Six students from the University of Pittsburgh Honors College trek across Mongolia in search of illumination, perspective, and the perfect cup of Yak-milk tea.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Return to the west.....

So Moscow is pretty nice. It is a very western city and we can actually read the signs. We don't really know what they mean but the important thing is that we can read them. There is also a problem here where everyone smokes and they have a blatant disregard for others who don't. This women is sitting next to me and I waved my hand in front of my face trying to blow the smoke away from me since it is write in my face and she does not care at all. The olympic village is pretty nice but so far I have been far more impressed by the infinite amount of crazy expensive stores with no gap or even j. crew level store in sight. How these people who are apparently struggling through an economic transition can afford gucci, versace and armani boggles my mind. The women wear crazy shoes and buy them in order to snag a man, who is probably part of some mob, that will take care of them for the rest of their life. For many, they see little choice. It is very sad but at the same time kind of disgusting. The people are clearly enjoying their freedom though. Olga is incredibly interesting and entertaining so I am so glad that she is our guide for this part of the trip. We had an interesting day today walking around with Olga M. (our Olga) and her friend Olga V. who showed us around the city to lots of wonderful sights including the KGB building which I very much enjoyed. The tour fed some of my cold war obsession and got me thinking a lot. (I need to start reading more about it.) I also had a little accident with my food during lunch where it spilled all over me and burned my leg but I survived. It just left a trail of spaghetti sauce all over my clothes which I must clean. It is currently 12:30 am here and I am exhausted but I payed an hour for the internet and it is expensive so I'll use it. Our day was really quite fulfilling and it truly is nice to return to the west for these few days until we hit up the vast expanse of Mongolia on Monday morning. So until next time...arrivaderci.