воскресенье, сентября 25, 2005

Sokolniki redux

Natasha suggested we go for a walk today in Sokolniki Park. Get some fresh air. And yet I was thinking to myself, "God, I go to my neighborhood park all the time. I'm getting tired of Her." Another voice suggested that I might appreciate her more if I slow down even more while there.

Sokolinki had this sad mood as usual. This time, however, we saw this small patch of (probably) poisonous mushrooms. Huge Mushrooms. Kiddie play versions of beach umbrellas but in lunar gray. For a day at a lunar beach? The edges of the umbrellas were a singed black. We stood in wonder at these mushrooms for a while. I regretted I didn't have my tsifrovik (Russian slang for "digital camera"). But then I remembered that I have this blog! What a gift!

To the left of the trail were other mushrooms. Smaller ones. Not-too-distant cousins of the supermarket variety, I imagine. These looked more like a bleached version of an unsuccessfully digested dinner...

After the lunar champignon landscape, a maple leaf caught my eye, infected with sunspots.

After our walk ended, I remembered I had promised my stay-at-home bamboo stalk which has been growing out of a bottle filled with Moscow tap water to buy a water filter by the end of week.

Bought the filter.

Natasha had told me that a truck had pulled by the local veggie and fruit street vendor. This truck was selling cheapo fruits and veggies from Orlovskaya Oblast. Not an opportunity to pass up. Sure enough, there was a line. One old lady complained how some people were buying produce without standing in line.

The man said, "Wait, do you want to someone who wants to buy a 35 kilo sack of potatoes to stand in line."

The old lady replied, "Well, I guess that's ok."

Another old lady with spunk walked up to the usual vendor (who seemed to take the short term competition in stride, surprisingly) with non-cheapo produce and asked the fruit and veggie woman if she had a 2 kilo watermelon. "Nope," answered the vendor, "the smallest ones are 7-8 kilos." The veggie woman continued, "This is melon season now. They're good for you."

The pensionerka pondered this and said, "I'm in my ninth decade, how can I carry this huge melon home?" No one overhearing this conversation came to save her. I considered doing my deed for the day but saw I had much I'd be carrying too.

Then our octogenarian noticed the jumbo aquarium and the fish lady selling huge live carp at 85 rubles/kg. ($3). I wondered it must be pretty claustrophobic for the fishies in the aquarium. The lady stared, fascinated at these fish, as if she'd never seen them before.

As I was observing this, it was almost my turn to buy my produce. The starushka with bright-bright purple lipstick and bleach blond hair told the Orlovskaya Oblast vendor, "Hey dearie, I'd like some onions."

"She sure is a dearie," I piped in. "The starushka concurred, "She is attractive." The vendor didn't react and when it was my turn to place my order, she smiled. She looked like my neighbor when I lived in Yasenevo...

Yes, sometimes I'm an incorrigible flirt. Maybe Sokolniki brings out the best in me.

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