CLASSIC CLOTHES – in particular…coats, hats and boots! European women wear their intimidation with classic styling while Russian women just nonchalantly wrap themselves in it before putting their best boot forward and strutting their confidence. Note to self: I must buy some intimidation and confidence!
FABULOUS FOOD Portion sizes are half the size of our traditionally upsized, over salted, extra added sugar, huge heart attacks on a plate. They also don’t offer up for consumption any super polished, genetically altered experiments with a required preservative list that allows left overs to glow in the dark or on the shelf for the next fifty years; instead they seem to be opting for taste in every small mouthful. Imagine!
AMAZING ARCHITECTURE It doesn’t matter if it’s a city cathedral, local church, historical house or the backyard fence… somehow they all encourage or include clever design, individuality and colourful embellishment.
SNOW It is just everywhere, powdery and sparklingly beautiful!
MOSCOW METRO It’s like you never have to step outside your own chandeliered palace to get to work. Costing less than one dollar to go anywhere at any time, this train system truly services the public in the best possible way.
Hmm, now there’s a tax payer, fact finding jaunt for an Aussie pollie… please go and see what is possible!
CHAMPAGNE & CAVIAR First impressions: pretty good… but I’m not sure I have tasted enough of either to critique with credibility. I believe I must keep sampling more until I can comment with true understanding.
HISTORY A diverse range of characters have interwoven throughout the fabric of Russian time to create a rich, historical tapestry. Dynasties of tsars, tsarinas, dukes and duchesses, princes and princesses have ruled divinely and often with excess. Bolsheviks encouraged change through revolution and Soviet leaders marched on a Cold War world stage. The times have been a changing for a while now and I’m watching fascinated now to see if this new era’s leaders have learned from the past or whether they’ll just revert to it. Sometimes moving forward can be the most difficult.
ART Is the Hermitage the best museum in the world? In my opinion, I think the 19th/20th century French painting collection is probably the best of its kind that I have ever seen anywhere… but I am no expert.
Yes, there is a room full of Rubens and another of Rembrandt. Leonardo and Michaelangelo get a pretty good look in too. But do they really come alive for me? Hmmm, maybe I just need ‘A Night in the Museum’…please!
PEOPLE What a proud, fascinating people! Yes, it is hard to tell when a Russian is happy but once the vodka is opened it gets easier. Most of them speak far better English than I speak Russian, although my ability with charades and speaking s.l.o.w.l.y i.n E.n.g.l.i.s.h is coming along just fine, thanks. They are independent, interesting… and have some of the best dressed dogs that I’ve ever seen.
Wonderfully generous and welcoming….
I can’t wait to come back one day!