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Journal stoolpigeon's Journal: Moscow 6

It's funny - every time (and it happened a lot) that I would fly into Florida, the dominant thought in my mind would be "Men went to the moon from here."

In December, barring something unexpected, I'll be visiting Russia for the first time. Moscow to be specific. And all I can think about is Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. It's probably my single favorite book. I'm pretty excited though I'll need to bring my heavy coat.

The closeness of Europe caught me off guard again. It seems like Moscow ought to be far away, even from here. It's a 2.5 hour flight that I booked on WizzAir for less than $200 round trip. Crazy. I think I'll end up spending more on my visa.

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  • by rk ( 6314 )

    When I moved from Phoenix to Hilton Head back in '06 I put it in terms for my Euopean friends: We are driving further than the driving distance from London to Moscow.

    Who was it that said the fundamental difference between the British and the Americans is that Americans think 200 years was a really long time ago but the British think it was yesterday, and the British think driving 200 miles is a very long way but Americans think it's just around the corner?

    • We are driving further than the driving distance from London to Moscow.

      And, in the States, you can drive that entire distance without getting stopped even once by the police, a border guard, or any other 'checkpoint'. At least you could, don't know any more. Ahhh, those were the days.

      • by gmhowell ( 26755 )

        Still possible. Heck, with a prepass, you can even do it driving commercially without stopping at a chicken house.

      • by rk ( 6314 )

        Actually, the drive out we had to stop at an immigration checkpoint on I-10 coming out of El Paso. We were well within the border at this point. They pretty much just waved us through, but it kind of bothered me. I remember this scene from The Hunt For Red October where Marko and Vasily are talking about America is Vasily is talking about living in Montana but going to Arizona in the winter in a "recreational vehicle". "No papers?" he asks, and Marko says "No papers." Hmmmm.

    • by gmhowell ( 26755 )

      I've said that off and on for nearly twenty years. I've also tried to make the statement that someone from rural Mississippi is as different from someone from LA or Manhattan as someone from Greece is from someone who is from Denmark.

  • I visited Moscow in 1985, at the height of the cold war. It was Reagan vs. (I think) Andropov, the USSR was the Evil Empire, and Moscow was the sluggish heart of a gray, shopworn police state.

    Today, the BRIC nations are still the big economic wave, even post-2008. A friend went to Russia a few years ago on an adoption trip. From his pictures, Moscow was a brightly painted, active city. At least in the parts tourists went, the brass was polished, the streets were clean and the streetlights all worked.


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