You know what I (as a Western European female in her thirties) found strange about Moscow?
- Lenin is still standing! Statues, pictures and even his embalmed body can be seen in Moscow. Why? Does anyone honestly think that he did anything remotely positive for anyone that is memorable?
- No one seems to care about that the members of Pussy Riot have been sentenced to two years in prison for speaking up. I saw one small graffiti sign saying “Free Pussy Riot”, one! Uno, eins, et, une, 1!!!
- It is allowed to smoke in restaurants and really a lot of people do smoke. Isn’t that kind of last season?
- In front of shopping centres there are huge cars parked, but with a man sitting inside and the engine running. I suppose these are drivers waiting for their rich employers. The divide between rich and poor in this city seems huge.
- Service in restaurants is overly attentive compared to European standard. You have just finished a nice dinner, still taking up remainders of sauce from the plate with some bread but wooosh, your plate is gone! They will also take away the last glass, making you sit at an empty table. It seemed as if they consider this good service.
- Mullet is still or again (?!!) fashionable!
- For a city of 12 mio inhabitants, people look amazingly little variegated, they almost blend into each other. No crazy haircuts or glasses, no neon coloured sneakers, no piercings or tattoos.
- Women wear flesh coloured panty hoses, ick!
- After all, it is not all that different! I did not get a real culture chock as I had expected. Either Russians are, apart from the above mentioned, very much like us or I have not been able to see under the surface during our five days there. I will just have to go again- that’s not too bad…!