06/19/2006

The morning started about 4:30 AM with Dave wandering around in his underwear.

Desperate to return back to dreamland, I dozed off until about 7:30. I spent

the next 30 minutes or so surfing for free wireless and ran across ‘City-Net’

which offered free wireless in 30 minute increments. Dave was unable to receive

a signal on his laptop and my signal was very poor. Maybe our next apartment

will have better access to what could be a very nice service. We ate breakfast

and drank some instant coffee. I chatted with Eriko and gave her a quick phone

call. She was doing well.

We headed over to ‘Kofe Maniya’ for some espresso. They must have recognized we

were foreigners due to Dave’s haircut because we were given English menus. We

didn’t have any trouble ordering ‘latte’ and ‘croissant’. After coffee we both

spent some time on our laptops before Alex arrived. The three of us waited

outside for Vladmimir; when he arrived we purchased flowers for Luda (the lady

at Mirantis who set us up with our apartment.)

The drive took about 30 minutes and the streets were more crowded than before.

I did find myself a tad woozy by the driving. Mirantis’ office is located near

the outer portion of Moscow (but still in the city proper). There was extensive

construction in the area and the street was down to one lane, with dust and

exhaust heavy in the air.

We arrived at the complex which houses Mirantis; an electronic gate let the

vehicle in. Upon entering the Mirantis office, we were greeted by Alex and

Dmitry. Into the office I went, coming face to face with Andrey, Alex, the

kids, and Vladimir. Things were a bit awkward but it was good to be there.

Dmitry took us on a tour (with Andrey in tow) of the floor and Luda showed up

and taught us how to use the coffee machine. Back in the office, we hooked up

our computers and were ready for work.

Dave soon dozed off and I spent time talking to Dmitry about setting up a

regular 1 on 1, performance reviews, corporate goals for Isilon, and a few

other topics. Andrey and I began to speak about TSM and before long we were

proceeding through the MRD on a point-by-point basis. At the end he felt much

more comfortable and thought the current set of requirements was quite doable,

with two notable exceptions. I setup the wiki status for Dmitry and showed him

how to use it. Alex and I also had a few discussions which I cannot remember.

Then it was time for lunch. Dmitry, Alex, Andrey, Dave, and I headed out.

Vladmir came along for a bit and then turned back. We decided to use the metro

and right as we were buying our tickets Vladimir reappeared. The six of us took

the escalator down 20 meters to the subway train and rode it for one stop. We

walked a block to Moo Moo, a chain restaraunt which had a line of about 25

people. The line moved surprisingly fast and soon we were staring at a buffet

of Russian foods, which Alex, Dmitry, and Andrey did their best to describe and

recommend. I selected “cold soup” (made from rye), a beet salad, fried

chicken, and potatoes with berry juice.

Lunch was pretty good (the soup and salad took a bit getting used to) and the

conversation was light. Soon we were back on the subway, with Andrey providing

me with lots of historical data. Back at Mirantis, Dave and I spent some time

with Dmitry and Alex explaining our (new) parallel development/QA process and

answering lots of questions. I can tell that they are excited and nervous and

slowly becoming more comfortable with making known their concerns. I spent the

rest of the afternoon trying to work over the VPN (which was extremely slow). I

did manage to add values to a bunch of bugs. I made the mistake of asking

Andrey about bridge and now I have a bridge brain-teaser to solve.

Dmitry popped over and announced that it was time to leave to go to dinner.

Dave, Alex, Dmitry, and I piled into Alex’s car (a brand-new Russian Lada) and

headed back on the same streets as we had flown early that morning. Once again,

I felt a bit carsick. Alex K. and her friend Natasha showed up soon after we

arrived and next came Andrey and the kids. We enjoyed a nice meal of dumplings

(they call them ravioli but also claim Chinese origin), similar to what we had

the night before but this time their contents varied - beef, pork, lamb,

cherries, cheese, seafood, and mushrooms. Very delicious. Dave and Dmitry each

made toasts and we spent some time talking about what to do in Seattle while

Dmitry and Andrey were there – most of the conversation was in Russian,

however.

Afterwards, we decided to walk from the restaraunt to red square. It was a

about an hour walk, most of which I spent with Dmitry. We talked about our home

lives, social lives, changes in Moscow & Russia, work experience, and politics.

Andrey joined in here and there with some interesting historical perspectives

and details about Moscow.

Red square was very impressive. I was shocked to hear about Lenin’s tomb. I’d

heard about the tomb but did not know that Lenin’s body was actually on

display, in good condition, inside the tomb. Unfortunately it was closed. Alex

K. and Natasha walked Dave and me back to our apartment. We were exhausted and

sore. We went to bed about midnight.