August 3, 2003

My loot from Russia

Thanks to my one month in Moscow, I think I’ve acquired enough stuff to open up my very own Russian souvenir store here in the states.  Well, maybe not…compared to last year, I didn’t actually buy that much (amazing, I know).  Here are two things that I did buy, though:

This is a chess set I bought at a store on Starry Arbat in Moscow.  I actually saw this chess set at the souvenir market last year when I was in St. Pete, but I didn’t buy it because I didn’t know how to play chess.  I learned to play last month while I was in Moscow (spaseeba, Luka!), though, so now I actually have a reason to own a chess set.  Anyways, this chess set is US vs USSR.  The board has pieces of a world map on it, and the pieces have US and USSR colors and symbols on them.  The pawns are US and USSR leaders.

This is a matroyshka (stacking dolls) set that I bought at Izmaylovsky Park.  The dolls are (from smallest to largest): Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin.  This is not your ordinary set of stacking dolls, though.  As you can see, each doll is wearing a hat.  I’ve never seen stacking dolls with hats, and these were so adorable that I had to buy them.

Nothing new going on here.  The desert is boring and I would give anything for another 2-4 weeks in Moscow.  We tried the new Las Casuelas in La Quinta…it was so-so…best to stick to the Cafe in Palm Desert or Nuevas in Rancho Mirage.