Pumpkin spice lattes, Arbat Street and a new passport!
Today was one of those fun days where I (kinda) played tourist around Moscow.
And I paid six dollars and sixty cents for a pumpkin spice latte but I kinda don’t want to talk about if. Well actually I DO want to talk about it because what kind of crazy person pays six sixty for a tall latte?? Tall. That’s the smallest size. But I’m getting way ahead of myself.
Surprise! When I woke up today it was gloomy and rainy. Oh wait. It’s been like that for the past 3 months. Oh well, never mind the rain, life goes on. I bundled up (um, it’s Sept and the forecast is for 40s? Hello winter! Wasn’t expecting you quite so soon! With predicted lows of 30 this week, and precipitation, I am wondering if we will actually get SNOW this month). Anyways..
I bundled up and ran out the door to catch the 1:12 bus. This was important because if I missed it there would not be another one till 1:37 and I was afraid I wouldn’t make it to the Embassy before they closed at 3:30 if I took that bus.
Thankfully, despite lots of delays in the city, I still made it to Moscow in time and to the Embassy in plenty of time. I got my new (52 page!!) passport and then realized I still had about an hour of time to kill before my 5 pm appointment. So I zigzagged around the metro and made my way to Arbat Street to do some sightseeing. I really should get over there more often! There are TWO Dunkin Donuts on that street! There’s also an Auntie Anne’s, a Cinnabon, a Wendy’s, a Starbucks and a Hard Rock Cafe. PLUS it’s where all the tourists hang out and its fun to catch snippets of English conversations! I passed one lady who called out to her friend, “are there any good souvenirs over there?” I wanted to stop and tell her that no, Arbat street would not be the best place to buy her souvenirs, but I refrained. I figured she was probably with an organized tour and wouldn’t be able to go hunt down souvenirs anywhere else anyways.
I wandered on.
And then…then I bought that six dollar and sixty cent tall latte. I originally wandered in to see if they happened to have any frappuccinos that were pumpkin spice, but all they had were lattes and I was already in line so I just went with it. After I placed my order I decided to hit the ladies room since I still had a while before I’d be anywhere again with banos. When I came out, two drinks were sitting on the counter and I knew at least one of them wasn’t mine since it was clearly bigger than a tall. The other one, however, looked like it could possibly be mine. But I wanted to make sure before I just waltzed off with it. So I turned the cup around and this is what I saw.
That helped. Dwem? Hmm…I’m not the best at reading handwritten Russian and since I had sorta ordered in English I guess I had been expecting my name to be written in English too. Silly me. I knew that the first two letters could be дж (dzhen – how they pronounce my name here) but I totally didn’t recognize the last two letters.
The nice guy and girl nearby had to confirm that yes, that cup did say Jen. Dwem. I kinda like it. Maybe I’ll call myself that from time to time.
I wandered on…trudging through the rain, umbrella in one hand, expensive latte in the other…No more picture taking for me as it had already been hard enough juggling the phone, the umbrella and the bag while trying to snap pics. The drink didn’t help.
And then? Then I came across girls on scooters wearing Ocean Spray outfits and handing out…free samples? I am so used to just passing by people who are handing things out with a simple no thanks, so it stopped me in my tracks when I realized that the small bundle being thrust under my umbrella actually had something inside? I had no idea what the girl had said so I asked if it was free and she said yes! Now, juggling a heavy bag, a latte and an umbrella meant I had no free hands, but you can’t pass up free in Moscow so I took it and somehow shoved it into my bag without dropping the latte. Just the fact that I had gotten something free made my day! I still don’t even know what it is since it’s still in my bag. But who cares? It was free! It almost made me as happy as the free guacamole at Moe’s on Mondays. Granted they dole it out in tablespoon sized portions, as if it is the last guacamole on the planet, but still, its free and that’s what counts. Baby steps here folks, baby steps.
Some other iPhone pics from Arbat Street and the metro:
Ahhh, I love my life! Still can’t believe I really get to do this. Every day!