A Travellerspoint blog

October 2012

Moscow Life

Daily living on the other side of the Globe

sunny 17 °C

7.00am Moscow Time:
Sunrise. The forecast calls for 14 degrees and a chance of showers. Russian Television's English language station reports on the U.S. and U.K.s despicable support of foreign terrorists attempting to overthrow Syria's beloved President Assad, then shows images of down-and-outs in New York while explaining how capitalism and consumerism has brought America to its knees.

7.30am. For us, breakfast of Russian omelettes. Fried mushrooms, bacon, tomato and onion. Crack a couple of eggs on top - don't whisk. Top off with cheese and parsley - not bad.
For elites - the long crawl to the city amid traffic jams of gas-guzzlers. Gas is less than a dollar a litre so SUVs and limos are the norm. But ordinary workers pack the Metro - a chandeliered art gallery dotted with patriotic Bolshevik statues lauding the struggles of communism over consumerism...
8.00am. Irma and Irana prepare their prettied-up port-a-loos to entice another day's crop of tourists in Red Square....
9.00am. Kitay-Gorod farmer's market, and Igor, a beekeeper from the Urals who studied apiculture in California, tells us how he spends his summers with his hives in the mountains and his winters in Moscow selling his honey. It is delicious and he says he makes a good living...
10.00am. Throngs of tourists are arriving to enter the Kremlin at $30 a time to view the museum and cathedrals...

It's mid-day and Macdonald's - ironically the restaurant nearest the Kremlin - is packed with Muscovites happy to support the uber-capitalists of the West.
Also here are Glaswegians Martin and Kevin, two Celtic football supporters, in Moscow to support their team and to check out the local pubs...
1.00pm. Lunchtime in the Oxotny Ryad Shopping Centre just off Red Square...
This futuristic glass palace is aimed at fashionistas and oligarchs, and if you have to ask the price in any of the dozens of ritzy stores - you can't afford it. A regular Starbuck's will set you back at least $10 and the place is deserted. In this schizophrenic city the bastions of Communism are completed subsumed by the forces of commercialism.

The afternoon whips by as tourists ebb and flow across Red Square.

4.00pm. Anna demonstrates the size of the biggest matryoshka doll in the world as she sells smaller versions outside the State Palace...

6.00pm. Dinner time, but there is no Russian food here. Moscow is packed with pricey French, Italian and Japanese eateries and American style fast food joints. Who would want Russian?

7.00pm The Bolshoi Ballet and we are enthralled by a performance of Les Sylphides set to the music of Chopin. Joining us are a friendly group of ex-military men from Boston U.S. here on a goodwill visit...

9.00pm The Corps of the Bolshoi take a well deserved bow...

10.00pm Time for bed, but it's Sheila's birthday and the hotel stumps up pink Russian champers, cake and a balloon. Tomorrow we start our trek on the Trans-Siberian for real. Thanks to all for Sheila's birthday greetings. Glad you could be with us in spirit. We love getting your comments.

Posted by Hawkson 08:59 Archived in Russia Comments (8)

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