Moscow is cold. It’s also mayo. And water you’re not supposed to drink. And a weird language that sounds funny when spoken and looks funny when written. And Moscow is very pale people, some of whom want to take pictures with you because they are not used to seeing people who are black. It’s Lenin and Stalin and the Kremlin and pretty churches that look like they come straight out of Candy Land.

Moscow is also really warm indoors, which I think is fantastic. And it’s clean. There is no litter on the streets and you’ll even find  cardboard boxes set up in alleys where people throw their cigarettes and gum wrappers.

Moscow is also high-heeled shoes. They are a staple of every female over the age of 15. The older the woman, the higher the heel. (This starts to taper off around the age of 35 so that when the women reach the age of 60, they’re wearing flats like the did when they were 10.)

I first heard about these heels from my friend who lived in Russia for a year. She explained the phenomena to me, but I didn’t believe her. After all, she must be exaggerating things. I mean, who in their right mind would wear 6 inch heels and attempt to walk down a cobble stoned street in the dead of winter during an ice storm? Little did I know she was telling the truth and nothing but. These women are HEEL WEARERS.  I saw every color of the rainbow and every shape of shoe. I saw every kind of heel and every type of material. I saw pointy-toed, round-toed, patent leather, suede, and animal skinned, shoes and boots, just to name a few. I saw high flat heels, medium chunky heels, insanely tall glass pointed heels, wedges, rubber soled, wooden, and plastic heels. I saw heeled-shoes with buckles and laces and snaps and strings and Velcro. And I saw them every day and every night, all around Moscow.

Neither snow, nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these Russian women from the swift completion of their appointed rounds in heels.