Sunday, 16 December 2007


this has to be in german, non swabians don't get the meaning or the drink anyway :)

Wenn man in russland einen apfelsadtschorle bestellt, was schon mal einiges an erklaerungsbedarf kostet, kommt das mit ner flasche perrier. Waere ja auch echt schade wenn mal was unter 8 euro kostet. Stimmt;)


Thursday, 13 December 2007

accidents / traffic

Did I mention that I had two minors accident in the last month?

Two times somebody crashed me in my rear. Once a girl in stop and go, once a guy in a stop – stop no go situation. Just everybody stayed since minutes when he decided to drive. But ok, the guy was drunk and in a Lada. Nothing happened.
In case of the girl it was a bit more annoying, as that I finally made my way home after 90 min in the traffic jam. And almost at home she crashed into me and I had to wait 2 hours for the police.

Interesting about Russia is, that you are forbidden to move you car in case of any accident (they are supposed to change this law no). Means you wait and block the stress for everybody else. What caused traffic james, what causes accidents, what causes traffic james…you get the picture ;)

You anyway see easily 5 – 10 accidents here every day.
Just for you reference, attached a picture of the streets and a scan of one page of the street map here, as that you can see the kind of intersections you face here.


P.S. by the way, in Russia the traffic jam topics beats weather and sport as smalltalk topic. You can discuss is with anybody, they will always agree and everybody has a strong emotional bond to it ;)

Apparment Search in Moscow

I am currently again taking a look for a new apartment. My one is great, but I am feed up with the traffic jam. Sure, I know about the pricing in Moscow. And I absolutely accept pay 2000 dollar a month for an apartment (I am not happy about, but hey, this is Moscow).
Actually a lot of people would tell this, that 2000 dollars are still cheap (including my real eastat agent).
What is just partly true. This people have either apartments payed by the company or no experience in Russia or usually both. So they get ripped of by the landlord and agents. When my agent tried to explain me that 2000 dollars are nothing I simply asked here why she is not rich. After all she gets 1 or 2 month of commission and is supposed to make a couple of deals a month.
Still, I am surprised about the bad quality they are going to offer you. Russians lacks style in this terms. The picture attached are for an apartment for 1 900 Dollar. I watched another (no pictures) which was even worse. 2 200 Dollars a month for something which had a grandmother style. (blush, thick carpets, awful couch, squiggled picture frames *brrrr* ).
No discussion even about the heating system, isolation or common staircase.



P.S. do you know that you in Russian describe a apartment as "renovated" or "euro-renovated". Euro-Renovated means more or less european style. The pictures below are euro-renovated. This means (for me) just renovated is just clean Russian understanding of the word and this is more or less "you don't mind the details of housing".

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

welcome at home

Wow, couple of weeks ago I arrived in Germany and how did the country welcome me?
"welcome at home, please don't forget to pay you fees for watching TV"

The point is, that 3 of the dozened German channels are federal. So everybody with any kind receiver (even a laptop) has to pay for the possibility of watching it.

Sometimes Germany is stranger than Russia.

About this blog

This blog is a close up on Russia and the CIS. I am not giving you the big picture.
I would anyway fail. I am too long here. So beauty & decay,
education & corruption, high culture & kafka-style administration are meanwhile normal for me.
So this blog is like a painting from from Roy Lichtenstein... when you are with your nose on it :) You will just see the dots, not gaining any understanding of the whole.

Most things will look strange in this blog. But you can be sure, I would not live here, if there would not be a lot of great things here. Unfortunately, the weired stories are more interesting to tell & read.
Don’t judge Russia on this blog, if you want to know the country, come over and take a look by your own.