And so the trip drew to an end… Work, slog, work, flog, with some added sister-seeing. Met some brilliant people and businesses – good talent, creative partners, architects and cultural institutions.
Moscow isn’t for lightweights: the most simple thing can totally floor you, such as crossing the road: I counted 12 lanes of traffic yesterday driving nose to tail at max speed. There’s the odd underpass and lights every few km but the car rules ok here. You’ll know that by the layer of smog clinging to the sky – it makes the air quality in London seem like Baden Baden. And it’s a madly harsh climate, winter lasts for eternity. The ice finally melted away this weekend and it felt like summer kicked in instantly. Everything is full on in Moscow – it feels madly pumped and quite toxic, but utterly brilliant. I still haven’t really seen a gentle side to it but it’s got to be out there somewhere.
We enjoyed some quality ‘hair watch’ – as ice-cool as Moscow can be, the mullet is alive and well, as is the cantilevered fringe. Did quite a bit of ‘sleep watch’ too – plenty of men passed out in restaurants, heads on plates, chairs, shoulders. It reminded me of Tokyo – where it’s totally acceptable to go out and get so trashed at a business dinner the salary-men literally end up in the gutter. Vodka is now off the menu in the supermarkets from 10pm to 10am in an effort to curb a little national problemo. But there’s always beer, bars n’ moonshine, hey kids!
I think my utmost favourite story about Moscow focuses on the 90s when it was undergoing great change, like the wild west with danger lurking on every corner. Women would carry their handbags in a specific plastic bag to denote the brand inside: so the local equivalent of Tesco corresponded to Gucci, Sainsbury’s to YSL and so on. Brilliant! Women will always find a way.
I don’t know what happened on my last night in town but I was going down a treat with the local lads. It was probably the sun, vodka goggles or a last ditch attempts to pick up at the end of the week – or maybe the lack of American tan tights! *Look boys* real skin! One after another they tried their best lines…. “Hot girl comes to Moscow and melts the ice”, wow – just about the best compliment I’ve ever been bequeathed. I’m a devchonka – watch your backs girls.
With some expert help over the years I’m starting to get this place sussed, and now enjoy playing the Master (& Margarita) of Moscow. And I’ve listed a few highlights here »>