Dead Babies. In Jars.
Today we went to the Kuntzkammer, a fine old building which houses the anthropological collection and... Peter the Great's collection of oddities. The anthropological exhibits were not so great-- rarely labeled and pretty small, but they were still cool and made me forget for a minute that I'm already in Russia and long oh so desperately to be back in China or in India or Indonesia or Yemen or anywhere at all, mostly involving mental images of myself with really great hair, clad in bohemian-y garments and gorgeous jewellery, wafting through foreign lands. I came back down to earth and realised that I'm in Russia, and though my hair is not so great, my buddy Simon told me I wear... flowery... clothing the other day, so I'm going to translate that to the bohemian-y garments and gorgeous gems. Poor poor Alex. Tough life, I know.
Anyway, the Chamber of Horrors-- Oddities-- was... interesting. It actually would have been very interesing, had the deformed fetuses had their own section instead of Staring. At. You. From. Everywhere. Hundreds of tiny eyes, coming from conjoined twins and babies with shrivelled bodies and a baby with a brain outside its head and just... too much. And all the tiny skeletons too, with the heads so much bigger than the bodies. Nightmare fodder for days to come. Curse my overactive imagination.
I think the worst part of it was the fact that looking at all these babies in jars made me feel rather dirty. I mean, what with the eyes and all that-- they're babies, even if dead ones. They shouldn't be in jars, preserved hundreds of years. It was really interesting to see the deformities, though creepy, but I just felt like they should be buried somewhere and given some sort of respect, even though they had to be oh so very misshapen. I don't know. The official reason he put together the collection in the first place was to educate people and to not give rise to thoughts of witchery and such when such a birth occurs, which is a laudable sentiment, but at the same time being there just disturbed me, rather. I don't know what I would do if I should happen to have a child like that. Dear lord.
And I also don't want to think what kind of search hits this post is going to get me. Lovely.