Monday, October 4, 2010

Round and round I ever going to know my way around here enough to not get lost every few days? I just got back from a trip to the Ashan (the "hypermarket," like a Sam's Club but without the membership fee) that should have taken me maybe an hour, roundtrip. Instead it took me almost three. I bought A LOT of groceries today in preparation for the Canadian Thanksgiving party I'm hosting this Saturday. A kilogram of apples for apple pie. A huge bag each of flour and sugar. A sack of potatoes. You get the picture...the bags I carried out of the Ashan weighed, oh, approximately the mass of a baby elephant. All I wanted to do was hop on the bus and merrily ride back into Mytishi.

Alas, the #419 or #169 bus never I waited around on the side of the highway for 20 minutes before a little marshrutka came chortling along, with a (deceptive) sign in the front window proclaiming, "Mytishi." Sweet, I thought to myself. This will take me right to the arena, across from my flat, and it only costs 22 roubles instead of the usual 50! Score for Katie! Ahh, famous last words...I guess this marshrutka must take the "scenic route" (kind of like the London to Kitchener Greyhound that goes on all the back roads and stops in every Godforsaken little town along the way) because I rode around on that bus for a good hour. At first I was oblivious to the fact that this was NOT the right way back to Mytishi, because the view out the window really was beautiful, and I was lost in admiring the changing leaves and the little rooftops of the dachas we were passing. But then I clued in: dachas. As in, the little weekend cottages where Russians grow their veggies. Not high-rise apartment blocks. Where was I???

I started to panic. Fittingly, "I Want to Break Free" by Queen started to play on the tinny little radio in the marshrutka as I desperately started considering how I too, could break free (The song was also a welcome change from the previous one, this Russian pop song that must be very "au courant" right now because I keep hearing it all the time...its just this girl's voice constantly repeating the phrase "Dolce and Gabbah -nah-nah-nah-nah"...soooo irritating, but definitely manages to capture the nouveau riche attitude here).

Finally, finally, I glimpsed the apartment blocks of Mytishi. Home sweet home!! I rejoiced in my head. I ignored the creepy guy with ALL gold teeth who was trying to hit on me, asking me if I spoke German, and waited for a familiar landmark. The marshrutka let us all off at the train station in Mytishi, which is still a good forty minute walk (and five flights of stairs!) from my flat. Honestly, though, I had kind of been expecting my grocery bags to break at some point during the walk, and the fact that they didn't was enough to make me happy. That, and the fact that I'm now sitting down and relaxing with an hour still to finish up lesson planning for tonight's class of upper-intermediate adults. I was so worried I'd end up missing the class because I was lost in a cornfield!

Alright, blogging will continue at some point tonight because I really want to finish writing about yesterday! Thank goodness I live only 2 minutes from the school so I know that, despite my clear lack of navigational ability, I won't ever get lost walking home from there!


  1. Hahaha...I also learned the hard way about the bus from Ashan, but if you walk to the front of the store (don't even bother about the highway) you can catch a yellow marshrutka that will take you right to the school door. Also, one time Wonderpants had all his Ashan bags bust open on the side of the street. Good times.

  2. Maybe Canadians just hard a hard time with buses?

    Just so you know, Katie, you can also take the 199 from Aushan, which doesn't actually go in front of your apartment, but goes along Ulitsa Mira and you could get off at the Lyotnaya intersection.

  3. thanks for the tip Nate!! I will definitely do that from now on...I think I'm going to head back there later this week so try and find a turkey for Thanksgiving. I probably would have laughed hysterically if the whole bag-busting open had happened to anyone besides myself :)