First Impressions of Moscow

The train ride from Nizhny was very comfortable. I did not talk to anybody. At first Russians seem to be closed in and serious looking.
I was helped with my heavy luggage down the train. My guide Alexei and the driver found me. The station was small and not hectic as I was anticipating. It was a smooth ride with many traffic jams so I could leisurely see along the way the architecture of these massive Stalin style buildings.
We arrived at our destination, in a leafy backyard with an entrance door made of metal, looking like a prison. We entered a somber corridor with heavy metal sheets on the wall painted dark green. We climbed to the second floor to enter into a very narrow dirty elevator to the 9th floor where we walked up to the 10th floor
A lady in her 70s was waiting for us. She showed me how to lock the two heavy metal doors to the apartment. The first door was made with heavy metal sheets and a raggedy brown cover of beaten up leather. There were two locks, one looking like part of armor outfit for horseman in the middle age, the other one was small and round. The keyhole was hard to find as a thick velvety cover kept covering the hole.
The second door is made of metal too, but thinner and light brown. It makes a squeaky noise when you push it. You enter into a long dark corridor with mirrors, shoes lined up, a thick dusty reddish rug, a beauty wooden stand Art Deco style, low stand, with a center dirty mirror with lipstick lined up on its shelf, a big old fashioned refrigerator, full plastic bags with unknown contents strewn on the floor along the wooden walls, a bookshelf sagging with the weight of old big books and a hairspray canister and a hair dryer, a low table with a red lamp whose color matches the one of the red dirty old fashioned dialing telephone, stacks of past read newspapers, a low lacked armchair with books used for cushion, a painters ladder leaning against the opposite wall to the lamp shows its spotted dry rainbow like colors.

To be continued

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