Well, we're much more relaxed now that we've gotten past the court appearance. The problem now is getting Elizabeth to like us again. Today, she cried for the first time. She let me hold her, but my Russian words were not much consolation. She calmed down once our interpreter Liena returned to the room. Liena then commented that she was sorry that Elizabeth like her so much over us. I had to burst Liena's bubble and tell her that Elizabeth prefers anyone who speaks Russian. I'm doing my best to learn the language, but it's a slow process.

Thanks for your comments here. It's more fun when it's interactive like that, though I do wish that some of you would tone down the religious comments.

We like our new room MUCH better. It doesn't reek of smoke and we've got a view of the Volga again, like last time. Just now, the manager, an American named Robert, gave us a discount (not much, but we'll take it) because we'll be staying so long. He was surprised that we would be staying the entire time, but we explained that leaving and coming back would be even more expensive. Besides, we need a lot of time to reconnect with Elizabeth. I don't want her screaming the entire trip back.

One of the most remarkable things I've noticed about Russians is their ability to deal with adversity and life's daily aggravations. Pedestrians crossing the street are barely missed by passing cars, and they don't say anything. Almost nothing here is done the same way two times in a row, but they don't get angry. One bureaucrat tells a person to go see another bureaucrat down the hall, only to be told by the second one that today is not their day to work even though they're in the office, and the customer just laughs it off. People here just never get angry, at least not in public. They probably should, for their own mental health, but they don't. Anyway, I”m just impressed with how flexible they are.

Well, Tara's probably wondering where I am (I have to come down to the first or second floor lobby to blog because the wireless signal only goes that high).

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