Currently Browsing: Москва

The Kremlin – Goodbye Russia – December 19

My last day in Mother Russia. The last Russian morning I would see; the last egg sandwich I would eat fried on a Russian stove; the last time I would wake up with a small back ache from my Russian bed. Today was Kremlin time. I hoped it wasn’t randomly closed, a common occurrence with things in Russia. Grabbing my iPod for the metro ride, I plugged in my earphones and enjoyed the ride. Peter Luts’s “What A Feeling” began bumping through my monitors, and what a feeling indeed: a beautiful day and I was about to go see the Moscow Kremlin. I like to save the best for last; although, this “putting-off” could have been caused by the mentality of how when a person lives in a place for a long time, they sometimes forget to visit the wonders nearby and instead travel far away to see others as there’s always later. But today there’s not later. I’ve included the track “What A Feeling” here because it is a great song and it’s pretty much how I felt after my finals ended and how I felt riding the metro to the Kremlin. I’ll map it out for you: 1:00 – preview of the melodic riff. This is where I try to grab the riff with my mind like a rope and let the riff control my consciousness. (You have until 2:28). This is Phase 1. 2:28 – Floating Melody no drums, multiphonic singing creating harmonies. I call it Phase 2. 3:43 – When everything plays at once. Love the riff phasing in and out, hypnotic. Phase 3. 4:28 – A break before the final return. 4:58 – Phase 3 modified. Little change in riff. 5:42 – Beginning of the fadeout, chillax time. Kind of like the cooldown after a workout (cooldown phase). But one can’t jump to these...

Russian Winter – December 14-18 (My last week)

Finally, the Russian winter I had been waiting for all semester. Thank you Russia for at least letting me preview your winter my last week in your hospitality. And it came with blue skies all week; how nice. It was almost as if Russia was saying, “stay through January. It won’t be that bad. Blue skies and a warm sun never hurt anyone.” I went for a run Monday and bundled up a little extra this time. The changes: 2 pairs of gloves; leg warmers underneath tights, arm warmers underneath underarmor. No face covers, my beard covers it. I did intervals today and although I did not notice any respiratory difference in terms of pain when breathing, my intervals were noticeably longer. Instead of being around 45 seconds, they were closer to 60 seconds. But it could have been that I was just stiff. Then I went searching for my dad’s Christmas gift. This week is pretty much about me searching for his gift everyday. But it’s cool, it brought some good photos of Russia that I normally would not have seen, except for this one: I took the metro all the way to Sokolniki station and got off at the bike market. There were supposed to be a lot of cycling shops here. And there were; I just didn’t discover more than two until my second day back on Thursday. But there was a cool looking church across the road: And in between the church and market area: But alas, I could not find what I was looking for, so I went to another metro station which supposedly had a bike store nearby. Once there, I got lost and could not find the bike store. But I felt like a normal Russian commuter walking with all the peoples down the icy sidewalks getting colder and colder. Eventually, I...

Nutcracker & Tsaritsino Park – December 12 & 13

The morning John and I arrived back in Moscow it snowed. And it snowed. This time it didn’t go away; it stuck, finally. It was getting colder. I kept looking at the next week’s forecast as the weather was supposed to drop even more. This is good as I was thinking about asking for a refund if the weather didn’t change. I come all the way to Moscow for a Russian winter and I get a California one?! But it was beginning to change… My first three finals went well this week and I was able to cancel my Algebra final with the three cancellation problems. Whenever I get around to typing them up I’ll put them on here. The proofs are pretty sweet. I must give credit to those who helped though: Lenny & Adeel (the other students in the class with me who also needed the solutions), Connor, Dan, and one of Adeel’s mysterious friends on a forum he frequents. Anyway, Saturday morning we went and saw the noon showing of the Nutcracker: It was wonderful. I loved every minute of it. The music was very entertaining and the storyline was childish enough for me to appreciate it. Most of the dancing was not as flashy as Swan Lake; nevertheless, I liked this ballet more. And when the dancing did get impressive, it got super impressive. Take this move the male from the yellow doll couple: first watch this video (it will help me describe it). In the beginning of the video the dude does a 540, and his upper body goes kind of horizontal. Starting at 20 seconds he continuously does leaps in a circle. In the Nutcracker, the yellow doll did those continuous leaps in a circle around his partner, but with the height of the guy’s 540’s and with his body more horizontal than...

Lenin & Soup November 28 & 29

Back in Moscow, for the weekend at least. We kept this weekend pretty low-key as we attempted to get caught up in our school work. I still managed to get out a bit during the weekend to see and do a few things. On Saturday, Jordan, John, and I went to try and see Lenin’s body in his tomb at Red Square. We were approaching the end of the line when the guard walked up and closed it off: “absolutely no more people.” Aghh. We decided to walk through Red Square (since it was open, a rarity) and ended up walking the perimeter of the Kremlin. So I did get to do something new! And I saw the back-side of the Kremlin, or at least a side that not many people look at. Then, as John needed to get to class, we headed back home. I remembered that I haven’t taken many photos of the dormitory area so here’s another: The next morning John and I tried again to see Lenin’s body before heading to the souvenir market again. This time, we got there a bit earlier and so were successful in entering the line. After a short wait, we were led to the tomb and got to walk past the other graves of other Russian leaders, from the 1800s onwards. Finally, we entered Lenin’s tomb and walked down the stairs, a guard standing at each corner. We turned right and saw his body, on top of a rectangular box with a rectangular glass case on top of him. Felt shrouded him on the outside of the case and he wore a suit with a tie just for us. The rumors were true: he had a definite pink hue to him. Other than his nose and ears seeming ridiculously small, he looked pretty real. Apparently they take his body...

Red Square & Rachmaninoff Nov. 11-14

This week began with a boom. Literally. Apparently on Monday, Dian was sitting in class and heard ‘gunshots.’ At the end of the day, he and the rest of the students who had class were walking home and noticed this car on fire, or what was left of it, sitting on the side of the road: So as of today (Nov 21) this car is still there, but with a cover over it. We have no idea what happened but it’s somewhat interesting. On Saturday, Tanya & I decided to go see the Diamond Fund and so after my morning run we headed out. As we were exiting the student hostel area, we got caught in the middle of a camera crew setting up there equipment to film a scene: But we eventually made it to the center, and inside the Kremlin walls. This is all we got to see of the Kremlin. And since our tickets were for 2pm we decided to walk around Red Square and the outside walls to kill the time before our Diamond Fund time. Since we had more time, we dropped into St. Basil’s to check it out. There are about 9 separate towers/rooms of worship. So two Friday’s ago, while we were chillin’ at the IUM, and Lenny was thinking about selling his Oakley gloves to me because they were too big for him, Adeel leaned over and said, “Yeah, Caleb that would be a good idea. Oakley is like Oakland & Berkeley put together so it would be perfect for you.” I had never thought of that before. But it turns out Oakley isn’t from the Bay Area so it would have been a bad idea. Plus, I wear Smith, because… It was now time for our Diamond Fund appointment so we headed back over to the inner Kremlin area. The...

Slow Week, Snow Run Nov. 4-7

The week started out normally, with us trying to finish our homework the day before each class. The Russians got a holiday on the 4th; unfortunately, we didn’t. But it made for an interesting morning commute to school. The entire city was silent. At first I didn’t notice a difference (maybe that’s how much I zone out every day to and from class), but then when I could see all the way down a street without cars blocking my way, I finally saw. I just realized I haven’t shown you our university yet. Here it is, all in one building. All of its glamor. To be exact, our classrooms are on the third floor toward the right. Only one window can be seen: on the right of the three birch trees. We use three classrooms. Two on this side of the building, one on the rear. The workload steadily increases and we try to deal with it: On Friday, right after lunch, I headed over to the Higher School of Econ to practice piano like I usually do. Then I was to head back to the IUM to have consultation with my algebra professor (office hours). I stepped outside and Moscow was covered in 4 inches of snow. And it was dumping more. Amazing. I put my earphones in and walked to IUM. Here are some photos of us walking home after our consultation through Little Arbat and to the Metro. Luckily, the snow stayed until after Saturday morning so I was able to go on a real snow run. I brought my camera this time and took some shots of my run to share. Great scenery on my long Saturday runs. The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful as we stayed indoors and did homework. So no more for...

« Older Entries