Friday, January 21, 2011

30 Things I'm Going to Miss About Moscow

  1. Public transportation
  2. Phones and phone plans (NO CONTRACTS!!).
  3. Being able to buy fruits/vegetables and flowers on our walk home.
  4. Fast and cheap internet.
  5. Being able to feel a sense of community in a city of 15 million people.
  6. Tea - lots and lots of hot tea.
  7. Shashlik - delicious shishkabobs but better.
  8. A lengthy and intensely interesting history.
  9. Unexpected parades and demonstrations.
  10. Dachas - those cottages outside of the city.
  11. The banya - a Russian variation of the sauna.  Heat and humidity followed by extreme cold.  And repeat
  12. White nights - in the summer the sun doesn't set until around midnight.
  13. Going out to places like Burger King or Starbucks is a special occasion.
  14. Honey is taken very seriously.
  15. Unlimited hot water (save for about two weeks during the summer)
  16. Balcony can double as a freezer for nearly half of the year
  17. Snow.  Lots and lots of snow (however, after three months or so this can also turn into a bad thing).
  18. The cultural tradition of taking off your shoes at the door.  It just makes so much sense!
  19. Juice boxes are not relegated only to toddlers.
  20. With milk, refrigeration is optional (most of the time at least).
  21. Marshrutkas (this could theoretically be relegated to public transportation, but they're just so cool and convenient-- like min-buses that get there faster and charge you less.  It's just a little bit cramped, but a small sacrifice to pay)
  22. Gypsy cabs (again, this could be relegated to public transportation I guess, but there's just something unique about being able to hail down anyone willing to give someone a ride.  The whole "never get in a stranger's car" stigma in the states is overrated.)
  23. Getting laughed at for not having a shoehorn every time we have people over.
  24. REALLY celebrating New Years, and the gorgeous and serious recognition of Easter.
  25. Not owning a car.  Even though there are occasions where we really want one (Russia just seems like the best country for a road trip), we've saved a ton of money and have actually enjoyed not having one.
  26. Banya scented shower gel.
  27. Feeling like we're in a spy movie.
  28. Being just minutes away from Red Square.
  29. Every day feels like a new adventure.
  30. Our friends.  I know this is a somewhat serious note that I'm ending on, but Beth and I are fortunate and beyond grateful for the friendships here in Moscow.  I don't know where we'd be without them.

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