I'm writing this blog about Russia, but so far I didn't explain why I'm here, why I chose to be here, and what I like or dislike in Moscow and Russia in general, let me change that!
During my fourth year of university in France (2008-2009), I had the opportunity to go abroad as an exchange student for one year, I chose Moscow State University, Faculty of Public Administration! I started to learn Russian in 7th grade and continued to study it at the university, so Russia was the natural choice for me. I enjoyed a lot my year as a student in Moscow and after my graduation in September 2010 I decided to look for a job in Moscow.
After three months I found a job in a French company, LIPPI (http://www.lippi.fr/UK/index.php), which designs and manufactures fencing systems for the safety of people, property and infrastructures. I'm responsible for the company's business development in Russia. I started to work in Moscow the 1st of March for at least 18 months!
Since I arrived, almost every Russian I knew asked me "Why the hell did you chose Moscow?", and most of them want to leave Russia to work abroad! They told me, why do you come here, the climate is awful (true!), people in the street in Moscow are not nice (true!), the city is really too big with traffic jams and pollution (true again!), and many other defaults (corruption, lack of political competition ...).
What they say is true, everything is not great in Russia, far from it. There are of course some things I don't like about Moscow, like the weather (it was snowing this weekend and today we can see some snowflakes from time to time), the pollution and the traffic jams or the fact that the metro is crowded and that people don't pay attention when they bump into you. But it's the same in a lot of big cities and for me it's far from being a big matter. This is of course a very personal opinion and I understand pretty well that some people don't like this city!
But I have good reasons to come. First I didn't want to lose my Russian, and the only way for that was to go live in a Russian speaking country and in that case the easiest place to find a work was Moscow! The second reason is that while living abroad when I was young, I got severely addicted to traveling and after lots of years in France, I "needed" to go abroad. Working in Moscow is also a great opportunity in terms of responsibilities, I couldn't have such a job in France with my age and experience. I also knew that very good friends were waiting for me in Moscow, so I didn't have to start a new social life, just to extend it! And this is very important.
And last but not least, I like Moscow as a city! There are great places to go out (day and night!), lots of exhibitions, forums, concerts, theater plays or operas! You can find great restaurants that are not so expensive (10-20€), and very cool bars and night clubs. In Paris, most shops and places are open a maximum of 12 hours a day, 6 days out of 7, while in Moscow it's 24 hours a day and 7 days a week!! I talked about people not being very friendly in the street, it's really true, but once you know them, Russians are great people, very sympathetic and they would try to help you as much as they can. I didn't talk about women yet, but it's true that a lot of them are very pretty and charming, it's another good part of Russia, but not why I came here!!
It's now your turn to tell me why you like or dislike Moscow! You can comment this article or contact me if you want me to publish an article with your testimonial.