Most helpful positive review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good enough for a short visit
on December 5, 2011
All guide books could be longer and more detailed, but this one has the necessary amount of detail one needs for a week's stay in Moscow. Moscow is a world city that is worth visiting at some point in one's life. However, if any one tip could have helped me before I left for Moscow, it would be this: never smile, or show any signs of friendship with service personnel of any sort, and preferably not with strangers. In the Russian mentality, smiling or showing any human warmth is taken as a sign of human weakness or unimportance, and all you'll get back is a dumb, retarded blank face (that just invites punching) ignoring any request for help or information. Russians introduced by other Russians are some of the friendliest people on earth, and Muscovites are no exception. But my advice on dealing with Russian service personnel would be: speak to them as you would if you personally hated them. DON'T smile as you speak, or before. DON'T smile or behave in a friendly manner when they help you with anything. Behave in a sullen, serious manner like that person is the last person on earth you'd like to be speaking to at that moment. With this understanding of the Russian mentality, you'll find yourself getting much better service, and not the poor service handed out to obvious tourists. They'll assume you to be someone to respect. A pity that, hopefully their mentality will improve or mature in time, and they'll learn what it means to show friendliness and warmth to strangers. But until then, don't behave in the normal friendly way you do in other countries - these people don't understand it and it only breeds hostility. Be unfriendly (not easy at first but after a few days of unfriendly service this comes naturally to most people) and guarantee yourself a better more comfortable stay, and together with the Eyewitness guidebook, you can't go wrong. To all those hotel staff who treated me like I was in a Gulag, to all those self-important airport idiots of various kinds who persistently gave me the 'retard look' when I was searching desperately for a telephone, to those individuals on the street who brushed me off like I was a Chechen rebel, all I can say is WAKE UP, and make your city more attractive to the world. I've travelled the globe, been to many third world cities and countries, and Moscow still leads the list of the world's unfriendliest, least stylish, most uncultured, most tasteless, and most inhospitable cities. Tons of cash but no style, culture or good taste. EVERY third world city I've been to has more culture and good taste, with less money. Now no guide book in the world can change Moscow's 'Gulag' mentality - but this one at least made the trip easier, because by pointing to a word or picture, no-one could pretend they didn't understand what you meant. Now I hope I haven't put anyone off visiting Moscow! Visit the city - because after Moscow, every city you visit for the rest of your life will seem like the friendliest place on earth.