Normally I like to do a 5 tips in my Travelgram series of places I liked & recommend.
However while I’m still here, I think it would be pretty cool to share my thoughts and sum up the best places to visit when I leave.
I was actually born in Moscow but haven’t been here for ten years ( don’t ask how I managed that, but it was super stressful and intense in the run up to this, as I wasn’t sure what to expect and what it would feel like). Eventually after I got my papers sorted ( another long story) it became apparent that Russia appears in the news quite often and I had no idea what to expect.
So far, this is what I have found out:
1) Russians make you eat. A lot. If you go to somebodies house they basically share the fridge with you and ask you if you are hungry every 15 mins. This is not a drill people. I cannot fit into my jeans after 10 days. There is also a strong tea culture and its normally served with berries and honey.
2) Russians says it like it is. If they like you then they will be sure to give you the best eastern welcome and treat guests like kings, and if they don’t like you ( well you better never find out). Let’s assume they are just be blunt and tell you how it is.
3) Its cold. Very cold. All the time.
4) Which brings me to this point: they like a drink. I will be ignorant to assume they only drink vodka but they do have an extended display of it in the shops. Birch tree filtered, berry infused etc you name it. Also, they rate Georgian wine ( not as in USA state, but as in where Stalin the dictator came from). However on the bright side the wine comes from sunnier climates and the country even has wine tours.
5) Everybody goes to bed late and everything is open late. If you want a midnight pedicure or a 4am blow dry you will find it. Why? Simply because after socio-economic fluctuations Russians are simply prepared for all situations in life at any given moment. So late night beauty justifies all this.
6) They have lots of historical symbols of Lenin and Marx. I mean if you go to Red Square you will see embalmed Lenin and a statue of Marx near Bolshoi. Central underground stations are also peppered with statues from the communist era.
7) They love their culture. Opera, literature, poetry, classical music – you name it. Which isn’t actually a bad thing, but Russians like melancholy ( watch Woody Allen’s movie, Love & Death a satirical take on classic Russian literature & culture) and aren’t afraid to love and live in pain and aren’t shy to demonstrate an array of emotions too!
8) A British person likes to queue. This may be a struggle in Russia. Hashtag #verybritishproblems.