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,
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.