I Blame the Heat.

This week the average high in Moscow has been about 30 Celsius. That is hot, folks. Hot. The heat is made worse by the thousands of cars that clog the streets. I never visited Moscow during the Soviet period, but I have heard from friends here that there were almost no cars. Even the average Soviet Lada could be difficult to come by for an ordinary family. Most people relied on public transportation, which I want to point out is generally excellent (and cheap) all over Russia, even in the smallest most “provincial” cities.  I am told in fact that my beloved Moscow looked something like this in the 1980s:

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Those open lanes next to the Kursk Train Station are now almost always clogged. And that giant half-empty parking lot is now home to a kitschy post-Soviet shopping mall. But no matter. The city is has been boiling. And I am pleased to say that while I have worked on Big Book Project every single morning for the past three days, cranking out another 1.25 pages, I have not had any energy left over in the evenings to write blog posts. Afternoons are spent in the archive, and the process of getting there, working there (no AC), stopping off at the grocery store on the way home, and then getting back to my flat in the sweltering humidity leaves me totally drained. The only I’ve been good for are Skype calls with family and Netflix. (Netflix is in Russia now. But the selection of things to view is very odd and frankly, not great.)  Hopefully things will cool off, I’ll regain some energy, and will be able to say more about both the writing process and life in Russia, which in general, is always interesting and usually pretty great (despite the heatwave.)

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