Another valuable and very inexpensive – or even free – service. No, don’t ask me what it includes till tell me who you are, what’s your background, and why you’ve come here. This is a very individualized exercise but it may contain some or all of the following, or even more and much more:
- First steps. Money exchange, buying mobile phone, checking into hotel etc. Assistance with buying train tickets.
- The layout of Moscow. The center. Main traffic arteries. Parks. Privileged residential areas. Huge subdivisions. Airport. Train station. Points of historic and cultural interest. The aim is to see a method in madness.
- Survival Russian. Numbers. Finding your way. “Left”, “right”, “where is the Metro” – this type of very simple phrases that I try to structure same as in English and transliterate in a simplified non-pedantic way, with one Russian letter matching one – rarely two – English ones.
- Transportation. The subway. Negotiating taxi fare. Things to be aware of when hiring a cab.
- Moscow prices. An overview of costs. How to get things done efficiently and inexpensively.
- Hazards and dangers. How to stay safe in Moscow. What to do in case of emergency. A review of case studies. Observation of street scenery and identification of potential sources of trouble.
- Where to eat. Places suitable for those who don’t speak a word of Russian. Quality cheap food.
- Thinking of staying here? An overview of the employment market for those with a thought of making Russia there home.
- People watching. Types of characters. Reading faces.
- Driving in Moscow. Introduction to Moscow traffic for those contemplating renting a car. In most cases 1-2 hours in Moscow traffic, with my commentary, will make you give up the idea.
- Quick survival Russian. I tend to think that my method of providing a traveller with the essentials is worth a separate page. Here >>
- Etc. etc. etc.
Again, this is not a set program. My Moscow Orientation is centered around you, your needs, plans, or concerns. The more you tell me about yourself and what brought you here the more focused and relevant and saturated this orientation tour will be.
Typically takes 3-5 hours and costs $100, which you will quickly recover eg. by saving on food or transport. Some Moscow orientation is done on our way from the airport. If this is so there is nothing in addition to your $80 car upkeep contribution.