viernes, 23 de agosto de 2013

Happy birthday, Moscow...! (1 Sep 2013)

It’s time to blow out some candles. 865 of them to be precise. It is Moscow’s birthday and on the 1st of September it will be throwing one mighty party. In lieu of pin the tail on the pig-dog or pass the polonium parcel, this birthday bash has everything from overblown concerts covering famous squares, vast boulevards shut off for pedestrians to ogle at the architecture, food stalls, fireworks, art exhibitions, markets and music. The best part? It’s all free.   

As with every party there are two sides: the planned events ‘oh, at 2pm let’s see the so-and-so’ side, and, especially in Russia, the alcoholic frivolity side of things. I used to try to combine both, which is sometimes tricky when your Russian friends just want to get the beer flowing, but there is a lot to see and do throughout the day.   

The city was founded in 1147 by Yuri Dolgorukiy so Muscovites naturally want to toast this moment by imbibing vast quantities of beer and vodka. Stereotypes aside Russian beer and vodka is good and cheap. Far from the overpriced paint-stripper of British supermarkets, Russian vodka is a loved and cared-for product and bottles can be bought for a few pounds; hence the associated and well-documented health problems. Let’s not cover the truth, on Moscow City Day (Dyen Goroda) there are a lot of drunk people. But it’s good-natured. Russians are rowdy and raucous but not aggressive. Having said that, during these city parties there is a possibly unnecessarily large police presence. Generally though, it’s all gorilla-like standing around and chest-puffing to keep everyone in check. There is rarely trouble but maybe it’s not the best event to take very young children to.   

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Aprende idiomas leyendo periodicos y revistas * When you learn English, you have to learn in whole sentences and in context * Learn langu...