Tuesday, September 06, 2005


August in Moscow

Autumn arrived promptly in the middle of the month. One thing you can say about summertime in Moscow, it is mild. Inna and I leave for Uralsk, Kazakhstan tonight for her best friend Feta's wedding. Before we go here is a short roundup of goings on over this past month.

The month began with the 22nd birthday party of Genya. She and her husband Mikhail are good friends who live in Moscow and are originally from Uralsk. The first picture is Genya and Inna in Genya's apartment. The second picture is Mikhail and Inna watching over Kalbasa (SP?) during Genya's birthday picnic along a man-made lake in Moscow.

On August 11th, a little after 3 a.m. there was a loud boom outside our window waking up both of us. Normally I would assume this was just someone lighting fireworks. A not uncommon occurrence. However, this time my wife noticed flames so we got up and saw a Toyota Rav 4 burning about 30 feet from our window. We watched from a safe distance as the car burned. The fire department showed up fifteen minutes later and put the car out before its gastank exploded. My wife thinks it was deliberate and that jealousy was the motivation. She heard the owner of the car show up at about four in the morning crying over the loss of her car. As you may discern, my wife does not have a very high opinion of the motives of her fellow Russians.

The next weekend I got a call from a friend who I hadn't seen in many months, Kyle. I meet Kyle in Moscow, he had a business here renting apartments to American businessmen. The city of Moscow stupidly decided to tear down a number of large hotels without replacing them so the city has a chronic shortage of hotel space. Kyle lived in California and travelled to Moscow on occasion, he had a girl named Sveta running this side of the business and he handled booking and schedules. Kyle's wife decided she wanted a divorce so he sold his business and moved back to California but his wife wanted him to go through a lot of counselling. Being from Texas, Kyle did not put much stock in navel gazing so he went through with the divorce. As you can see from this picture he is doing ok. That is Anna, his 19 year old girlfriend. My wife said she felt old at 22. I assured her I am not going to trade her in any time soon. Oh yeah, Kyle is 56. ;-)

The following week our friends Travis and Uliya asked us to meet them at Doug and Marty's Boarhouse. A favorite expat hangout in Moscow. It was Thursday night so it wasn't extremely crowded. Travis spent his time between the roulette wheel and the blackjack table. I lost $100 playing blackjack and sat with my wife and Uliya between their trips to the dance floor.

The last picture is a cow. Anyone from Chicago might recognize this cow from a few summers ago when cows sprouted up all over Chicago each painted with different artwork. I am fairly certain that is the same style of cow that was in Chicago. Can anyone confirm?

I am off to Kazahkstan and I promise plenty of pictures of the wedding. We will be back the 24th or 25th of September. Happy 1st blogoversary!


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