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.
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