REAL MOSCOW: THE blog by Russians for the English speakers of the capital

27 Oct

What do Russians really think of their Moscow? and of the droves of English speakers invading this fair city?

As editor, Alex's main responsibilities include looking cool and relaxing with a bottle of whiskey

The “Real Moscow” is a new blog on the Moscow block. Jockeying for “Real Moscow” is the ambitious and young social media specialist / editor Alex. Covering everything from employment and house hunting “how to” guides, to the upcoming sports events and more educationally cultural themes such a the development of International Business Centre, Alex has a unique perspective of life in Moscow and our presence here, that of a Russian, who loves English and loves Moscow.
“Can we really reconcile the expat community with Moscow?”
                                                                            “What is a Muscovite?”

The TIP: So, Alex, from the name of your blog, it sounds like we have been missing out on something here in the capital of Russia, so tell us, Alex, what is the REAL Moscow? And why did you want to tell the foreigners about it?

Alex: Well, good question and I’ll start from the end. I want tell foreigners about the city I live in because I think there is some disgrace in how Moscow is viewed and percieved by foreign people. This is quite usual saying but here we have not only crowded metro, huge traffic and cold weather 365 days a year. Here can be such places and events that even expats living here for years still don’t know, not to mention usual tourist. And actually as my friends also somehow participate in this website I want our auditory to understand that russians are not only gloomy asians but they are really European-minded creautures who love to make new friends. To make new friends among international people for multiple reasons – from practising language to obtain more detailed understanding of mentality of different nationalities – this is the second main goal. I am quite communicative dude.

“The UK refused my visa request”

The TIP: It’s a big city, 14 million to be precise, how did you come to choose an English speaking readership? Is it cynical and purely for professional advancement, or do you actually like us?

Alex: The city is really big and crowded what is true. To focus on english speaking people here I decided because I’ve always been a fan of UK, US (culture, sports, musicstyle of doing things)and I learn English for all of my life as I remember myself. I was a bass-guitar player in rock band here – we played american rock with english texts, I always was a big fan of NHL, NBA and English Football premier league. Also I have a very good friend who lived in London. So this choise was taken after consideration of all of this stuff.  Plus a couple of years ago, the UK refused my visa request when I wanted to go to London as I was, so I decided that its easier to find English-speakers here at home and try go to UK and US when I will be better prepared financially.
Also as we have big plans about how to develop website, what to add and so on, I think in the future here will be Russian version of website to attract Russians who have such mental positive inclination towards foreigners and want to make new friends and develop their language skills.

“Russians spend time socialising as well – bars, sports, events –all the same as English-speakers

but in a lesser degree maybe”

The TIP: What makes the Real Moscow different to any other English written blog about life in this city?

Alex:  Well I am not sure in my perfect knowledge of all existing English-language blogs about the city, but I know some of them plus different websites for expats and travel forums and I can say that our website is not maybe better but it differs from them be our point of view. For example, we try to write not only about regular things like metro but write about in what door you should enter to quit better to change station, where to go and got a discount by describing local coupon services (Groupon-style yeah!), what places in the very centre of Moscow are absolutely not on the usual travel guides.
Also I’ve come across some really interesting blogs but they were very literary which is avoided in my blog by making multiple grammar and spelling mistakes.

The TIP: Here at the TIP we forgive 2 things, grammar mistakes and vodka drinking. So, Alex, we have established that you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk? This is the “WHERE” and “WHAT” quick fire round.

Alex:

BEST FOOD?  

Where – Denys Davydov restaraunt – http://www.dd-restaurant.ru/ Kebabs and Ceasars salad – my favourite (here it is the best in the city)

BEST DRINK?

Where – Fridya’s Tverskaya, Long-island ice tea

BEST CLUB?

Gorod at Kurskaya metro station – there are a lot of students and not that expensive and luxury as in famous clubs like Rai, Solyanka etc.

BEST CULTURAL THING?

Pushkin museum is amazing plase & Sovremennik theatre – of course all plays are in Russian, but this theatre has best Russian actors.

BEST PLACE TO FIND A WOMAN?

Near any business centre where companies like L’Oreal based – there are a lot of women and companies are international so they know languages.

WORST PLACE TO BE AT 2am?

Traffic on MKAD highway. I live outside the MKAD and today I will go home by car at 00:00

and if there will be no traffic, I will be a lucky man!

The TIP: From discussions with my various Russian acquaintances, it seems very much like us English speakers spend most of our time out socialising – probably so we don’t have to sit home alone with Russian television or a computer for company. What do the Russians do?

Alex:  Russian television is viewed by housekeepers and grandmas mostly I think. Young generation of Russians are in the internet – Vkontakte website for example.
Also we Russians spend time socialising as well – bars, sports, events – all the same as English-speakers but in a lesser degree maybe.

“actuallly here are still a lot of people who do not like to drink with strangers

and huge number of those who would like to do this every day”

The TIP: I came here thinking naively I would meet lots and lots of Russians who would love to sit down and have some vodka – preferrably with me, but there seems to be a shortage. So tell me, where are the REAL Russians??

Alex:  Real Russians are everywhere – depending of what category you want to find. If young people – they are at the http://lookatme.ru and http://theoryandpractice.ru/ events plus in offices of banks or something like this.

If they are adults of 35 year and more then they are in good restaraunts and also in the offices in the center of the city and in International Business Centre.

But what is common now in Moscow – people do not love vodka, they love whisky, cognac, coctails in clubs, actuallly here are still a lot of people who do not like to drink with strangers and huuuge number of those who would like to do this every day.

The TIP: So finally, Alex, are you a true Muscovite? And what are the required qualities to be honoured with this title?

Alex:  Well, I was born here and live here for all of my life. My father is Muscovite while mother being Russian came here for University from Kazakhstan so she is not a Muscovite by default. This title I think is somewhat ephemeral like a title of a New Yorker or Londoner – these cities are megacities with people from all over the world, somebody enter and leaving every day, somebody loves it, somebody hates. So in such circumstances I think Muscovite is a person who lives here and understands that without this fast and crazy city smth big and important will be missing in his or her life.

Despite being refused a UK visa and hearing general grumble of disdain concerning the inhabitants and weather in Moscow, by both Russians and English speakers alike, Alex has the merit of doing something about it! This blog is both helpful and offers sensible advice and tips of practical things whilst attempting to change people’s perception of MOCKBA… Not the easiest of missions to undertake, the TIP wishes him well in his crusade against general cynicism and supports his endeavour. Moscow’s a bitch, and we love it!

GO TO HIS BLOG: http://realmoscow.me/

Where to go:

DENIS DAVYDOV’S:  Denis Davydov restaraunt – Bol’shaya Semenovskaya str. 50, metro station Semenovskaya or Electrozavodskaya of blue line.

FRIDAY’S TVERSKAYA – Tverskaya 18/2, metro Tverskaya, Pushkinskaya, Chekhovskaya.

CLUB GOROD: you know it seems like it is not there anymore, so Alex has kindly contributed a second place:

B2 (club) : Maykovskaya metro, Bol’shaya Sadovaya 8/1

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