwar kameez that I couldn't resist); totally modern kids rollerskating around this crazy fountain decorated with gilded statues of women dressed in national costumes of the 15 republics... Most buildings are sort of falling apart, or are just somewhat too neglected, or are used in ways other than those they were intended for - and yet they're still capable of making me imagine what it must have been like 20 or 30 years ago, how luxurious it must have looked to the ordinary Soviet citizens and those unsuspecting foreigners. A good Russian term to describe it: pokazukha, illusion of abundance - superabundance - imposed on you pretty aggressively...
"Elite Hats from the USA":