Pit Stop

Today’s pit stop is Julu Lu, corner of Xiangyang Bei Lu. Because streets are quite long here, giving directions involves mentioning the nearest two streets that intersect. “So let’s say 10:30 at the coffee shop ___? It’s at Julu Lu, corner Xiangyang Bei Lu,” you’d say if you were giving directions to someone unfamiliar with…

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Grannies

Ah, the Chinese grannies. The trio come out every morning, rain or shine, pulling up plastic stools against the doorway. They sit and talk and gesticulate. Usually there are props: cigarettes on some days, cups of tea on others, but most of the time they’re brandishing knitting paraphernalia. One granny’s latest project (you’re damn right…

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Books for the Poolside

Kuaidis (deliveries) are being dropped off at my doorstep almost daily. I am amassing an insane amount of summer reads because that’s exactly what I intend to do this summer – read! It’s a luxury that’s eluded me for some time now. That all changes during the holidays! I plan to indulge in the most…

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Six Minutes of Sunlight

An extremely long summer spilt over into a surprisingly mild fall, and I’ll admit I almost forgot how cold Moscow can be. As I write this it’s still 18˚C out and sunny, so it’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that my weather app is showing snow for next week. Next. Week. I’ve…

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Looking Ahead

Hard to believe it’s been a year since we arrived in Moscow. Apart from the cold, things have gone better than I thought they would, though it would definitely help if I could improve my Russian a bit (because spasiba and nyet can only get me so far.) We just got back from France, where…

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St. Petersburg

There’s a vibe to St. Petersburg. It’s a whiff of youthful energy and reckless abandon; a laid-back, almost lackadaisical attitude. Is it because of its proximity to water, or to Norway, the Happiest City in the World? Most probably. I vote that it’s something in the air. Our hotel is practically across St. Isaac’s Cathedral;…

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