Yesterday, before my little calamity, I bought these slippers. The woman who sold them to me swore that they are best worn barefoot, that the camel hair soles will soothe the tired foot. I have tired feet today. I am testing them.
Also, they are from Kazakhstan which is cool. Also cool, Kazakhstan seems to be doing pretty well in comparison to its neighbors, economically, at least according to my friend. That is good, I want Kazakhstan to do well. Also I wish I could remember how to spell Kazakhstan without looking it up. So far the slippers are very pleasant.
I am so not over missing Friday’s game yet. But I did take this photo of the pedestrian overpass crossing Leningrad Prospect, that wicked wide thoroughfare that lies between the metro stations and CSKA’s arena. I really meant to take a photo of the arena itself with the reassuring little CSKA emblem on the front, but I was so excited to find it that I forgot.
I managed to ask the men at the gate “hockey?” pointing to the building. I made a useless vague gesture of time passing and asked “tomorrow?” They nodded, said “da.” I repeated, “hockey” and pointed again. They nodded and started to look a little suspicious.
So that is progress. I walked back to the overpass. Once inside the overpass, I realized I should have shown the men at the gate the calendar on my cell phone, indicating Monday. That would have been better than a stupid vague hand gesture to indicate some future time. I resisted the impulse to go back and do that. The KHL schedule may have, at some time, been inaccurate about the location of one game but they were not wrong about the date.
So, I did fall down in the research department. But I have evidence that the Moscow hockey team named “Dynamo” (Friday’s adversary for Jagr’s team) should in fact be playing near that location and not in some far-flung southern edge of the city so very distant from me.
I’m not going to talk at length about that evidence. It is over, a bygone. Sure, I picked the brains of some American expats over breakfast this morning. They told me that 1) Transaero uses Boeings, which makes it the best of the local arlines and 2) one of them had spent quite some time in Siberia. Not Omsk, but Siberia. I can’t remember if he said it was a must see or not. Just that he had been there in the early 90s, teaching English and learning Russian. There’s some super duper science school out there too. Or somewhere near there.
They could not decide what the time difference is between Moscow and Omsk. It is either 3 hours or 6 hours. Seemed strange to me that the guesses were so widely different. I wonder if the KHL takes that into consideration. Apparently anybody who is anybody in Russia goes by Moscow time, so that isn’t such a strange question as it seems.
My friend also took me on a tour of Red Square. I know I said I would not do that before I found CSKA ice but it seems important to not piss off the person who is housing you.
After the 5 hour walking tour on pavement, I was footsore. We started the day off going to have breakfast with his boss, which made me want to wear nice shoes. He did not mention we would go right from there to the walking tour that nevers ends. It was cool, until the feet started hurting. I finally got to go inside St. Basil’s and I got inside the Kremlin grounds, where I found lots and lots of churches. That struck me as pretty damn funny.
Saw lots of begonias, a flower that reminds me of childhood. Saw these cool two-tone crows they have out here. Also saw these weird fruits that look like cherries but smell like apples and instead of a pit have tiny little apple-like seeds inside. I suspect the Kremlin cherry trees have been interfered with by the Kremlin apple trees.
When we did get home and I was able to change shoes and head out again, it was later than I would have liked but I did find the rink, tucked behind a Mercedes building, with a street address that made no sense at all… but I found it. I found it. And I found a much better way to get over Leningrad Prospect than crawling under it.
In the park near the rink I saw petunias. Purple and pink ones. Among my favorites. Petunias not only remind me of childhood but their wide open bold faces have a strange and seductive effect on me. They seem to be thriving in the heat that arrived here with me.
It was 75 degrees today. I guess Russia likes me, gives me flowers and turns up the heat since it knows I hate the cold. I sort of hope Sweden doesn’t like me so much. There could be problems with sea levels rising or something.
An aside, Leighton and the new Finns are all in a muddle. Leighton is more hurt than muddled but not a-okay. What the… can’t I leave for a few days? Sheesh. This sort of thing is enough to make anyone superstitious about going away.