Here I am, writing a blog entry, because I have little updates.
1. We went to Russia and it was super. We were a little trepidatious before we went because everybody was telling us about how they were robbed there and how people they knew were robbed there and how we were sure to be robbed there. Suffice to say we were not robbed there. OR WERE WE. That is me, building suspense for later numbered items.
2. St. Petersburg is gorgeous. The churches and museums and canals and all manner of things. The ridiculous opulence and sheer more-than-a-thousand-gilded-rooms size of the czars’ *multiple* palaces got on my last Puritan nerve after a fashion, and I was very proud of the serfs for having uprisen. Even though maybe things really didn’t go so well after that. At least there was flash of hope.
3. Griffins feature largely in the architecture, so I felt warmly nestled amongst my kin. There were four holding up a bridge by our hotel, and I spent a lot of time hugging their forelegs.
4. The Hermitage, silly palace wastefulness notwithstanding, was as stunning as predicted. We spent two whole days there and saw gorgeous works by all manner of artists.
5. We also saw the many dinner services of the czars, one of which included a huge serving dish with two angry babies grappling on the lid. One baby was mad because the other baby was hogging an armful of ducks. He had got that selfish baby pinned and was really giving him what for.
6. I think maybe combative children are a thing in Russian imagery. The streetsigns warning about children at play (?) feature two kids who look like they are in a heck of a race, with the smaller child in the lead batting the larger child behind it with a clublike left arm.
7. But all the real Russian children we saw were adorable and well-behaved, with most of the girls in the loveliest sets of braids I have ever seen. So maybe they are only frightening on crockery and in public two-dimensional representations.
8. During the trip, the last of the destruction wrought on my nails from this misadventure grew out and I no longer look like I have some terrible condition.
9. I WAS TOTALLY ROBBED! I only just found out this morning that somebody over there stole my credit card info and has been buying electronics and eating at McDonald’s *without cease*, to the tune of *thousands of dollars*. Terrible! But it is sorted. Take that, Russian fraud! The bilker is bilked!
10. But it’s all good. The trip was amazing, moving, complex and beautiful. I’d recommend it to anyone.
11. We did not take pictures of our food or feet there, so we are not good Americans. I will try to make up for this by telling you I am about to have breakfast, and there is a better than ninety-five percent chance that it will involve a hard-boiled egg.