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Moscow by a Semi-foreigner

Last year I devoted the big part of my writing to my childhood memories of the 90s Russia. So what about the country today?

Russia is very unstable in political, economic, and social aspects. Everybody knows that, and I don’t see any point rediscovering the common sense all over again. Instead, I will take you with me on the trip to Moscow. I will tell you the vision on this marvelous city from the point of view of a semi-foreigner. I guess I just created a new term, but it describes me perfectly. Let’s clarify my status. I live in Finland for over 10 years, and gradually, I have grown apart from my home country. I hardly have any connection to Russia either social or emotional. I am proud to be from the country, which has given the world Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and a great number of scientists. At the same time, I am very pathetic about what is currently happening in the country. I don’t follow the news; somehow, I do lack the feeling of belonging.

So, when I arrived at Moscow, I felt like a tourist. I was excited to be in such a big and meaningful city. Moscow is definitely the best capital I have visited so far. The architecture, history, modern technologies immediately impress you. Moscow is the cleanest (not air though!) capital I have been to. You will hardly see any garbage, thick ice (in winter), layers of sand on the street. Everything looks very neat and maintained. By the way, the job of a street cleaner is quite respectful and well paid in comparison to other regions of the country.

After tiny compact Finland with the total population of 5,5 million people, it was a challenge to be in the city, which officially has the population of 12 million people (unofficially 20!!!). No need to say that Moscow is crowded, very crowded. And try out metro in rush hours, memorable experience! Speaking about metro, this is a ‘must see’ thing, not in rush hours though. The stations are a true piece of art and a great history memorial itself.

Moscow definitely doesn’t coincide with opinions and stereotypes of extremely poor broken country. On the opposite, the capital is among of the most luxurious and experiences cities in the world. Sounds rediculous? Not exactly, this phenomenon perfectly reflects the culture with absolute extremes. When some hardly manage a monthly menue on a minimal salary, the other ones visit the most expensive shop in the country – GUM (State Universal Shop). The shop is located on the red square, and is the sight of attraction.

If you switch your attention from architecture and history to people around, you will realise that they are regular people with own flaws and strengths, pains and pleasures, worries and hopes. People carry on their lifes just like in any other country…

20 thoughts on “Moscow by a Semi-foreigner

      1. Sense of humour is usually rather dark, but very straightforward. I am not sure πŸ’― , but sounds like your great grandparents were from Belarus/Belarusia (White Russia).

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  1. I would love to go there. I would like to see the other side of the country too. So much history before the 20th century but we are only ever taught about 1917 onward at school.

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      1. It fully depends on your preferences. I would suggest to go to the 16th century and look at such a figure as Ivan 4th the terrible. A very interesting, yet contradicting character. The general situation in the country since that era gives a perfect insight on the culture itself, how our minds were shaped under the particular historical events.

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      2. A couple of weeks ago I read an essay by Tim Marshal on Ivan the Terrible and all Russian rulers after him regarding how the Russian landscape to the east and west make it very hard to rule the nation. That is a very short outline. With a name like Terrible he must be a relative of my cat.

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      3. You are really literate in Russian history now πŸ‘πŸ» yes, the guy had psychological problems for sure. Yet, such an aspect was not familiar back in the days.

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  2. Elena, sorry for interrupting the thread. I can’t comment on your newer posts any more. The new theme looks great though. I wanted to say something on the mid-life crisis post. 😦

    There is the reblog feature, I guess I could reblog your content, and make my comment after that, but I always feel reluctant to reblog other’s people stuff… I understand the tumbr concept, but still. Also all your pictures are so good, I don’t want to mislead my readers thinking they are mine (I know, I do give the credit to content that are not mine).

    Saying so you are aware and you have not unintentionally disabled the comment on the newer posts. Please delete my comment, if you think this is distracting to this post.

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