Monday, November 19, 2007

My first encounter with Moscow..

...looked somewhat like this: a creepy staircase at the fifth floor of a shabby building..

Moscow being insanely expensive when it comes to accommodation, i was directed to this lady who transformed a couple of rooms of her apartment into dorms for foreign backpackers and would rent a bed for the price you'd pay for a guest house with swimming pool in Australia!
(Very nice lady though, and allows cheap fellows to stay for about a third of the price of the cheapest official guest house!... and by the way, she's listed in the Lonely Planet, but since i didn't have it, it sounded to me like an insiders tip!)

So anyway, i got off my train at six-ish in the morning, after a no-sleep ride from St Petersburg, half asleep, and i remember my backpack felt horribly heavy that morning.. I find my way alright to the metro and even to the right stop (smart me!)... but that was the easy part; with no map and no identifiable street names, it took me a lot of asking around (meaning showing my piece of paper to whoever would take pity on me, since my russian is quite "basic")...

After a good while of walking up and down the same street, my investigation seems to indicate that the missing numbers should be inside that big courtyard with many unfriendly blocks.. but which one??

I can't remember how but i finally locate one possible candidate behind the corner.. but no sign of a guest house of any kind of course.. i push the loud metal door and start my way up a steep skinny staircase that i really don't feel like climbing with my backpack..

After the first floor i decide the place is too sketchy and there's not even a paper sign.. it can't be it.. i go back down!

Keep roaming around, and asking to whoever i can find.. most people have no clue what i'm talking about.. when finally some smiling chap seems to confirm the number i'm looking for is the one i had located! shite!

The door is still creeking and the staircase still too steep but this time i go all the way, up to the fifth floor.. there only, on the door, a tiny note says "please do not ring before 8:30"! With all this it's barely 7:30! I'll wait for an hour in the staircase before i dare pressing the doorbell...

That was only the beginning... Moscow was not only pleasant surprises!


Jérôme Charron said...

J'aime bien quand le traffic est nul sur le RER B... au moins on a des billets tous les jours!!!!
Merci qui? Merci les grèvistes...

Eric Antoine said...

just for your information, this is definitly not a creepy staircase for Moscow.

joune said...

haha... you're probably right!