23. Just a Few Thoughts About Packing for HSCT, Moscow (foods, etc)
Одна женщина -- баба, две бабы -- базар, а три -- ярмарка. Three women and a goose make a marketplace.
SHOPPING: Just a quick brief note for those coming to Moscow for HSCT, re: food items from home.
First: You must have a formal stamped document from Dr. Fedorenko to exit and re-enter the security gates. He'll provide you one by day 1-2. Don't lose it! Guard gate shown here:
ATM/Bankomat: There is one in hospital, but it is not working. There is a row of 5-7 of them at entrance to the market noted below, and at least the one I first tried had prompt for English. YAY!
The store is about 4-5 city blocks' walk away, out the security gate, turn left to 1st street, turn right and walk to main street with the cable car route, turn left there and walk about 2 city blocks to ANTEKA. There is a pharmacy inside, and one you will pass along the way, also with sign, Anteka.
Someone asked if I would think about what I wish I'd packed, what I would tell others to pack. You have the list from HSCT-Moscow FB site to guide you in any medical items, personal comforts (light blanket, etc) but food is another matter. And it is important, as I am learning on my own here. I love many things about Moscow and about the hospital (for the most part, the food is not among those).
The issues of food seem to come up regularly on forum, so allow me to post the following so you'll know what you can get here and what you might want to bring from home because it isn't available here.
No need to pack a suitcase of food, as there is a good sized market a few blocks' walk from the hospital that has all of the following from the lists others provided (this assumes you can walk to the market, which is a nice bit of exercise and quite pleasant break in your day now that it's Springtime)
Available close by:
coffee (all types of instant, French and otherwise)
tea (all types)
catsup (Even Heinz)
Dijon French mustard (also other condiments)
seasonings (all types, remember ground pepper is off your diet for ISO)
jams, honey (nice French jams, excellent creamy honey)
Nutella (I did not find peanut butter, but Nutella rocks)
hard candy and mints (for chemo days, to alleviate bad tastes, smells)
candy in general (any and all including USA favorites, French chocolates, etc., etc - loads of it)
yogurt (Yoplait and others you'll depend upon, but not for ISO, remember)
butter (good French butter - President brand)
hard cheese (packaged rather than open deli, please, and not for ISO)
bread and crackers, cereals, in all varieties
fresh fruit (not for ISO, remember)
fresh veggies (not for ISO, remember)
dried soups and pasta 'one-cup' meals if you prefer those
booze, beer No end to the aisles of these and candy. Not that you will want, but just sayin'.
Warning: So far I've bought 2 containers of cream for coffee. both have been sour, clotted. One was a month over the expiration date, but the other was not - possible that 90% of milk products are sour here (based on Kristy's brother's report and he lives here). The hospital has little milk packets, but it's watery and well, no good for coffee.
Things I wish I had brought but didn't, can't find here yet (someone asked):
dry coffee creamer (Cremora or other)
a smallish make-up mirror (bathroom mirror is high, small, badly lighted)
And this one is just one I've been longing for:
3-5" thick memory foam twin bed topper (okay, dreaming here!)