So this is Summer and outside it’s pouring with rain and the skies are grey. To quote my three year old grand nephew in Australia……. “What’s going on here?”. Every now and then I can see sunlight fighting its way through those fluffy sad clouds that just want to open up and shower down tears every time I attempt to step out in my new high heels. Jumping puddles and making my way through slippery broken pathways to the supermarket is no fun.
Someone has lied to me! I was told Moscow has a beautiful hot summer with blue skies, sunshine and the chance to get a tan while walking the city.
The Greek and I have been away for two weeks sunning and beaching in Greece visiting family, eating wonderful Greek food and exploring new quaint beach towns and the highlight is always a visit to Santorini island…our own piece of paradise.
Arriving back to Moscow tanned and little bit heavier I was looking forward to the new season fruits of sweet white peaches, black cherries and nectarines in my local supermarket. The week before I flew out for Greece I had to fight the notoriously famous grey haired babushkas (grandmothers of Russia) to get to this limited fruit. On my return from Greece I was looking forward to a more quiet city where the supermarket would be all mine in July and August.
Not only did I come back to a quiet Moscow but also no seasonal summer fruit! So not only has someone stolen our summer but they took the white peaches with them! Is it because all the wives, children and grey haired babushka brigade have left for their Dashas or Vilas in the South of France for the next two months that the supermarket decides it’s not worth selling any more seasonal fruit?
To top it all off the Russian government, whilst we were away, decided to stop the sale of all liquor in supermarkets between the hours of 11pm to 8 am to curve the alcohol abuse problem.
We are vampire shoppers and enjoy shopping at midnight mainly to avoid the babushkas. Anyway I tried to get through the metal barrier that they put up to stop liquor sales after 11pm only to have security blurt out NYET and push me away. Again, i yelled out “What’s going on here!” All it did was stop the Greek and I from having our new favourite drink…Martini Royale…..which we desperately needed to get over our seasonal fruit disaster.
I’ve also noticed a strange sign around the corner from my apartment. It has a photo of a very exotic red velvet bedroom in a hotel and all I can make out is the words 750 roubles an hour!! I’ll let your imagine work out what is happening in this city while the families have left town and the men are left to work through the long summer on their own. To quote the Greek this time, “the mice will play whilst the babushkas are away”.
I never thought I would say this but bring on Winter!
Lastly I would like to say that I feel sorry for all those tourists that cancelled their summer holidays to Greece due to their economic problems. After travelling every summer to Greece over the past 8 years i was so surprised to see a dramatic change for the better. Our Aegean fight was on time and in fact it arrived twenty minutes early. Immigration was welcoming and Customs was virtually non existent. And as for the hotels, cafes and shopkeepers, there were more smiles, courtesies and true care everywhere we went. We saw a race of people trying their hardest to put up a brave front and get on with their lives. Well done to them all for making our holiday yet again, a huge success.
As my wise niece Angie said to us in Athens ….”The politicians and European countries think they can strip Greece of everything to pay back their debt……… but they will never take away our Sunshine and beaches”