"Back in the USSR"

May of 2003 Paul McCartney performed in Moscow's Red Square.  The crowd favorite was a rousing edition of May of 2003 Paul McCartney performed in Moscow's Red Square. The crowd favorite was a rousing edition of "Back in the USSR", with 20,000 exuberant Russians singing along. McCartney's music, as a "Beetle", was officially banned in Russia under Communism.

Ann ? August 2006


Remember the song Paul McCartney wrote way back when - ?Back in the USSR??  (The White Album ? 1968)  Robert use to have it as his cell phone ring when we lived in Dallas.  Guess it would be more appropriate here. 


Anyway we have been back to Russia for 3 weeks and are back in our routine.  I guess it?s our age ? but we like routine and don?t do well without one.  Now granted, living in a foreign country you gotta have ?flexibility? ? especially Russia ? but it is still nice to have our routine being established again.


Traveling in the States, seeing family and friends and speaking various places was neat but begins to take its? toll, especially when you are living out of a suitcase.


But we returned to our home in Krasnodar and the 100+ degree weather.  We noticed in our apartment building alone there are a lot more air conditioning units hanging out of windows than there were when we left in June.  We still seem to be the only ones that run the a/c at night.  Our teacher explained to us this week in a discussion about culture, that Russian?s generally don?t sleep with air conditioning regardless of the heat, because it can make them sick.  Maybe they have something there.  I like the windows open if it is cool enough at night but the mosquitoes also like me so we had to put an end to that, at least for now.


Another thing we have noticed is that there are more newly paved streets than when we first came.  Krasnodar reminds us of Texas in that regard (as well as the heat!).  They are always working on the roads.  In fact, on our street, Krasnee Partisan, a main street through town, they have even made curbs!  That is a big deal around here!


It?s nice to see the newly painted stripes on the road, though they don?t seem to have much meaning to the drivers here.  When we take taxi?s (usually around $3.00 to go across town) I just try not to pay attention to how the driver is doing.  One of those ?denial? things that has come in handy from my past.  I did much better this summer when we were riding with our sons.  Their driving actually seemed to improve but perhaps it?s more about a perspective shift.


The ladies are still wearing those stiletto heels.  The surgery on my foot from last year has healed enough that I am not assigned to those black tennis shoes any more (thank you Lord).  I was a real fashion statement last summer in my long black pants and black tennis shoes in 110 degree weather.  But now I can wear my slip-on?s or light colored tennis shoes and not be crippled for a week.  You won?t ever see me in stiletto heels though.  I?m not a glutton for pain!


And the men are still unbuttoning their shirts all the way when the weather is so hot.  Doesn?t even stick out to me any more.  Robert has yet to make that adaptation to Russian culture himself, but if this heat keeps up who knows.  For women the fashion influence of western media and the fashion magazines has definitely influenced the young women over here and with what they wear, there?s really not much left to unbutton.  Robert says this can be a challenging place for a man who has made a covenant with his eyes (Job 31:1).

So, we are back in the "USSR" (or what used to be) and though we miss our friends and family, this is feeling more like home all the time.  We are so aware of your presence here with us through your prayerful partnership.  We appreciate so much your faithfulness to lift us up in prayer, and your occasional reminders of that fact through emails, are always such an encouragement.