Moscow – a city of contrasts. If some foreigners come to this city and fall in love forever, then the other way around – never want to go back. Interestingly, with all cities of Russia would be the same, or is it only the capital question? A woman from Mexico city named Janine Marc – blogger, traveler and lover of adventure, visited Moscow and described his personal reasons for dislike of “the Third Rome”:
The process of traveling can be challenging – you have to deal with a new language, geography, customs, and currency, and, as a rule, at the same time. I consider myself a fairly experienced traveler and outdoor person, but let’s face it: sometimes you visit a place and it just doesn’t resonate with you. Moscow became one of such places for me.
Here are six reasons why I’m not going back to Moscow in the near future:
1) the Language is really difficult
Russia uses the Cyrillic alphabet, invented in the Byzantine Empire in the tenth century. It means really long.
When words are spoken, your brain can process the sounds by ear and even imagine that word in mind. However, when you go around the city, you see that all the signs are written in Cyrillic, leaving you lost in a sea of inverted R (I). This makes finding a place very frustrating, especially for a beginner.
Trying to decipher train schedules in Russia are not as simple as you think.
2) Difficulty of use of public transport
Metro stations themselves are worthy of note, but I wish you luck, if you really want to get to something. You can find symbols in Cyrillic on the main platforms where everything is in order, but once you get on the train, none of the stations will not be characters. Inside some cars have a small electronic “metro line”, where you can monitor the movement of the train, but if they don’t work, then you’re on your own.
And the metro station in Russia can be even worse in terms of navigation.
3) Smiling will frown
A friend with whom I traveled, beautifully expressed it: “When you’re smiling here, people look at you like you’re an idiot”. Surprisingly, lifting the corners of your mouth to greet the man, it is not considered the norm, so I’m walking around with a scowl on her face in the end.
Later my friend said it’s too early to smile, before you will get acquainted with a Russian man, it’s rude. You know, which in my opinion is indecent? When you smile at someone and receive a frown in return!
Why such a gloomy view?
4) Drink in the middle of the day is this normal
It was about two o’clock in the afternoon, when some friends of the hostel owner where I stayed, decided to crush a bottle of whiskey at the reception. I understand that culture is culture, but it doesn’t inspire confidence when you first got to the hostel, and there’s a smell of drink.
Russian vodka is always at hand!
5) Forecast: bleak, possible depression
I arrived in mid-September, when many places still lasts Indian summer. But not in Moscow. I was faced with the endlessly gray days, splashed the gray or brown buildings and cold wind that pierces through any coat, is not made of goose down or heavy wool. It was so cold that I really thought that my skin just fall off.
Any inspiring architecture was minimalist, and combined with the language problems and the policy of “no smiles” I found that in a General sense, the culture here is bleak and inhospitable.
Winter in Moscow may look beautiful, but not for long.
6) getting Lost is not fun
Many blogs of travelers recommend you get lost in a new city, because it can be the door to wonderful discoveries. At some point during the trip I had to hurry to pick up train tickets till the closure of the tourist office at 18:00. It sounded pretty easy, until I ventured to an area not even close to resembled anything like the one where could be located the office building.
The endless apartment buildings that create entire neighborhoods of nothing, and then, finally, it seemed to office building. I got him killed, sweaty, angry and late. Circuit city is meaningless, so the Navigator can get you there, not even recreationally, that is sad.
The streets are just confusing. Interestingly, these soldiers are lost, too.
Needless to say, I will not give Moscow another try in the near future.
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