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Wednesday, July 4 2012 | First day in Moscow

The whole day is spent driving to Moscow. Outside it is stiflingly hot, and I have the feeling that the circulation of the air in the Editourmobil, despite the open side window, has come to a grinding halt. To be able to work comfortably, I settle myself in the "living room" at the dining table and try as best as I can to get everything organised for writing up my interviews. With the state of the roads in these parts, this proves to be no easy task and my laptop is constantly shifting around with every bump in the road.

In the evening we reach Moscow and head out towards the Coca Cola plant, where we have a meeting in the morning. En route, I mention that it might be useful if we could locate a little supermarket. No sooner said than done. Or maybe not? While Rolf is manoeuvring into a parking spot , a friendly Russian (Michael, as we learn later) wanders over and a very long conversation ensues between Michael, Rolf and me, that largely consists of hand signals, sign language and much gesticulating, but in the end we get a result. There is no supermarket here but an entirely different sort of shop. Michael advises us to drive three junctions further where we will indeed find a supermarket. More importantly, he strongly urges us to watch out for criminals and the police. Whilst two of us go shopping, he says, one of us should always remain in the Editourmobil. His final tip is to buy only Spanish vegetables. It turns out that Michael knows Cologne although quite why we never find out. Just in case we get stuck, Michael gives us his phone number, and apologises for the fact that he has already downed five beers. We thank him profusely and head off to his supermarket recommendation which is indeed all he said it would be.

Once back at the Coca Cola building, we manage to squeeze the Editourmobil between a few large trucks and the entire rest of the evening we are witness to a noisy gathering of truckers next to us. They are happily enjoying a boozy evening, talking loudly amongst themselves. Their numbers are soon swelled by a couple of young ladies who seem only too happy to join in the festivities. We however, undistracted by the jollities, continue to work until 2 o‘clock in the morning. For their part, the truckers call it a day at midnight