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By: Veronica Khokhlova

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Friday, 8-Oct-2004 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark

July 19, 2004

Michurinkskiy Prospekt is where we lived then. Across the street from us was a HUGE NOTHING - no buildings, no trees, no anything. I don't even remember it decenly - just my very last day in Moscow sometime in May 1987: my mama and I are getting into a cab to take us to the train station, it's gloomy and it's raining, and I'm feeling sad, I don't really want to leave, even though returning to Kyiv had been one thing I dreamed of throughout that year, and I look around one last time before getting into the car, and what I remember of that day for the next 17 years is this HUGE NOTHING that I saw, mud mixed with rain, and perhaps a few fences.

Now, there are all these buildings there: some already look quite weathered, others are still being built. The way it's changed is quite shocking.

#1, 2 and 3 - the new buildings.

#4 - some Russian curses; I'll give an approximate translation of just one: FSB is bullshit (FSB is the former KGB).

#5 - a nameless bus stop across the street from where we lived.

#6 - 02 is like 911, a phone number to call the police (you dial 01 if there's a fire and 03 to call an ambulance; now, however, I guess you can dial 01 in any case of emergency). This sign is everywhere in Moscow (even though it may be outdated now); it says: "02 - if somewhere a person got in trouble" - and at the very bottom there's the name of an insurance company: "Russia." Maybe I'm silly, but I never think of it as an ad - I always read it kind of the other way - Russia: if somewhere a person got in trouble - and it always makes me chuckle.

#7 - "A Russian family would rent an apartment" - quite scary that people today think it necessary to mention their Russian-ness; this way they are hoping to assure their potential landlord/lady that they're not likely to cause any problems, unlike some families from the Caucasus or Central Asia might. Or from Ukraine.

#8 - I haven't sent a "normal" letter or postcard in I don't know how many years; this is a mailbox you'd use to send one.

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