Thursday, February 14, 2013

From Russia with Love: The V-Day Special

Love and Russia. Put those two words in close proximity and I immediately get a bit wary. The complexity of life (and language!) here have made the past 5 and a half months quite a rollercoaster. Do I love Russia? Yes. Is our relationship status "It's Complicated"? YES!

Today it came to me that it might be a bit like a sibling relationship. Your job is to tease them, "snake" them, blow spit bubbles in the face, dunk them repeatedly while swimming in the lake, put food that you don't want on their plate (even if it's already been chewed), give their suitors grief, and basically complicate their life as much as possible. Or maybe this is just my life calling...

But should someone else hurt them, make fun, or give them too much of a hard time? Sister's not going to stand for it. And suddenly it's all love and loyalty. (Although those attributes are generally present in "snaking" and spit bubbles as well. Just less evident.)

RUSSIA: I complain, make fun, and try and give difficulty back when it's been handed out to me. And it gives me a pretty thorough sibling treatment in return. But at the end of the day, it's somehow a part of me now. And I'll love it forever, flaws and all.

Valentine's Day Eve was as Russian it gets:

For 3 weeks, my Russian sister and I have been trying to meet up to go to an ice-sculpture exhibit which she purchased tickets for, courtesy of Groupon. (Note: Groupon in Russia does NOT mean the same things as Groupon in the US. Consider yourselves warned.) Tonight was the night it FINALLY worked out. We met at the metro, where I was greeted with a "rose"=CHOCOLATES. Is there a better combination of two fabulous things?! LOVE.

We made our way to the exhibit, only to see all the lights out and a "CLOSED" sign on the door. A closer look confirmed that, according to their "hours", they were open until 9. It was just after 7. Another sign on the door said they'd taken a 5-minute break and would be back shortly.

We opted for a walk around the neighboring scenery while waiting, which included the Cathedral of Christ our Savior and a bridge with some stunning Moscow views. And standing on the bridge in a relatively-biting cold, Moscow took my breath away. LOVE.

And as we headed back to the exhibit, we passed by a man peeing in the middle of our populated, non-discrete path. A little extra bit of Moscow scenery that didn't quite have the same effect as the earlier views. And upon our return, it became evident that the only accurate signage on the exhibit door was the "CLOSED."

Luckily, love for Moscow won out this evening, appropriately given the day. You see, this city has gifted me with some amazing people and relationships and, even on the lowest of days, they manage to help me find the laughter and love in any given situation.



  1. Wow! Those pictures of Moscow are just breathtaking. Bummer about the exhibit though!

  2. The pictures of Moscow lit up are just beautiful!

  3. What a night! I love reading this post :) The night scenery and landscape look romantic. Groupon in Russia might be the same as Groupon in Dubai :)

  4. Awww, such lovely pictures!! Especially the night snap of the city makes me want to book a flight and come over there immediately!!

    Yes, it is nice if the sun occasionally comes out to play over here.. Not quite often at the moment but she does once in a while :)

    It is also the first Lent for me and I am curious how it goes! Uh, and carbs are a difficult one -- I constantly try to limit my carb intake, since it seems it has much more effect on my weight than anything else, ha ha.

    From Germany with Love,


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