The people of Moscow, all 11 - 15 million of them (statistics are difficult to accurately assess because of the massive amount of illegal immigration and unregistered citizens in the city), are as varied and vibrant as any other large city in the world. As the 7th largest city in the world and the largest city in Europe, Moscow is impossible to stereotype or categorize.
Nevertheless, in the interests of mindless entertainment, I present you with the people of Moscow!
The Young Men of Moscow
Often arrogant, often incredibly generous. Sometimes violent, sometimes sweet as apple pie. The young men of Moscow can be either your best friend or hold you in the highest contempt, depending on how you interact with them.
Russian men have a reputation for hard work, hard drinking and hard fighting, but for the most part the men of Moscow are incredibly well-behaved and very friendly. At least, 9 times out of 10 my experiences with Russian men in Moscow are positive. To be friends with a Muscovite male means to be almost brothers. With the hard drinking and all the singing and sharing of deepest fears that come with it (vodka is a strange drink; it induces bouts of sudden sentimentality followed by dirty uplifting songs, followed by vomit) it is possible to form a deep bond with a brother Russian in a matter of a few hours.
In my experiences Muscovite men have been a hell of a lot more helpful than the women, especially when lost and asking for directions or dealing with the nerve-wracking bureaucracy in Russia. They generally act with politeness and friendly, if not direct and to the point, about it.
However, there is a dark side to Moscow men. The machismo culture of Russia means that when they sit on a bench next to you on the metro, they will spread their legs wide apart, pushing your out of the way in a show of "I'm dominant". Feel free to push them back. It's part of the male pecking order in Moscow. Many of them walk with the elbows thrust out from the side of their body in a show of muscular ability, but they end up looking as if they are an ostrich trying to fly. I find this is more common among the skinnier men with no muscles. Then there is that ferociously ugly mullet which is everywhere.
Why the mullet, gentlemen? It doesn't take a fashion genius to know that mullets and rat tails are absolutely disgusting. Even your women think so!
The Young Women of Moscow
Ah, the beauty of Russia! This great land is populated by the best women in the world, in this blogger's opinion. Blonde, brunette, red-head, jet-black...what is it with those beautiful faces, that grace and style, those ultra-sexy figures and that feminine confidence?
Russian women are famous around the world for their beauty, but in Moscow they are, like their young male counterparts, charming and friendly and cute and funny yet also venomous, violent and aggressive when someone gets in their way.
The ladies of Moscow are everywhere. It is estimated that in Russia there are 8 women for every man and, while that figure is much lower in Moscow, there are still 3 beautiful ladies for every mullet-sporting gentleman.
It is amazing how many gorgeous young women inhabit this great city. Everywhere one looks there is a beautiful girl who could easily grace the cover of a magazine but instead works as a personal assistant in an office. When I first arrived in Moscow my neck was sore from constantly rotating in utter amazement at the parade of beauties who passed me. Now I'm a sort-of immune to it and only the super-gorgeous catch my eye.
Moscow girls dress with the highest sense of fashion and wouldn't dare go to the corner store without first fixing their hair and choosing the correct pair of high heels to match the shopping bag they are bringing with them. This year a classical 1940's flowery summer dress is all the rage (and I agree whole-heartedly with the trend).
Speaking to these women is easy. If they are under 30 than they know English although may be self-conscious of their abilities. Usually, when they hear me speaking English to someone else, they come up to chat practise their language a little. Naturally I have no problem with this! Sometimes the way to meet a particularly stunning girl is to ask, in English, "Do you speak English?"
Contrary to popular belief most Russian women DO NOT want to emigrate out of Moscow. They love the city and the night clubs and cafes and their friends and families. A Moscow girl will move overseas for love, and that only. They are very fatalist and believe deeply in the unknown mysteries of the paranormal. They believe in soul-mates and love at first sight and ghosts and destiny, and if a Moscow girl falls in love with a man she will remain ferociously loyal and protective, almost like a mother bear protecting her cubs. This also includes an unhealthy dose of jealousy, dependence and cattyness, but in a society where 2 out of every 3 women are destined to live a life alone, it seems natural.
Which explains why a skinny insecure guy with bad teeth and a mullet will have a drop-dead leggy supermodel on his arm.