Take a Break at Dom Odaha

I went to a sanatorium but I wasn’t crazy

The Beauty of Soviet Planning

My style of training sessions.


With the speed gloves, George always kept the lead
Go Speedracer!

and just his luck, he forgot his lucky sock

Those fast stops hurt!

This weekend, my division of Price Waterhouse went to a dom
odaha
(rest home), for the weekend. A Russian rest home is not
where you send Grandma and Grandpa to chill before the long sleep, it is
more like a Western spa. They are hotels with all sorts of extras,
such as banyas, swimming pools, tennis, cross country skiing, games,
bars, and all the usual amenities, but usually without a specific
natural wonder (like a lake or ocean) nearby. Moscow has plenty of
rest homes around it, but they are usually far in the countryside.

Russian spa is for relaxing, nothing else. There are no meeting
rooms like the West. There are no conventions, annual meetings, or
business related activity even though most company employees go to a spa
together. The workers are there to rest and party with their
co-workers, not work. This is an odd notion to Westerners, and PW
made a few employees mad when it tried to have the retreat as a long
training session like any such activity would contain in the West.

I really enjoyed our trip to the spa this weekend. My friend
Theresa, who was visiting me from Florida, came along, as did most
employee’s friends and families. She and I spent a day
playing in the snow, a new activity for two Floridians, making snowman,
slides, and mayhem. We did run into a strange problem. In a
country with snow six months of the year, no one had heard of snowshoes.
I asked all my Russian co-workers, the spa employees, and the
expats. The Russians didn’t even understand why I would want to
walk on the snow, and the expats had never seen snowshoes here at all.
I don’t think there is even a word for them in Russian.

Sunday the expats spent the morning sledding. As most of us are from
England, with a few random Americans, sledding was a new activity for
us. We had a great time racing down the hills on high-tech sleds
(or sledges as the English called them), as the photos show, and we
spent the afternoon (and the next day) recovering from the morning’s
fun.

I can’t wait for our next trip to the dom odaha!