Blogging from Novosibirsk

We continue to talk to foreigners, who visited Novosibirsk, about their life in this city. Markus Trapp and Stefan Rybkowski took part in a Russian-German bloggers meeting called sib_STANCIJA this march.

**[Stefan Rybkowski](http://www.equilibriumblog.de/wordpress/): “Novosibirsk looks like Eastern Germany”**

**– Did you know anything about Novosibirsk before you came here? What were your expectations?**

— As soon as I knew I would go to Novosibirsk I checked the Wikipedia entry and the weather. I was shocked how could it normally is there (although it’s Siberia). But in march, when I arrived it was only -10 degrees and I could easily handle the temperature.

In terms of expections I thought that Siberia, especially Novosibirsk, was more like a third-world country, but it is pretty modern and it’s people are very progressive (so are the prices). Unfortunately, a lot of people didn’t speak English which surprised be to be honest.

**– Can you compare Novosibirsk to any other cities around the world you have ever been to?**

— That’s a difficult question. To be quite honest with you: Eastern Germany. Compared to the region I live the East of Germany is pretty poor and especially the architecture — if you can call it that — is similar to the one in Novosibirsk (I am particularly talking about the Eastern German cities I know, not all of them are ugly, Dresden for example is pure eye candy).

All the buildings made with precast concrete slabs aren’t that beautiful. However, Novosibirsk has some promising projects (e.g. hotels, company buildings) as far as I could see during the city tour.

**– What frustrated you most about being here?**

— Well, if at all anything frustrated me than the thing with the language. At the hotel some people wanted to talk with us but we didn’t speak Russian and they didn’t speak German or English.

**– And what made you glad?**

— Oh, there are too many things that made me happy. First of all the people of Novosibirsk. Much more friendly and likeable than the people at the airports and in Moscow. I also liked the weather — at least to a certain degree, because I prefer winter to summer. And, of course, the fact that I had the honor the be part of sib_STANCIJA and the blogger meeting.

**– Did you took anything from Novosibirsk as a souvenir?**

— No, not really. Some empty bottles of drinks we don’t have in Germany (or at least not in this specific shape or package). If a souvenir can also be something non-material than I would say a lot of new friends, a lot of experience and knowledge of Russia and especially Siberia.

Markus Trapp

**[Markus Trapp](http://textundblog.de/): “Novosibirsk is like Chihuahua”**

**– Did you know anything about Novosibirsk before you came here? What were your expectations?**

— I have to admit, that I knew very little about Novosibirsk before coming to that place. Sure, I knew that it is one of Russias greatest cities, that it is the capital of Siberia and that it is an important station of the Transsibirian Railway. I expected to know a city in a very, very cold region and I suspected, that the people living there couldt also be “cold”, in a matter of personally distant or something like that.

**– Can you compare Novosibirsk to any other cities around the world you have ever been to?**

— It would be natural for a German, who got to know an other russian city, I mean Moskow, to compare Novosibirsk to the capital of Russia, but I just spent two days there, so it’s difficult to compare.

Maybe I can compare it with a city of the other side of the world, with Chihuahua, a reginal capital in the north of Mexico, where I lived for one year during my studies (of Hispanic Literature). Chihuahua has one million of habitants and is also a city very far away from the national capital of Mexico. And the people there also suffer extreme temperatures, but the other way around; there is always very hot in Chihuahua, sometimes 40 degress or more. But the people always are adapting to the climatic situations and they learn to liv ewith it. I think, thats something that peolpe in Novosbirsk and Chihuahua have in common.

**– What frustrated you most about being here?**

— Not to speak your language. I wish I knew some russian, to make better conversations with the people I met. I’m very interested in what other people are thinking. I like to exchange experiences, impressions. For that, it’s necessary to speak the language of the peope you’re interested in. English was our compromise to be able to talk to each other, but as you can notice in this answers, my English is very poor. And my Russian — and that’s a pity — is non-existant.

**– And what made you glad?**

— To learn that my expectations didn’t come true. I knew very friendly, openly, interested people, who very great hosts. I was glad too realize, that we have a lot in common, even living so far from each other. And in our conversation about, the meaning of the internet, especially the blogging has for us, we couldt realize, that there are more things, that we have in common, than the few differencies, we knew.

**– Did you took anything from Novosibirsk as a souvenir?**

— A cup with a picture of the beautiful Opera theatre that we received as a present on our first day in the city. When I drink coffee from it, I remeber that wonderful five days I spent there, and especially I think of the night, when we saw the “Romeo and Juliet” movie with the live-companion of the simphonic orchestra.

Sounds cheesy, but that’s what souvenirs are for: to remember a place, where you have been. And I like to remember that wonderful city and even more that beautiful and friendly peolpe I knew in that short period of time.

Filed under: blogs, interview, novosibirsk

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редактор альманаха metkere.com, популяризатор науки и космонавтики, начинающий яхтсмен, несостоявшийся пчеловод.