Thoughts on Moscow

June 11, 2008 2 By Jakob

Currently flying the last hour to Amsterdam returning from a few days in Moscow – look below for a few posts.

Moscow surprised me a bit. Despite reports saying that English is becoming lingua franca in business, the capital still seems like there’s a long way to go before this communication barrier really dissappears. As in most other countries fluency in English is seen in international companies (granted: I only have 1 example), and some internationally related hospitality i.e. hotels. In stores and on the street I was not able to get far with English (or any other language for that matter). In addition you have the “cyrillic challenge” which complicates even simple tasks, like ordering a happy meal. though I can’t recommend happy meals the challenge of not being able to read combined with not being able explain the simplest things makes Moscow a challenging and without doubt for some at time frustrating city to visit.

My Russian colleagues shared with me that you shouldn’t think Moscow is like the rest of the country – or vice versa.

So, if that’s correct then the rest of Russia must have far, far to go… My Moscow experience was not unlike visiting Beijing a few years except that Moscow has more of all the well-known mainstream brands – both b2b and b2c. people shouldn’t kid themselves when deciding for a short og longterm venture in Moscow.

There’s still quite some cultural distance for them to cover – and for the rest of us.