Being in Moscow for a press junket like this should be all gravy, right? What an insane opportunity! Who even goes to Moscow? I don’t know anyone!
And yet I’ve been filled with anxiety since I got here, not over work (well a little bit), not for my safety (though I have heard talk of “rape tunnels”), but more for all I’m missing. I mean, let’s be real. I’m probably never coming back here, right? So I should be getting my (er, the studio’s) money’s worth. Unfortunately between my perpetual sleep fog (aka jet lag) and the work that’s kept me sitting in a hotel hallway, I haven’t really taken in the sights a ton.
And so Thursday morning I resolved to wander (somewhat) aimlessly. I journeyed past Red Square into an entire other neighborhood all by myself. And yes, I’m actually taking pride in navigating myself around. You see, I’ve never had a driver’s license, and I have a lovely wife who actually enjoys navigating foreign lands. In other words, left to my own devices, I’m usually pretty helpless. But I made it to the Arbat area of Moscow, apparently one of the older sections of the city. It’s a delightful pedestrian-only stretch dotted with shops, restaurants, and artists offering their renderings of Robert De Niro and Justin Bieber. It all felt very familiar to this lifelong urban dweller. Speaking of familiarity, should you come to Moscow and crave the comforts of the US of A, I passed Starbucks, Subway, TGI Friday’s and my perennial personal favorite, Cinnabon, in my travels today.
By the way, I’m writing today’s Moscow diary entry on a big bus full of press (my right thigh is touching ET anchor Mark Steines’, jealous?!?) on their way to the red carpet for the opening night of the Moscow Film Festival-where, you guessed it, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” is the featured attraction.
One final note of self-serving stream of consciousness rambling.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley knows my name and actually initiated a conversation with me today. This seems like some kind of strange karma payback for all miseries inflicted by attractive women in high school.
Nerds, you’ll get your due.
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