Moscow is melting. Slush and puddles fill our yard. Everywhere I hear the glorious drip, drip, drip of SPRING! But that also means our time is running out. After two years of exploring, we only have three more months before we move away from magnificent Moscow. There’s still so much I haven’t done and so its come to this, I’ve made my Moscow Bucket List:
1. Buy panties in a perhiod. My friend once said, you haven’t really lived in Russia until you’ve purchased undergarments underground. Many perihods, or underground passageways that allow pedestrians to safely cross these massive streets, are filled with vendors selling all sorts of strange items—icons, piroshki, and a lot of panties. To date, I’ve bought cherries and chotchkies but no undergarments. I must. Maybe I’ll eat a piroshki while buying panties in the perihod and then post a picture. Say that 10 times fast.
2. Go Gastro with the girls. Ragout is my favorite restaurant in Moscow. I want to introduce this uber-fabulous gastropub to my girlfriends. Maybe we’ll order the Moroccan tomato soup with ginger, honey, and cumin or Butter Fish with coco beans and chorizo, or. . .
3. Crown my jewels. Don’t tell anyone, but somehow I still haven’t been inside the Kremlin. Sure, I’ve been to the Kremlin walls and inside to the theatre, but not actually to see the crown jewels, armory, and the churches. You should be aghast. I am. I will go. I promise.
4. Bargain & buy. At the end of every tour, there is always a mad rush to buy all the local handicrafts one’s admired since arrival. In my future I see at least one more trip to Izmaylovo Market to bargain away with the vendors. Still on my wish list:
*Round, wooden hand-painted boxes
*Black, babushka shawl with fringe
*Four, Catherine-the-Great patterned Lomonosov tea cups
*Matryoshka doll, one of the really detailed, glittery hand-painted ones that falls into the “no way will my kids ever get their hands on this” category.
*Long, large, lovely table linens
5. Consort with the conservatory. Every night music students from the Moscow Conservatory fill the tiny Café Margarita on Patriarch’s Pond with loud song. I want to sit among friends at one of the long tables (there are only 6 or 7 tables total) and eat pelmeni and blini and belt out Russian songs like a local.
6. Run the river. After too much time on the treadmill, outside exercise is in order. As soon as all the ice melts, I WILL brave the city streets and try a run along the river. So there wild dogs and outrageous traffic, I WILL face you down and run along the banks of the Moscow River.
7. Purr like a kitty. Since reading Master and Margarita, I’ve wanted to sit in Bulgokov’s house museum, write, and be inspired by the master and his infamous tomcat.
8. Eat, Write, Love. CDL, the Central House of Writers, is an exclusive club for the Writer’s Union. Their premier restaurant with ornate decorations is a mandatory stop for anyone who loves Chekov, Tolstoy, Pushkin or whom one day wants her own bestseller.
9. Be festive by the fire. Rarely in the foreign service does one land in a grand house. We lucked out, moving into a great, big place for the last ten months of this tour. And we WILL live it up in the townhouse. I envision a perfect party that ends with the stragglers sitting by the fire finishing off all the vodkas we’ve collected in our lovely two years in Moscow.
10. Pretend I’m one of those. My plan is this: don my too tall clickity-clack shoes and red “Prada” purse and pretend I’m one of the Moscow billionaires. Or, okay, have lunch at a fancy restaurant beside Tsum Department store before wandering into Hermes, Tiffany, Channel, or maybe buying panties from Agent Provocateur to compare them with my purchase from the perihod.
Only. Three. Months. I better get to it. . .
*some ideas for this post, including the idea of a bucket list, were inspired by Dina, to whom I give props. http://place2place.blogs.com