Editor’s Letter – Summer Issue

John Harrison Editor

John Harrison

The summer is here at last, and hasn’t it been a long time coming? There was still snow lying on the ground in the Moscow Oblast as this summer edition of Moscow expat Life went to print. The late spring helped the attendance figures at a spree of community events in April and May, culminating in the outrageous National Day celebrated by the Dutch at the Pushkin museum. This event turned into a double-whammy as it coincided with the abdication of Queen Beatrix and the inauguration of her 45 year-old son Prince Willem-Alexander as King. The Dutch community in Moscow is still recovering.

Health is of concern to everybody who lives here. As part of an on-going series on health care facilities available in this city, Moscow expat Life looks at the Russian health service. Continuing this theme, we provide in this issue a comprehensive list of municipal and private fitness centres, so if you have not pumped enough iron to chase the winter blues away, or flown off to Thailand, you no longer have any choice but to head down to your local fitness centre and tune those muscles!

Moscow expat Life has started holding breakfast seminars at Kitchenette restaurant, the first of which is reported on in this issue. Two long time expats; David Gilmartin and Lucy Kenyon share their knowledge of education opportunities available in Moscow for our children. If you have any suggestions for future themes, and/or would like to attend yourself, please write to me. In general we try to write about issues and themes that are of important to you, so please do get in touch.

Editor’s Pick

John Harrison Editor

John Harrison

This issue we have a broad selection of reading material for you, all of which has very little to do with current political arguments, but hopefully everything to do with working and living here.

Our main feature article continues the education theme
 and concentrates on pre-school education. Parents and educators try to shed some light on the highly complex issues involved in not only choosing the right school, but the right kind of school, as choice in Moscow is wider than one might think.

As the fall sets in and we drift slowly into longer nights and darker days, Lucy Kenyon and Dr Ksenia Yadykina inform us that getting depressed is nothing unusual, it has got something to do with the way that the lack of daylight alters our perception, and thus our ability to cope. ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’ (SAD) is in fact a recognized illness and treatable.

The International Women’s Club has always been a key element of Moscow expat culture. In this issue, current IWC President Izabella Zajączkowska and Sonya Michon Floc’hay, IWC PR Chair talk about the work of their organization, and the challenges involved in heading up an organization that does such amazing work in bringing together and supporting women from all over the world.

In our continuing drive to include expats not just from the Anglo-American communities,
we feature reports of the Wirtschaftsclubrussland, Kasper Ditlevsen, the chairman of the Dutch Business Club, Canadians Mark and Lois Gilbert, and an interview with the His Excellency the Indonesian Ambassador. We also include the ultimate biker Peter Dick from middle-England, whose attitude is totally addictive.

The Moscow Good Food Club started off with a bang at Night Flight in July, and you can read exactly what happened on that eventful evening in this issue. Enjoy.

Editor’s Pick – Winter 2013

John Harrison Editor

John Harrison


It has been a memorable late summer and Autumn. Two huge new expat eating and drinking venues have opened up: The StandarD and the re-branded Papa’s. Both opening parties were spectacular, and both were attended by old timers and the new, younger generation of expats who have recently crossed the border into this vast, multi-cultured, difficult-to-define continental experience that we call Russia.

Generations met again at the Night Flight party organised by the BBC in September. There was an age gap of 30 years, all united by common interests. For the newly arrived, Brian Johnson’s article: The Truth About IFAs’ on pages 36 & 37 will perhaps
be of interest. Marauding finance companies that cruise in expat waters are just one of the potential threats. So are parenting issues, as discussed by regular contributor Jay May, himself a stay-at-home dad, who offers a survival guide for young parents in Moscow on pages 20 & 21. There are a host of other such topics which we are only too well aware of, and which we will cover, issue by issue, in this periodical.

The Moscow Good Food Club is going from strength to strength. Meetings are now monthly, and we feature two such gatherings in this issue, at the MUZEY restaurant and the OSTERIA della piazza BIANCA.

Moscow continues to transform before our eyes. Suddenly we have pedestrian zones opening up, making it possible to traverse large sections
of the metropolis without confronting any cars. Check out our report on newly pedestrianized Bolshaya Dmitovka and Nikolaiskaya Ulitsa on pages 66  67.

We wish you all seasonal greetings, and share the perennial John Roche’s charitable message (pages 60 & 61).  Even we busy-ultra expats have time to relax with a nice Riesling or Beaujolais. OK, perhaps vodka and orange? And a copy of Moscow expat Life to while away those long winter nights with nothing to do except enjoy. Oh life is so hard!

Seasonal Greetings!