Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Story About a Russian Spaniel and Sticks

Saturday, July 4th
Just now when writing this post, I realized that we missed the fact that it was the USA independency day.

This was a transit day.

We woke up, had breakfast we the family and enjoyed some quality time with SB the baby. JB gave us a short lift to the metro station on his way to work (yes….more Moscow traffic) and from there we got to the Elektrichka suburban train station.
  1. The train station was renovated and air conditioned
  2. Police people were nice and helped people who had problems with their tickets
  3. There was free Wifi
  4. We found ice cream
  5. 0.5L of Kozel tap beer (9ILS/$2.4)
  1. We had a lot of time to wait (not anyone's fault)
  2. There was nowhere to change money
  3. The near playground was private and had a guard assuring that only people related to the block use it. NB was upset

The train was rather new and with air conditioning everywhere - except for the cabin we picked…. So, after 15 minutes of ride we changed cabin and had to share our seats with other people….how terrible :-)
Notes to self:
  1. Never sit on the sunny side. It nulls the effect of the air-condition
  2. These trains don't have toilets…. Not good when you have a 2 hours ride with a 3 yrs old or other type of bladder sensitive humans
Even though NB didn't sleep for a moment, he managed the ride quite well, got his second ice cream today and played a lot with grandpa and the old lady that sat with them.

The got off the train in a train stop. It's a stop and not a station, because it's really a stop and nothing else. A quick phone call and a non-marked taxi picked us and took us to the dacha.
The house is a 1920's wood house that the family is slowly remodeling with a lot of self-made work and which will be amazing when finished. The yard is already amazing with berries of two types, various vegetables to pick and eat (cucumbers, green onion, parsley, courgettes), and it has its own 10 meters deep well. Heat, how water and cooking are gas based and water relies on electricity as it is being pumped from the well. The house was sold after its owners passed away and their daugher married a Norwaigean, which seems to be a trend mainly in northern parts of Russia (No, we are not going to get into political-correctness troubles trying to draw relative lines between Russian and Norwegian women even though we could have had attribute these opionions to local 3rd parties).

The village itself was built at the beginning of the 20 century around a dammed river which created a lake after which it is named: Zaprudnya (derived from the name of a lake made of a damed river).

A good word about the weather - it's been amazing. 23c or so during the day and 18c-19c at night.

NB was ecstatic to finally meet his soulmate - Sansanech, the 9yrs old family's Russian Spaniel. Emotion seems to be mutual. Over the next two days the two were engaged in a run and run interaction, fighting over sticks. Both of them like to accumulate sticks and are very strongly attached to theirs. The boy doesn't understand why the god is eating the sticks, and the dog doesn't understand why the boys accumulates/holds sticks without giving them to him. There were some incidents of a child shouting at a dog and a dog jumping on a boy trying to get a stick. All in all it seems both sides are enjoying the relationship as they are coming back for more. 

We arrived to the village around 14:00 and after a noon nap walked down to the lake were NB and grandpa played and papa gave a ride over the lake on his back to an 'I'm very tired' type of boy …. I'm sure there were some reports on a new type of bald monster in the lake. The rise of a new legend!

On our way back we met the 'nice drunk-man' type (as it is known locally). They were sitting on the shore, at their 60's/70's and loudly discussing whether NB was a boy or a girl. They were very glad when J shouted at them back 'Malchik, malchik!'

We saw lots of classic wooden houses with wood decorations around the front facing windows. Neat!
The village looks peaceful even if not perfectly being taken care of.

We had a pilmeny mainly dinner and off to sleep. Too much traveling for two days…

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