and you thought the hermitage cats were cool…

Just to go along with yesterday’s post on the feline employees of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, did you also know that Russian feral dogs in Moscow have not only become quite clever at stealing food from pedestrians but have also managed to navigate and use the expansive subway system?

Well they have and I am pretty sure we can all start panicking…!  Because we all know that their intelligence will only continue to expand, pretty soon they will be wearing pants, and driving cars, and stealing our jobs, and eventually forming some sort of world government (in collaboration with the Saucer People) and it’s all down hill for us from there.

So enjoy the freedom while you can simple humans, I am going to try to win over on the canine side.  First step, let’s all look at some pictures and watch this video about our imminent overlords.

don’t worry, I’ll get the next one!

Some extra reading:

abc NEWS –  Stray Dogs Master Complex Moscow Subway System (2010)

Wikipedia – Feral dogs in Moscow (last edited 2012)

The Wall Street Journal – In Moscow’s Metro, a Stray Dog’s Life Is Pretty Cushy, and Zoologists Notice (2008)


must be the subway trolls

There is something about subways (or metros if you are feeling European today) that is so consistent no matter where you are in the world.  It’s the smell.  And not the unpleasant aromas that sometimes go hand in hand with public transit, but there is something else and I am not quite sure what it is.  Something mechanical, like an oil the machinery uses, or the smell of the tracks.  I don’t know what it is, but yesterday morning I came into Bay Station here in Toronto and all of a sudden was transported back to the Moscow Subway system in which I have only been once about ten years ago.  A quick flip through of my olfactory subway catalogue seems to suggest that there is something that makes them all smell the same.  Well at least the ones I have been in (Toronto, Minsk, Moscow, St. Petersburg, & NYC).  I am not including Montreal in there because they use a different system from the traditional “trains on rails” model.

Although they may smell the same, brother, they are so not the same in every other way!  The Toronto system is very small, pretty dirty, and purely functional.  When compared to the likes of Moscow and St. Petersburg, the Toronto system is just embarrassing.  Some examples below.

So I guess I can just keep my eyes closed in the TTC and pretend I am actually under Soviet era chandeliers.  I also assume I would be wearing a fur coat and eating caviar at this point.

Moscow subway station


Moscow subway station
Here is an additional link to some amazing Moscow subway art.

St. Petersburg subway station


St. Petersburg subway station