Russian women selling flowers outside the metro station in downtown Moscow.
Today marks our sixth day in Moscow, Russia before heading to Sochi for a week. From our first step off the plane I was impressed and surprised by Russia and its culture. From the buildings to the people, everything in Moscow seems to have a story beyond anything expected. The American expectation of the country left me with a little hesitation before making the trip, unsure of what i would encounter. Despite this, nothing in this city has fallen short of impressing me.
The culture of Moscow is extravagant. The people are on the cutting edge of fashion trends more than any single city I have ever seen. Being the second most expensive city in the world gives an explanation as to why the streets are lined with Prada and Louis Vuitton. The buildings are monstrous in size and architecturally bold. Despite the obscure parking, the streets are strikingly clean and filled with luxury vehicles.
- Moscow State University student interview concerning the culture and history of his cities street vendors.
- One aspect of Moscow that became very intriguing to me as our adventures throughout the city continued was observing the street vendors. I first noticed them on the edges of red square selling trinkets for tourists. While some are aggressive in their selling technique many of them simply set and wait for their customers to approach them.
- We again saw many vendors selling various items at the lookout near Moscow State University. The most common item was the traditional Russian Matryoskha dolls sparsely surrounded by key chains, shot glasses and t-shirts all embedded to transform into some form of Russian memorabilia. It seemed that many of these vendors were preparing solely for the tourists, setting up in the frequent stops of those just visiting Moscow.
Although as our days in Moscow increased and we ventured to more local attractions it seemed to be something more of the culture rather than a tourist business. At a craft show in a Moscow park, locals set up tables displaying their best items in their specialization. There were no advertisments, just the simplicity of the object to sell itself. In America there seems to always be some type of added seller to increase the value to the consumer. Here the advertisement was the visual of the object setting on the table.
- The simplicity of Moscow street vendors continued as we ventured to the Russian Expedition Center. As we arrived, there were women standing on the edges of the sidewalk holding two or three pieces of clothing hoping for someone to buy them. They were not talking, they had no signs, simply a single file line of men and women holding their items for sale. It was not only unusual from the United States in how they sold their items but also in their items for sale. The objects began with clothing and escalated into animals including everything from a cat to a turtle.