- We found a bookstore and managed to pantomime "Do you have a Russian - English dictionary?" We got one - but it is meant for a Russian speaking person, so all of the pronuciations use the phonetic sound of the letters in the Cryllic alphabet, and pronounce the English words, not the Russian words. Which helps me none, but at least I can point.
- We found a nice coffee shop in Moscow that has good (and cheap!) paninis. Except the second time we went there, the panini machine was broken and our waiter didn't speak enough English to tell us that. I offered him my dictionary, but there was no phrase for "Our panini machine is broken but we can heat your sandwich up in the oven in you like", so he had to get another customer to explain to us.
I have to say how impressed I am with the people here. If they are trying to ask us something and we clearly don't understand - they try hard to get their point across or they find someone to help them. I don't think that as a culture, most people would do that in the US. I think they would just shrug and go on about their business.
- We had lunch at a different coffee house and I was excited to see hot chocolate on the menu. I happily ordered it but was confused by the result. I was given a coffee cup of liquid chocolate and a cup of milk. Huh? Do you add the chocolate to the milk? The milk to the chocolate cup? The chocolate looked and tasted like a big cup of melted chocolate chips. It was sweet!! I had to laugh and ask the waiter what to do. You are supposed to sip the cup of chocolate and then drink the milk (or you can get water) to unsweeten your mouth. I couldn't even finish it!
- As if we hadn't had enough trouble getting our medicals done and getting out of Moscow, on our way to the airport to catch our Tyumen to Moscow flight, our driver's car broke down. Luckily we were very close to the train station and we were able to catch an express train that dropped us off right next to the ticket counter.
- I won't even mention the codine-laced tylenol that I took and caused so much trouble! 8 ) (It is almost funny now.)
Oh, our estimated travel dates are - Leave Tyumen on Tuesday (9/8) and leave for home next Saturday (9/12). We have the adoption certificate and new birth certificates and we are just waiting on her passport. The passport has to be issued in the Region where the adoption takes place so we're here until we get it. In Moscow we have to do her Embassy medical exam, an interview at the Embassy, and then register her at the Russian consulate. I think that all of that takes 3 days or so. Luckily, the hard and stressful stuff is over, the rest is just paperwork - and our coordinators do it for us. We just have to show up and sign stuff. Yay!