Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Festive Season Update

Some of you have noticed that the volume of posts drops off considerably when I'm home in Moscow. While life here is certainly interesting, engaging, and otherwise fascinating, and there are plenty of things to write about (although many of them don't fit into the "family-friendly" category), it's just that "normal" life here is more or less like normal life anywhere else, it's just a lot colder, in a strange language, and people doing bizarre things for obscure cultural reasons- nothing that my readers would find interesting. Oh, and there is also obscene amounts of drinking, partying and debauchery, but that's hardly notable, is it?

The last month or so have found me still camped out at my long-suffering friend Guri's place, while I reacclimatise to Moscow and start my new business (more about that later). Although in the melee of regular partying, you could be excused for not realising it's the holiday season (until all the expats flee Moscow for home or warmer climates as the temperatures approach -20).

Not wanting to miss an excuse to celebrate, I organised a Christmas dinner and party on the 25th December (Russian Xmas isn't until the 7th Jan), and some photos of our very Merry Xmas are below:

The Boys at Opera

Cam, Khristo, and those infamous "Red Shaker" shots, appropriate colour for Xmas!

Nothing says "Moscow Xmas" like Opera Club!

Cam, Gil, Guri & Ariel in the Spirit of Xmas!

Anya & Nastya sharing the Spirit of Moscow Xmas

A week later the real party season got under way with New Years Eve (the main celebration in Russia). I spent New Years Eve on the streets of Moscow with Katya watching the fireworks next to the Kremlin and Red Square, before retreating to my favourite bar:

A view of Tverskaya, with over a million people on the streets of the centre of Moscow to celebrate New Years Eve

Katya & sparklers on the streets!

A horde of Santa's on the Metro en route to the centre

Champagne on the streets of Moscow- Happy New Year!

Fireworks above the Duma (Parliament) opposite the Kremlin

Nothing like a bottle of vodka, a kalyan, and Garage Love to bring in the New Year Moscow-style!

And lest you think life in Moscow is about nothing other than partying, I even managed a cultural expedition to Alexandrov, a Golden Ring town about 150km north of Moscow, famous for its Kremlin and ancient monastery. It was beautiful, but cold, buried under the snow in about -15C:

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