During school, we have all studied about the Tundra region characterized with shrubs, mosses, pine trees along with dark and gloomy winters full of snow. I had always seen snowfall in movies but as I stepped out of the Domodedovo Airport at the outskirts of Moscow in late November, I immediately got my first experience of how snowfall felt.
While -8 degrees would be par for the course for Russians on any given day, it was quite a chilly start to my trip. I had always heard stories about how it’s difficult to survive in Russia without knowing Russian. And my failed attempts at conversing at length with my taxi driver didn’t really do anything to prove those stories wrong.
Being the traveler I am, I haven’t really had any issues in conversing with people around the world since English is generally spoken almost everywhere. But I soon realized that to go around in Moscow, I should at least learn a few Russian words and also download the ‘Google Translate’ app for Russian. While not perfect, it did prove to be a great help as the days went by.
On another note, it was quite an interesting experience as despite not knowing each others languages very well, I did manage to understand a few things about Moscow and his life from the taxi driver.
The journey from Domodedovo to the Holiday Inn Lesnaya (my destination) took about an hour (60kms) due to the traffic. Though it was snowing and I had arrived late evening, I was keenly observing the roads, the tall pine trees without any leaves, the cars around and more. It seemed like a new and interesting world and I was ready to explore.
As I arrived and settled in my hotel room, I was quite excited at the thought of meeting my teammates for the first time, completing the tasks that I had come for, going around a new city and learning about a new culture.