David's World Tour

RUSSIA

September 2003 - A week in Moscow (on my way to India)

I had heaps of fun with the Moscow Footbag Club, a group I found via footbag.org, a great traveller's resource for footbaggers (thanks Steve). My new friends and I drank so much vodka that I didn't always catch the last metro to my hotel, but no worries. I came to Moscow to experience Russian culture, and drinking vodka all night qualifies. The only museum I entered was Lenin's mausoleum (creepy but interesting). I also toured around with Valya, a friend of a friend.

Moscow seems more Western than one could possibly have imagined 15 years ago. There are shopping malls, fast-food joints, and even footbag! My young friends all say they love it, but life is difficult for the old people who survive on miniscule pensions. When I asked, they all said they trusted that Vladamir Putin was a clever guy (whom they always contrasted with Bush the dummy). Several people said, "a strong hand is required to maintain order."

I am EXCITED about my World Tour now that I finally left the USA. I was getting tired of all the pro-war propaganda. Booooooo Bush! Next: India, finally.



Note from 2014: Things have certainly changed a lot in Russia! Ten years ago it was rare to meet a Russian traveller abroad; now they are common. Gone is the optimism and the trust in Putin. Instead, now I hear that the wealthier and better-educated Russians are leaving the country in vast numbers. Many are moving to Thailand and India. To them, the news back home is all bad. Bummer. At least the USA has Obama instead of W. Despite the cliche to the contrary, politicians are not all the same. That's why I vote.

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