(Dammit, my posts are getting out of order. Meh.)
Remember how Thursday I suddenly became tired while blogging and had to take a nap? Yeah, well that was around 930 am; I ended up crashed out until about 230. Even then, I could've slept forever, but figured it was in my best interests to get up and try to get on a more regular schedule.
The night before, Em had given me just enough rope to hang myself, should I feel motivated to get out there: a house key, a cell phone, a Metro map and a city map, and a piece of seven layer dessert bar. I was recycling clothes from the previous days trip (no luggage yet), but decided I was not too funky to go out in public. I gathered up my loot, packed my camera, and headed out (see previous post about ensuing disagreement with the front door.)
The weather had been overcast all day, but was pleasant enough. Autumn has definitely arrived in Moscow. And once you get away from the enormous boulevards, there's actually a good number of parks or grassy areas, and trees line many of the streets. But what Moscow doesn't have is street signs. You know how you walk out of your [building] in the states, get to the corner and there are signs indicating the intersection? Not so here. I walked out of the complex, made a turn, and instantly lost my bearings on the map. Figured I'd just pick a street and walk on it in a straight line; that way I'd either eventually figure out what street I was on and could find myself on the map, or just turn around and follow the same street home when I was done.
After a short while, I realized that each house/building not only has the number but the full street address on its side, and I was soon in business. I'd opted to go for a walk as opposed to attempting the Metro, because it was nearly rush hour and visions of getting stampeded danced in my head. Looking at central Moscow on a map doesn't really give a good sense of scale, I discovered. I walked and I walked, and ended up going much further than I'd anticipated. That might've been due to the part that the clouds eventually cleared up and it was a really gorgeous fall afternoon. Anyhow, I tooled through a small park edged on one side by some fairly random photos, skirted the edge of the Moscow Zoo, and continued down to the river where the White House is. I bumped into a few of the Seven Sisters (skyscrapers that I believe Stalin erected back in his day) and bumped into more than a few commuters rushing about. After crossing a huge bridge, I realized a) I was heading further into the burbs and b) still had to walk all the way back, so I turned around.
I tried for a slightly different route and stumbled across another park. This one had a cool life-sized chess board in it, so I played around with my photography for a while. there was also a movie being filmed there, which I sat around and watched for a while, but the plot was totally lost on me, so I continued back.
I did just fine until I got back to our neighborhood, and then suddenly all of the apartment buildings looked the same. Seriously, I walked in a holding pattern around and around for 15 minutes, just in a two block radius of Em's place. I couldn't find the address, and the parking lot (my visual landmark) doesn't actually face the street. Gah! But I eventually figured it out and stumbled up to the apartment. I did it! Whoo hoo!
That night, Em and I celebrated with some meat dumplings, white wine, and that great Russian classic film noir: Clue. Watching a classic such as that is always a treat, but to watch it with someone who can apreciate it for its great artistic vision (read: can quote all the lines just like I do) was great. All that walking took its toll, and we both called it a fairly early night. I managed to get ready for bed without getting any limbs stuck, and got a pretty good night's sleep in preparation for Friday: my first encounter with the Metro. Stay tuned!