Sunday, May 19, 2013

Moscow Metro for the Win!

Парк Победы (Victory Park Metro)

In just about any Moscow guide book, you'll find recommendations for a tour of the metro. As strange as this may seem, it's actually warranted. Many of the stations are stunningly designed and each tends to have its own theme. I've gotten spoiled in that I've never waited for a train for more than 2 minutes and I've never been on one that has broken down. (Although after watching the Russian film Метро, I did become slightly traumatized).

Despite all of its positive attributes, however, I will occasionally hate on our underground system. Why? 1) I spend far too much time in there! Though with the arrival of summer I have been attempting to walk a step or two before descending into the depths. 2) The people. ALL of the people! SO many people! If you do decide to take a metro tour, avoid the hours of 7-10 am and 5-7 pm like the plague. Please. I don't want do have to deal with any more bodies packed into the swarming mob of flesh that is our peak hour. If you do come at those times? Consider bringing a face mask. We get some interesting smells goin' on down in there.

Luckily, today is Sunday. Herds are limited, scents reduced and it's slightly cooler in the underground so my commuting experience was swarming with nothing but positivity. Especially when I caught a glimpse of a rather unique commuter. Not an uncommon occurrence in general, but since this one was staring me down, it drew my special attention.
As if a giant stuffed elephant weren't enough to make your day, I had another unusual encounter with a casual commuter. As I was transferring lines in the perekhod, I glanced up and made accidental eye contact with a not-unattractive young man who was headed in the opposite direction. I was completely caught off guard when he smiled and tipped his head a bit to the side, as if we might know each other. But being the solid Moscow-girl that I am, my only reaction was to immediately avert my gaze (I've learned the Russian ways) and move along. My newfound metro friend changed his course and was shortly at my side. Russian men are NOT timid people! I steeled myself for some sleaze and continued walking, but was completely caught off guard when he said, "I just have to tell you that you are elegant." I actually looked at him at that point, disregarding standard metro conduct. (Maybe I just generally attract a different sort of guy, but their comments tend to be nowhere near charming.) He smiled, continued on to describe the light and glow that I carried, and wished me a good day as we reached the escalator and I continued on my way. Moscow man for the win! I thanked him for being so complimentary and, had he not looked to be nearly 10 years younger than myself, might have engaged him in actual conversation.

So...the point? Why am I telling you about some random pick-up lines in the metro? It's not because of their content (though it was much better than being asked if my lips are real), but because of their delivery. There was an actual genuineness and sincerity in them that truly caught me off guard. I might expect elephants in the metro, but frank and endearing behavior? Not so much. This city never ceases to surprise me. And today it scored some serious points for humanity. A Sunday in the Moscow metro for the win!!!

7 comments:

  1. Wow, the metro station is majestic and that sweet incident with the dashing young man is so interesting. I could vividly imagine it while reading :)

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  2. Oh wow, the metro! How beautiful.

    I love the interaction with Moscow Man. Much better than my experiences conversing with strange men on the train :)

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  3. That really is so beautiful! But if a man ever told me i was "elegant" I'd have followed him off the train ;)Telling nate to add that to his list...

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  4. This sounds much more interesting than my journey from Finsbury park to Euston on the London Underground last week!

    Also, are all the Moscow metro stations like the one above? It's palatial - no other word for it.

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  5. Most of them are actually really beautiful, though perhaps not as shiny as the one pictured above. There are a few dud stations in the mix, but most are something special!

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  6. The only thing to say is the smells in the NYC metro are there whether people are or not. This is actually unreal and worth seeing. P.s. Yes those lips are real!

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  7. I love humanity points! Had I only know this story ahead of our adventures I would have had you re-tell that to me before bed......every night.

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