Friday, 16 May 2008


Distance traveled: 2289 km

After 2 days further days of urban exploration, my impression of Moscow remains somewhat mixed.

Let me for a short while, go back to the subway system, since I made some additional observations regarding this peculiarity. The Russian officials responsible for the damn thing, have apparently decided on a spell of heavy vodka consumption, that if invasion is ever going come, the mighty American army will surely be taking the subway down to the Kremlin from the airport!

And so they have gone to great lengths to avoid this. For one - they can have giant flat screen TV's down in the deep, but ticket machines? they will have none of it! So at every station the potential invader would have to deal with grumpy old ladies, who just isn't going take it (or anything else for that matter). Second - They have managed at every single of the 176 stations on the system - not to place a map of the system. So unless you know exactly where you are going, and how you plan to get there, the Metro is absolutely useless, and they've made damn sure that everything is in Cyrillic too, so private Ryan won't stand a chance in hell - It's absolutely hilarious.

Well, some other stuff, I went to see Lenin, who is taking a rather large nap beneath the Red Square, apart of course, from his brain, which - sliced into thin pieces - are safely resting across town at the University of Moscow, Somehow I doubt he is going to wake up any time soon. But just to make sure no one does, the Russians have employed guards - to, well, guard, Lenin's tomb. And rather strangely at least one of them bears an uncanny resemblance to Gollum of Lord of the Rings fame, i wouldn't be terribly surprised if, after closing time, he climbs into the coffin with good old Lenin, and calls him "my precious".

Walked around the Kremlin, but couldn't get in - naturally - since it was a Thursday. That's obvious, or maybe just Russian.

Anyway during nightime i got to see the cool part of Moscow, went to a couple of clubs with a befriended Russian-Canadian guy. It was wicked, for all their flaws the Russians does know how to party, and the decor of clubs i went to, left London or New York very little to be desired. And naturally my halfway Russian host had me drink Vodka shots - i promise you - they're big, really big, and surprisingly tasty.

So naturaly next morning i woke up with hangovers - and to redeem ourself from a night of sin - we went cultural. First we wen't to the xxx museum, and among other things saw this painting which i absolutely love! then on to the armory of the Kremlin - very impressive - and i got to see some real faberge eggs too! While we were waiting for entry there, i got to see another glimpse of the bohemian Moscow that lurks in the shadows - we wen't for a bite, to a shady courtyard, down some concrete stairs, with damp walls - around a corner, through a security guard, and into the most classy restaurant i've eaten in for a very long time. Had an excellent Risotto!

Now waiting a bit until my train leaves for Kazan at 00:30.

Anyway, this anecdote, overheard on the street near the red square (Vlad translated). 2 police officers in full uniform talking to each other on the street, and one guy goes "Let's get a bottle of Vodka" And the other guy goes "Njet - let's get a box of Vodkas!" :-)

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