>>Sunday, April 23, 2006<<
Caroline's Top Ten Reasons Why Russians know that you are a Tourist...
It is past midnight here and I am a complete insomniac. There are no dishes to wash, no clothes to wash, no babies to tuck in and no hubby to kiss goodnight. I believe that I have read all of the books that are in the house. I am reading through Russian Tales at this point. So, when I have the chance to be on the internet...I am a junkie. But, I will try and stop after this one for tonight :)

Margaret mentioned about not knowing what to wear here. Good question. Contrary to misconception, people do wear jeans. But, no tennis shoes with jeans. All I see is black shoes with jeans. For kicks and giggles, I will do a David Letterman style Top Ten Reasons Why....countdown for everyone...

Top Ten Reasons Why Russians know that you are a Tourist (especially American)

(10)You forget to take off your shoes in a Russian home....
(9) You have a backpack on your back.
(8) You are looking at everything with your mouth wide open.
(7) You ask for directions in English and when they respond in Russian, you speak louder in English.
(6) You have a Fanny pack on...
(5) You are wearing any other color than black, except in Spring..(green, red, and possibly pink is ok)
(4) You want to have your picture taken with a Russian Guard
(3) You talk, breath or move on the Metro..
(2) You are wearing bright white tennis shoes.


(1) Smiling..... Our tour guide from the last trip said that Russians think that those who giggle and laugh and smile all of the time out in public are thought of as crazy and lunatic.

So...there you have it my friends. That is just my take on what I have seen so far. As far as fashion goes. I give up. I am not a size Zero, so....for the ladies younger than 60...they are very tall and slender and wear tight fitting clothes. The older woman might have a little more meat on them and do not have a fashion sense. Some of them do mind you. Nice hats...but, most of the babushka's (grandma's) look like they could beat my butt any day of the week. Out of everyone here in Russia...they scare me the most. Very serious.

Do not pack much, bring a pair of blank pants, jeans, and possibly one other pant. The way that it works here....is the tops. Wear the same bottoms over and change the tops all of the time. I can see why now. The washer is very small and you have to hang up your clothes to dry. Very hard to do a lot of laundry. That is if they even have a washer. Not everyone does. Black boots, or black shoes are good. Make sure you wear something VERY COMFORTABLE on your feet. I cannot tell you how much you walk everywhere you go. Did I mention, everywhere????

I will try and take pictures of just regular everyday people so you can get an idea of what a day in the life is like. That will surely put me on the Top Ten list. But, hey...it is for a good cause!!

On a completely bizarre note.. I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked from the people who live here if I am from Germany. I had one Russian ask if I was from England. Hey... I have been to both places and they are great. I love it!. But, I am very proud to be an American and I think I look like a ringer for an American. Go figure?

I will talk more about clothing, packing, and what not....also, feel free to write me in the comments section and I will surely write you back about anything you want to know and then some :)

I leave you with some pictures that B took at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier.

P.S. This was taken in March. So, no, it is not snowing right now. But, I saw the same guys today. They still look the same...just no snow. :)

Anonymous Lori said...
Wonderful and entertaining! Keep it coming. Thank you for sharing your journey! We look forward to taking our first trip soon also.

Blogger Elle said...
Wow! I am totally surprised to see snow on the ground in that photo. All the snow has melted here (Khabarovsk) and it is just dirt everywhere. There is still some ice on the river, but it is going quickly.
glad to hear that you are now Nickolai's official parents. We will be prayin for him to get better.
Glad to have you back to blogging!

Blogger Margaret said...
Thanks for the list. One of the women I'm hoping to travel with says I should bring lots of skirts -- that means shopping. I hate shopping. I was hoping I could get away with casual pants and my "dressier" jeans. (Except for court, of course.) Looks like I can!

Blogger ipodmomma said...
love the pictures! what a place to be... so much history...

thinking of you.. hope you're having a good day!

Elle, the picture of the Soldiers were from March. I wrote on their that was from our last trip. The snow was crazy deep less than 5 weeks ago. Now, just dirt...just like you said. Can't wait to hear about your adventure!!

Blogger Starfish said...
I love to read each new adventure!! What an amazing place it is.

Blogger Margaret said...
Hey, Caroline! When you have time could you send me an email? margaret308@charter.net

Blogger sandy said...
Caroline, I just caught up on all your posts! I love all the details that you write about. And I am anxious to hear if Nikolai is getting better. I will say a prayer! Did you learn any Russian before your trips? I think I have time to learn a few phrases. Any recommendations on what to learn? Please keep posting pictures if you can. When do you come home with your son? Best wishes!

Anonymous Chrisann said...
Yes!!! I finally found your blog. This is where all the Nikolai action is at. I don't know what blog of your I was at the other day.

I am sorry to hear he isn't feeling well. I will say a prayer for him. But I am glad to hear that he you are only days away now from being "official". Let us know how his health is doing.

Keep smiling kiddo, who cares if they think you are a lunatic. We already know you are ;o)

Big hugs and we can't wait to have you two back in cul-de-sac Cary!

Chrisann & Erin

Anonymous Sharon said...
Hi Caroline,

Congrats on being Nikolai's 'official' mom! I hope he's feeling better.

Wow, you can definitely tell you have a love for writing! What you are writing right now can possibly become a book someday -- ever thought about that? Have you had time to work on your screenplay yet?

Sophia and Maya are as beautiful as ever. Maya looked very cute yesterday when your mom came to pick up Sophia; Maya walked around the courtyard pushing the toy lawn mower Sophia had brought with her as her "Sign of SPring" treasure. This week the kids are bringing in rhyming word treasures each day. Thank God we're done with 'Letter X' Week!

Got back Sat. from meeting with my publisher in Tennessee. House of Testosterone will be out in October, and we are starting marketing plans now. I'm also working on my last rewrites for the book over the next few weeks. I'll never get around to cleaning my house now!

Can't wait to see you and your little boy!!
Sharon O'Donnell

Blogger jencc said...
hi, caroline! thanks for leaving a note on my blog. these pictures are great! please, if ever you guys are visiting manila, do let me know, we should really meet up! =) how's nikolai?