Moscow, Day One. -- I set off around noon. The flight went by quickly thanks to *Leviathan and the Air-Pump*, a book that feels fresh and exciting every time I read it. (It’s been more than a decade since I last opened it.) -- The people sitting around me were members of the “Vienna Johann Strauß Orchestra”. Fortunately their instruments were safely stowed away in the overhead lockers. -- The dresses of the Aeroflot stewardesses haven’t changed since the 1960s. And when we landed, many passengers applauded. (I know this custom only from flying to Israel.) -- My “support team” picked me up from the airport, answered many of my questions about the political situation, and took me first to my hotel and then to a local shopping mall for dinner. All looked uncannily American: McDonalds, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken everywhere. It took some searching to find me a Russian restaurant. (I insisted.) We ended up in “Mou, Mou”, the Russian answer to American fast-food chains. I had a plate full of wonderful starters. I also visited the local supermarket. Again I was surprised by the large selection of “Western” brands: they had more varieties of German beers than you find in Austria. And more versions of “Karjalan Piirakka” than I have seen in Helsinki. -- My fridge is filled to the brim. Bring on the first talk.