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bits and bobs

I thought it was time to write another post – and I think it might be a long one! Today’s photo is of Dostoyevsky as he sits outside the library (I think!). I believe it is one of the best statues in Moscow, fairly close to Red Square.

As I’m sure some of you have read, or seen on the news, Russia was at war with Georgia – or maybe still is, I don’t know – they seem to change their mind pretty easily. My sister’s post, War
showed me that people are worried. You need not be worried – I very much doubt that it will spill over to Moscow. If it does, I’m sure we’ll be quite safe and be able to get out.

The weather has been getting hotter again, much to my sweat glands’ disgust. Sorry to paint that lovely picture, but it’s true! Work is the same as usual, trundling around on the metro to different places every day. I was a little disappointed this week – we got paid on Monday and I didn’t get as much as I had expected, but I didn’t realise that July was a long month, so the required hours went up when I thought I had done about 15 hours of overtime. Typical! I have also contacted the American dentist, as I want to get my teeth sorted out. Work is no help at all and I decided I would rather pay instead – but only if they let me pay in instalments, as I don’t want all the money I’ve saved up to be used for my damn teeth.

You may remember the poem I posted a few posts ago – Monday Blues, or Metro Face – a poem
which was about the Moscow metro. Well, when I was in Japan, I also wrote about the metro there, and I thought I would share it with you now.

The Train Population

She sits with straggling hair
streaming down her face, that
she brushes up with a weary hand.
Her noisy child, by her side,
with cute shoes on the floor
neatly arranged for take-off,
constantly stares out the
window while inadvertantly
nudging the sleeping businessman
next door.
It’s going to be a busy day,
so he thought he would sleep,
but everytime he drifts off and
his head sags, the annoying boy
falls into him and wakes him up.
He would drop his head to the
other side if it wasn’t for the stench
of perfume that woman is wearing.
Before she boarded, she layered herself
with make-up and perfume, but it’s
not quite right.
The compact comes in handy
when she makes the finishing touches,
then stares cluelessly into it,
re-checking every last detail.
She awkwardly moves a strand of hair
this way and that, wondering
which would look better.
The old lady in the next seat can’t help
but think that it won’t make any
difference.
She gave up on make-up years ago,
and her life for that matter.
Her only pleasure is battering people
with knife-like elbows so she can sit down.
Her hair has strands of purple, and her
thick glasses conceal her real thoughts
about me, the foreigner,
standing up, watching
the train population.

08/06/04

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