September 1996 – Red Square, Moscow. I’d just returned from a work assignment in Ekaterinburg and had the weekend off. I was happy to be back in Moscow. Ekaterinburg was rough. There was no heat in our hotel and some of my team members had no hot water. Our team would hang out in the dining room of the hotel every night. There was heat there because of the cooking that took place in the kitchen. We would hang out until midnight just to stay warm. When I left the dining room I would hasten to my room and dive under the bed covers —fully clothed.
I did have hot water, therefore, when I awoke the next morning, I would run to the bathroom and crank up the hot water in the shower and let the steam warm me up. After I was showered and dressed, I would hear a knock on my door. It was several of my team members, standing in line with their bath towels draped over their arms. They had no hot water.We spent two long weeks in Ekaterinburg.
After the Ekaterinburg work was done, I went to Moscow for the weekend. I was happy to be in Moscow because I stayed in an hotel that had both heat and hot water. Additionally, Moscow was a little warmer, hence me standing in front of Lenin’s tomb with just a trench coat.
Back to the ruggedness of road travels. My hotel room in Novosibirsk, Russia (Siberia).
Yeah, been there too . Note the lovely wallpaper! And those curtains!!!
This city was 5 time zones East of Moscow. I was there in 1995 and I didn’t think that the hotel manager received the memo that the wall came down in 1989. As my boss, our translator and I stood before her requesting a discount for our extended stay, She threatened to put our entire team out of the hotel for not being compliant with Soviet era letters of permission to stay there. I whispered in my bosses ear: “Forget the discount. You need to grovel now.”
He did. An official letter of permission was faxed to her a day later.
A break from beds that were too small and no hot water or heat in the winter. There was only one downside on this trip. The Egyptian authorities wanted to detain me. They suspected me of being an Egyptian radical.
At the Red Sea in Hurghada, Egypt – January 1996. Coffee and Reading for breakfast.
My overseas assignments were not always 5 Star Hotels, Caviar & Tuxedos or Limo pickups from the airport. Most times I was roughing it. This is me in my hotel room in Samara, a city in southwestern Russia. (November, 1996) Notice the legroom and the wonderful assortment of brilliant colors!