Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Just go

This runs parallel to things like "If not now, when?" and the ever popular "YOLO."  This has also (to an extent) been my philosophy of late.  I will elaborate momentarily.

So, 4ish day weekend. 4ISH because I had to go to an EF at Ploshad Preobrazhenskaya on Friday to observe a Life was cold and dark and the school was a little hard to find so I had to call Sarah, who also didn't know where it was, but I eventually found it and everything went fine.  Also the people there were super cool, which made the journey worth it.  After the Life Club, I trekked to meet Masha, Ulianna, and Nicole for our slumber party, at which we did super girly things like drink mulled wine, bake cookies, and watch The Holiday.  All done in pjs.  Ulianna and I followed this up the next day by baking potatoes and watching Harry Potter 3 at my place while Chien had to work (muahaha).

I began my "Just go!"-ing that night by heading to the bar for English Social Club with my friends and ending up at a club until the next morning when the metro have to experience this at least once while in a big Russian city, in my opinion.  And it was harmless as I had both Sunday and Monday to catch up on sleep.  But I had caught up on so much sleep Sunday that I felt lazy and useless on Monday and decided to take a field trip (in the -20C weather). The challenging bit in this decision (besides convincing myself to brave the cold) was where to go because museums are closed on Mondays.  I originally planned to head to Gorky Park and walk around until I got too cold and needed to duck into a cafe, but none of this happened.  Instead, I decided to carpe diem and exit from the other side of the Park Kultury metro station to walk around looking at lights and buildings until I found myself at a women's monastery tucked away in an alley.  After warming up in the basement icon shop (and buying something so as not to be a total loiterer), I ventured into the church and found myself in a line, because I am a sheep.  Luckily the line was long enough for me to figure out what was happening and what was expected of me: bow before icon, get fragrant oil painted in cross on forehead by priest, cross yourself.  There was also supposed to be a kissing of the hand, but I missed that detail and stood awkwardly before the priest who looked at me strangely and expectantly but didn't miss a beat in his chant.  Then I wandered toward the back of the church to look at all of the icons dripping in gold and sit to think/reflect for about an hour before finally heading back home feeling rather satisfied.

One thing I thought about was how churches make me feel simultaneously comfortable and uncomfortable.  Comfortable because churches are calm, quiet, welcoming, and smell nice (there's also a good 10 years of Catholic school in there, so church is basically home).  Uncomfortable because I know nothing about Orthodox traditions and am constantly afraid of offending someone and being asked to leave (didn't help that the security guard was intently watching me.  I was probably doing something wrong, but he yelled at someone else instead so I assume everything was ok).  Another thing was that I am genuinely curious as to why everything is dripping in gold and silver.  I'm not opposed to it; I'm not saying that it shouldn't be there or that it should be gotten rid of. I just wonder who came up with the idea and why.  Sure there's the standard complaint of "Why don't you give that money to the poor HMMM?" But there's also "Why do these inanimate objects need gold? Does it please them? Are they aware of their wealth?" And the also standard "Jesus preached the divestment of material wealth, this sort of runs opposite of those teachings." If anyone has any sort of thoughts on the matter, I'd love to hear them. 

This post is already too long, but there are more exciting details: we've finally moved to our new school! It's mostly set up, all of our things have been located and unpacked, and it is adorable.  Adorable is also an appropriate word because it is smaller, but it's also next to a Starbucks so I think we'll overlook the size.  And the fact that the door is down a somewhat sketchy alley near the dumpsters and the entrance has "No Entrance" written on it.  And the fact that we have no water in the kitchen, no hot water in the bathroom, and no idea why the heating system makes some rooms hot and others cold.  Oh, Russia.

Last thing before I finish: shout out to my parents for loving me and sending not one but TWO care packages! I now have enough vitamins for my entire life, some warm things, candy (which was opened either by my mom before shipping or the postal workers in Russia...both are entirely possible. Hi, Mom), peanut butter, 5 boxes of mac&cheese (which comes in Ice Age and Phineas&Ferb shapes now? I love you so much, America. Don't stop what you're doing), CHRISTMAS PRESENTS (one of which I accidentally opened and the rest of which were hidden by Chien to prevent future such occurrences) and a few other things. I'm starting to worry about how I'll get this all back to America, so I guess I'll just have to stay in Moscow for a very long time! With visits in between, of course :) Kisses and hugs, everyone! 


  1. you actually have one more pkg coming to you. I didn' touch any candy. Stathis sent that

  2. I think it's a little ridiculous what you have to go thru just to post a comment