Parking and families

Full of anticipation for my meeting with Coca-Cola Moscow, I pour us all a welcome dose of caffeine. We had actually already confirmed the appointment previously, but it turns out that when I phone my contact Svetlana, it is not convenient to meet today so can we do tomorrow? So we juggle the schedule, move a few dates here and there and hope it will all work out. Pepsi and Coca Cola are re-arranged for tomorrow and IDS on Saturday.

I congratulate myself on using the time profitably, heeding my boss Alex Büchler’s motto, “keep in touch, call”. Felix and Rolf, meanwhile, are setting up their blog for their SiStour project which begins from Ekaterinburg, installing their technical wiring outside. It’s hot again today, both outdoors, and inside. We also have a few curious but friendly visitors politely ask us what we are doing.

But then a sudden change: A family consisting of an elderly woman, a man, a young mother and her two children to speak to us in Russian, then, without so much as a by your leave, step inside the Editourmobil and proceed to make themselves comfortable. They are all quite clearly drunk, apart from the children. We understand not a word of what they are saying. The kids start to make a play for my laptop while the young mum approaches me with a smile. OK, this has gone far enough, and without more ado we usher them out of the vehicle. Not long after this, I get a call from Svetlana telling me that a conference involving the people I am due to meet has gone on longer than expected and consequently the meeting arranged for tomorrow cannot unfortunately take place. This presents a real problem since in the coming weeks we have many appointments in Moscow. Meetings on Saturday are ruled out, so we agree to hold a long distance interview at some stage in the near future. With this I put down the phone. I do have to do some serious thinking about our future plans. It’s a great shame that we can’t get a live interview with such an important bottler, but that’s what happens on a tour like this, you are constantly having to make do and mend.

Slightly disappointed, we make our way towards Domodedovo, in the hope that at least Pepsi won’t let us down.