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I love Moscow in November, its cold feels like a great refreshment after the hot and humid  Montenegrin fall.  It’s dry for now, no snow yet and the temperature is above zero Celsius – just the way i love it.

I’ve been crazy busy ever since i got here; the teeny-weeny studio i left behind nine months ago needed thorough de-cluttering  and cleaning, i was reapplying for residence permit, catching up with my studies, meeting friends – i don’t get to sleep more than 4 or 5 hour per night from all that running, but i am loving it.

I didn’t go clubbing yet, so i don’t know what changed in capital’s night life; so far we went with Elena for a dinner and some shopping to Kapitoliy-Vernadskovo, one of the Moscow’s biggest and best equipped shopping malls, and for some coffees in local Starbucks.

Last night we went to see Skyfall, i loved it, it’s definitely one of the best 007 movies so far! The villain is amazing, i must say i loved him more than James Bond!

The funny part is that all foreign movies are dubbed, so we got Russian speaking Daniel Craig – not to mention that he anyway looks like a combo of a Pagan Slavic deity and a KGB colonel!

(In addition to that, Ralph Fiennes – aka Gareth Mallory, the head of the Foreign Intelligence wing of Her Majesty’s Secret Service – is mostly remembered in these parts by the role of the jaded and driven by wanderlust St. Petersburg’s aristocrat Eugene in 1999 remake of  Onegin!)

Anyway, the new 007 is surprisingly not sexist – and the “gay scene” where the villain strokes James Bond’s chest is  just great.

Javier Bardem, whom most would remember as Felipe in “Eat, Pray, Love”, did a great job as Silva – i don’t recall seeing such a complex and psychologically deep bad guy ever since Antony Hopkins and “The Silence of the Lambs”; apropos – there is an obvious hint on the latter in Skyfall (warning, spoiler ahead! ) ; the glass cage where the villain is held and the action going on there has obvious allusions on Jonathan Demme’s classic.

Other than that – i gained 2 kg/ 4 pounds in a single week since i got here  from all the perogi, pelmeni, vareniki and other Russian wonders from unleavened dough, those are addictive! It’s downright miraculous how Russian women manage to be that skinny with all those delicious yet horribly fattening traditional foods!

I asked around what’s their secret – and it seems crash diets are still in vogue; on youtube there is plenty of ridiculous eating plans, like this one where you alter chicken with veggies – for ten days one day you eat an egg+cucumber and a boiled chicken , and the other day – cabbage, carrot and beetroot salad (no salt, no oil, no supplements – nothing!) It’s beyond me how nutritionists – or at least that’s how the TV host addresses them – can suggest something that imbalanced, and more so claim that you will lose 5 kg/ 11 pounds in only ten days?! I mean, dumping salt is awesome – whomever can do it, and if that menu actually combined the lean protein with veggies on a daily basis – that would be more than fine, but losing 11 pounds in such a short period is impossible, most of it will be water and all of it will come back too soon, probably doubled; yo-yo dieting is notorious for that.

I included fish and diary in my menu once again; vegan works for me back in Montenegro, but here i don’t have all the time it takes to plan a balanced vegan menu, hunt down the products which aren’t readily available, not to mention hours that it takes to prepare them (mind you, raw vegan is not a good idea in harsh Russian winter.)

With NaNoWriMo i am terribly behind, with all the research and writing i am doing for my thesis, it would kill me to write additional 1.600 or so words per day; i settled for a novelette (that would be 15.000 words only) and if i finish the first draft by the end of the month, i’ll be more than happy; i choose a borderline genre – a fictional memoir of a mail order bride and so far i am having fun working on it.

I took several shots for you of the area where i live, my University – the prestigious Pushkin State Institute and surrounding it South-Eastern Muscovite scenery.

From Russia with love,

yours L.R.S.