Talia will never work in tourism--at least not here.
Here's the background:
An American father and his ten-year-old son are visiting a Russian friend in our building. We met when the father stopped me to ask--in the best Russian he could muster--how to take out the trash here (it's actually not that simple). He's a professor from Columbia, but not in the Russian Department. After exchanging pleasantries, we parted ways and Natalia look STUMPED.
"That man is so silly... Doesn't he know better? He thinks that Moscow is a VACATION?"
We ran into them again today and Natalia was still upset. "Hasn't he figured it out yet? Vacation... (shook her head in disbelief)...What is broken with his thinking?"
(I don't, however, think that she intended to "diss" the city; I think that "vacation" to her means Turkey--pools, waterslides and sun. At least I hope so! Moscow isn't that bad! You certainly wouldn't call daily living here a "vacation," but it's a fascinating city! And to those of you contemplating a visit, PLEASE DO! Take advantage of the chance to travel here while we can be your hosts and guides...)