Mockba, 26 February 2007
My hotel is located in one of Moscow’s suburbs in the South East. It’s cheap and it takes about 20 minutes by metro to the Red Square and Leninski. Absolutely doable especially because the Metro station is about 50 meters from my hotel. I had done some research on the Moscow metro up front (which is recommended I’d say) and knew how their ticket system worked. You can buy 1, 5 or 10 trip tickets, and since I knew I was going to use the metro quite a bit, I showed the woman behind the window my 2 hands, telling her I wanted a 10 trip card. That went fine, and being used to using my Oyster card in London using the Moscow card wasn’t that different.
Back to my hotel – located this far from the centre, this also means that this is a non tourist area, and chances to find people speaking English are zero. Even the people working at the reception of the hotel don’t speak any English at all.
It’s an area that gives a good impression of authentic Russian city life so to speak. There are loads of small shops and stalls in the area selling drinks, food, magazines, newspapers, snacks, meat, bread, soap, well you name it, they sell it. With a bit of goodwill and pointing at things I manage to buy things like chocolate, Pringles and Coca Cola (hey I am on holiday). There is also a tiny (and I mean tiny) DVD shop on the same block.
Surely a normal person with a well functioning head wouldn’t begin to consider doing this with a Russian vocabulary as large as, well, one word. That was what I was thinking.
But I wasn’t a normal person.
And so, I stepped inside.