Well, I do realize that his hair needs some attention, but we were dealing with gale-force winds today out there. I have two matching shirts for Cooper and Carter. It should make a cute photo if I can get them all to sit in the same place for more than 15 seconds!
If you're heading to Russia soon, you really should go to the Izmailovsky Market. It's super easy to get to. Hop on the Metro... seriously, it's the fastest, easiest way to get anywhere in the city. Go online and get the English version of the Metro map, figure out which station is closet to you. If you click the link, you'll see the Cyrillic names in black and the English translation in pale gray below. (please note that some older maps show a Metro Stop for Izmailovsky Park, it no longer exists) It costs 26 rubles per ride each way, so go up to the window that says KACCA and stick 104 rubles in the little slot. When she looks at you, hold up two fingers and say "Dva y dva" She'll give you two tickets with two rides each on it.
We are staying on New Arbat, so the closest station is Smolenskaya. Izmailovsky Market is NOT off the Izmailovsky stop like one would think. You get off at the Partisanskaya stop and turn left when you leave the station. There will be a HUGE crowd headed that way, just follow along. When you get to the entrance, it will cost 10 rubles per adult (like most places in Russia, kids are free!). Then shop to your little hearts content. Be sure to stop by the open air grill. Get a chicken kebab and a half slice of bread. All three of us ate off one serving... it was crazy good! The chicken was delicately spiced and grilled to perfection, the bread was like onion pita bread. I'll let you know if we die of food poisoning tomorrow.
Like any big open market, watch your belongings closely. NEVER pay the marked price. I was buying a small set of Christmas ornaments and the lady insisted they were priced as marked for 200 rubles. She bagged them up and handed them to me. I handed her 170 rubles and said "that's all I have". She took it without blinking. Damn... I should've offered less! Pretty much all the vendors have calculators, so if you don't speak Russian they will type in the amount you owe in rubles. You can then type in the amount you're willing to pay... sort of like an auction.
Our coordinator can't believe we keep taking the train, but I've gotta tell you 26 rubles a ride is surely better than the $200 a day it costs for the driver and translator with the agency! Our final train adventure will be the one we take to get they boys hair cut. There is a brand new salon in Moscow opened by an American ex-pat. She based it off all the fun kids salons she saw in the US. It's called Tchik Tchik. If you want to make an appointment in English, there is an email address you can write. I'm going to assume that someone there speaks English... otherwise there will be a lot of hand-gestures and pointing going on.
I know it sounds strange to be taking the boys for a haircut right after we get them, but I'd rather be able to get their hair cut by someone that can speak to them/soothe them in Russian than wait until they understand enough English to wrestle them through it in the US. And quite frankly, poor Carter's hair looks like someone attacked him with a weed-whacker. We'll see how it goes. I may look back at this post next week and laugh maniacally!! Like, "Seriously lady, you're taking two newly adopted children on the train in Moscow for a friggin' HAIRCUT?!?" It probably won't happen. Now that I'm actually writing it, it seems sort of insane... anyone know where I can get some scissors?
Now that we've straightened that issue out (thanks for bringing me back to reality) I've gotta run do the dishes and get ready for tomorrow. We're going back to the park so Jack can ride his scooter. I'll cover all that in a later post...