The Search for Materials

Our first day working on the second edition of CLOUD was spent in a taxi with our new friend and administrative guide Alexey, driving around Moscow looking for pull-chain sockets and chicken wire. It took 8-hours to run four errands! Driving in Moscow is not suggested. People come to a dead-stop on the freeway (sometimes for no obvious reason), drive on the sidewalks, park WHEREVER they want, and are generally insane. (At one point, our driver missed an exit on a 6-lane highway, and he just stopped and reversed backwards down the freeway until he could turn… this is absolutely normal practice in Moscow!!)

On the bright side, seeing more of the city was a grand adventure (even if I slept most of the way). Where else do winter markets as strange and magnificent as this exist? (We ended up at the below pictured winter market looking for chicken wire, which we never did find (in it’s North American form) although we found a wire similar enough to be functional).

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Something we’ve discovered in gathering materials for the second edition of CLOUD is that many of our requested materials (which, for the most part, are standard items found at any Home Depot in Canada) are very difficult to locate in Moscow. Alexey has gone to the ends of the earth to find pull-chain sockets (apparently they’re a North American thing commonly cited by Russians as being “inspired by an American film [they] saw once!”) Also, things as simple as marrettes (again, a dime a dozen in Canada) have been unexpectedly difficult to find here. Ditto for most of our electronics! Here’s hoping that appropriate light bulbs can be found more easily!

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