Before we left for Moscow I was obsessed about what I should wear while I was there. I asked questions of Patrick Black who we would be staying with. I also prodded Roxy Bertsch for information since she had spent a summer in Russia.
I was told that Russians tend to dress very nicely and in dark colors. Women often wear high heel shoes and skirts. I should avoid bright, flashy colors and tennis shoes. Oh, and I should wear comfortable shoes because we would be walking a lot. Dressing warmly is important as it is very cold in Moscow in March.
I assessed my wardrobe and noticed a lack of warm dressy clothes. This is when the obsession to find the proper attire for Moscow began.
Step 1: Buy clothes.
Step 2: Fret about clothes I have bought. Will this really meet my needs? Is this warm enough, comfortable enough, dark enough? Can I walk all over the city in these shoes? Will I be able to blend into a crowd? I really don’t want to draw attention to myself.
Step 3: Return clothes.
Step 4: Repeat
So the cycle continued until the day of departure. I left home with a suitcase full of warm, dark and comfortable clothing. So how did I do? Well, ok I think.
1. I have been plenty warm. In fact I have been hot at times.
2. I passed the comfort test. I found a great pair of comfortable black shoes for walking.
3. I may have over done it in my quest for dark clothes. If you look at all the pictures I am wearing the bleakest, darkest and most depressing clothes of anyone. Go ahead take a look back through the pictures. I’m hilariously depressing.
4. I think the greatest test is whether I was able to blend into a crowd or not. I think I passed. A number of people have stopped me out in public to ask me a question. In Russian. I assume they are asking me because I look trustworthy and like I know the language, but who knows maybe they are insulting me or asking if I need psychiatric care for my depression. I’ll never know.