Family Bulletin #2 [extracts]

2 Feb

Phew! We nearly didn’t have a number 2 now did we?

I know it doesn’t really help the shock and worry you all went through, but if it’s any reassurance, I am mentally intact and emotionally unscarred despite the incident (to not say terrorist suicide bomb attack).

I have now survived a whole week in the land of the Soviets even though Russian military swarmed the square right beside our offices yesterday. They had bullet proof jackets (they weren’t wearing their helmets, only carrying them) and had set up make shift metal detectors and the footpaths and ineffectual roadblocks (it looked more like an excuse to chat up people in cars). I still have no answer as to the reason of the covert operation as there has been nothing in the Moscow Times (yes yes I am keeping up with the times!). I reckon it was some secret operation that was only considered covert because they censored the news afterwards.

I again escaped unscathed and wandered south of Mayakovskaya towards the huge stalinist building, one of seven, named the Seven Sisters. I am going to assume that they all carry the name of The Seven Sisters, simply because that way I can avoid learning the individual names of each one which would be way too strenuous! According to my crappy guide book for rich people (that’ll teach me to try save money on important cultural knowledge) they were designed by Stalin, if I remember correctly. But as I said, the book was crappy, and for rich people, so I only paid half my attention to what I was reading, the rest was dedicated to trying to stop myself from petting everyone’s (real) fur coats! I think I even saw a woman wearing reindeer skin the other day, either that or dalamation, probably a mix of both.

It has been snowing lightly but steadily all day, and no matter how much it snows, the siberian workers stay dedicated to their activity and dutifully push and brush all the flakes that come the way! According to one of my colleagues, they import Siberians to Moscow during the winter to look after everything related to the manual clearance of footpaths, what a shitty job. They start about 6 in the morning and are still toiling away at 6.30 in the evening (at least!), but I must say I am glad of it because if not, I would have surely been late to some classes for lack of firm footing and want of ice skates!

Okay, I am all emailed out for the moment. Everybody wants a piece of me now that I am doing something exciting (apparently Sheffield wasn’t exciting enough) it is quite exhausting! That said, I now have skype […] so get with the times people!

In the meantime, I will leave you to admire One of the Seven Sisters (attached) where I will be lunching tomorrow. I have already been asked “why”, to which the only appropriate was “why damn well not” Because I can, and that is reason enough!

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