Russia: A St. Petersburger in Moscow

Russian bloggers are, of course, eagerly discussing the upcoming elections and other newsworthy political developments, but there's still plenty of room in the country's blogosphere for apolitical reflection. Below is one example.

Two days ago, during her visit to Moscow, LJ user aneta_spb (St. Petersburg journalist Svetlana Gavrilina) wrote this sketch (RUS) – and filed it from “the-street-named-after-I've-again-forgotten-who” in Kuzminki district of the Russian capital, where she is currently staying:


The terrible thing they've got is their subway.

I used to have some grasp on this system, but I no longer understand anything. How can stations located side by side belong to different lines, why are the areas around turnstiles completely covered with pieces of paper, and sometimes, in the train cars, old newspapers are scattered around, and in general, when you've finally entered the subway, it doesn't necessarily mean that you're riding somewhere, because first, you have to run through a kilometer of some passes and escalators…

There are dogs walking inside the subway, and crows and doves flying around.

What's convenient here is that everywhere, on every corner, you can buy what you need – a pastry, cigarettes, socks, a t-shirt, lotion, etc. Of course, all this street trade results in total mud and suspicious individuals standing around, but if you just need a shirt, you can't run around the boutiques, right?..

Prices. Just like our own, or, perhaps, one or two rubles lower.

The people. There are many kind and unhappy ones. The girls at cafes are polite.

And – they are giving directions there now. Before, no one knew anything. Perhaps, it's because there are many “ponayekhavshiye” [newcomers, non-Muscovites] there now, who have to know the city well…

Absolutely crazy construction everywhere. As for parking, traffic, crossing the street, they are all kamikaze here, I think.

Many individuals with unmistakably edinorosskiye [United Russia, pro-Putin party] mugs. Yes, it's almost like it's written on their mugs, especially near some government offices.

Khrushchyoby [residential areas where most building were built under Nikita Khrushchev; khrushchyoba rhymes with and is a derivative of trushchyoba, a slum] – (I'm staying in one of them) – [they are just like anywhere else, nothing extraordinary].

I haven't seen a wholesome image of the city so far, but I haven't had too much time, and I was all nervous and sick yesterday, but it hasn't happened today, either.

All in all, there's not much to imitate for our city's imitators. But they do imitate anyway.

Though, there are ideas that could be borrowed – like, a flower bed here and there, flowers.

Below are some comments to this post:


I haven't seen a wholesome image of the city so far

There's no such thing. [Moscow is an] archipelago.


I don't know, I used to sense it before. Even if it's an archipelago.


[…] It's a big village […].


Yeah. With weird street names. Saw a Komissariatsky Pereulok [Commissariat Lane] yesterday. I mean, we have weird names, too [in St. Petersburg], but mainly [on the outskirts], while Komissariatsky is in the very center [of Moscow]!

(I remember in St. Petersburg-Leningrad, there was Ulitsa Krasnogo Elektrika [Red Electrician Street], and it was always making me laugh, because I, somehow, could very vividly imagine this red electrician…)


everywhere, on every corner, you can buy what you need

Aha, Sveta, I've noticed this, too. And there are public bathrooms at every corner. :)

And in the subway – and only there, though not at every station – there's wonderful Mexican fast food. :)

And a great Zoo. :)

So Moscow does have certain advantages. ;)


I've got enough of the Zoo in the political reality :-))) […]

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