Home » More & Less Hockey » Moscow, Day 1

Moscow, Day 1

After a nap and lots of perfectly legal drugs I feel much better. This is good since everyone needs to feel bright-eyed and bushy tailed at 1am.

Looked over the rosters for tomorrow’s game.  Aside from Jágr, I recognized Brendan Bell, a player that came up on my radar when I was looking into available D-men in the off-season.  He is now on Jágr’s team.  Interesting.  27, numbers not bad, good-sized fellow.  Wonder how he didn’t get picked up by an NHL team in light of this Summer’s shortage.  Oh well, he’s a Siberian now.

Martin Skoula is also a new addition to the Avangard roster.  There are also a few very young players, under 21: Orlov, Pivtsakin and Kalinin.  The team does seem somewhat older than most NHL teams but not by very much.

Everything is crazy convenient close to the flat I am staying in.  Neither rink is more than a metro stop away.  They are even within walking distance.  I may take the metro anyway.  The Moscow metro is known for its beauty.  If a tourist were looking to save cash on tourist sights, the Metro would be worth spending hours in.  Just get off the train at any stop that looks a little interesting and you’ll find loads of pretty things to look at.  But try to keep track of which train you got off of.  You may need to find that track again.

My friend tells me that Dimitri charged a hefty fee for getting these tickets.  I figured that might be the case and I really completely do not mind.  I don’t have money to burn but it was important enough to me that getting the tickets even a little bit early was worth a 70-100% markup.  Dimitri’s help was the difference between “it can’t be done, you don’t need to do that” (which sounds like “no”) and “you have tickets!”  Priceless.  Way.  I even sent Dimitri a gift basket.  What the hell.  The tix were still much cheaper than for a game in the US.

The super cheap little cell phone I got at the airport seems to not even have text capabilities.  Well, it let me try to send a text but it failed.  Either I dialed the number wrong or I’m not allowed to do that.  What-ev.  I have internet access, I don’t need a phone unless I get lost.

A few things make me nervous.  Will I be able to find soft tissue when I run out of the little kleenex packs I have?  When should I try to do laundry?  Like many Muscovites, my host doesn’t have a dryer.  Thus, anything washed will hang out on display for some time.   I wonder if I can make it to St. Petersburg without washing more underwear.  Should I buy nail polish?  My nails sort of need it but… surely Moscow could find a way to save me from that hassle, like “no, you should not buy that nail polish because it is really expensive or bad for you, don’t worry about your finger nails.”  Right.  I’ll probably pick some up next time through the metro.

While everything is very close, this place still requires a lot of walking.  Walking is good exercise.  That’s why you just don’t see as many fat people outside the US as in it.  Walking with a coat is like exercise in the heat, without the ability to sweat properly.  But it isn’t quite coatless weather.  It is cool.  Maybe hiking across the city will be less arduous without the luggage.  Maybe tomorrow won’t be such a breathless sweaty hell-bent on turning my allergy-not-sickness into pneumonia kind of walking.

Also, this computer, being Russian, doesn’t seem to have spell check.  Apologies.  Spell check has undermined my spelling.  Like my car has undermined my fitness.  My friend told me tonight that he lost 20 kilos in 4 weeks this summer.  He’s a big guy so that isn’t crazy death march kind of loss but it is still a lot.  He did it by climbing some mountain every day to get water at the top and carry it back down, in 100 degree weather, while subsisting on fruit.

That would do it alright.   I’m not up for that but I expect I will be somewhat fitter by the time I get to Stockholm.   Barring lung infections.

Okay, I do have to try and sleep now.  I will never make the time zone adjustment if I don’t.   I’m reading The Hanging Tree by Bryan Gruley.    A friend recommended it because it has a lot about hockey in it.  There’s other stuff in it too, like murder and melodrama.  I get a little impatient with that other stuff.  More hockey.  More more more.

But not Pens-Caps HBO reality TV special more.  Ugh. Blech.  Puhleese.  Why????  I’m thinking Bourne must have something to say about this.  Hm.  Not yet.  He does mention that the NY Islanders are likely to appear in some such thing though.  I so much would rather see the Islanders get that gig than the Pens and the Caps.  Enough with the favored children already!


  1. sarah says:

    Yay! You made it! 🙂

    • petshark says:

      I made it and I messed up big right off the bat. I soooo wish the first game had been CSKA. I will get through this. I will not freak out. And hey, you’re right! I did make it. So, whatever got me here, I am grateful… really… I don’t care about missing that game… I don’t I don’t I don’t….

  2. Of course not! (much) You’re there, you made it, and many of us are extremely jealous we’re not in Moscow!

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