The Big Issue : Edition 447
THEBIGISSUE6--25DEC2013 31 But this is not an example of utilitarian urban infrastructure. Far from it. Many stations and ticket halls are stunning historical, cultural and architectural monuments, protected by the government. Hence my dilemma as the men in black fade away. Had my interrogator meant no photos of police, or no photos at all in the Metro? Here I am, a photographer on vacation in a city with one of the most beautiful rail systems in the world. Everywhere I look there is a picture opportunity: ornate plasterwork, patriotic wall murals, mosaics, chandeliers... And I have a camera in my hands. I decide to compromise. Rather than risk another close encounter with my friends in black boots, I wait for the next train to take me further up the line. This doesn't take long -- trains tend to be only a couple of minutes apart. At the next station, I fnd a woman sleeping in a platform booth. I want to take her picture, but hesitate. Her booth looks ofcial, but she doesn’t. After all, would an ofcial be sleeping? I decide to risk it, raising the camera and clicking the shutter at the exact moment she wakes up. It turns out she IS an ofcial, or perhaps just ofcially pissed of. I raise my palms in apology, but this has no efect. She raises hers in rage. Then she signals me closer to abuse me more thoroughly. She vibrates anger before shooing me away. But there is an upside to this exchange. The language barrier has been smashed: I don’t even need my fve Russian words to understand her. Also see andydrewitt.com and (for info, including rules governing photography) the Moscow Metro's website -- engl.mosmetro.ru.