Russia: Moscow Is Empty or "Yes of course, it is the Russian way!"


As I was drinking my morning cup of coffee yesterday. I watched the cars lined up for 6 to seven hours trying to leave the city. Besides being May Day in Russia it is also traditionally the weekend to go to your Dacha and plant flowers & gardens.

{Dacha (Russian: да́ча) is a Russian word for seasonal or year-round second homes located in the exurbs of Soviet and Russian cities. It is usually occupied part of the year by its owner or rented out to urban residents as a summer retreat. Dachas are very common in Russia, and are also widespread in some former republics of the Soviet Union.}

So my wife & I decided to travel to the center of Moscow. What a pleasant day it was. I knew that Moscow was empty by the fact that the Metro train was only half full. I have never seen it like that.

We arrived downtown Moscow & found a tranquil city & lots, I mean lots of Chinese tourists! We found the Downtown Sabarro Italian Restaurant and enjoyed the best meal we have had there in a year. The place was empty and the food was great. Normally the place is packed & the food is great. 🙂

We walked toward the Kremlin but I decided that it would be best to stay away from that area yesterday. I had heard (and was correct) that there would be some unapproved rallies going on. Not approved means getting in trouble and going to jail. Seems that 35 people were arrested. When will people ever learn to follow the rules?

We had decided earlier in the week to go to the Village ourselves this weekend, but after seeing the whole city leaving I knew that the roads would be jam packed. We are glad we stayed home.

I myself have learned something interesting about Russians. Russians do things in mass. Examples:

1. Time to put winter tires on. The whole city seems to try to put their studded Winter tires on in the same week. That is a week of chaos in Moscow. The same when they put on summer tires. The tire places run 24 hours & it is not uncommon to have a 3-4 hour wait if you are lucky.

2. You drive through a town and you see a fruit stand that sells pears. Then you look around and see that there are 20 stands that sell pears. Nothing but pears and lots of pears. Then you travel to the next town & they sell potatoes. Then the next town sells home canned goods. The next town sells mushrooms. The next town sells stuffed animals. The next town sells kites….. (I think you get my point!)

3. Everyone leaves Moscow the same weekend and goes to their Dacha! Everyone quits going to their Dacha on the same week at the end of the summer. (Not sure what week that is?)

4. I point these things out to my wife & she says: “Yes of Course, it is the Russian way!”

So as my American mentality keeps asking what seems to be a silly question,”Why do 6 Babushkas sit in a row near a Metro station entrance & all sell home made sauerkraut?” I know the answer….

Yes of course, it is the Russian way!

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

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