An old professor once termed it, “Hitting the Russia Wall”. And she said it happened about three weeks into your trip/stint, and I thought that we had hit it last week. When I dreamt about a Whataburger. Extra pickles, no onions.
Last night, I hit it. Hard. And I’m still slammed up against it. Daddy, the apartment, the kitchen, the no washer, EVERYTHING. I feel (because I should be keeping things real, right?) like I can do one OR the other, but not both. Daddy or Russia. I feel trapped, and like I can’t escape. I’ll spare you the hysterics because at some point, probably after my blood pressure leaves what I’m sure is totally euphemistically called, “The Stroke Zone”, they will be inconsequential, and I’m sure after my good humor resumes, and with the help of adequate hydration, I’ll be able to laugh about this. SOMEDAY.
Today, I’m stuck 6,000 miles away from my people, in a place where I do not speak the language, and I am frankly miserable. I love this place. I want to love this place. This place is maddening. In ways that the Ugly American Sochi Reporters can NEVER understand unless they want to try. Just like any country. There are things that are different. There are things that are great. There are things that are baffling. There are things that are better than America, there are things that I just. Do. Not. Get. There are things that I would do differently. Ergo, life here? A LOT LIKE LIFE IN ANY OTHER PLACE. (On the other hand, it’s snowing BIG FAT SNOWFLAKES outside my office window right now. It is gorgeous. And the distant grind of the snowplow lets me know that this place? They understand winter and the city isn’t about to shut down over some snow. Russia, FTW, there!) (Silver linings.)
So let’s finish our little tour of Red Square and then I’m going to make a list of the things in Texas that right now I would chew through my own leg if caught in a trap to get to. Because writing about them is the only thing I can do.
And I forget which Kremlin gate this is. But I’ve always liked it and will take more pics of it, so get used to it. Bishop’s Gate? I forget and my little book is back at the apartment.
The (newer) Kremlin wall, and you can see some of the leaders that are buried there. (There is an older Kremlin wall that I didn’t get over to photograph. I’ll do that later-it’s REEEEAALLLLLY old. Compared to my “I like this Starbuck’s better than that Starbuck’s because it’s newer” suburban-mindset, it’s like, GEOLOGICALLY old.)
And ever since the “Titanic” movie, I avoid going TOWARD things I know are only going to make me sad, so you’ll hopefully understand why I passed on this particular gastronomic delight.
I’m BEYOND EXCITED that this place is open again! It was closed last time I was here for renovations, and seriously, I cannot wait. (I would have taken a better pic, but there were a bunch of important-looking military types marching up and down the square–Monty Python reference–in front of the Bolshoi when I took this, and as I’m not fully fluent in my Russian Military Barking, and they had both guns and knives, I practiced an avoidance strategy here.)
Okay, so on to the “I Miss It” portion of the post:
(And, obviously, my people and my boys are at the top of the list, and if pushed into it, that free cat. But this is a selfish, whiny, first-world list, so NONE OF THAT FUZZY STUFF HERE.)
1. Iced tea.
2. Water, in addition to your beverage du choix. In a big glass. With ice. For free.
3. Whataburger. (see above)
4. Taco Bueno. (A bean burrito and a beef nacho salad with a Diet Dr. Pepper.)
5. Hines, I’ll even take a Taco Bell if I can’t get my way on the Taco Bueno.
6. Mattito’s beef chile relleno with red sauce and extra raisins.
7. Brisket. Of the Pioneer Woman (with my modifications) or the barbecue variety.
8. Breadwinner’s Queen of Hearts Salad.
9. Babe’s chicken dinner.
10. Northpark. Sweet, sweet Northpark.
11. Target. Where they sell All of The Things, ONE STOP SHOPPING.
12. Ranch salad dressing.
13. (I’m ashamed even before I write this…) Kilroy’s on Kirkwood’s pizza breadsticks. With nacho cheese dipping sauce. What day was it that they were on special so they were, in fact, cheaper than beer? (And yes, this is an Indiana thing not a Texas thing, blah blah blah, but it’s my list and I make the rules.)
Okay, that’s enough of the self-pity and whining. Thank you for listening to the story of How The Ugly American Hit The Russia Wall.
Let’s hope tomorrow nets you something more entertaining to read! It will be a better day, I just know it.