I forgot to mention that we thought Hard Rock would be the one place that would accept credit cards - especially American ones. Daddy has visited enough of them around the world for us to think this would be possible – BUT signs on the doors stated they do not accept American Express! drat! It might have been a good thing – it kept me from going wild in the gift shop. The check for the 6 of us was 3500 ru – less than I anticipated, but I’m low on cash now.
For all you economic types – I finally got it though my thick head that 100 ru is around 4 dollars – thus 1,000 ru is about $40 – took me long enough, sigh. Gas here is around 21.50 ru for a LITER – you do the math for the price of a gallon. A ride on the Metro (subway) is 17 ru – the bus was 20 ru. The standard tip at restaurants is 10%. The cost of living rate for Mike varies weekly according to the value of the dollar - hard to keep a budget. The school insists they pay by check so they get hit by the bank handling fees adding to the $550+ monthly tuition – Sophia goes 3 half days and Teresa only attends 2. There is a VAT on EVERYTHING at 18.7% and I can’t tell if it is included or added to the prices as I give Lisa all my receipts for the refund.
I’ve been in enough subway stations now to see a pattern in the stalls selling stuff. There might be more but they all had ones dedicated to breads and cakes, cosmetics, newspapers, video rentals, little gifts, stockings and sexy lingerie, and flowers. You see lots of people walking around with flowers. There are also booths selling tickets to various events – not the permanent stalls like the others. Lisa says you can only get tickets for that day - nothing in advance. There are always street sellers on the steps – mostly “mature” ladies offering scarves and gloves incase you just lost them, I guess and I’ve seen some of the usual toys like the mechanical “ferret” chasing the ball. Things are the same all over – I wonder of the umbrella sellers magically appear when it starts to rain like they do in New York.