Saturday, 23 August 2008

Goodbye Olga

Moscow: On the surface it appears like any other major city in the world (too much traffic too many MacDonalds), and to the tourist that is how it would always seem but when you spend time with real Russians for a few days you start to get a peek at the the capital of a vast country that has been oppressed for so long it is having trouble growing up.

As usual with nearly all business trips you spend so much time in meetings that all you get to learn about your host country is through the corporate procedure and politics, through the food you get to eat and through the usually candid discussions you have with your colleagues.

So what did I learn about this little, but important, bit of Russia
  • That it really is a tiny piece of a vast country spanning 11 time zones!
  • Borsch (beetroot soup), Pelmeny (meat dumplings) & Blinis (russian pancakes) are good. In fact the food is great, except they use Dill everywhere except on fish.
  • Vodka is drunk at the beginning of a meal.... and often in the middle and end too.
  • Vodka is taken in one swig, and is proof of your ability to become a Russian (thanks)
  • Corporate politics is worn on the sleeve
  • You always know who the boss is, he/she sits at the big raised desk forming a T with the table at which the plebs sit.
  • IT is about 10 years behind western Europe
  • Red Square isn't
  • There are lots of Redheads and Blondes in Moscow
  • The Redheads are real
  • There is more to the problems in Georgia than our press are telling us (hint: BP)
  • Police corruption is so rife the citzens of Moscow have unnoficial fines lists so they know what the current rates are (10'000 roubles for a drink driving offence, cash of course)
  • There are more billionaires in Moscow than any other city in the world
  • That Moscovites don't know where their river (the Moskva) starts and ends
    (just teasing guys)
  • I can't understand one word of written or spoken russian

прощание для теперь москва

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