Mark and I went around Moscow for a teeny bit because it was so beautiful today — nice sky, some sunshine and little wind. I’ve been in Russia for almost 3 weeks and I haven’t even been on the metro. But today, I decided to go with him for a ride, even if it was only for a couple of stations. First we went from Byelorusskaya station (near my hotel) to the station in front of his girlfriend’s flat (see below) to meet his girlfriend, Victoria.


Mark (left) and his girlfriend’s flat (right)

They chatted for a couple of minutes at the station. Mark told me Vika is pissed and jealous cause he’s been hanging out with me for the past few days and she now thinks Mark is a little, well, bent… which is not true. Mark is just a very nice (and sweet) guy who cares. He’s a very good friend.

From there, we went to Okhotny Ryad, this big underground shopping center near Red Square. It’s this huge underground mall-like structure. Mark and I strolled around for a little bit before going to the food court. I told him I wanted to try Rostik’s, the Russian version of McDonald’s. They sell chicken ala KFC, friend chicken, chicken wings, etc. I bought a meal – 2 small pieces of chicken, some fries (which are nasty) and a drink. The chicken ain’t that bad… they were quite tasty actually. Mark showed me how expensive some of the things at Okhotny Ryad were. There was this kiosk that sells hand gloves and mittens – a couple of bad-looking leather gloves from Hungary were about US$100 each!!!!! I mean, if you saw those gloves, you would think they were cheap – they looked cheap! Those gloves shouldn’t cost more than US$15 I think.

From Okhotny Ryad, Mark and I went to Red Square. It was my 2nd time there — it was just beautiful. I took a couple of pictures; I had goosebumps while walking there. It was pretty much the epitome of Russia. Every single guidebook, web page, tourist books or brochures that have Moscow on it will show a picture of either St. Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square or the Kremlin in it.