Friday, October 5, 2012

Дождь! Ужас!

Moscow in the autumn is a city of impulsive weather changes.

While I was running this morning, the clouds sunk ominously low.  "будет дождь," I thought.  I didn't realize how quickly будет дождь would change to идет дождь.  All of a sudden, a torrential downpour descended upon the opposite riverbank.  I watched it make its way across the river, the raindrops turning the usually calm Moscow River into a simmering waterway.  I was caught in a downpour 2.3 miles from home.  Oh well.  Running in the rain is nothing new.  At least it's not snow yet!
A goofy mirror picture of me completely drenched.
I spent most of the morning getting some work done at home and waiting for the rain to subside before venturing out into the city to reload my phone with rubles and see the Старый Английский двор (Old English Court).

While trying to find a place to reload my phone, I wandered through the historic Hotel National.
Since its opening in 1903, the Hotel National has housed prominent guests such as Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov and Grand Prince Alexander Mikhailovich.  During the October Revolution, the National became the First House of the Soviets. Vladimir Lenin stayed in room 107; Trotsky and Dzerzhinsky also stayed at the National.
Hallway of Floor 3
Then, I saw the Moscow Old University.

All my guidebooks recommended visiting the Old English Court.  Since we didn't have enough time to see it yesterday before our meeting at the American Center, I decided to see it today.  The court was a little underwhelming.  I expected more from the museum itself.  I did stumble upon an English speaking tour, however, and casually listened to the guide while I pretended to read the Russian signs.
In 1553, English merchant Richard Chancellor was shipwrecked while trying to find a passage to the east along the northern coast of Russia.  Ivan the Terrible recieved Richard Chancellor in Moscow and opportunistically used the merchant's misfortune to establish trade relations with England.  Richard Chancellor and his trading mission were given the Old English Court to serve as a place of storage, trading, and accommodation for English merchants.

After visiting the Old English Court, I grabbed a cup of coffee and prepared for my internship interview.  Russian coffee is delicious.  My host mom's morning brew is some of the best coffee I've ever had - and I've had a lot of coffee.

My interview went well, though I'm not sure my interests align with the institute's.  I will have to think about whether or not I want to take on the position.  I'm hoping for more of an "internship," and not a "go do this task and we will meet with you in a month to see how it's going" type of work.  After an interview with another research center next week, I will reassess my options.

It's raining again.  I really need to buy rainboots.  I should have packed mine from home, but they couldn't fit in my suitcase.  Ужас!

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