|To make a long, gruesome story short - eating food off of the train platforms does have a down side. (ie. being ill on the ever so packed Moscow Metro, and then being convinced that I'm cured, only to have to dash behind a display at the Armoury in the Kremlin.) So I missed out on the beauty of the Faberge Eggs and the impressive designs of the Annunciation Cathedral. It seems to me that I got what I deserved, but I am certain that I have not yet learned the lessons of experimenting with food. Deana, however, had a good look at the Kremlin......
----Yesterday we slowly wandered through the Izmaylovo market (massive outdoor market) and then we moved to Arbat Street made famous by Okudzhava, a free thinking poet in the 1960's. It was a bit of a gloomy day but we were able to have a wander through Gorky Park between spitting showers. We are certain that the park was a highlight in its day; it looked like a well worn sweater, a bit ragged and frayed.
----Speaking of ragged, frayed well worn sweaters, today we visited Lenin, entombed in parafin wax into perpetuity. It is sad that he wanted to be buried next to his mother in St. Petersburg,, but Stalin decided Lenin and his genius needed to be put on display; his body is in Red Square in Moscow and his brain has traveled and been disected at various locals over the last forty years. Every few days the people wipe down the blotches and every eighteen months they do another full body dip. I suppose this is the price of genius. Please place my genius in Elk Point and Deana wants to donate her genius entirely.
----Tonight we will set off on the last leg of our train journey to St. Petersburg. The trip is a mere seven or eight hours. After more than a hundred hours on the great Trans Mongolian/Siberian Express these last bit seems so brief. We have really enjoyed the train travel a great deal - train bathrooms, not so much!
Being in Russia has made me think a great deal about how language is translated and how many of the Russian masters of the likes of Dostoevsky, Chekov and Tolstoy have all found their way so beautifully into the English language. But the flipside of these beautiful translations would be some of these translation gems we have encountered:
On a menu in a train dining car - "Language with horse-radish" (we reasoned this meant beef tongue with horse-radish). "Hunchback salmon" (we never understoon this one). We liked the sounds of the "vegetable bouquet" but never had a vase to put it in. The message within a package of linens received on the train - "No clawing sheets" (conjures a wild image of what four people stacked up in a cabin can get up to). These are just a few foibled bits of English that I can remember off the top of my head, but there have been many. Perhaps there is a reason North Americans generally do not go to the effort of translating our English, French or Spanish into all the languages of the world. What a mess we would also create.
----Thank you for all the messages we have received. We will start doing a better job of responding when we can. Thinking of you all.
ty & D