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Marshrutka is a Jitney-like mode of transport that falls between private transport and conventional buses. The role of the modern Russian marshrutka is basically similar to the minibus in other countries. It is sumilar to German Sammeltaxis, Mexican Peseros and American dollar vans. One tripr costs 25 rubles ($0.84). You give money to the driver just having entered the minibus. If you need to take it off, you have to cry: "Остановите здесь!" (Ostanovite zdes, means "Stop here!"). You should shout it as loudly as it is possible, because the motor roar and the music sounding from the driver’s audio system muffle the passengers' voices. Sometimes the marsrutkers hang out an inscription: "Тише скажешь – дальше выйдешь", meaning the more silently you cry, the further you leave the Marshrutka. You should cry it in Russian, because none of the Marshrutka-drivers speak any other language and even Russian they speak very bad.
Unlike the buses, the marshrutkas goes much faster. As faster, as it sometimes becomes dangerous.
If you do use a car to arrive in Moscow, don't even think about driving around. The street system was never designed to accommodate even a fraction of the exploding population of vehicles; the traffic jams on the Sadovoye Ring often do not clear between the morning and the evening rush hours. Most roadways are in a constant state of disastrous disrepair. You will have to compete for every inch of space on the road (quite literally; the proper distance between the vehicles for a Muscovite is close to zero) with seasoned drivers in dented "Lada"s who know the tangle of the streets inside out and will not think twice before cutting you off at the first opportunity. The drivers of the ubiquitous yellow "marshrutka" route taxis can seem to be nearly suicidal, and account for a significant percentage of all accidents, while buses stop, go and barge in and out of traffic at will, blissfully unaware of the surroundings. One bright spot is the relative dearth of the large 18-wheeler trucks on Moscow roads; they do ply the Ring Road, however. From time to time all traffic on major thoroughfares may be blocked by police to allow government officials to blow through unimpeded, sirens blaring. If you manage to get to your destination, you'll find that there is nowhere to park, or worse, that a space which looked OK to you is either illegal or "belongs" to someone (or both); this would mean finding upon return a smashed-in windshield or slashed tires, to teach you a lesson, or your car being towed ("evacuated"). Any serious altercation on the Moscow roads means dealing with GIBDD, the road police, the most notoriously corrupt institution in the city. Park as soon as you can at a safe place (your hotel, for example) and use public transit.
But if you drove in Rome or Athens before, and have succeeded, then it's not that hard to get accustomed to Moscow traffic. Just don't try to cross the city during rush hours or you can be stuck for as long as 8 hours in traffic jams. In the middle of the day it may take as long as 2-3 hours to cross the city (and only 1 hour by metro).
Credit cards usage is becoming more and more widespread, but many cheaper stores and restaurants won't accept them, so cash is a necessity. Be sure to break your 5000 or 1000 RUB notes where you can, as the smaller merchants, street vendors and even many metro clerks will likely refuse them. While you are able to get some smaller vendors to accept US dollars and Euros, it is always best to change currency, which is not a problem as currency exchange spots are everywhere, displaying the daily rates in large yellow letters. Read the terms carefully; even if the offer seems attractive, there may be a fixed-sum commission on top of it, or the advertised rate might apply only to large transactions (USD1000 and up), while a less favorable one is in effect for smaller ones. Don't forget to check the change returned to you (the commonest scam is to let a banknote "stick" inadvertently to the back of the little turnstile which the clerk is using to pass the money back and forth) and do not simply say yes to what you do not understand.
Dispose bodily wastes
The Russians are very constraining. They avoid to speak and write about the toilets, and it is consequently difficult for the foreign visitor to find their location in the city. A plastic outhouse is the most widespread type of the Moscow public restrooms. Most of them are painted in blue, and you can see them around the most of the underground stations. A visit to an outhouse for one person costs since 15 till 25 rubles. Besides, they are considered unhygienic. Therefore many Muscovites, both men and women, prefer to communicate with nature behind the fences and between the garages. Nevertheless it is cold to pee outdoor in the winter, especially for women. Unlike women in Africa or Asia, the majority of Russian women are not skillful in peeing while standing, and p-mates are not sold in the Russian drugstores. Thus, having to pee out door, they have to bare extensive sites of their bodies. Therefore, they have to urinate in a pod'ezd (подъезд) – a doorway of a multistoried building. However recently the pod'ezds have been equipped with coded locks, because the pod'ezds always were the very popular places to have a pee in. Thus, one to have to dispose one’s bodily wastes in the winter, dials up a number of any apartment and says to the on-door speakerphone: “I am a post-officer and need to distribute the newspapers among the post-boxes.” You also can visit to the nearest McDonald’s. However, the Moscow McDonalds' are too large (one of them is the largest McDonald’s in the world), but the restrooms in them are too small for such number of visitors. Therefore you would wait in a long queue. The same queues also occur in the department stores’ restrooms especially in the women’s rooms. The restrooms in the hypermarkets are available for the personnel only. Fortunately there are 263 free stationary restrooms in Moscow. Unlike outhouses, stationary restrooms named Сортир (from the French verb "sortir", which means "to go out") are separated by sex and many of them are free. Men's public restroom are designated with the letter M (Do not mix with Metro), which means мужской (men’s), while women's public restrooms are designated with the Russian letter Ж which means женский (women’s). Many public restrooms are equipped with squat toilets. However even if they are equipped with standard western pedestal toilets, it shold be better to use a toilet in squat or hovering position. Some restrooms are not equipped with toilets and urinals. Instead of them there are holes in a floor and a trench for urine drains. See the location of the Moscow free restrooms on the map.
Moscow enjoys a lower crime rate and is much safer than the second biggest city in Russia, St. Petersburg. However, drunk people and the police can cause some problems. Some policemen are corrupt and it's best to avoid them. While traveling in Moscow, as well as the rest of Russia, you must always have your passport with you. If you look non-white, your papers may get checked often.
Usually the police will demand to see your papers to check if you have been registered within three business days of your arrival into Moscow. Most policemen do not speak a word of English. They will, however, let you know your papers are not in order and you must go with them to the police precinct. It may be possible to bribe the police with about 500RUB and they may leave you alone. If you are reasonably sure your papers are in order, get out your mobile phone and call your embassy helpline. Most corrupt policemen will be frightened enough to let you go before you dial the number. Do not carry large sums of money as it may be taken by pick-pocketers or the police.
Non-white people should be especially vigilant since violent attacks have occurred, and most minorities are likely to be stopped for document checks by the police.
Women should take caution walking alone late at night, since they may receive unwanted attention from drunk men. Women should also stay clear of large companies of men in front of bars, restaurants, etc. It is best to walk with a friend if possible.
Also note that in winter months, streets in Moscow can get very slippery. Take a pair of grippy shoes, ideally boots (to prevent twisted ankles) and waterproof. Take care as the ice patches can be hard to spot, even when they have appeared to have been cleared or melted. Wearing non-grippy shoes could result in injury.