When can you officially call yourself a local in Moscow? What makes you an insider in Russian capital? If you do at least half of these things, you’re well on your way to being a “Real Muscovite”.
Our Moscow guide Angelina came up with a list of what a real Muscovite does and doesn’t do.
10 things that define you as a Muscovite
- You are dynamic just like the city itself.
The facade and content of Moscow life is constantly changing. New cafes open and old ones close every month. New buildings appear as quickly as you have never thought it’s possible. The city never sleeps, and its lifestyle can’t leave you indifferent.
- You are really fond of history and you do visit museums and galleries.
You do read a lot and we visit a lot of lectures and exhibitions. Modern or classical ones – you do love both. You are genuinely interested in what’s happening in the city. Along with libraries museums are few places where one can concentrate on your work or studies, or just reflect on your thoughts. Located in the city centre, the libraries are easily reachable and all you need is your passport to get a library card.
- You love long walks and prefer them to going by metro in a rush-hour (from 8-10am and 6-8 pm).
Sometimes it’s better to stay for two more hours in the city-center go for a walk. But the downtown is quite safe. So you can stay here until it’s dark and go home without your shoes getting ruined in the metro. Checking out new Moscow restaurants is always a good idea to kill time.
- You avoid the circle metro-line.
The brown circle line in Moscow metro is very convenient. It makes it possible not to cross the city-center to get to some particular point on the map. There is one little catch though! The line has 7 railway stations and the chance to get stuck in a carriage because of somebody’s huge bags and miss the station you need is more than real. That’s why a true Muscovite prefers to avoid using the brown line at all costs.
- You visit St Petersburg more often than your grandparents’ house.
St Petersburg vs Moscow – you can find quite a few articles on this topic. Here we won’t dig deep into the main differences, but will speak about similarities. Both cities used to be capitals of the country. Muscovites often move to St Petersburg hoping to have a rest from busy life, as the city is 6 times smaller and its population is 5 mln people (comparing to Moscow’s 13 mln). Every Moscow school kid had at least one trip in life to St Petersburg with his or her classmates at the end of May-beginning of June. You love St Pete and call it our Northern capital; you pay respect to its European-like narrow streets described in novels by Russian writers of the 18th – 19th centuries.
- Have never been to the Mausoleum.
The mausoleum used to be considered a temple of the Soviet times, a monument to the only leader of the Russian revolution Vladimir Lenin, whose embalmed body is still there inside. It’s an example of the Soviet style architecture, which can’t leave anyone who visited Red Square indifferent. A number of mysterious facts are related to that page of the Russian history. Tourists visit the place as it’s a feature of Moscow, but Muscovites got used to it that much, that most people have never been inside and never seen Lenin’s body.
- You go by metro although you have your personal car.
Traffic is a problem here. Those Muscovites that are lucky to have dacha and live there whole year round use their own cars to get to work. But those who live within the city boundaries prefer using metro or other means of public transport, because in the rush hour it is possible to lose about 4-5 hours in the traffic. Who likes it?
- You suffer from insomnia.
Just like more than 50% of Muscovites. People of all ages have to get up early, when it’s still dark outside, plus – especially in winter – we suffer from lack of sunlight. That has taught us to feel happy because of little things: first warm day after long winter, first bike ride in spring, first smell of June.
- You always, always touch the dog’s nose at Revolution Square metro station.
You do it automatically and without thinking or making a wish, just as a sign of luck, you never skip this nose
- You are tired of Moscow but can’t think of leaving it.
Sometimes busy life-style gets boring or even exhausting. Most of the people living in Moscow have somewhere to escape for a weekend – either a country house or relatives’ place in a smaller town. Very few people though think about moving abroad because that would mean losing so many educational and career opportunities and start all over again.
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