Tag Archives: libraries

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho

12 Aug

Tomorrow is my first day back to work after almost two months of summer vacation and I. CANNOT. WAIT.

While having the summer off has been nice and I certainly would not mind having an extended break every year, my job is a really important part of my life here.  Waking up and having something to do every day really makes me feel like I am living here, not just waiting for our next move.  It also makes lazy weekends of nothing but reading so much more enjoyable.  Without a doubt, my job plays a major role in my happiness living in Moscow.

This year I am changing positions and tomorrow will be my first day working as a Library Assistant.  I am still amazed that not only do I have an awesome job, but I have an awesome library job.  This is a pretty important position for me, not only while I am here, but also for my professional future beyond Moscow.  We took a chance by making a move across the world, and it certainly hasn’t been the easiest place to live, but I think Ben and I have both found opportunities here that we would not have in the States.  I just have to remember this next time someone is sternly talking to me in Russian and not accepting the fact that I do not understand them.

до свидания!

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Another Day in Moscow

26 Feb

Yesterday, we took a field trip to the Russian State Library (Российская государственная библиотека).  Our attempts to see the Library without dealing with administrative hassles were thwarted, but we managed to register for five year memberships with surprisingly little trouble.  What we saw of the Library was amazing – aisles and aisles of card catalogs mixed with electronic catalog stations, scholarly reading rooms, collections of art, and, of course, lots of marble. 

The Russian State Library's Main Building

Here, books are requested and sent to designated reading rooms for users to access, not browsed/self-collected and checked out.  With over 43 million items in the collection, including some in English, I hope that Ben and I both have the opportunity to use the resources available during our stay here.  If nothing else, it will be an amazing place to go if we need to get away from our usual workspaces.

Since we were near the center of the city, we decided to walk to a park that was about 2 km away.  This walk included a “Wow, we live in Russia” moment when we quickly popped into the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour simply because we were walking past and, well, why not?

"War" Vice Statue

Our destination was Bolotnaya Square to see the sculpture garden entitled Children are the Victims of Adults’ Vices.  It is pretty much as crazy as it sounds with sculptures depicting the following vices: advocating violence, alcoholism, drug addiction, exploitation of child labor, for those without memory, ignorance, indifference, poverty, prostitution, pseudoscience, sadism, theft, and war.

Also in the park, there was a very small Maslenitsa festival happening with blini carts, pony and horse rides, and folks dressed in traditional outfits singing and dancing.  This is a week long celebration that will conclude today with the burning of Lady Maslenitsa, a straw effigy that looks like a babuska.

Newlyweds' Locks on Luzhkov Bridge

Next to the park is Luzhkov Bridge, which contains metal “trees” on which newlyweds affix padlocks before throwing the keys into the river below.  Once filled, the trees are moved to the path next to the river where they remain while the locks rust with age.  It seems like an amazing tradition and we were able to see at least four couples celebrating with family and friends.  Shouts of “горькa!” (pronounced gorka, meaning bitter) could be heard to encourage the couples to kiss to make it sweeter – a tradition that we learned at our friends’ wedding last October.

It was an amazing day of appreciating and enjoying the city.  The gallery below has some more photos from the day.

до свидания!