Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where the beer is cheap and plentiful...

This is almost too much to cope with... two entries in such close proximity!

I am now off the train - ok, you could have guessed that - and in the heart of Moscow. It seems wherever we go it turns into a sudden heatwave. Lucky me. Thankfully the vomiting has stopped and I can now eat again - and more importantly, drink again. Although, truth be told, I have as yet to drink any Vodka here. Beer is everywhere, sold on street corners, in 2l plastic bottles no less. If you like self-destructive habits, this is the place to be. Beer and cigarettes are dirt cheap and to be had everywhere, and of course, it is expected to be able to consume them everywhere.

Moscow is both amazing and a massive contradiction to the rest of the country seen thus far. To a far greater extent, than anywhere else I have ever been, the disparity between rich and poor is ludicrously large. The poor areas, which we saw along the Siberian railroad, were like something from the early 20th Century, never mind the 21st. Old women at stalls selling a few humble crops to make a few roubles - in one case, a woman selling a single bowl of mushrooms. Contrast now to Moscow where the Rolls Royce showroom, is around the corner from the other luxury cars shops, and near a multitude of other boutiques, sporting labels that would make many a rich Westerner cry. I have found it *very* easy to not spend money shopping here! (Yes, Subtle, I know you won't believe me!)

Such a bizarre country in so many ways... they overthrew their elitist and corrupt monarchy, to install a corrupt and sinister communist bureaucracy...? What? They preserve the body of a man who set those wheels of bureaucracy in motion, against his own wishes to lie for eternity in a simple cemetary with his Mother.

But still, we are here and soaking up what we can. A few more days here before I head North to St Petersburg, and then even further north back out of the big cities again. I think I look forward to the slower pace of the Gulags up north......


kiki said...,-Russian-judge-rules.html

Babycakes said...

Brave to travel to Russia on your own!