27 April 2007

In the Regions

There is a slightly masochistic joy to traveling to and out of Moscow.  Moscow is no more Russia than London and New York are the UK and US respectively.  This particular trip has me in Saratov a rather charming city on the Volga which, as the locals say, was unfortunately not invaded by the Germans in the Great Patriotic War.  The centre is being rebuilt slowly but, like the centre of London, suffers from a surfeit of small roads which were designed for horses and carts and not for Lexus 4x4's.

Having spent the past two weeks in business class bouncing around Europe and the US it was a bit of a sharp return to reality to shoehorn myself in an economy class middle seat of a YAK-42 for a 80 minute flight.  Given that I am not of excessive height and my knees are firmly wedged in to the back of the seat in front I would hate to be anything over dwarf size.

The trip though poses some observations;

  1. The funny combination of numbers and a letter on the boarding card indicates your seat number.  The stewardess has already explained that it is not "free/svobodnaya" seating so how is it that it takes 10 minutes of rubric cube movements to get everyone in to an appropriate seat?
  2. The curtains in the hotel room are there to perform a purpose, which is not to look pretty.  Such purpose is entirely undermined by making them out of see-through pink nylon.
  3. Each room in the hotel has its own outside line - which allows some of the more enterprising amongst the female population to make direct contact.  If there is no way of easily removing the cord from the phone or the wall - I will rip it out so that I can sleep.
  4. What materials are the walls made from such that anyone in the surrounding 4 floors who did accept the invitation proffered in point 3 above manages to channel their energy through the walls of my room?
Though as the sun is shining today (see point 2 above) the city looks good.  It will come as no surprise to Russia-followers to discover that an enormous Metro has opened close to the airport and that at 10.30 on a Thursday morning the car park was half-full.  The city centre itself is a building site and the global brands have been here long enough that their signs need a good post-winter clean.

I feel a subbotnik coming on.

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1 comment:

Danny said...

Great story. Love the imagery. I always thought the blog could use a picture a two :-)

27 April 2007

In the Regions

There is a slightly masochistic joy to traveling to and out of Moscow.  Moscow is no more Russia than London and New York are the UK and US respectively.  This particular trip has me in Saratov a rather charming city on the Volga which, as the locals say, was unfortunately not invaded by the Germans in the Great Patriotic War.  The centre is being rebuilt slowly but, like the centre of London, suffers from a surfeit of small roads which were designed for horses and carts and not for Lexus 4x4's.

Having spent the past two weeks in business class bouncing around Europe and the US it was a bit of a sharp return to reality to shoehorn myself in an economy class middle seat of a YAK-42 for a 80 minute flight.  Given that I am not of excessive height and my knees are firmly wedged in to the back of the seat in front I would hate to be anything over dwarf size.

The trip though poses some observations;

  1. The funny combination of numbers and a letter on the boarding card indicates your seat number.  The stewardess has already explained that it is not "free/svobodnaya" seating so how is it that it takes 10 minutes of rubric cube movements to get everyone in to an appropriate seat?
  2. The curtains in the hotel room are there to perform a purpose, which is not to look pretty.  Such purpose is entirely undermined by making them out of see-through pink nylon.
  3. Each room in the hotel has its own outside line - which allows some of the more enterprising amongst the female population to make direct contact.  If there is no way of easily removing the cord from the phone or the wall - I will rip it out so that I can sleep.
  4. What materials are the walls made from such that anyone in the surrounding 4 floors who did accept the invitation proffered in point 3 above manages to channel their energy through the walls of my room?
Though as the sun is shining today (see point 2 above) the city looks good.  It will come as no surprise to Russia-followers to discover that an enormous Metro has opened close to the airport and that at 10.30 on a Thursday morning the car park was half-full.  The city centre itself is a building site and the global brands have been here long enough that their signs need a good post-winter clean.

I feel a subbotnik coming on.

Technorati Tags:

1 comment:

Danny said...

Great story. Love the imagery. I always thought the blog could use a picture a two :-)