If you like the nightlife, then there must be at least 1000 different nightclubs and bars here of every type. Some are expensive because they cater to the tourist and visiting businessman, others that the average Russians go to can be both nice and bad, depending on they type of club it is and where it is located. Here in Moscow, there is a free magazine that can be picked up all over Moscow at different stores and restaurants called “Element.” This is Moscow’s English language entertainment guide published either weekly or monthly. It is very good and tells what is going on and where all over Moscow, movies, clubs, theaters, operas, concerts, exhibitions, festivals and fairs can be found in this excellent magazine.
I have your normal cable TV I think here for Moscow, just your basic channels with unlimited Internet access. Plenty of English speaking channels to keep me happy, Turner Classical Movies, BBC, CNN, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, Discovery Civilizations, Discovery Science, Discovery Travel, Reality TV, ESPN, and a few others. Plus every Russian channel here in Moscow, several programs that I like are Windows, something like the old Morton Downey talk show from New York, Naked Funnies is funny as you know what, people play tricks on other people by taking their cloths off and shocking people. Sasha and Masha are two Russian comedians that are funny and there is the old stand by Benny Hill that comes on weekends.
There is plenty to see and do here in Moscow, whether you like sightseeing, plays, operas, the movies, festivals, exhibitions, concerts of every type, museums, battle reenactments, you name it, it can be found here. There are even movie theaters that only show movies in English. Sometimes you can find things to see and do by accident. I have seen two movies being made here, one that stared Patrick Swazie when I just happened by Red Square one afternoon.
Crime really has not been a concern to me here in Moscow. Of course if you leave your common sense at home, then you might as well stay home also. Yes, there are criminals and crime here in Moscow, just like in most every city in the world. You just have to be aware of your surroundings at all times and what is going on. A few drunks getting on a bus with you late at night, do not say a word to them in English, just move to another part of the bus and ignore them. Getting mad and cursing them out in English only shows them and others that you are not Russian, maybe English or American and that you may have a lot of money on you. Those drunks could consider you the one buying their next round of drinks and follow you off the bus. You have to always be aware of your surroundings and who and what is around you. Be careful of speaking loudly in English around strangers; try to blend in with the crowds as much as you can. Terrorists can strike any where at any time, so not coming here because of something that may never happen only punishes you. Notice what is going on, notice people around you, Terrorists can come from any where, just last week a Blackman from Canada was killed by Russian troops fighting with Chechen terrorists in Chechnya. Always pay attention to what is going on around you, is a police dog that policemen have with them that smell explosives nervous acting for no reason? Does the person just look like they are up to no good? Be aware, learn to trust your feelings, terrorists can be any where in any country. Pickpocket’s hangout where a lot of people are, farmer’s markets, train stations, subway stations, so always be aware. All my Russian friends have warned me about gypsies, but I never had any trouble with them, I always leave when they approached me.
Excerpted and updated from “The Good And Bad Sides Of Living And Working In Russia: Survival In Russia” in Escape From America Magazine, Issue 64.