Note: It wasn’t lost! WordPress didn’t score any points off me after all! Huzzah!
Challenge #1: The taxi driver. He wanted 800 rubles ($24) more than he was supposed to charge because he’d had to wait for an hour at the airport. I told him that that was not my fault – he knew we were on an international flight and that meant we would have to go through customs and passport control, and he should have checked the flight status before he headed out to the airport. Fishies: 1, Moscow: 0.
Challenge #2: Getting home after the Bolshoi Opera. Long story short: My friends and I got separated and I (very unusually for me) had neither map nor phrasebook, so I ended up taking a 90-minute walk through central Moscow, relying on text messages from a disconcertingly-close-to-dead cell phone. I finally made it back to the well-hidden hostel at 12:30 AM after lots of backtracking and multiple fruitless conversations with non-English speakers. Lots of praying occurred, as did some audible conversation with God. Fishies: 2, Moscow: 0.
Challenge #3: The metro. In Boston, New York, Paris, London, and pretty much every other civilized city in the world, if you stick your arm through the doors as they’re about to close, the doors open again. In Moscow the take-no-prisoners doors slam shut right on your wrist, prompting gasps of alarm from onlookers who quickly help you force the doors apart (no small feat, this) and dash onto the train right before it takes off, thus preventing another potentially disastrous separation from friends. Fishies: 3, Moscow: 0. (Though I do have a bruise.)
Challenge #4: Sidewalk vomit. I’ve dodged every chunky puddle so far, sometimes by centimeters. Fishies: 4, Moscow: 0.
Note: I may have to amend my scorecard tomorrow if the weather doesn’t improve.
And finally, a few pictures from today (note the white stuff that looks suspiciously like snow in the picture of us outside Lenin’s tomb). Enjoy…