MisAdventures of a Princess in Moscow #54

According to Yandex  Maps Tram No. 16 goes directly from the stop nearest my flat to the flat where the Church of Christ in Moscow meets on Sunday mornings. At least that is what Yandex Maps told me as I was looking for a more direct route with less walking so that it will be easier to take my parents while they are visiting next weekend.


Moscow Tram

Upon discovering this route I wondered why I had not seen this option previously. Maybe because it’s not really a route~at least not on Sunday~or not on this Sunday anyway.

Today is a overcast, cold, drizzly fall day. I left my flat a few minutes later than I wanted, but was grateful that the first tram was Tram No. 16. I climbed aboard with my ТРОЙКА card in hand and found a nice heated seat about half way back. I took out my local Samsung, as opposed to my US iPhone, and pulled up the Yandex Map app. I was not about to try to keep track of the 22 stops before mine. I used the app to help me NOT miss my stop. Next I pulled out my iPad and opened the Kindle Reading app so I could read on this 29 minute journey; occasionally checking the map app to track our progress.

At one point I found that I was the only passenger on Tram No. 16. A few minutes later two young boys (9 or 10 years old) got on and two stops later they got off. Soon after I was joined by an elderly gentleman. It is just the two of us on the tram when a few stops later the driver opens the door separating him from the remainder of the tram and spoke. I got the impression that he was telling us to get off the tram. So, I made my way off Tram No. 16 and wondered what I was supposed to do now. Thankfully he kicked us off at a covered tram stop.

As I exited Tram No. 16 I pulled out my phone with the trusty Yandex Map App. From this point Yandex said I could take Tram No. 16 or No. 47 to my destination. Obviously Tram No. 16 was not going to get me there. Although the electronic board only listed Trams No. 3 and No. 35 were picking up from this point I chose to wait a few minutes to see if Tram No. 47 would miraculously appear. As my hope waned and my trust in Yandex disappeared I pulled the Samsung out again and launched the Google Maps App.

Church was to begin in 10 and the only option offered by Google was a one hour and one minute walk. I contemplated that alternative for exactly two and half seconds before crossing the tracks to catch the No. 3 tram and headed back home.

There are three trams that service the tram station which is located approximately one quarter mile from my flat; Trams No. 16, No. 3, and No. 1.

While I was deeply disappointed that a) I would not make it to church this morning and b) there is apparently not a direct route from my home to church, I am thankful that at this point in my journey I could simply hop on Tram No. 3 and find myself back home in 45 minutes (yes, it was only supposed to take 29 minutes to get to my original destination . . . ).

If only life in Moscow were so simple.

I began writing this narrative on my ride home. I had just gotten to the point in the story where the driver of Tram No. 16 asked me to remove myself from his tram when Tram No. 3 took an unexpected turn into the tram yard.

Yet again I was forced to depart a tram before reaching my destination. I extracted myself and my belongings from Tram No. 3 wondering what the next step in this adventure would be. I joined the other passengers from Tram No. 3 walking toward the main road where Tram No. 1 was loading passengers. I jogged up to the tram and climbed aboard. As I began to look around I realized I was only three stops from home sweet home.

The tragedy of this story is compounded by the events of yesterday’s misadventure of trying to navigate my way via Metro and bus to IKEA. But that, my friends, is a story for another day.




4. a pledge or promise; obligation: We have made a commitment to pay our bills on time.

5. engagement; involvement: They have a sincere commitment to religion.

Above all, my brothers, do not swear–not by heaven, or by earth, or anything else. Let your “yes” be yes, and your “no,” no, or you will be condemned.
James 5:12b

There seems to be a disconnect in our society as to what “yes” and “no” mean. In my life I have seen too many times where “yes” means “if I feel like it at the time” or “if I don’t get a better offer”. Or just as frustrating, when you offer an invitation and get no response until the last possible moment. I’m not sure if these are people who don’t plan events and don’t understand how difficult it is to plan when you don’t know for how many guests you are planning. Or if they are just rude.

I am certainly not perfect, there are times when I have made a commitment to something and had to back out. Those occasions never happened on a whim. Occasionally they happen due to physical illness~which is completely understandable. And for me, sometimes I cancel due to depression.

Which brings me to another level of commitment.


Last Wednesday was a perfect example of the commitment to community in my small group. I had really been struggling with depression for several days. On Friday evening I had plans with a friend~canceled. Saturday evening dinner plans with another friend~canceled. Long time plans with a friend to go to Six Flags on Monday~canceled the week before. Made new plans to go to Six Flags with another friend on Monday~canceled. Add to that the effects of PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which is basically PMS increased exponentially) and all I wanted to do was hibernate.

On Monday I made the good decision to let others know that I was struggling. Specifically I sent an email to the women in my community group asking for their prayers. On Wednesday I wasn’t doing any better so I sent an email to our group leader letting her know that I would not be attending that evening. Apparently that was not an acceptable answer. Just before our Bible study should be starting I received two phone calls and a text message. Basically, I could willingly join them for ice cream and fellowship or someone would be waiting on my doorstep to drag me out when I got home. So, mostly willingly I met my sisters at Bruster’s for ice cream. It may not have been what I thought I wanted. But it most definitely was what I needed. (Perhaps I didn’t need the Key Lime Pie ice cream~with lots of crust).

“Friendship is always a sweet responsibility,
never an opportunity”
Kahlil Gibran
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