As soon as we got off the train I could see Brand’s face light up. It was one of my most favorite parts about the whole trip. We caught a marshrutka to the center of town and started walking towards Brand’s old apartment. Walking down the streets of Kaluga got me even more nostalgic for him, thinking about all the times he walked the streets back and forth. We visited the little grocery store where he used to buy his food and drinks -its the place where I bought my first Russian snickers, and yes it’s different than American one.
When we got to Brand’s old apartment I got all emotional teary-eyed and all -maybe it was the hormones but I couldn’t help it. Second story, the entire row on the left side is his. Oh, how I wish I could have gone inside that apartment, just to see it even more. We continued our walking, these back streets of Kaluga were nice and quiet and -dirt. I loved it. We passed the post office where Brand sent home letters and packages. Statues that he remembered, the church building that he went to every Sunday, the mall he used to visit, and all kinds of parks.
One of Brand’s favorite Russian meals is a shawarma and of course we had to get one in Kaluga at the rynok. He ate his shawarma and I found a KFC nearby. We walked through the meat market and then through the rynok of course I stopped at moooost of the baby clothes shops to look -why are baby clothes the absolute cutest?!
We walked around the city some more, sat around and listened to some local artists, had a Russian guy come up and ask us to light his cigarette -little did he know we didn’t have a lighter, and walked back to the train station.
I absolutely loved Kaluga. Everything about the city… well the part we were in. I loved being able to explore it with Brand, be where he was when he served there.
One of my favorite days in Russia by far.