We finally got to spend the “weekend” in Moscow. When I say “weekend” I mean the break between terms, which is only one full day. But nonetheless, it was a much-needed and well-spent break.
We took the bus back to Moscow on Friday with the campers. We sat in traffic, until finally our bus made a U-turn from the far right lane. As if that wasn’t strange enough, I looked out the window to see the doctor running across the car-filled street to catch up to the busses. Apparently he had gotten out to smoke.
Ksusha let us stay in her grandmother’s apartment because she is currently at her dacha for the summer. It was a comfortable one bedroom flat, much like the one that I stayed at in Petersburg, but with a great view over the city.
When finally got our fill of fast food eating all the delicacies: McDonald’s, pizza, KFC and even a little bit of frozen yogurt (despite the fact that it was 50 degrees).
Friday we settled in, and then walked around Moscow. We got to meet Ksusha’s family and see her apartment. I think it’s bigger than my house. We walked from the apartment, down Arbat Street, to the Savior’s Church, then on to Red Square. I was in Moscow in March last year, but it’s amazing how different everything looks when there are flowers everywhere instead of snow.
While on Red Square we saw a group of people dancing, but they were disrupted by police officers. Gatherings of more than 10 people are forbidden.
For dinner we ate at Ksusha’s father’s restaurant Il Patio. It’s an Italian and Japanese restaurant, and the food was delicious. We had pizza with shrimp on it, and (almost) real spaghetti.
Saturday we woke up at 8 a.m. to people setting off fireworks outside our window, and the sounds of the police breaking up whatever party that was still going on from the night before. Kshusha’s father drove us around Moscow in his car. We went to the Smolenskiy Monastery, where Peter the Great banished his sister Empress Sofia in the 1700’s when she tried to usurp power.
After that her dad showed us where he used to work. He was a member of the Communist Party, and said that to this day he still has his party ticket.
Most of the day was spent walking around Moscow in the rain. We went Bylgalkov’s House (writer of Master and Marguerite) and walked through the park where everything in the book took place. By then it started to rain pretty heavily, so we went to the movies and saw the new X Men movie. I’m pretty proud of myself for understanding almost everything! The scientific language went over my head, but I understood mostly everything else.
Today was my first day as an instructor. We met everyone at the busses at 9 a.m., and arrived back at camp by noon. Most of the afternoon was spent getting to know the kids, dividing them into teams, and coming up with team names.
My team decided to call themselves the Dragon Trainers: Training Dragons and Conquering the World. Civilization is based off the computer game. Tomorrow we start with the Ancient Era.
I have a pretty good group, they are a little reluctant to speak English around me, but I’m hoping that will change once they get more comfortable with me.