How long does it take before everything that was once new begins to seem completely normal?
I didn’t realise how normal things seemed until people came to visit. They walked around slowly, pointing things out that I’d never noticed before, making me get off the metro at every stop to take a photo…
My brother woke up to a foot of fresh snow on his first morning in Moscow and was amazed. He was amazed that there was so much, and that people were just going to work as usual. For me, the snow and going about your usual day had become routine – check the temperature – is it cold or really cold? Do I need a scarf or a really wooly scarf? Wooly hat or fur hat?
Although I’m sure I’ll be dancing around, and listening to it crunch when the first snow comes this year!
For Liz it was the people. She kept saying, “It’s amazing! Everybody dresses like the eighties, but with iPhones”. And “everyone wears sparkles.”
It wasn’t until this week when I arrived back in Moscow after two months away that I found myself looking around amazed, the strange things everywhere and all the things about Moscow that I hadn’t realised I’d been missing.
The cars – trucks with curtains. Old Ladas. 8 lanes of traffic everywhere. Undertaking on the hard shoulder?? Trolleybuses with their falling-apart seats. Drivers chatting on their phones. Taxi drivers using a magnifying glass to read a text. These things just would NEVER be inEngland.
The clothes – yes Liz was right! It’s the hair. The sparkles. The double-denim.
The food – I missed Sirniki (cheese pancakes). And Milk Oolong tea. But really, that’s about it! Shops just have nothing you want – unless you’re particularly keen on watermelon.
But that could just be the sanctions.. I love Russia!