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What makes Moscow so…Moscow?

Category: Moscow, Russia

Moscow can be felt everywhere. It is a city that welcomes thousands of people and greets newcomers with boast and pride. Why? Because Moscow does not want to be left behind, it wants to show everyone what it is made of. When I first got here all I could think of was “shock”…partly because of the power of identity it possesses and partly because of the feeling you get when someone asks you something and you have no idea what to answer back (“hello”, “thank you” and “sorry I don’t speak Russian” is not enough). Sure, its scary and challenging and you may feel alone at first but that’s only at the beginning. Moscow, like it’s people, is a city that needs to be discovered in a particular way…little by little because you may miss something any second, there is just so much to see and learn and feel. 

When I started to write about what makes Moscow so Moscow…well, I wasn’t sure how to start or what to describe. Then I thought about the little things that add up to every day’s adventure. For me, as a foreigner, there is never a routine and I always stumble with something new around the corner. I started making a list: The 5 o’clock crowded subway, the millions of cafes on every corner, people going somewhere, grandmas giving their grandkids their blessing before going to school, the patriotic feeling of taking a picture with the Kremlin even though you may already have thousands, the smell of history and hard-work in every piece of architecture, the sound of music in the metro stations… my list keeps getting bigger every day! In order to discover Moscow’s wonders, you need to let go of any prejudices you may have and open your mind to a whole level of awesomeness. The only thing you should expect before arriving is not to expect anything at all and allow yourself to be amazed by a breathtaking city.

Author: Andre Lanas, Ecuador

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