Москва and the Russians
After a zillion of hours spent on a bus and the infinite wait at the Luhamaa border (that I pronounce as if it’s a Viking shout), boundary between Estonia and Russia, I finally arrived in Moscow, the first extra-European city of this journey around the world.
I must say I was a bit worried.
Here everything is written in Cyrillic and I didn’t really know what to do because, as I don’t know how to fly, I don’t even know Russian.
Anyway I was sure I would have find out how to handle it and so it has been.
Russian are usually considered to be rude and bad-tempered, but actually I met a completely different kind of people in this city.
As soon as I came out from the bus, a Russian girl who knew English, accompanied me to the metro station, showed me the metro to pick and where I should have stopped.
It’s true, sometimes they’re rude, but thinking about it, the olds and not only, like everywhere around the world, use to still have an ancient mentality.
Seeing a tourist, which arrives in a hurry and starts to speak English, use to scare them.
The linguistic difference is really marked and the majority of reactions are answers in Russian, incomprehensible (hoping they didn’t tell me to screw off) and the following unwillingness to help you.
This, however, must not let think that all Russians are like that, on the contrary.
Try to put yourself in their shoes: you don’t know a single word of any other language and you’ve had, so to speak, a rigid past, how would you react?
Anyway, even thought this might seem a problem for someone, there’s a solution: learn some Russian word.
It doesn’t matter whether you pronounce them well or not, the important thing is to try and a greeting (Zdrvstujte) or a thanks (Spasibo), is always returned with a smile and the desire to help you.
It’s always important to try to adapt, as much as possible, to the customs and language of the place where you are. It’s not fair to always pretend to be understood in English (though , of course, it’s fundamental).
Therefore, up to now, Russians have made a good impression.
I’ve also learned that, since Russia is a huge country, the same Russians visit Moscow.
I swear I haven’t met tourists, a part from a couple of Italians that, very kindly, showed me Moscow City (the modern part of Moscow) and with whom I spent a very pleasant night. If you’re reading, thank you so much.
However, as a consequence, I met only Russians (how many time did I say Russians?) and it’s been fundamental.
I had the chance to know more deeply this imperial and majestic city, which has a lot of curiosities and history to discover in any corner.
Once again, people made the difference, making positive this stop here in Moscow.
Tonight is already time to leave for the Far East, for Irkutsk.
I’m going to take the legendary Trans Siberian Train, which connect Saint Petersburg to Vladivostok and cross almost 11 time zones.
They’re going to be 3 days, during which I hope to have nice cabin mates and to not drink too much vodka.
See you at the next stop then, see you in Irkutsk.