Andrey Shilov at WordPress

The notes of a journalist working in Europe for Russian TV

Archive for September 2008

A city and city people

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You land in an unknown city, take a taxi in airport, say the address and name of a hotel. Taxi driver calls somebody and says he can’t take you right to the hotel and will stop at some distance. Ok, you agree, I will walk.
You arrive to a street, see road signs towards your hotel and people blocking the street. You approach them and for some reason they start singing before you say a word. Women in their 40s -50s, they wave their hands and show you can’t go through. You show them you suitcase, you say you are going to a hotel but they stand firm in a few rows and sing exactly because you are near them.
You go to another street, there are young people, different people there but the result is the same – no way through.
One more street. No way.
It is Saturday. You woke up at 6 and spent a couple of hours in airport because your flight was delayed. The working day is ahead but the people stand and smile and explain, “there are Nazis there” (they point somewhere behind themselves) “and we don’t let anybody go there”.
– There is my hotel there.
– Nobody goes there, – they say it politely, with a smile.
– I just arrived. I have a reservation in the hotel.
– You can join us or wait in a café.
– I have to work.
– Nobody can go there.

So what would you feel then?
And would you change your mind when you learn why they are there?

P.S. I knew the reason and was ready for all that. They were blocking all the streets around Heumarkt, a square in German city of Cologne, in order to cancel an “anti-Islamisation rally” there. In the end I went through when showed my press card. But I wonder how would a regular business traveler feel.
P.P.S. The rally was cancelled in the end.

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Written by andreyshilov

September 21, 2008 at 1:13 am

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…and he manages somehow

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It turned out that Sergey Kupriyanov, press secretary of Chairman of Gazprom management committee, doesn’t speak English.

Written by andreyshilov

September 11, 2008 at 9:27 pm

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