Saturday, 7 July 2012

'at least one surreal thing a day..'

Made it back to Moscow at last, for a week. Still so much in love with this place. If anything, even better going back as a tourist - knowing where I am but not being exhausted by the normal difficulties, just enjoying the many weirdnesses relative to bland old London. Which included a 4 hour traffic jam from the airport to the hotel, thus arriving at midnight, only to then remember that the hotel named on the visa voucher was just there to make it easy to get a tourist visa*, not because I was ever intended to stay. So no booking. Had to borrow the cash off of V to get a room for the night (no credit cards taken).

But good room, and inexpensive for Moscow. Plus, right next to Izmailovo Park, which I never got to before, partly out of a lack of enthusiasm for its over-hyped and (mainly) tacky souvenir market. So never quite sussed that it is a small-scale Russian-style over-the-top Disney-World. Ridculous and brilliant.**

* For those not in the know, if you travel to Moscow planning to stay at a friend's place, then you have to go through a nightmare arrangement involving personal invitations and separate registration processes. So, instead, everyone uses travel agents that just randomly name a hotel, just for the paperwork.
** Go here to see (slightly dated but nice) photographs of the Izmailovo market stalls. 

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