where am I?

I feel like I’ve landed on another planet.

Kind of like those Polish cows, Russia is really, really big.  On the bus from Tallinn into St. Petersburg we drove for an hour through endless apartment blocks before we got to the city center.  On the train to Moscow, I could see endless forest.  It’s one thing to know that Russia is twice as big as the US; it’s another thing to be here and realize just how far it is one from one end to the other.  I’m getting the geography lesson I tried to teach the Latvians.

I’m in Moscow now, at the flat of a young journalist who’s going to take me to harvest potatoes at an Orthodox monastery.  Here’s the view from the 25th floor.

Moscow.  Might as well be Mars.
Moscow. Might as well be Mars.

While St. Petersburg has always looked west, even taking cues from Venice with all its canals, bridges and palaces, Moscow is a bit more foreign.  I’ve only been here a few hours, but am already overwhelmed by the pollution, pace, and size.

I leave tonight for rural Russia, so probably will be offline for a week or so.  I’ll try to jot some ides in long hand, so I can file a whole series of reports once I rejoin civilization.

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