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Love, Lust and Laundry – the TIP is branching out

19 Nov

Whilst sitting in a bar this evening, which shall not be mentioned for fear of accusations of corruption and bribery, The Editor had a thought. Some even believe she was inspired. Inspired by a Russian man – only 20 years old – challenged even, at the ripe age of one quarter of century.  Comfortably seated in her big fat man’s bar stool, he gently demanded she give him tips on where to bring a girl on a date. Not an expat girl (which would have surprised the masses considering the non existence of this social class in the Moscow class ladder), but a Russian girl. Flattered (it does indeed get you everywhere), the TIP has decided to dedicate a review section to the wooing of women, all women residing this side of the iron curtain. Please remember, however, if you are already a male passport holder of an English speaking nation, it is easier to wave the said document around in a crowded bar rather than to go to the trouble of reading this.

This could be you

General TIPS concerning Russian women and Russian tradition:

The TIP staff have been around long enough to form a generally unbiased opinion of sexual attractions in the capital east of the border. Working exclusively with Russians for the past year, they have had the chance to ask some pretty inappropriate questions (by Russian standards) as to relationship rules, dating, and gender roles, more often than not met with “it depends on the person.” Slightly less than 365 days of headbutting the Russian wall of mutism, we have slowly started to unravel the tangled world of love, lust and laundry in the Federation of ze Rossia.


How it works on the first few dates: you are men, in Russia, you buy the drinks (for her, not her 5 friends she has brought along for the ride, and if she expects this, review your standards, we beg of you), the food and whatever general refreshment she may require. Always have a lighter and compliment to hand, just in case, and always conduct her to the her home. For the utmost class, you must do this by car, the metro and a long walk in the snow is obviously option number 2, which is generally inevitably accompanied by freezing winds and patches of ice.


If it gets serious: you will still be expected to do all of the above, plus change the light bulbs, wash the car and generally be the “man” about the house. Apparently it is acceptable therefore to expect them to be the “woman” about the house. Require perfect turnout of your future wife (because this is where it’s leading), cooking, cleaning and ever other predetermined role attributed to the second sex. Remember that you are still expected to finance the relationship, and if she doesn’t want to accomplish her duties, suggest hiring a pretty young philipino girl to take over these duties. If she really wants equality, you will also split all the bills down the middle too.

The warning signs

If he's doing it, it must be legal

The warning signs: As mentioned above, refreshing hordes of Russian women is not among your duties as a male, only supply the lady of interest with sufficient attention and material goods (Iphones, Bentleys and furs not included).

If you are in a typical expat hangout (Katie O’Sheas – Papa’s Place – Silver’s – Chesterfield – Hot Dogs – in no particular order), the rule of thumb is simple: if she is way too hot for you, (e.g. you Shrek, her Cameron Diaz), no matter how interested she seems, she probably is… It’s a sad thought indeed, being realistic, expats in Russia generally earn far better than decent wages, especially by Russian standards. This has bred 2 new species in expat bars of the capital: working girls and passport hunters. You might get hit with the bill just as you are getting hot under the collar, be unsuspectingly “roofied”* and cleaned out whilst slumbering quietly in your flat full of high tech gadgets. These are unfortunately all true stories the TIP staff are happy to share if you have the chance to meet us one day.

There is one final recommendation for all you romance seekers, try not the expat bars for the reasons above, they are unfortunately mostly frequented by the above mentioned women. If you want a real Russian girl, try the popular Russian cafés and restaurants – but most of all, learn a bit of Russian too. 

And just for the girls, if you are lucky, you might even be able to snag yourself an authentic Russian Rambo

Russian democracy in all its glory


And if you are really bored, check out the intelligent blog which brought us this photo: Hotties Head of State , Putin Poll


*roofied: when someone spikes your drink without your knowledge



11 Nov


Giving something back to Russia

Russia has given us a lot – a visa, a job, a home, a smattering of the language and a love for pelmeni – and more globally bribery, corruption, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Pushkin, Lenin, the KGB, beautiful women and the Red Army.

it’s time to give something back to Russia

Russia has a reputation for scandal and a penchant for corruption. Let’s not forget the December 2010 St Petersburg “charity” for sick children debacle which left the children without a kopek. Instead, the proceeds financed the VIP guest stars and their VIP section without which the concert would not have happened and children would not have got their hopes up about curing their cancer.

Do differently in Moscow – It is happening right here, right now, from 7pm at Booze Bub – 5min from Chistie Prudy metro, at Potapovksiy Per. 5, Потаповский пер. д.5


They can promise and prove that all proceeds will be donated to the charities represented (Orphanage 59, To Russia With Love, Podari Zhizn) thanks to the help of a certified international accountancy firm which has donated their services to the cause. These charities help sick and orphaned children this side of the border. It will cost you a mere 444 rubles and 44 kopeks to give something back to the land which has given us so much.

What will you receive in exchange for your monopoly money:

– that warm fuzzy feeling

– the chance to win some prizes with the ticket you receive in return (if that’s what rocks your boat)

– some free food

– cheap books (proceeds go to charity too)

– business and social networking with the who’s who of the expat community

– special prices on drinks, some free rounds

– the chance to meet The Editor of your favourite blog

Now if you still need convincing after this, email us, the TIP Team also specialise in exorcism, drop us an email. All the info can be found below, and we have added in some extras for you wisdom seekers.




BOOZE BUB, the review:

It’s snowing – it deserves a post

8 Nov

First snow of the year people, cover up if you haven’t been doing so already, bust out your boots and slip on your thermal socks, it’s time to appreciate Moscow for what she truly is: the capital of Russia!

All winter neophytes be excited, be prepared, it just gets prettier – and colder – from this point on. It’s time to start dreaming about snow drifts and Red Square ice rink, slippery streets, beef stroganoff and strong vodka. This is what it’s all about.


According to my favourite Russian students, it is not winter yet, I don’t believe them. As soon as the temperature resides stubbornly at zero or below, it is officially Christmas time – and will remain so until April. The TIP team are enormous fans of the winter wonderland – last year to celebrate their arrival in the land home to Siberia, they stumbled around like bumbling idiots in one of the many local snow drifts. 


Over the next few months, you are in for a treat, the city turns white, and brown (chemicals on the road), the river and canal freeze over, the imported workers battle relentlessly and fruitlessly against the onslaught of frozen water. You will come to love the metro like your own home, a harbour from the biting gusts of wind, the jets of hot air at the exit/entrance of each cafe will feel like absolution from God and if you have the chance to still be awake at midnight, you will be greeted by the dull hum of the Russian winter – the TIP’s favourite soundtrack to the season.


Need to know – well everybody knows the basics – good coat (the longer the better), good shoes, a good hat, good gloves, a good scarf but more importantly, good face cream. The greasier the better, it will stop your face from peeling, because, hopefully that will be the only part of you exposed! For those who fear the ice, no fear, the TIP has already prepared a guide to our favourite city. Check out the link at the bottom of the page.


And just to remind of this forthcoming winter joy or to entice you into enthusiasm, this is what awaits you!


The TIP Guide: Moscow for Pedestrians (and the brave)

TIP Service Announcement – Blog Map

8 Nov

Attention - Service Announcement


Okay people, the TIP may be a publication teaming with know-how  and a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. However, we do admit some shortcomings in the sphere of social networking and blogging. We are currently trying to make every article more accessible to you, and until we have figured out a way to post the names of them under the category title on the right, we have compiled directions to all your favourite info:

Doing It In Moscow – the crazy, the random, the pub crawl overview, the interview, etc

Life Outside Of Moscow – housing reviews of other cities, which we have no time to compose at the moment.

Russian Cuisine – cooking Russkii style for all you gastronomical neophytes, easy borsch, easy plov, easy food for easy people

The Clubs – where to dance until 6 am

The Pubs – where to sit and drink until 6am

The Grub – restaurants, pubs and clubs offering food to the starved expat

TIP Service Updates – The Editor regularly broadcasts updates and apologies to virtual crusaders

The Bulletin – when you are really really bored

Uncategorized – posts not yet reorganised


If you, too, would like to know more, donate an Android Tablet and we will do our best to help you find your way around Moscow in the winter.

Easy Plov for Easy People – Russian cuisine for idiots

1 Nov

Why do Manchester boys love plov so much?”

International correspondant – TIP

Fancy a plov? Do it yourself - speedy plov for adventurous foreigners




Every visit to an ex-soviet republic with a Brit inevitably concludes with them choosing Plov over anything else. Now the TIP team has only ever had plov twice – once was out of a fridge at the local Ashan, a very big disappointment indeed, chewy meat with a distinct odour – and once more, made by a Russian friend of the TIP family, who omitted to inform them that, indeed, they were eating the famous “plov” these Muscovite rookies had heard so much about.

Between to jobs this afternoon and with too much time on their hands – the TIP Gourmet team resisted procrastination’s eyelash fluttering and bought some in-season vegetables. Whilst wandering around the shop, they also decided to buy some plov spices – fully intent on looking up the recipe to make a plov to be remembered.

As per usual, the TIP staff’s inability to do an honest day’s work and a good job dissuaded them from recipe research… and the inevitable disappointment, upon opening the cupboards and fridge, to discover how many ingredients they didn’t have. Armed with unshakeable confidence in their gastronomical talents and an innate sense of self importance, our resourceful team of misfits ventured down the unknown road into culinary fireworks history.

Notes from the TIP Gourmet Kommanda’s diary:

This recipe is entirely IMPROVISED and engineered to make EASY AUTUMN PLOV.


1/2 glass (tumbler) of rice

2 teaspoons of plov spices

1/2 chicken stock cube


Optional but recommended:


– seasonal vegetables

500gr squash or pumpkin, peeled and chopped into dice size cubes (otherwise known as diced)

1 medium tomato, diced

1 red (or green or yellow) pepper, diced

1 small leek, cut lengthwise and chopped roughly


– meat (reduce portion of squash to 250g lest your frying pan overflow)

500gr  lamb, diced,

Bearing in mind, this plov is all about you so go ahead, replace the lamb by Russian hard cheese (it is nearly impossible to melt), or tofu for vegetarians, beef, chicken … potentially even shrimp, like ouzbek paella, fish appears to be the most unlikely ingredient/


How to:

1 -Prepare all ingredients and lump them into a frying pan (non stick, no oil) all together.

2 -Crumble the stock cube over the mixture.

3- Add the 2 heaped teaspoons of plov spices on top of that .

4- Pour on water (hot water make it cook faster): fill approximately 2/3 of the frying pan. Mix everything around until roughly homogeneous, this is mainly to get the spices and rice mixed in properly.

5- Cover with a suitable lid or large plate. Put on medium heat until boiling, move to lower heat and simmer for 30min, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick and so that the rice gets a chance to cook. When finished, there should be no obvious liquid in the pan.  Leave covered for another ten minutes OR eat as soon as the right temperature.


Recommended toppings for autumn English/Russian comfort food:

1 big dollop of smetana

1 tsp of adjika for those who like it spicy

Cover in grated cheese

Finely chopped fresh parsley

Dill – of course, didn’t you know this yet, dill goes with everything.




Here is a link to a real Plov recipe, should you dare to compare one day:


PUBS, CLUBS AND GRUB: the ultimate pub crawl

31 Oct



“If drinking were a sport, the TIP Team just went pro”

Editor of cultural affairs, RIA NOVOSTI

It has already been called “the most decadent foray into Moscow nightlife since the 90’s”. 25 years of life experience is something to celebrate! So when an American, an English man, a Macunian and an Irish girl met at 16 Ton pub/club on Friday for pre Leningrad concert drinks, their health was already doomed and their sanity threatened. Over the coming week, the TIP team shall be reviewing every pub, club and place for good grub that they graced with their presence. Out of pride or sheer asininity, no bar received their joyous company twice, nor did any drink go unattended, all in the name of journalism – but most of all, for you, dear readers!

PUBS, CLUBS AND GOOD GRUB: where we went, where you should go



(pre concert pub, metro Ulitsa 1905)


(pre concert stolovaya style, metro Ulitsa 1905)


(conert club – metro Ulitsa 1905)


(post concert club – metro Kropotkinskaya)



(aperitifs – metor Chistie Prudy)


(Uzbeki food – metro Chistie Prudy)


(rock n roll bar –  metro Lubyanka/Kitai Gorod)


(club, metro Lubyanka/Kitai Gorod)


(24h bar, club, grub, metro Lubyanka/Kitai Gorod)


(it was 6am, name TBC, metro Lubyanka/Kitai Gorod)



(24h bar, club, grub, metro Sukharevskaya)


(grub, metro Chistie Prudy)

Rock’n’Roll Bar

(bar, metro Chistie Prudy)

Stalk the TIP blog for coming reviews

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.



Where – Denys Davydov restaraunt – Kebabs and Ceasars salad – my favourite (here it is the best in the city)


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


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.


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


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


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 and 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!


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