24 Hours in Moscow

17 August 2017

It has been 2 years since I came to Moscow. The first time I came, I did not have the chance to get around the city because I grounded myself in the hotel room to study for the annual recurrent exam. This month I was so happy that they gave me what I asked for - Moscow in summertime!

I took the Metro (green line) to the station called Teatral'naya (Театральная), which will bring you to the Red Square!

The weather was PERFECT with a temperature of around 20°C, beautiful sunlight, and a clear blue sky! I was totally impressed by their colourful and interesting architecture.

Russian nesting dolls

Not far from Red Square, you will find St. Basil's Cathedral - the icon of Russia!

Too bad they were holding some kind of event in the Red Square, which was full of tents and blocked with barriers/gates. Even the big space in front of the cathedral, where is supposed to be the photo spot, was blocked too (Tents can be seen in one of my pictures above). It definitely wasn't easy to find a suitable spot to take good pictures of the cathedral and the museum.

St. Basil's Cathedral
Russian lady praying in front of the cathedral

GUM, the State Department Store, is a premiere shopping center on Moscow's Red Square. It is one of the world's most popular luxury stores and a must-see for city visitors. I really like the spectacular interior design of the shopping mall.

After some sightseeing in the Red Square, Nelly, my colleague suggested to visit their Metro stations. I have never seen any transit stations as luxurious as Moscow's, with reflective marble walls, high ceilings and grandiose chandeliers.

Mayakovskaya station

Russians don't smile?

I remember the first time I came to Moscow, I was quite disturbed by the fact that Russians don't really smile. I could not get used to it and it made me want to leave this place. Well it's probably because I've had the experience already, I did not expect anything better this time. It turned out that I actually had a very different feeling about Russians this time, a positive one! Still no one was smiling, in the metro full of people, on the street, in the shops, everyone looked like they've had a bad day, in a bad mood, upset, or grumpy. But I did not feel offended this time. I know that's how Russians are like. 'Resting bitch face' is probably their default face but that doesn't mean they're bad people, or they're angry. A Russian colleague once told me, that it's their culture not to smile to strangers because they think it's not necessary to. Casual smiling is not something they encourage in their society. Grinning without cause is not a skill Russians possess or feel compelled to cultivate. There’s even a Russian proverb that translates to “laughing for no reason is a sign of stupidity.”

I actually could feel more comfortable being myself around them. I did not have to keep smiling to please other people, like what I would normally do (especially after being in this job). I did not have to worry about offending people because I did not smile. Trust me, smiling can be really tiring too.

It may be different from our culture, but that doesn't mean they, who are different, are wrong either. In fact during this trip, even though it was a short one, I could feel from the bottom of my heart that Russians are actually good and nice people. Whenever I needed help or direction, someone would be willing and ready to give assistance. When my colleague or I did something stupid in one of the vendor stalls, the shop owner and customers would still laugh with us. When my colleague lost her balance and almost fell in the metro, a poker-faced lady immediately burst into laughter. When I entered a full metro, a guy stood up to offer me his seat. All I could feel was warmth, even though it is not something that shows on their faces. At least to me, they are better than some societies that standardly put fake smiles on their faces when they don't actually mean it, or robot-like humans that do not even know what simple respect is.

I started to like Russians, and their beautiful cities. What say you? :)


  1. May I know what camera lens you usually use?

  2. Kit lens and portrait.


Latest Instagrams

© wanderchu.