I’m not sure what to write, gentle readers, because visiting Moscow is really just visiting friends. I’m not even bothering to take the obligatory photo in front of St. Basil’s this time. But maybe I can re-cap a bit.
Yesterday I decided to go for the full-on banya experience that I had earlier missed due to awkward nudity. So I went to the Sandunovsky baths, which are the oldest baths in Moscow. Obviously you can’t take photos inside the baths, so I’ve downloaded a few from their website. These photos are from the working-class women’s baths. There’s also a fancy women’s bath and three different classes of men’s bath.
This is the resting area. Notice the birch branches. I birched myself this time, thank you very much.
This is the actual steam area:
And then this is the washing and *shocking cold water* area. Those barrels you see are filled with ice water. Also, not pictured, is a barrel hanging from the ceiling that will dump ice water on you if you so desire.
After I was squeaky clean, I met my friend for her date. You see, there’s this guy that she wants to be friends with but he wants more. She’s told him she’s not interested, but to make sure the message is clear I tag along on their date. It starts off uncomfortably since he brought her a bouquet of roses, but as the three of us chatted he loosened up and I think even enjoyed himself.
Tonight we’re having a “girls’ party” as a prelude to tomorrow’s holiday, International Women’s Day. My job is to go buy fish. I expressed my concern about my ability to discern good fish from bad fish, but my friend just reminded me to taste everything first. I’m also going to try an engineer a back-up plan in case I choose poorly.