Monthly Archives: May 2012

21:50 to Omsk

Having spent 3 days in Novosibirsk it is time to move on to Omsk. Very nice station Soviet style.

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I am going with Thomas and Peter on the night train.

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This train is new, with tv and good bunks.

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Included in the ticket is food and drinks. And look the menu is in English and there is a vegetarian alternative.

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Novosibirsk beyond the Urals

Novosibirsk was founded in 1891 when the Trans Siberian Railroad needed a stop on the way to Vladivostok. The old bridge you see behind the new one in the front took the train across the river Ob.

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The city grew during the WWII and especially during the cold war, where many industrial plants and cultural institutions were evacuated to this place, because it was considered out of reach of the missiles that might be launched from West Germany.

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Here is a special 27th May religious parade. People walk with icons in their hands and sing old religious hymns. Goosebumps.

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A vegetarian in Moscow

I knew it wouldn’t be that easy being a vegetarian with organic preferences living in Moscow, the Russian kitchen being very meat oriented (like the Danish). I hadn’t seen many alternatives in restaurants and in the supermarkets on my go-see visits. So it was much to my surprise when I stumbled upon a green supermarket, almost around the corner, by Moscow standards, on one of my walks recently. Wow.

On my visits to the MEGA centres, I am always offered lunch and I always have to prepare them, that I am a bit difficult. And it is never a problem actually, I have rarely been asked why. When I visited MEGA Belaya Dacha in Moscow on Tuesday, Europe’s largest shopping centre by the way, I met with Julia and her team, and again I uttered my peculiarity – where to she said: “I am a vegetarian too”. And she is not even an I-eat-fish-and-chicken vegetarian. A good lunch we had. She gave me good tips. Just to be fair, I have received some good links from my dear friend Heidi in Amsterdam, who is a Sherlock in net research. All will be checked out as soon as I have a weekend off. On Saturday I am off to Novosibirsk and Omsk.

Julia is a very nice looking lady with a lip piercing. the young today, eh.

Flat tire(d) on a Sunday

As you know I have been working hard, and still I had to go in yesterday on a Sunday for a bit of work and pick up some things. I thought I could do it on my way to IKEA, where I needed to go for buying things for the flat. On the way I could fill the tank, and luckily here it happened. I experienced my first ever flat tire (maybe because I am not driving much back home). Thank god, the guys that help you fill gas, immediately came to my rescue. Otherwise you had seen me on my iPhone seeking “how to videos” on Youtube – and then cry – or vice versa.

Flat tire

And then some comfort shopping…

IKEA shopping spree

 

 

The Product

Now, I have visited precisely half of the 14 MEGA shopping centres. The first MEGA opened in 2002 in Moscow, where MEGA really defined the market, so we’ll have an anniversary later this year. The MEGAs are large centres ranging from 100 000 to almost 200 000 m2 with 150 to more than 300 stores.  Here is a view of how they look.  I’ll put more pictures later.

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UFA or УФА

Ufa is the Capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan, situated east of Moscow close to the Ural mountains, a republic almost the size of Denmark.

I went there Wednesday-Thursday to visit the marketing team, the centre and the competition. Talking about the team, don’t the all look pretty? Blue eyeshadow and Russian women is mostly a thing of the past. With those looks, no wonder a lot of the top models today come from Russia. And all the marketing people I have met so far, they are so clever, competent and driven.

Tomorrow, I leave for Krasnodar and Rostov in the south on a three day trip. Having worked all day today Saturday (as mentioned earlier, we have to compensate the May holidays), I need a bit of rest now.

May Holidays

Today is the last of the four-in-a-row May Holiday days off. To “pay” for these days, we have to work some Saturdays instead, and which Saturdays specifically, is informed by the Government each year. It is Victory Day, which is probably the most important day of the year to the Russians. They celebrate the victory over the Germans in WWII, where so many Russians fell. They see the parade, watch old Soviet WWII films, and spend time with family and friends. I watched the military parade from Mayakovskaya-Tverskaya, close to my home, and where I had a good view. Never seen so many military vehicles.

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On Monday, I went to the White Rabbit with Olga. My third time there. It is such a cool restaurant/bar, and the food is delicious.

Dinner at the White Rabbit with OlgaOlga and me at the White Rabbit