Russia- Day 10

April 13, 2010

We traveled back to Moscow today with Alex, landing around 9:30am.  After arriving back at the hotel, we took a nap until 1:00pm and headed out to check out the local market places.  These places are absolutely fascinating to me.  If you really want a glimpse into how Russians live, check out these places.  This particular market place that we visited was laid out in rows of small, prefabricated metal buildings.  In one, there were fresh nuts and spices; in another there was fresh baked bread.  One had dried fish of every shape and size while one had fresh meats and cheeses.  When I say the meat was fresh….there was an entire freshly skinned pig on the top of the counter.

Before leaving, we hit the candy and chocolate building.  Wow…the Russians like their chocolate.  There was always someone coming in or leaving this small store.   We bought a LOT of chocolate for family and friends and made the shopkeeper very happy indeed.

From there we went to a local mall and finally found some cool soccer (football) jerseys for the Russian National team.  Mr. Parsons is gonna be pumped!  The malls are laid out similar to ours but with a minimum of three to four levels.  We wandered around checking out the local sites until early evening and went back to the apartment to relax and get ready for our massive travel day back to the States on Tuesday.  My cold has gotten a lot worse and I plan to hit the rack early.

We have a 7:00 a.m. wake-up call.  We need to leave the apartment by 8:00 a.m.  in order to arrive at the airport by 10:00 a.m. Our flight leaves at noon and I must say that I am looking forward to my arriving back in the United States.  It has been a wonderful trip, full of experiences that we will not soon forget, but it really makes you appreciate your homeland.

For our family, Russia has earned a playful nickname.  “The Land of Nyet” (no).  Everywhere you go you are being told, “no, you can’t do that”, “no, you can’t take that photo”, “no, you can’t stand there”.  I mean no disrespect; it’s just very different and hard to comprehend the limitations that are placed on daily life.  The one thing I have missed most is being able to look someone in the eyes, smile and say hello.

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