Thursday, December 28, 2006

Attempted to go buy some food at the market by Universitet subway station, but got impatient waiting for the trolley, crossed the street and went the other way, to the center.

I'm so happy we've moved. I used to love Moscow's center, and I still do, but to live there with Marta would've been a nightmare. Kyiv, no matter how much it's changed for the worse in the past year, still feels like a cosy village compared to Moscow's center.

But walking there on my own, without the stroller, I felt that the city was still its usual self: crazy, dirty, noisy - and energizing in a way that Kyiv is not.

It feels good to be back, though I know this nice feeling won't last long.

Also, there's a new dimension to the fear of getting stuck in a traffic jam now: the image of Marta, hungry and furious back home, and poor Mishah not knowing what to do with her. Like most of them, this fear is irrational - because Marta and Mishah are getting along wonderfully, and there isn't much to worry about here.


Trolley drivers, both males and females, are dressed as Santa Clauses now. One was smoking a cigarette as he drove.


At Ostozhenka, some inner devil pushed me inside an organic food store. I had no idea it was a fancy-schmancy, expensive place, but once I was there, I couldn't resist buying something: a box of Duchy Originals Orange Biscuits and a tiny glass can of Masala Chai spices.

Cost me slightly more than $20 (around 600 rubles) - outrageous.

But here's the funny part: before accepting my 1,000-ruble bill (approximately $35), the cashier girl asked me if I had some smaller denomination bills.

She basically demanded it: "Pomel'che ne budet?"

It really cracked me up.

They usually order you around like this at shitty stores - that they have no change is your problem, not theirs, and if you end up leaving without buying what you had to buy because they couldn't give you the change, it's your problem and the store's owners' problem, but not theirs, either. And you expect it at shitty stores and try to give them the exact change whenever possible.

But a place with a guard, a restaurant downstairs, a Japanese-looking saleswoman and exorbitant prices... Eventually, she did find the change for me, though.

Moscow can be so amusing.


  1. Don't these crazy Cykas drive you nuts,the way they think that they are doing you a favor by waiting on you ?
    I told a moscovite one time, lady it is my job to buy and your job to sell and collect money. I am doing my job, will you please do yours.

  2. You can take the cashier out of a shitty store but you can't take the shitty store out of the cashier. Customer service lags way behind renovating a store and stocking the shelves. Ah, Management. Thanks for the laugh and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! TO EVERYONE!!!!