#026 - The Things We Are
“I am almost ashamed about the presumptions I had about Moscow and Russia before the trip. I expected a cold, grim, and somewhat hostile city where it would be hard to make connections with anyone. But really, I couldn't have been further from the truth. I was instead positively surprised by all that Moscow had to offer. I had the luck of having two very nice guides who showed me around. They told me a lot about the city and showed me things that I wouldn't have found by myself. I felt the city to be so alive and vibrant, everybody was outside and the city goes on for 24/7. That tells a lot about a city if you ask me.
The sheer size of everything has been made to impress and make you feel humble. From the avenues, the buildings and the statues to the impressive parks. They have used so much effort to show their greatest achievements and heroes, and you just feel small compared to it all. But there is another side to the story, as a lot of it is just exterior. It seems like things are foxed in a very short-term kind of way, but a new coat of paint doesn't make a building last. Everything looks to be in good shape, but you only need to scratch a little bit under the surface to see through it. Old soviet flats, once a symbol for order and greatness now seem to be nearly falling apart while people are still living in them. To me, there is a beauty to this contrast. A beauty, which I've referred to in my print as well. It's all a facade, a big stage to a story they try to tell, but behind the curtains, that's where the real story is told.”