In 1993 I visited a Moscow family I'd met over the net. While I was there, I kept a travel diary, which came out rather more detailed than I'd expected. The following pages are mostly straight out of the diary, with some cleaning up (though probably not nearly enough) and additional explanation added.
My main contact was Olga, a scientist. Her brother Mitya (who lives with his wife and daughters in an apartment downstairs) had convinced her to take in foreign guests as a way of making ends meet more easily. Olga's salary at that time was around $50 a month, and she hadn't gotten her last three paychecks. She and Mitya had had a few guests before me, so by then they pretty much had the hang of playing tour guides.
This was my second trip abroad; in 1992 my ex-housemate and I visited a mutual friend in Israel for two weeks. I'd never been out of the country by myself before. You'll probably get a good chuckle out of some of the dumb things I did as a result of my inexperience.
(*) indicates a page with no pictures.
Pictured above: Me, in front of the Lobnoye Mesto, or "Place of Skulls," a platform on Red Square where people were beheaded during the Tsarist era.
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