Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Days 77-80: Moscow, Russia

Wow, what a change from other Russian cities.

This feels more like a microcosm of Russia than anything else... Awash in petrodollars, Moscow's opulence must be seen to be believed. Much cleaner than any other city I have visited in Russia yet -- and also much, much bigger -- Moscow is hard to explain. But I'll try.

Fashionable and trendy. A city that doesn't sleep. A city with too many cars. Expensive for sure, but cheap eats can definitely be found. A breakfast at a supermarket can be purchased for less than $2, but anything that requires service is automatically four times more expensive, aside from a simple snack at a kiosk. A small frappucino in a Starbucks, though, sets one back by a whopping $6, as does breakfast at a McDonald's. People are nicer than I expected, and that is saying a lot.

Moscow's grandeur is hard to explain. For Russia, this is its showcase capital, and most of Russia's money is circulated through here. What this means is much better customer service and a cosmopolitan feel for a country that discovered a perverse form of capitalism only some two decades ago. This translates to many surprises for the tourist, too, and most of them are pleasant surprises.

In my next post, I'll explain how my first night in Moscow was the most memorable on yet, and all of this happened at a hostel, as surprising at this may sound.


Vitaly said...

can't wait to hear some crazy stories :)

Petr said...

Юр, если ты еще в Москве, плиз набери меня, это Петя, помнишь, Гозин друг!