Today, however, I just did research and reflected. I leave tonight to Lake Bikal. It's a 25M yo lake, which is the clearest lake in the world. It also is alleged to have silver deposits inside. The journey will be a two day train ride from here. When I return, we will begin our expedition into the entrance of Shamballa. In the meantime, I'm meant to take a two day train ride there and back and see what exactly the lake is like.
My time in Moscow was just eh. I really disliked Moscow. I didn't enjoy how my first ten minutes into the city, a policeman asked the only Asian guy for a passport. Here, in Russia, if you give them your passport, they ask for money to get it back. Apparently, the reason is that civil servants are paid poorly. When the policeman saw that it was an American Passport, he backed off immediately. I was also made to pay a ludicrous $75 fine at the airport for nothing. It's alright though. I put it on my credit card; so, I'll ask for it to be reversed when I come home. But all in all, I disliked Moscow.
The people of the city feel like they carry a heart of lead in them. They never smile. They walk like they're robots and have these eyes that show no hope. Although I thought communism ended in Russia, everywhere I go I see the emblems of the hammer and sickle or statues of women carrying rifles.
But, for breakfast I met a French girl at the hostel. Together, before her flight, we walked in a vast park. I kind of lost sight of the first impression I had of Moscow. There, we sat on a bench and looked at fountain of water that erupted short bursts of jets of water, like a geyser. The rhythm of the splashes resonated with the music. In the background, a Russian waltz was playing, and I began telling her a story.
I said, "There once was a Norweigian city in the Fjords, locked deep in the heart of an ice river. There, two beautiful sisters lived. It was said that one's beauty was like never-ending dry snow softly falling. The other had beauty that could only be rivaled by a fruit tree, flowering with blosoms in the spring.
But it was also during the time of the French Revolution. One day, the religious sisters had a French stranger turn up at their door." At the mention of France, she smiled. I went on, "She had just lost all her family members during the revolution. She was freightened like a wild doe being hunted. She, however, carried a letter from a friend of the sisters that said she would be the best servant.
The French servant lived with them in their austere lifestyle. She never took of luxury and cooked the bland foods of the village. Yet, because of her service, the sisters made more money than ever. She served them for 12 years, and one day won the lottery in France. So, she begged the sisters for one favor. She would cook the two sisters a meal. The sisters agreed.
The French servant then prepared her ingredient list and went to Paris to bring them back. But when the sisters saw that she was brining a live turtle and pheasants, they were in shock. They believed it was a pagan meal. They had already made their promise though. A dinner they promised. A dinner she would make.
Thus, the guests and the sisters all made a promise to never, ever speak of this dinner or to not talk of how delicious it was. There was one guest, however, that came from abroad and did not know of this vow of silence.
So - the French cook made her feast. The guest from abroad critiqued each dish and explained how riveting and complex it was. The abroad guest commented that he only ate like this once by the best Chef in Paris, called the Cafe Anglais. Soon - the guests all forgot about their vow of silence. Old wounds were healed between feuding friends and family. Eventually, they sang and laughed and talked of the great memories they all had together. And when the guests left, for a brief moment, the snow stopped falling in Fjords.
The sisters went to thank the French servant and said to her good bye. They were very sad as they were sure she was leavnig to Paris. Why would anyone stay in such a small village?
But the French servant replied, "I'm not going back to Paris. I've lost everything. I lost my relationships with the princes, generals, and dukes. Besides, I have no more money."
One of the sisters exclaimed, "No more money! How could that be? You just won the lotterry?"
The French servant replied, "Let me tell you a secret. I was the Chef of the Cafe Anglais. A dinner for 12 costs 10,000 Frances, the amount I won for the lottery."
The sisters gasped. How could she spend so much money on them?
One of the sisters remembered the rumors of the Cafe Anglais, as her fame and reputation even made it to the Fjord. She said, "But those princes, and generals, and dukes murdered the only son of the Chef of the Cafe Anglais."
"Yes, this is true," said the Chef, "But, I still served them the best meal of their lives at my restaurant. And even though they took away what was most precious to me, I gave to them what they could never have: perfect happiness. It's what a true artist can give to others."
And the sisters then realized that they had lived only in truth but had no beauty or mercy in their lives until today. It was then they had experienced the moment when bliss and truth kissed each other. The other sister said, "I know there is no artist like you. And when you are in Heaven, even the angels will acknowledge this amongst themselves."
I don't know why I chose to tell this girl this story. But it led to other conversations, in which secrets of the world were spoken of and unlocked like the one you read today.
That was how I will remember a moment of beauty that shined in Moscow.