Katia Moskvitch

“Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read.” Frank Zappa.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

My trip to Moscow -- Second half of January

Time was flying by. I was going to leave Reuters, to leave Moscow, to go back to London, Ontario. I did not want to.

However, I didn't have time to be sad and think about going back. I had to finish three features, and it was problematic to get some important interviews. Not because people weren't willing to talk to me, but mostly because in Russia, arranging interviews can be a challenging process.

You see, there are no answering machines there. Not on mobile phones, and neither on fixed onecs. Not even when one has to call to administrative and government places, like the Douma or different ministries. There are no call waiting, either. So every morning when I arrived to work, I spent at least three hours before lunch break on the phone. Often the phone was busy, other times no one answered, and if someone did answer, it would be a receptionist or secretary, who, if they do transmit a message, it would be useless to wait for a call back. So that was different.

When I finally got all my interviews and almost finished editing, I found out that one of my interviews was on a tape that by mistake ended up in a suitcase of a cameraman who left for a couple of days to Kursk. I was very stressed when I called him, scared that he had already recorded over my stuff. But he didn't. He came back late Friday night, when I was already gone. It was officially the last day of my internship, and I was to leave Moscow on Monday. But I went back to work on Saturday to finish my story...

Besides some stress because of the lost tape, my last two days at work very lots of fun. I brought cakes, chocolate and a bottle of wine. It's a tradition in Russia--whenever someone leaves, he or she organizes a little get-together.

Me and our camera crews

Valera (cameraman) and Tolya (assistant cameraman)

Ira (telecommunications engineer)

Me and Heleen (producer)

Sog (main producer), Kolya (producer) and Ira, having some cake at my good-bye party