Wow it’s been a long day. After 6 hours in cars and 16 hours on planes, I’m happy to be safe and sound in a little military town an hour away from Moscow where my dad’s cousin lives.
Since I don’t know when I’ll have wifi, it’s likely that I’ll post here whenever I can, maybe only a few days at a time. I’ll probably go back and add pictures once I can upload them.
I wrote this in the car going to Chehov:
“Well… I’m in Russia, going 140 kmph on a one lane highway. Black Keys were just playing on the radio (apparently only American music plays here) and we’ve passed a ridiculous amount of furniture stores.
The weather is beautiful. The air is pristine whenever we get away from the highway, which reeks of gasoline and makes my inner environmentalist sad. Surprisingly, I’m wide awake to see the forests and beautiful open meadows around me. The landscape is jeweled with churches and speckled with towns.
The trip here was crazy. We kept getting delayed and during the flight, I saw three sunsets… or sunrises. Or maybe some combination of both… it was just weird that there were three.
It’s amazing to be back though. My brother (really a very removed but very dear cousin) Lesha is driving us to Chehov and he could honestly be a stunt double for Fast and Furious. I don’t know how we’re not dead yet, especially since it’s perfectly legal here to drive into the opposing lane with breakneck speed to get ahead of the driver in front of you. It’s basically an extreme game of chicken. Anyway, I’m getting pretty carsick trying to write while we’re narrowly avoiding death so… peace.”
Now I’m at my dad’s cousin’s beautiful apartment in Chehov 2 and a precious gray kitten is hunting my hands as I type (pictures of him later). My brother is deathly afraid of the kitten because Timofei chases Maksim around the house. It’s hillarious.
I took a walk earlier to explore the town. I was nervous because without a pass, no one can be here since a lot of military and FSB personel live here. I had a pass, but I was scared I’d do something stupid to get myself kicked out.
Nothing bad happened though. It’s a sunny, warm afternoon. The town is beautiful. It’s very Soviet, with a couple of WWII memorials and a statue of Lenin. Everywhere you look there are men in uniform… definitely not a bad sight. I had a cool little moment with a group of young men outside of the police academy. It was silly, but whatever. Before I left, I got kind of dressed up because I was sick of smelling like airplane. I felt pretty good about myself before leaving the apartment, but then everyone kept staring at me, which made me feel like I was doing something wrong. Still, I kept going, trying not to make eye contact, but I accidentaly glanced at one of the guys before I could walk away. They all broke conversation and looked back at me. I got completely flustered and tried to walk away as quickly as possible, especially when they all started laughing and nudging each other. But then I heard one of them say, “Never seen her before. She’s really pretty.”
I love that there’s a place in the world where guys will say about a girl during bro-talk instead of the crap I usually have heard.
Anyway. I refuse to spend the rest of this lovely day on the computer. Pictures of Russia, the kitten, and the town are upcoming. Miss you all.
From Russia, with love.