Wednesday March 27 2013 (MOSCOW)

Russian Adventures (March 2013)*

Waking up around 11 a.m. and feeling much better. Despite all the commotion last night from the other guests in the hostel it was probably the quietest sleep I’ve had on this trip. I’m grateful to get a good night’s rest.


After engaging in a zesty sexcapade with Aysena on the floor we lie down on the bed breathing sighs of relief.  

She says, “You should like girl that doesn’t love herself.”

Me: “What do you mean? What are you?”

Her: “I’m girl that loves herself. It would work better if you were with ‘nother girl. You can be free.”

I can kind of grasp what she’s trying to say and I partially agree but living in denial is my vice. Either way I’m not thinking about these things in this moment. I’m just relishing.

Hot Tea and Dried Apricots.

Tristan has left for London so now it’s just her and I, but only for one more day. We go to our favorite place for food, the Japanese Noodle Shop. This will be my third visit here and I’m not sick of it yet. Getting a bowl of Noodles with Egg, Seaweed Salad, Eggplant Tempura, and Apple Cranberry Juice.

Russian Adventures (March 2013)*

Perusing through the Tretyakov art galleries, an impressive collection of old Russian portraits from ancient times up until the early 1900’s. 

Russian Adventures (March 2013)*

Russian Adventures (March 2013)*

Russian Adventures (March 2013)*

Princess Tarakanova. Painted by Konstantin Flavitsky

While walking the snowy streets of the city she’s always talking about people being in love and how a city like this needs love...

Ays: “We need it! In Virginia Beach you can just work and hang out with friends. But not in Moscow. It’s too cold. Too many angry people. We cannot live without love.”


She shows me a special bridge where metal trees have been placed. All of their branches are filled with padlocks, most of them antique and old looking, each with married couples names. The trend is to buy a lock once you’re married and place it here for good fortune in your future years with each other. It’s quite incredible. Someone clever enough bought an ultra sized lock. Almost every spot on the trees are filled. Locks just keep adding up overlapping others.

I ask her, “How many of these people do you think are still married?”

Like the young idealist she is she replies with a big smile, “All of them.”

Me: “What? How?”

Ays: “Because it’s magic trees!”

Russian Adventures (March 2013)*

Snacking on a Cheese Danish from a merchant in the underground street.

As we transport through the crowded regal underground metro train there’s an unsettling bit of knowledge we’re both holding onto: I’m leaving tomorrow. Embracing each other and holding hands as we climb the crazy long escalators.

At the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. They have a set of various warehouses with different art galleries. One of them is by Muratov Damir, which includes an American flag inspired painted wood piece meant to be a mock flag for The United States of Siberia. Aysena explains that this is a statement about how Russia is losing their culture to Westernization. It’s a joke on how Siberia seeks to be like the USA via government direction.

Russian Adventures (March 2013)*

Russian Adventures (March 2013)*

Russian Adventures (March 2013)*

After this we take an excursion through the art district where the art and cinema school is located. The entrance is a wide tunnel where the train used to come through but now is a walkway and display for coming of age street art. Eventually we find a café for students and enjoy some Coffee. 

Russian Adventures (March 2013)*

Today we spend a lot of time sharing our thoughts about this unique relationship that we’ve somehow kept alive despite our long distance. It’s a younger idealism (her) versus an older idealism (me). She keeps mentioning how the chemistry has changed a little in comparison to the end of last summer when she was in Virginia Beach. There’re a lot of factors involved.

She starts asking what particular punctuation marks are called in English like the comma “,” the exclamation point “!” and the period “.”.

Ays: “That’s it. This is our period for part 2.”

Me: “No. No it’s not. It’s supposed to be a trilogy at least. There’s a part 3 somewhere down the line. It’s not a period. It’s a question mark.”

Ays: “I hate question marks.”

Me: “The world is full of them. You and I both have difficulty adding periods.”

After our little heavy discussion we settle down in another café with better options for dinner. Eating some White Mushroom Fish with a Yellow Pepper, Tomatoes, French Bread, and a Sprite. We’re squeezed in next to another couple that seems to be just as affectionate as us. 

Back at the hostel. Our last night together, at least for a long while. We’ll see. She’s full of adorable and cute little words and phrases. I can’t keep up with all of them. We make each other smile. It’s as simple as that. I don’t know what the future holds. And I know I’ll just go back home and continue with my former day-to-day life working at China Wok and dealing with the usual shenanigans. I really need a change though.

Good night. 3:30 a.m. (Moscow time)

* Images taken by me. 
Princess Tarakanova by Konstantin Flavitsky.

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