Matea By 

Magical Moscow in Zagreb now


To Moscow! To Moscow! To Moscow! – cried Chekhov’s Irina helplessly to her little sisters fantasizing about their escape from the province that squashed any hope of a better life.

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To Moscow! – I wrote back to Edina when we discussed where to go on Thursday afternoon to alleviate depression and monotony of a dull week three weeks before holidays.

Nostalgia, mist, dejection, fatigue, apathy and an utter lack of ideas (let us not go into details) melted away as soon as Mother Russia lit its first lamps. No, we did not go to the distant and coveted Moscow because this winter it has come to us.

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Edina and me in front of “Moscow”

A party dedicated to that city of cold winters, hot borscht, fur hats and vodka that rejuvenates heart and body opened this year’s festivity of Fuliranje (Croatian for fooling around). This season it has been upgraded and expanded to the Europski trg (European Square) and Kurelčeva street. Friends and strangers, locals and tourists, whether invited or uninvited, flocked around the Moscow stand whose opening inaugurated the current Zagreb’s tour of the world cities.

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Wine was cooked, champagne was poured, vodka was tasted (take some Kalinka, the red one, shouted my Russian acquaitance, but it was so good that someone drank it all while I tried to take some photos. The Russian team did a really god job regarding the atmosphere and the assortment of food and drinks. The Russian sandwiches (pork-sauerkraut-sour cream), canapes with salmon and caviar, Russian Zafir dessert with apples – there was nothing missing.

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With friend from Russia Anastasija Knežević

The atmosphere was heated up by a band whose name we didn’t get, but which performed Russian folk songs, including the universally beloved Kalinka.

We were delighted both by spotting familiar faces in the crowd and by the artificial snow which at one point started falling. We were living an idyll! Russia. Love. Or vodka, whatever – we had our Russian fairy tale. Hurry up and go get your own fairy tale, because soon we’ll be flying from Russia to Italy, which is a bit closer and warmer.

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With my former Editor-in-Chief, writer Merita Arslani

The tour continues according to the following timetable – as of this Monday (December 7th) Florence will replace Moscow. Then we’ll head for Barcelona (Dec 10th-13th) and Paris (Dec 14th-16th), before continuing the journey at Schladming and visiting the distant Tokyo.

The remainder of the schedule reads as follows: Berlin, New York, London, Istanbul and Mexico.

It seems as though we won’t need a passport this winter. All of these cities are coming to us in the very centre of the Croatian capital. All you need is a good company and a couple of kunas for a drink or two. Come to fool around with us!

Photos: Lidija Šeatović for MLZ

Translation: Ozren Podnar

 

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