The next time I was invited to join my Russian friends at their weekend house in Shisken just outside of Moscow was at the start of autumn. Alexander’s mother picked me up Saturday morning and drove me and the girls to the datcha (Weekend House). She doesn’t actually speak a lot of English so it was a question and answer session done through the little girls who can speak a bit of English.
I met Alexander’s father at the datcha, and he was such an interesting person. He showed me one of his 4 published books filled with photos of when he lived in Namibia. It turns out that he has toured around the world quite a bit; he yachted all the way around the world and then got to pin on gold medals for Russia at one of the Olympic Games. He has had a very interesting life filled with travels. Unfortunately his parents couldn’t stay for the day and left just before lunch.
For lunch we had Russian sis kebab barbeque accompanied by a whole bottle of vodka. A midday nap after all that vodka would have been perfect but a walk in the forest was definitely the next best thing.
It was beautiful walking through the forest with all the autumn leaves on the trees and covering the forest floor. The kids had fun pointing out different mushrooms to me. Anastasia would then tell me how to cook the different kinds of mushrooms and when the best time would be to pick them.
I never knew that there are actually
purple and even pink mushrooms. The kids had me step on a specific mushroom and enjoyed the shocked expression on my face when the mushrooms turned into dust. They thought I was very weird because I kept taking pictures of all the mushrooms they pointed out to me. This was so much fun for me. It was great just being out doors in the fresh air and not to have the concrete jungle of Moscow around you.
We spent the rest of the afternoon in a small row boat on their pond (the one they taught me to ice-skate on).
That evening we sat in front of the fire place playing cards and drinking hot spiced mulled wine.
It was great fun spending time out in the countryside and experiencing Russian family life! It actually made me miss my own family.