Sunday, June 20, 2010

Is it disrespectful to jog in a cemetery?

My first week in Russia has been relatively uneventful. I think this is good. I'd rather it be uneventful than be robbed and thrown over a bridge, have a leopard maul me, or be crushed by an elevator. Even though these would make great stories (if I lived to tell them, that is).

Instead, since I've been here I've been preoccupied with finding spaces to do things. For as big as Moscow is, I'm having a bit of trouble finding good places to (for example) get work done. I don't have an office or designated space at the Institute of the Russian Language, where I'll be doing most of my research, and while the institute has a small library where I can work, its hours are sporadic and limited. I won't have access to larger state libraries until later next week, so in the meantime I'm trying out different coffee shops. I've found a few that pass muster, and I'll be exploring some more in the coming days.

Next, and perhaps more challenging, is finding a place to jog. I came very close to jogging in a cemetery the other day, since it was the only place at all park-like nearby my apartment. Then I found a mediocre park across the street (hidden behind a strange red brick building). And today, further away, I found a nice park with lots of paths and even a pond.

Yes, there are children trapped in large transparent balls in the middle of the pond. It appears to be intentional.

While I may be having trouble finding the right places to do things, there will be no problem getting to the places once I find them. That is because public transportation here is great. I especially love the Moscow metro. In fact, Moscow's 181st station opened this weekend -- a station devoted to Dostoevsky. Its opening was delayed because of complaints about the violent imagery and themes that could provoke suicide or depression. Seriously. Read about it.

I went to the station today (it's not too far from where I live) but I didn't need to ride anywhere so I didn't go past the point where you have to pay, thus didn't get to see the murals. But here's the shiny new passageway to the station:

I'll be sure to post depressing pictures of Dostoevsky and Raskolnikov once I actually enter the station.


Sandra said...

Yeah! I'm so glad you found a good place to run. And it really looks like an interesting place. I want to do that ball on the water thing!

Christine said...

Moscow looks nice! This entry made me think about how you lived near that awesome park in Berkeley, ran by it even, for years before you knew it was there. That was so funny. I see your park-finding skills have greatly improved. I'm both frightened and intrigued by the balls. For some reason, they remind me of the giant balls used to catch runaways in the show "The Prisoner." I know about this because it was once referenced on the Simpsons.
Oh, and I'm blogging again.

cg said...

I couldn't read past the children in the balls. How peculiar. The weather looks great there though! :)

A said...

if running can be claimed as disrespectful, don't ask what happened late one night in a german cemetery...

A said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julia M. said...

I have to confess that it's been really hot and muggy and I haven't made it back to the park with the kids in the balls to run. There's a little park across the street from where I live that I've gone a couple of times for a quick, less intense jog. It's more convenient since the weather's only OK for jogging either around 5 am or 9:30 pm. Guess which time I prefer? ;)

I don't know what the show the Prisoner is. Is it still on?

Maybe I don't mean "disrespectful" to jog in a cemetery, but perhaps "inappropriate." Either way, I'm not gonna do it, and I'm not gonna do what you did, either, A ;)