We took the metro to Borovitskaya/Biblioteka imeni Lenina. The Kremlin was closed. So we took a walk around Alexander’s Garden, the Eternal Fire monument and the Red Square. A miliţia-man asked us for our passport and registration. Olga said that she handles the registration and he had no choice but to believe her and live his sad life for a few more minutes without any bribe income. All this registration business is just some way to rip off tourists in every possible way under the excuse of preventing illegal immigration. Or as we say in Russian – пиздёж.
Looks like Marx and Lenin impersonators make a pretty good living here. Also, many people are still willing to stand in a very long line to see Lenin’s rotten mummy. Poor Vladimir. The gift shop there is insanely expensive. And Hadar was disgusted by the stuffed bears.
Walking on the Red Square pavement is now forbidden for some reason and only a sidewalk by the GUM is open. There were painted cows there. Like the penguins and dolphins they put once in Tel-Aviv and the lions in Jerusalem. Which proves that the world really is ruled by a secret government, but probably not of Freemasons and Jews, but of pubescent large-scale-flashmobbers and sociology and liberal arts graduates having their revenge at friends who told them they won’t find a job with this degree.
GUM looks nothing like it used to. Too rich and full of brandnames. Boring. The waitress at the coffee shop made a mistake in the bill. Olga said that she tried to rip us off and didn’t want to tip her, but i did anyway.
Then we took a walk around the streets near the Kremlin. It’s all so flashy and full and people of cars. Whether it’s good or bad i haven’t decided yet.
Then we met my other sister Zhenja (which is the same thing as Evgenija, in case you’re wondering) and her Subaru-driving-banker husband Roma and ate in a tasty Italian place.
Then Olga went home and we took more walks around the city center. Suddenly i saw “The Central Composer’s House”. It’s like the composers’ trade union, with a big concert hall inside. I recalled that i played there on stage in front of a huge lot of people when i was ten years old. I suddenly realized that i don’t have to dream about being a rock star and playing on stage in front of a lot of people, ‘cuz i sorta already did.
In the Chabad synagogue there were more Tanias than Bibles. If you ask me, it’s disgraceful sectarianism. But it smelled good.
The Soviet answer to American skyscrapers – “The Tall Buildings of Moscow” – are much more impressive than i remembered. I also realized that they look a lot like Latter-Day Saints temples, much more than Catholic cathedrals, as it is sometimes claimed.
Walking on the streets i saw that there’s a Paradise Lost show in Moscow. Hadar was totally happy and we got tickets.
In the evening we went to a jazz show. Igor’ Butman is a famous Russian saxophonist. By famous i mean that he played in a couple of old and very good Aquarium songs, so that allows his promoters to write “Igor’ Butman (Aquarium)” on the bills and keep living without any shame. But apparently my sisters knew him without the Aquarium connection and saw his shows and said they are good. One thing i missed though, is that it was something called “artist evening” – a weird Russian invention when the artist is talking with the crowd, answering the crowd’s questions. I tried to translate to Hadar, but she fell asleep after five minutes. He was blabbing for a whole hour but when his big band finally came on stage and started playing it was HOT. Ya mama. They finished with an ultra-cool Soul Bossa Nova (a.k.a The Austin Powers Theme).
There weather was prroifect.