Moscow & more

Good Morning from Moscow!

Last year, I met a woman in Moscow, her name is Mel. We became instant lifetime friends. She is heaps better than Google, a GPS and GoogleMaps combined! She enjoys sharing the best of Moscow with me the whole time I’m here on every visit, so my days here are always chock full of new and wondrous adventures. Lucky me.

Last year, before I came to Russia, I had to figure out how best to deal with money. As you know, because of the sanctions the financial systems don’t cross over. It became obvious that cash and gold were the best if not only ways to deal with this, because cash dollars can still be exchanged in the big banks or with money-changers.

Right after my arrival in Moscow last year, Mel helped me open a bank account, exchange a bunch of US dollars to rubles and deposit it into my account. The use of bank cards or money transfers by phone is by far the most common way to make any transaction. Cash is rarely needed, sometimes not even possible to use. Russia is ahead of the US and Canada in this regard.

The next day, upon my request, Mel tracked down a coin shop because I wanted to confirm that it was possible to exchange gold for cash and to see how it worked. It turned out to be a simple matter.

Yesterday, we returned to the same shop. The manager, Vladimir, recognized me immediately and beamed as he jumped to his feet to shake my hand, genuinely happy to see me again. Maybe you don’t recall, but last year I shared an account of the experience, along with a few photos of the same guy in that shop.

Later, Mel and I had dinner. She knows all the best restaurants and this time took me to Cafe Puskin. During his time in Moscow, Tucker will likely dine here. Check out the website, including the menus and gallery pages:

Earlier, I had discussed Tucker’s visit to Moscow with Mel. I told her I would like her to keep an eye and both ears open for any news about him, including where he might be staying. I speculated it would be the Four Seasons. Our waiter at the Cafe Puskin spoke English, so I asked him if he knew who Tucker Carlson is. His instant response was, “Of course!” When I asked if he knew where Tucker was staying, he said no, but likely at the Four Seasons.

Over dinner, Mel educated me a little bit on Puskin the man, whom I have heard of many times, seen statues and plenty of things named after him, but really knew nothing about. One of the things she said is Puskin was largely responsible for refining the Russian language, from a basic means of communication into something more towards the beautiful French he had grown up speaking. It might interest you to scan the wiki page on Pushkin, especially the ‘Death’ section:

After dinner, we walked to Red Square, which is so beautiful at night. The Four Seasons overlooks the Kremlin and Red Square, so of course we went inside the opulent hotel for a look and to see if Tucker happened to appear ( I imagine he would have the Royal South Suite, the best they offer, overlooking Red Square and the Kremlin.

At the moment your email arrived that said “impressive building”, Mel and I had just exited the lobby and were standing right in the spot where I took the photo of the Four Seasons. Here’s the view from that spot, looking towards Red Square and the Kremlin:


PS In looking at the Tucker videos, there’s a short clip of him in Moscow, where he is shown walking through the glass pillar entrance to the Four Seasons. So, I guessed right as to which hotel he’s using.

Later today, I’ll go to Red Square -I go there every day when I’m in Moscow- so I’ll swing by the Four Seasons again. Might run into him one of these times ?

With Mel, she shared a lot of insight into Putin with me. Too much for me to write about now, but my skepticism about Putin seems deserved. He is no doubt the best leader of a major country, but as you can imagine, there are limits to what he can do. Part of the power structure in Russia includes those who work against the people, just like everywhere, trying to gain more and more power, at the expense of the ‘little people’ (and eventually of themselves, as far as I’m concerned). Putin has to pick his battles and apparently the covid crap was not one he felt like engaging in. Of course, the motherfucking WEFers are here, too, with significant power and influence. No matter, they will fall away ?

All for now. Have a good one!