Metro-Taking Failure and Mosfilm Movie Studio

September 2, 2011

Well it has been an exciting first couple days in Moscow…

We adventured off to Red Square yesterday – twice! The first time we opted for the metro (after starting out on foot and starting to get lost) – and that constituted quite the adventure in and of itself. Buying a ticket wasn’t too hard, although I had to ask twice to make it clear I wanted two tickets. Using the tickets to get through the gates proved to be a bit too much for me to handle. Hard to believe, I know, but I was too impatient and didn’t place the ticket against the sensor long enough for it to register. Therefore the second time, little metal gates popped out to block me, but I kind of hopped over them, brandishing my ticket for the полицейский (policeman) to see that I wasn’t actually breaking the law… I’ll relax next time, carefully hold my ticket against the sensor for the appropriate amount of time, and not start to panic when I hear a police whistle behind me as I am going down the escalator. The escalators down to the metro are incredibly steep – and our Middlebury TA from last year, Marina, said I haven’t even ridden the steepest one yet! Pictures of beautiful metro stations to come, after I prove to myself that I can competently navigate it…

My host mom, Maria, is lovely – especially since she has said she won’t try to feed me until I burst! Such behavior (i.e. the feeding until beyond full) is stereotypical of Russian babushkas. She also mentioned that she enjoys watching Project Runway – I don’t watch it in the US, but maybe dubbed into Russian it will prove more interesting? She was happy to hear that my mom and I are close – she was careful to say it is a Russian stereotype that children in the West are not as close with their parents as is typical in Russian. She also used the word “infantile” to describe many Russian adults who have not really grown up by age 50 or 60… Brodsky is now on my list for must-read poetry, after Maria heard that I enjoyed Akhmatova. Maria has a wonderful book collection – which will prove most engaging, especially when it starts to turn cold outside… My ten-minute commute (walking – “пешком”) to the university will also be most welcome when the snow starts to fall. I got lucky with my homestay – and it’s not just the first, “elation,” stage of culture shock talking.

Both of our adventures yesterday to Red Square proved unsuccessful, as it was closed due to a celebration. However, our expedition to the studios of Мосфильм, the largest movie studio in Russia was wonderful! I now have a good idea of all the classic Russian movies I need to watch in the near future…

New words of the day (from dinner with Maria):
сумерки (twilight) and сумерчинить (when you’re talking as dusk falls, without turning on a light – great verb, right?)
тыква (pumpkin – Maria has a great recipe for pumpkin soup with cognac and ginger, reviews to come)
обожать (to charm, adore – apparently an often-used word in Russian conversation)

Awaiting metro-taking success,
Hillary

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2 Responses to “Metro-Taking Failure and Mosfilm Movie Studio”

  1. Debbie said

    For we english speakers, can you put some phonetics after your new Russian words so that we can get a sense of how the word would sound? Just a thought.

    Love the blog!

    Debbie

  2. сумерки – soo’ mair kee
    сумерчинить- soo mair’ chi nit
    тыква – tyk’ va
    обожать – obo zhat’

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