Tell me this. What kind of climate is it, when you can come out of bitter cold and into a cosy bar, disrobe and then gratefully warm your hands round a properly chilled chardonnay? It amazes me how pigeons, drunks and elderly ladies carry on so naturally out there in Moscow’s bitter winter. Better than Napoleon’s army, that’s for sure.
Miss Perfect and I have settled into our cosy little apartment. It is minus 18 degrees outside – a sunny sparkling day, although not for sitting in the park. Miss Perfect is now visiting her babushka while at our local bar (дом 12) I warm my hands around said Chardonnay and settle into Chabon’s latest book.
Temperature aside, for me Moscow feels different this time. With my new snail’s pace Cyrillic, the Metro is no longer incomprehensible and this has given me much needed freedom to explore. As on previous visits the Pushkin Museum is once more at the top of my list, with its superb European impressionist collection and a glittering Kandinsky retrospective. How Chris would have loved it.
On the other hand the art at the Museum of Russian Impressionism seems a bit ordinary, even derivative. The space itself is superb however, and an exhibition there of Elena Kiseleva’s art nouveau works made the visit very worthwhile.
On Friday we are speaking to university folk at the Chekhov Institute about Tainui’s Volga trip and there is preparation needed.