Olympic Park - Moscow - December, 1998 - Russia is beautiful in early December - - white but not yet brutally cold. From my hotel window I had an open view of Olympic Park, about 300 meters down the street, across from Olympic Stadium. It was snowing softly but heavily. I'm a walker and walking on fresh snow is a delight, like walking on a deep white carpet.
When I entered the park, it was pretty much empty but after strolling a short distance I was surprised to find a Russian lady sitting on a bench facing the frozen lake. Actually, she was reading. Yes, reading with a clear plastic cover over the open pages. Only in Russia.
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But the snow was falling at such a rate that she had to continually blow the flakes off the plastic or brush them off with her glove. I was intrigued and said in Russian "Do you need help?" She looked at me blankly for a second and then smiled and said in English "You are British, yes?" "No, I'm just an American lost in a snow storm."
She smiled even more broadly and stood up "Do you need help?" "No, no, I'm just kidding. I'm actually staying there at the Penta Hotel." "Oh, I see, it's American humor, yes?" "Yes, yes, something like that." I motioned toward the bench. "May I join you?" "Please, sit down" and she started to brush the snow away from the spot next to her. "No, no. I can sit in the snow if you can."
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