the first few days
05.12.2010 - 07.12.2010 -4 °C
Wow, if anyone had asked me 5 years ago if I would be working in Russia I'd have told them that they were crazy.
But here i am sitting in the Club23 hotel two days into my first rotation.
the first 6 month will be based here in Moscow then will be doing a stint offshore Sakhalin and hopefully back here in Moscow for a while in summer.
First impressions, whicked airport - 20mins from the plane doors opening until i was getting into the taxi heading into the city. Moscow is big, really big, I'm used to London but this is a different scale reminds my a lot of Houston in the fact the traffic is everywhere and as your drive and drive it still keep going. Temp wasn't as cold as i was expecting (a nice supprise) a crisp -7deg C.
The hotel is a small hotel about 15mins walk from the Kremlin, decked out in a ancient greek fasion (lots of pillars and water features). friendly staff and stonking hot !!!
Food, well the first night went out to a seafood restaurant. I don't think it has been open very long, all glass tables and chairs (very chic) and even had a jazz band playing. Got the menu and after struggling to recodnise anything on the menu for 10mins the waitress came out with a menu in english. Here i must confess, after taking the job i went out and bought a phrase book and quick learn CD's - both of which are in pristine condition. but i digress, the food was spot on, good service and the views were stunning (if you know what I mean ;-) ).
A wander around the area I found that i was staying about 15mins walk (or 40mins depending on the route) from the Kremlin and the center of the city. impressive place, even in the darkness of mid winter. christmas lights blasting about lighting up all the building and the underground shopping malls.
1st mistake whilst being here, you gotta get a furry hat if you come in the winter - well i was offered one for 300 roubles, not thinking about it i told the guy no chance way too expensive only to actually think about it when i arrived back to the hotel 300/50 = £6 approx mmm my cheap bennie was £3!!! opps for some reason i was a factor of ten out to what i was thinking at the time, brain fade, i'll blame the cold.
2nd mistake was not taking a camera warmer, i always thought it got cold in japan during the winter. Well, mr Canon obvioulsy did take that into consideration when designing his cameras as mine with a fully charged up battery lasted a while 3 photo's before the battery died from the cold. Out came the blackberry and snap happy, not near as good quality but RIM at least knew how to design a battery ha ha ha. Dinner in an italian in the center of town and the warmth got the charge fully back on the little canon, just enough to get a couple more shots before sliding into the cold induced coma.
It's a shame ive got to go back to the delights of the UK on the 30th as i would have loved to have done new years here, something new. lots of new things happening at the moment, new job, location, language, one of the amazing things ive found here is that most places have green tea !!! and it's time for a cup of char ..............