Moscow… We’re used to criticizing it. Stuff like “This is wrong, and that’s not the way it has to be, and prices for everything are crazy, and annoying immigrants are coming in large numbers, and the environment is bad, and generally speaking, it’s impossible to live here.” Anybody saying «I like living in Moscow» is looked at like a madman. He is not in the know, you see… The funny thing is, the crowds of refugees from The Unrubber City won’t be seen no matter how hard you look for them. Apparently, they travel by tunnels under the ground. Oh, wait a minute, there is another possibility—there are no crowds of refugees from Moscow, because it’s a great city to live in. At least, for me, Moscow is one of the best cities on this planet (I’m talking about global cities). The only two things that it lacks are the sea and mountains. You can think of me as a pervert, but that’s my opinion.
After two years in Freetown, the capital of our country looked like some paradise on Earth. The metro, grazing herds of white girls, high-rise buildings popping out here and there like mushrooms after a rain, normal Russian food. Three days in Istanbul have not yet dulled the acute sense of satisfaction with the civilization around me. And it’s not in the financial or residential comfort aspects (nevertheless, the hospitality of Alex, my good friend and old comrade in African adventures, who sheltered me in his house in New Riga was very much helpful indeed). If the city is «yours,» you will enjoy it even without money, and even spending the night at the train station will not spoil the impression. Well, as long as it doesn’t become a habit. I know from experience, since during my first visit to the beautiful city of Rome I was forced, by an incident, to spend three days on a budget of one hundred euros, prudently hidden away under the insole of my shoe at the beginning of the trip. 72 hours passed like a moment; I walked around the historic center almost around the clock. The only thing I was sorry about is that I could not enjoy the Italian cuisine, so I had to postpone it for some other time. On the other hand, I came to Dubai loaded with money, and still I spent the last two days in a hotel with a book. The city wasn’t “mine,” and that’s all.( Collapse )