Friday, October 3, 2008
The Old and New
The people appear neat, clean and stylish. Women always wear make-up, attractive little knit hats over good haircuts, nice scarves tucked at their necks, and they button up their coats, fasten their belts, etc. Men dress well, too. We hear that our easy, breezy American way of wind-blown hair and open coats with belts flapping loose looks sloppy to them. (Not everyone likes pictures taken, and we want to be considerate; we'll post some when we can.)
As far as outside property, our cultures also differ. We're told they view the streets, building exteriors, etc., as "the government's" and so they take no ownership of them. There are no anti-litter laws. (I think this is leftover from Soviet Russia and things will change soon. For instance, Yekaterinburg's new subway is beautiful and absolutely immaculate. Spotless.)
Our current apartment (the entrance to our building pictured below) and the stairs, elevator, etc., are not welcoming. Inside, however, we found a few charming things from "Old Russia." I was delighted to see this old samovar up on a kitchen shelf, along with the little teapot. There's no point in purchasing any of these wonderful things because it's strictly forbidden to take them out of the country. You don't just get fined, you get arrested. Can you see the great wooden floor, too?
Our new place is clean and new--but without the touches of charm. (We move in about 10 days.) Fortunately, the walk to the office is a short distance, so we won't need a bus or tram.
Love, Sister McEvoy (Grandma, Mom, Donna)
Posted by Mom in Mendon at 5:25 PM