Two random notes on Moscow.
I'm talking cars with Marta, the way we always do on our way to the park - "What's the name of this car? And this one? And that?" I'm supposed to look at each car we pass and respond to her. She's got my driver's gene.
A young man and two older women walk by, engaged in a lively discussion of something very trivial. They look totally inconspicuous - except that they are chatting in Ukrainian. But I'm still fresh out of Kyiv, so I don't pay attention at first, and by the time I recall that I'm actually in Moscow, they are already far ahead of us.
At the playground, I talk with a young Russian woman whose son is Marta's age. We discuss our kids' eating and sleeping habits, and then I mention Turkey, and she says she kind of hated it there - because of the way Turks treat Russians, and because of poverty. But poverty there is so different from our poverty, I tell her: it's a drunken kind of poverty here, while there... But she interrupts me, somewhat angrily: "Yes, and over there it's a hungry kind of poverty."
To my comment about the way they park on Khreshchatyk now, she says: "Well, with a president like this, it's not surprising."
As we say good-bye to each other, it turns out her name is Veronica. But everyone calls her Vika - which I, honestly, consider extremely unkosher.