Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hello, all! I am writing to you from a rushed encounter with an Интернет-Кафе near Yaroslavsky station, less than one hour from departure to Yekaterinburg on the second leg of my Russian journey. Here is my beautiful, long-labored after train ticket that I bought successfully in Russian:

I am riding platscart, which means that I will share a cabin with 51 other wagonmates for the next 26 hours. I've heard it's more fun, and more safe for people traveling alone. (Also it's about ten times cheaper than cupe.)

Yesterday I went to the Moscow "White House," the central Russian government building. This is a picture of a townspeople-created memorial to those who died during an attack on the White House in 1993, when the Soviet Union fell. The government refuses to acknowledge formally what went on, or create an official memorial for the 100 or so people, many of them bystanders, who died during the event. Standing next to the wall of faces is my friend Marina, who I stayed with for two nights near Arbat.

Here is another memorial created by the people of Moscow - this one for Michael Jackson. There were tons of people there crying yesterday. Incredible.

This is the "Fountain of the People's Friendship," located in an old Soviet exposition-turned-mall in the northern area of the city where I spent the last two nights. The women around the fountain are each wearing the national dress of a Soviet state, which they represent.

And, of course, here is a picture I took of myself during the final hour of my 20th birthday, which was yesterday. Thanks to all who sent me good wishes yesterday, and lookig forward to being home and celebrating when I'm back.

Lots of love to you all, and missing you from the train!

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