Park Severnoye Tushino

The next morning began by taking the metro all the way to the end of the purple line to the Planernaya stop.  Park Severnoye Tushino is located on the very northwestern outskirts of the city, about a 25 minute walk from the subway through a residential area densely packed with more of those shabby apartment buildings that were quickly becoming the iconic sight with which I’d associate Moscow.

The “Tushino” part of this area’s name derives from the nickname Tusha, which supposedly means “carcass,” of the nobleman who controlled it during the fourteenth century.  That lovely imagery aside, one of the prominent features of its history was that it served as False Dmitry II’s (false because he claimed to be the son of Ivan the Terrible but was really a dirty, rotten liar) temporary settlement during the Time of Troubles as he lay siege to the Kremlin.  (You know, let’s just take a moment and applaud Russia’s no-bullshit approach to recounting history:  ‘Ole Dmitry here is forever immortalized as the faker he was (even though Russia wasn’t too bright at this stage in history because he wasn’t the only one; there was not only a False Dmitry I but also a False Dmitry III.  Like, you’d think Russia would have wised up after the first time or even the second.  But anyway).  Ivan was terrible in the sense that dinosaurs were “terrible lizards”—just doing his thing as tsar unless you happened to get in his way when he was hungry to lash out at someone when his unstable emotional state dictated it, in which case he went ballistic and sometimes killed you.  Also, the times.  Oh, the times!  They were troublesome.  Easy.  Succinct.  Kudos.)

Right, but you don’t care about that.  You want riveting descriptions of Big Apples.



Would you like a Crapdog too before we get started?



Anyway.  Our walk to the park was marked with some spitting rain and it was still relatively early in the day, so I was a little concerned that the rides might not be open yet.



My fears were allayed when I saw this dragon merrily circling away…



…heard Taylor Swift from speakers somewhere near this snack cart singing about her Time of Troubles, which basically consists of every second of her life since she hit puberty and realized boys were princely liars the best thing that’s ever been hers the reason for the teardrops on her guitar made today a fairy tale trouble hey I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling dismayed that she’s only 22 and we have how many more years of this playing on loop on every hit radio station?…



…and hot diggity crapdog, we don’t even have to hunt down a ride operator!



We originally thought this was named Caterpillar.



The more appropriate name might be Expression My Dog Makes If You So Much As Look At Him When He Is Chewing A Rawhide. 

Unless, of course, they’re aiming for something along the lines of Black Sheep, but caterpillar style.  They could call it Caterkillers.  I’d watch that.



Nah, actually, it’s called Loch Ness Monster.



Which you can sort of twig from these drawings.  I mean, you kind of have to suspend reality to accommodate the idea that these dudes seem to be rushing to the loch to attack the multitude of dinosaurs peacefully eating there whose expressions clearly indicate they don’t give two fucks about this political situation because ummmm hello, they are frigging dinosaurs.



Even though the ride was scheduled to run every fifteen minutes (except at 11:45 for some reason) and we’d just missed the most recent ride, they let us onto the train as soon as we had our tickets (also, wouldn’t it have been easier to just say it runs every fifteen minutes starting on the hour?) and commenced to send us around the circuit four times.



Get used to this sight, folks.  There’ll be a lot of this today.



Of course, there are only so many photos of a Big Apple one can take…



…before you start to look around at everyone else…



…and explode into fits of giggles because WE ARE FIVE ADULTS ALL TAKING PICTURES OF THE SAME GODDAMNED CHILDREN’S ROLLER COASTER.  So I decided to take pictures of us five adults all taking pictures of the same goddamned children’s roller coaster, which prompted more of those five adults to take pictures of us five adults all taking pictures of the same goddamned children’s roller coaster and then everything was unreasonably silly.



Thanks for a good time, Nessie, but watch it; that rainbow might get you arrested in this country.



We headed out, snapping pictures as usual along the way of yet another well kept little funfair.



This one even had bumper cars.

Then Richard decided to stop by the bathroom on our way out.  Knowing there would be no guarantee on the timing of available bathrooms on a day like this, I figured I’d make a stop too.

This is where I really wish I had a photo of this.

The bathrooms were set back down a narrow path.  The day was already overcast; walking under the trees rendered it even gloomier.  My arms prickled with goosebumps as the breeze rustled the leaves and a stray raindrop slipped through the foliage.  As I got closer, I heard crows cawing high in the branches.  I stopped.  There were CROWS CAWING.  And I thought to myself, “You know Megan, this is really not shaping up well for you.”  But I continued anyway, only to halt in my tracks when I saw the swarm of flies in the doorway.  Still, I tiptoed a little further, pondering the increasingly cartoonish absurdity of this situation and made it as far as the entrance threshold before a smell that rivaled even Chinese Bathroom Smell wedged a full-on assault of my olfactory senses.

Right, dehydration for the day it is, then.