Moscow is a rapidly expanding city, with the only constant being change.
While it is regularly listed amongst the top ten most expensive cities in the world, Moscow can be somewhat underdeveloped, and expats will find themselves occasionally having to make a mental switch between life in the first and third worlds.
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The other week I was sat in Mc Donald's, reading an expat newspaper while doing other cliche expat things when I stumbled across an add for a speed dating company.
I decided this would be a laugh if I could get my friend to tag along.
Firstly, I didn't know the exact name of the place, but had a google map which led to us going to the wrong place first, which was good seeing as it was far too upmarket for our, arguably, scruffy asses.
Obviously my reserved English upbringing forced me to move on, but that’s just the way it is these days.
While my ex-farmer friend headed off to the bathroom to completely soak and wring dry his shirt (he has even worse sweat issues than me and this is his anti-patch technique) I sat at the bar and ordered a beer and a water.
Before moving to Moscow, expats should read as much as they can about the city to prepare themselves, and to help minimise any initial culture shock.
One of the best ways to prepare for moving to Moscow is to learn some Russian, and definitely to learn how to read Cyrillic.
Those with money can enjoy a lavish lifestyle, on a par with any major international city – but they must be prepared to pay for this privilege.
The standard of public education and hospitals can be considerably lacking; however, expats have the option of sending their children to one of the private or international schools located in the capital, and there are private healthcare facilities available too, for those who are willing to pay.