A strange sight

I saw something odd today.  I was on the way back to school on the Moscow-Zvenigorod bus, admiring the already rather wintry landscape with its scrubby, pale wheat fields and birches with dark orange foliage.  There was a sign for “Leninskiy Luch, Kolkhoz” (Ray of Lenin, as in ray of light, and then Kolkhoz being a Soviet-style collective farm).  What’s more, there was a man-high podium on which stood only a pair of silver legs; the head and torso of the statue, presumably of the great leader, were lying on the ground nearby.  The place looked sort of overgrown with weeds and the squat apartment buildings looked dumpy and vaguely abandoned, not that many fully inhabited buildings around here don’t look that way too, but, you know…  It was kind of haunting to pass this place just for an instant, enough to see the toppled statue but not enough to really assess whether the place is alive or not.  And then this huge monolithic storm cloud passed overhead, and it started snowing…


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