|An acoustic guitar (and Marilyn Monroe)|
Outside the window was a rush of slush and snow and the snowy trees of a scraggy forest. The carriage was populated with several suntanned Russians returning from some far-off island holiday and heavily drinking the rum they'd bought as a souvenir. A little boy pretending to be a soldier kept opening and closing the carriage doors. Each time he did this the compartment was filled with icy blasts of air. Come to think of it he is probably the only reason I didn't fall asleep completely.
45 minutes later I dragged myself and my case up the platform and into the metro below the station. I took it all the way to the stop closest to my hostel and retraced my novemeber steps along Kuznetskaya Ulitsa. Soon I found myself collapsing in the reception of the hostel that i'd visited with Jaya, Marilyn and Alex last year. (See this post: http://fromrussiawithrob.blogspot.com/2011/11/episode-18-part-one-moscow-hostels.html )
This time, however, I wasn't inserted next to the builders in a bottom-floor room and instead found myself in a perfectly reasonable single on the upper floors of the hostel. Venturing to this previously unknown quarter of the building I found myself staring at endless pictures of Marilyn Monroe that adorned every wall and flat surface. At first I thought this was a symptom of my tiredness but it seems that, before the current overhaul, this part of the hostel was a separate hotel know as "Marilyn Hostel" It's almost borderline obsessive decor plasters images of the 50's superstar nearly everywhere. Their rigid adherence to their scheme stretches as far as the toilets which also don't escape her stare and cheeky smile - oi, what you looking at! Luckily the shower cubicles are her biggest blind spot so for a few minutes a day I can escape this bizarre big brother. After a night's sleep I got used to it and in fact find it a little disappointing that the staff aren't dressed like the cast of "Grease".
|A cool bookshelf for guests to swap literature (and, of course, Marilyn pics)|
|Home base for the next few days|