August 9 - Penza

Go through boxes in the kitchen

Гречка с молоком

Use salt instead of sugar

Crying because grandma saved good coffee for us. She didn’t think she was going to die so soon. 

FaceTime with vova and dad.

Vova can’t even look at grandma’s notes about using the phone/iPad.

3 bags to the dumpster

Walk to bank by Metro


Walk back to bank, they say to go to another branch

On the way, try to explain cellular data vs voice minutes to mom

An older (drunk?) guy tries to ask us for directions. Mom completely ignores him. I make eye contact and he says “your nose is broken just like mine. Who got you like that?” Smile. “I don’t know anything here”

Long line at the other bank branch

McDonald’s to pee

Apple Watch to pay for weird Italian chicken wrap and mango McFlurry lol

Back to bank, mom talking with a bank person

Eat on the steps and people watch

So many food delivery guys on bikes

Bank says she has 360000 rubles on her account, and an undetermined amount of money in some other (insurance?) account that they need to check whose name it was left under.

MegaFon to get mom a Russian phone number

Can’t find grandma’s phone, mom had it at the bank. I count it gone.

Back to the bank, a guy says I found your phone and gave it to the office. Phew. 

Tomatoes here are out of this world. We buy some from some old ladies who are selling them next to the bank building.

Walk to market. They’re selling some vintage Russian serveware. Maybe we can donate to him grandma’s?

Mom haggles with guy for price of eggplant

Walk back home

Stop at пенсионный фонд

Mom doesn’t like humidity. I like it?

Stop at my old library. I almost cry. My old librarian became a grandma and quit. They’re remodeling.

Cut up vegetables we bought at the market with the dullest of knives.

The vegetable stew turns out not so great because we used some oil that has gone rancid.

Tomato salad makes up for it.

Lyuda wants to take us to a new Penza neighborhood (Sputnik, like the vaccine!)

I’m exhausted (physically and mentally), but go along with it

Shocked at how much I enjoy this walk

It’s raining but warm and the riverbank walk reminds me of Malmö

Mom and Lyuda walk together and I get a little alone time

Lyuda needs an ice cream to drive home lol

Manuikini are at our apartment at 7 pm, right on time. We are still 20 minutes away. Lyuda is still eating her ice cream.

we all piled into the elevator together

Manuikini forgive us for being late

Nothing has changed, except Vera’s hair is bleach blonde and in a cute little bob

We scramble to get a table together amid the chaos of grandma’s things

I struggle to cut up a melon with the aforementioned dull knife

We chat and eat melon and drink tea until 1 am

I’m soooooo tired