Guest Blog: Molly in Moscow

April 11, 2013

As promised, a guest blog by the one and only Molly McCleery, the first of many of my guests to Russia. I hope you enjoy reading her impressions about her trip to the Motherland.

On a Wednesday last February, I drove from Omaha to Lawrence to see a Ryan Adams show with Kara. After the concert, I skipped my Thursday classes, and we had the first annual Kara-Molly Midweek Weekend, a time where we do weekend things (get brunch, go to record stores, etc.) in the middle of the week. Moscow was like a giant midweek weekend. It is impossible for me to articulate all of my thoughts on this experience in a short blog post. Consequently, I will shy away from making any big statements about what I think of Moscow. What follows will likely seem silly to those with an expansive knowledge of Russian history, which I admittedly lack.

I’m not sure when it was decided I was going to visit Moscow. I think when Kara told me she had gotten the job at NES and was moving to Moscow, we both just assumed that I would visit at some point. After months of anticipation, all of the sudden it was time for me to go to Moscow. In Lincoln, I packed up a suitcase full of warm clothes and American snacks for Kara and headed on my way. After stops in Knoxville, Des Moines, Minneapolis, and New York City, I arrived at Sheremetyevo. Kara bought me the first of many cups of coffee consumed throughout the trip, and we were on our way. Here is a quick run down of my observations from Moscow:
1. A few of the things I loved most about Russia: eating many delicious cheese-based dishes (syrniki, zapekana, bliny) at canteens, sculptures (the Fallen Monument Park and the Yuri Gagarin statue), and coffee at Ludi Kak Ludi. I also loved drinking beers in the afternoon at super hip bars.

2. Russian winter attire is AMAZING, especially women’s fur coats and children’s snowsuits. Every time we would get on the Metro, it would be filled with women wearing huge fur coats. Some of them were extremely glamorous, like pieces of a movie costume. Others were just gross, made of some inexplicable animal’s dirty and matted hair. Another passenger would inevitably shove you into these coats, forcing you to touch the remains of whatever animal had been made into a jacket. DSCF0509

However, my feelings toward children’s snowsuits are 100% positive. Kara can attest to the fact that I was obsessed with them. Toddlers who, by nature, stumble around are further constricted when their parents dress them in layers and layers of waterproof gear. Not only do the snowsuits prevent the snow from getting in, they also prevent children from being able to raise their arms, bend their legs when sitting on the Metro, or walk at a normal pace. As a result, children walk like tiny robots as their parents essentially drag them around the city. My favorite snowsuit child sat, completely covered except for her fat little cheeks, eating a gigantic cone of cotton candy. Whatta life.
3. No matter where you are in the world, there is really something to be said for slow brunches at home while watching Beyonce music videos. The same can be said for wine and animal crackers.

4. I would like to contact Nicholas Cage’s people about him making the Russian version of National Treasure that I dreamed up when we visited the Kremlin. It involves a briefcase full of rubles and the secret passageways from the Kremlin cathedrals to the tzarina’s bedrooms in the palace.
5. Can someone please explain to me the weird sandwich meal you get on international flights? This is the sandwich you get two to three hours after your full meal. On my flight from Moscow to New York, we got the most interesting sandwich meal I’ve ever gotten on an airplane: a dinner roll stuffed with melted cheese, green peppers, and chunks of ham served with Russian Baskin Robbins ice cream. I know international travel means getting hungry at weird times, but I do not understand this.

3 Responses to “Guest Blog: Molly in Moscow”

  1. pattimagee Says:

    I’m officially going to believe that Russia is full of a bunch of kids stuck in winter coats crying, just like Randy from ‘A Christmas Story’… and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

  2. […] in lieu of trying to write as well as Ben Pfeiffer or be as funny as Molly McCleery, I will conclude with a short list. Anyone that knows Kara M. Bollinger will understand that this […]

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