Bass Blog

Michael Hovnanian plays bass in an orchestra located in a large midwestern city.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Blog of the tour, part 01

Subway!?! No Way!

For me, the tour doesn't begin until the wheels hit the runaway, then I'm back on the clock. The warm, almost balmy Moscow air came as something of a surprise, although the fields still dotted with patches of snow made it seem as if this might have been a recent change in the weather. Still, it was much warmer here in Moscow than where I had come from - how many times do you get to say that?

Subway (the ubiquitous sandwich chain) wins the gold medal for the glaring first sign of 'our' triumph over socialism; It's right there in the Aeroexpress station beside Sheremetyevo Airport. McDonald’s and Starbucks were not behind for the silver and bronze. The half-hour train ride to the city center proved speedy, cheap (about $10) and efficient. Although we may have given them Subway, they are far ahead of us (at least our hometown) when it comes to actual subways, trains, and the like. It seems my colleagues, arriving a day earlier, had a less than optimal experience on buses stuck in Moscow traffic, which makes the train trip all the sweeter.

On account of the fine weather, I decided to walk to the Hotel from Belorusskaya station, about two miles. After about two blocks it was obvious pedestrians were moving much more quickly than the cars. A few odd glances from passers-by made me more than normally self-conscious until it occurred to me that my shirt, emblazoned with "Armenia Ice Hockey" might not have been the optimal choice. The Armenians have had some trouble with their neighbors, or so I hear. Discreetly, I put on another shirt. A few blocks down the road a persistent young scamp, street urchin of the classic mode, waved his cardboard sign in my face, asking for money (I believe) while feebly and ineptly trying to pick my pockets. I didn't feel truly relaxed until I passed through the metal detector into the secure bubble of the hotel lobby.

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