RULES ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN

Having missed the once-in-three-hours train to the Tula region this morning by literally two minutes, my sister and I decided to not let the 30C-weather, and packed swimsuits and a picnic go to waste, and make it a beach day.

Beach day in Moscow.

Beach day in Moscow.

By the virtue of being situated on the Moscow River, Moscow has several decent, public transport-accessible river beaches right around the city periphery and in the near Podmoskovye (the suburbs and countryside surrounding Moscow), especially to the city’s north-west, before the south-east flowing river absorbs all the ‘flavors’ of the Russian capital.

The beach we chose, Rublyovo, is a public pay beach that is completely fenced off from the surrounding area. The fairly well-kept grounds include boat and catamaran rentals, water skis, water slides, playgrounds and a couple of restaurants. Because it’s an official ‘recreation area’ (FYI, there are plenty of non-official free-for-all ones around), some rules and regulations apply.

Rules and regulations, a price list, some safety/emergency instructions, and so forth.

Rules and regulations, a price list, some safety/emergency instructions, list of facilities, administrative contacts and so forth.

It’s all pretty standard stuff like ‘no dogs allowed’ and ‘no glass containers’ – and of course, the drinking and smoking regulations, specifically: ‘consumption of  alcoholic beverages is prohibited within the recreation area.’

What really amused me was a special note on beer – the full text of the sign on the right actually reads: ‘FORBIDDEN: the drinking of alcoholic beverages INCLUDING BEER on the beach territory (in accordance with the Federal Law #…..).’

Because in Russia, OF COURSE you have to specify that beer is an alcoholic beverage, and not a soft drink.

Clearly the authorities were taking this whole ‘no drinking’ thing really seriously because there was a second poster that highlighted the fact that alcohol consumption, INCLUDING BEER was STRICTLY forbidden:

The bottom half of this poster lists the strictly forbidden activities, with the REALLY strictly forbidden ones in red.

Rublyov Beach: the bottom half of this poster lists the strictly forbidden activities, with the REALLY strictly forbidden ones in red. Legal consequences are noted.

So naturally, as soon as we step on the beach, what do we see all around us?

Hey, I feel him. There's nothing quite like a cold beer on a hot day.

Hey, I feel him. There’s nothing quite like a cold beer on a hot day.

Yup, basically everyone was imbibing, and very openly, at that. Furthermore, as we were leaving, we passed by a snack stand – very much within the beach enclosure – that was selling draft beers.

I don’t mind, really. I just wish someone offered me a cold one.

The beach at 8am. The illusion of solitude vanishes within the next hour.

The beach at 8am. The illusion of solitude vanishes within the next hour.

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14 thoughts on “RULES ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN

  1. I’m wondering how far you’d get with a beer prohibition in my home region of Bavaria, where beer is classed as a ‘basic staple food’, which means a reduced sales tax rate applies. Legal drinking age for beer, if I’m not mistaken, is 16.

  2. I’ve been meaning to head over there to check it out (not far from where I live). Now I’ve just got to get a swimsuit.

    • It’s really nice, clean and convenient – I live in ‘the center’, and the whole trip, with ‘marshrutka’ on a Saturday, took less than an hour door to door. I think Serebryannyj Bor is a more common destination (and it’s actually where my sister told me we were going but she is not the best with directions and we ended up at a totally different place on the opposite side of the river), but Rublyovo is less crowded, takes less walking to get to, and the river is much wider/view is nicer.

    • Shhhhh! I know, but he was the only one I could inconspicuously take a photo of. Trust me, there were plenty of non-O drinkers – and then there was an actual open-air bar that sold canned AND draft beers. With alcohol.

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