I'm back from Moscow! I came home on Saturday night to my weird-smelling apartment, where my lovely boyfriend had left some red, white and blue flowers and an apple pie. Aw. I've been stumbling around and falling asleep way too early, but today I finally managed to sit still for four hours and get all my photos up on flickr. I lugged around a million-pound camera for a REASON, goddammit. You can see the set by clicking the photo above, or see a fancy enormous slideshow here.
Two weeks is just about long enough to see the city, and my fossilized language skills served me better than I expected. My mom and I spent as much time in the homes of friends and family as we did doing touristy things, so I think I got a pretty balanced picture of life there. Russians basically want to feed you and make you fat for the winter. The city is growing fast, perpetually under construction and clogged with cars. It feels like everyone is overcompensating for the time when no one had any stuff at all by getting lots of stuff and waving it around to make sure you can see it. The people and the architecture are both much dressier than in America. There is an intense preoccupation with everything imported. Food is EXPENSIVE. And if it's not expensive it's covered in mayonnaise. Good thing I did so much walking.
Highlights were the Nikulin Circus and the Tretyakov Gallery, because I am a cultured young lady. I had a really good time with my mom. I don't think I've spent this much time with her since I went away to school, and it was really good to spend it as adults rather than as cranky-kid-and-parent. Though there was a tiny bit of that too.
It's hard to sum up a trip that wound up being pretty personal... the photos do a better job. All in all I'm glad I went and I'm glad I'm home. No one can ever make me eat a beet again.