A couple of weeks ago, our family made a trip to Moscow.
We visit about once a month - hitting Ashan (like a Super Walmart) and Ikea and, if I’m lucky, Starbuck’s in a feverish shopping binge that always leaves us feeling full but a little guilty and a lot let down.
This visit I was determined to not get caught in the shopping mania. It was to be a cultural trip.
We took Sophi to Red Square.
I love Red Square.
I’ve been there a million times. Every time I pinch myself.
Sophia felt it, too.
Red Square is the fairy tale of “Old Muscovy.” It is Ivan the Terrible and Nicholas II. It is Lenin and Stalin.
It is as big and wide as Russia and her history.
It is mostly empty - waiting to be filled with whatever Russians imagine - whatever can be.
It is sprinkled with tourists. Most of them Russians, like the one middle-aged woman who ran to Red Square during the couple of hours she had between trains. She stopped us and asked Anton to please take her photo with her camera.
“What do you want in the picture?” he asked her.
“It doesn’t matter,” she answered, a little embarrassed,
“I just want to show I was on Red Square.”
As we walked away, Anton turned to me.
“They still want to come here. That’s good.”