Things I’ve Missed Whilst Living in Russia

The 20th December at 23:50, my plane from Munich touched down on the tarmac and I felt a wave of relief hit me. Sure, I absolutely adore living in Moscow, but there are certain things that I’ve missed whilst being away from the UK.

Of course, the first thing that was incredibly British was a 60ish year old man yelling at airport staff about the fact that an escalator wasn’t switched on:

“Bleedin’ ridiculous that! All these people going up and down the stairs! No escalator!”

“There is a lift, sir. We just switch off the escalator to ease congestion.”

“Bleedin’ ridiculous. No escalator.”

I had not missed the abuse that British people hurl at employees who are just trying to do their job. However, these are the following things that I have missed:

  • Not having to think about what I want to say and how I’m going to say it for every little thing.

This is possibly the most exhausting part of living in Russia. “What case should this be in? Where’s the stress in this word? What if they reply in a way that I hadn’t prepared for?”

Here, I can be lazy and get exactly what I want, the way I want it. Though, getting my nails done and not knowing half of what they were asking me was all very thrilling.

  • Wide range of vegan options.

Yeah, I’m that person. However, in Russia, going to various продукты meant that I could only find Oreos. Here in the UK I can go into Tesco and there is a Freefrom section bursting with vegan chocolate that doesn’t taste like it’s healthy food pretending to be chocolate.

  • Pubs.

No one does pubs like the UK. I’m sorry, I am yet to find another place that even gets close to a Spoon’s, let alone your typical dingy and quaint country pub studded with beer mats and in my local, horseshoes. Plus, rum is cheaper than in Moscow, and I am always a fan of that.

  • Small cobbled streets.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Moscow’s mix of concrete and onion domes. However, there’s nothing like strolling through the cobbled streets of York or Birmingham and imagining you’re rich enough to live there. I am not and never will be, but it’s nice to dream.

  • The lack of scooters.

Have you ever been cut off by a grown man scooting his way to the metro? You probably haven’t. That is something that needs to stop in Moscow.

However, there are so many things that Moscow does better, like heating buildings (I am freezing my tits off in Subway as I type this), so I can deal with the lack of pubs, cobbled streets, vegan options, language fluency and scooter etiquette for a wee bit longer.