SATURDAY APRIL 15, 1995 11:00 PM -- after yesterday's forced march across moscow and the countryside, we spent the day doing a number of more "normal" things. rob and I went for about 2.5 mile run in the morning.
we then went to several places shopping. the first stop was a conventional group of stores including a clothing store that would have been in place In most malls in the united states.
the second stop was a large regional market with a number of vendors in stalls both inside and outside. there was a good array of meat, fish, produce and flowers plus miscellaneous sundrys. this type of market is called 'rinok.' barb bought a number of items to use in the kid's easter baskets.
we made a stop near the kermlin for dog food. the next stop was a french supermarket. one of the things about stores here is that it is difficult to tell where the stores are because they typically do not have displays in the windows and are not very well marked from the outside. as a result, you on walk right up to something and never know that there is a big store inside. the fact that the language and the alphabet are so different makes it extremely difficult to tell what you are looking at. I now have some appreciation for why rob was strongly suggesting not trying to come into the country without some one to meet you. it is just to hard to read the signs. the french supermarket was kind of a trip because although it was well stocked, none of the brands were familiar.
back at their apartment they colored easter eggs using the kits that sharon and I had picked out for me to bring. after we had a quick dinner, the nanny came to take care of the kids and we left for the ballet.
we took a bus to the nearest "metro" which is the russia subway system. their system seems to work pretty well and seems to compare favorably to the other big cities such as London or Chicago.
the bolshoi ballet house is very near red square. the building was pretty neat. the theatre was built in 1825 and is pretty strange inside. the floor In front of the stage probably seats 1,000 people. the upper levels are arranged in a horse shoe shape around the floor with the walls straight up and down. there were seven levels (decks). we were in the second level pretty much dead center in the back. the level we were in had only three rows, while it looked like the seventh level had only one row.
the ballet was called "the lesson about love" and was written by an azerbaijani. it was a three act ballet with strong modern dance influences. before the performance and during each of the two intermissions we went to a dining room off to the side and had first some really bad wine, then some better champange and finally some coffee. the performance was good but i have to admit that i had a hard staying awake both because the theater was warm and Rob and I were drinking beer pretty heavily while the kids were coloring easter eggs.
after the ballet we went to a spanish bar near the kremlin before we headed home on the metro getting home about 12:30am....
Wesley, Rob and Madeline
Wesley and Barb
[originally written on a Newton MessagePad 120
using handwriting recognition.]