Leaving Moscow...

I am sitting in the hotel room, which I will soon leave. My ride to the airport doesn't happen until 4 PM and I have to check out of the hotel at noon. I'll ask the staff if they'll keep my luggage so I can walk around downtown, but failing that I'll just wait in the hotel lounge.

This was the best trip to Moscow I've had so far. There were several factors:

  1. Eriko was in Nagoya, where she had the full support of her family.
  2. I was able to see Eriko & Jerry every day using video Skype.
  3. I came here alone. That gave me lots of personal time (mainly spent working on my own computer projects in the hotel room - I facilitated a dramatic increase in the amount of spam the family receives.) I typically went to bed on a relatively light stomach (instead of being stuffed) and not drunk. Riding the metro by myself was a nice feeling of accomplishment.
  4. Dmitry dedicated lots of time to me. He picked me up at the airport, we spent the Monday touring, we had lunch together every day, he gave me rides to the hotel several times, and we went out to dinner on Thursday.

Nontheless, I wasn't very brave on this trip. I typically ate breakfast in the hotel, except one day when I ventured across the street - although I enjoyed feeling more independent, the restaraunt was a poor choice. I went to the supermarket on the first day and only that day; I certainly could have saved the company a little money by purchasing a few items. Finally, with the exception of the time I spent with Dmitry, I went directly to work and came directly back - my free time was almost exclusively spent in my hotel room.

Granted, the weather in Moscow is cold, windy, wet, and grey - so it wasn't like there was a real incentive to go outside. In addition, the streets of Moscow are very dirty and there is very little English written or spoken - so being a tourist alone isn't a trivial under-taking. Those excuses aside, on my next visit I will certainly be more compelled to get out and discover this city of 10 million.