Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 10:40:12 EST
From: Paul BarfootPaul Barfoot
Subject: Home from Siberia
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L
Hi Honey(s) I'm home.
It was an easy trip this time. I already knew my way around a
little, so it didn't take as much energy to adjust. Two days in
Moscow - Pushkin Museum (German and Russian art from WWII), Christa
Spasetel' Cathedral (torn down by Stalin, it's being reconstructed
from recently discovered plans) , Red Square (They were changing Mr
Lenin's fluids, so he was closed) Kremlin (Ivan the Terrible's
throne with carvings of dogs licking themselves), Arbat (9000 r. for
a Big Mac, QPWC is called "Royal", cleanest bathrooms in Moscow).
Three days on the train. This was not the Trans-Sib but a direct
Moscow-Tomsk run, crossed the Urals at night (as night as it gets),
days hot, but the train is air conditioned.
Arrived in Tomsk on the 7th along with 14 other theater companies
from Russia, Poland, Germany, Japan for the International Festival of
Boundless (bizgranichnii) Theater. We stayed in the old Communist
Hotel (the information booklet in the room says "welcome comrade" and
lists the phone numbers of all the important CP offices), nice view
of the Tom River. Meals in the cafeteria suck, but there are enough
parties with real food to keep everybody happy. A nice variety of
performances - some truly masterful puppetry. More parties, back to
the hotel each night 2, 3am in the wonderful duskdawn half-light.
We see "golosuy" (speak out) spray painted everywhere, some
campaigning - mostly posters and tv, but a rally or two here and there
and little kids handing out Zhirinovsky literature (are they the only
ones left that he can still fool?) Most of my friends say the will
hold their noses and vote for Yeltsin.
Back in Moscow on the 15th. A bomb went off in the Metro, killing
4 people, a couple of days before - there are police everywhere -
I'm glad they're there.
Left Moscow on the 17th.
Detailed stories to follow. Good to be home.