This map comes from a brochure that I got from the Mayor of Perm after I’d had a grilling from him (on the general subject of public finances) in the upstairs room of a pub while his teenage daughter looked on and died of boredom. He was worried about being overshadowed by Ekaterinburg and felt that Perm’s main problem was its physical layout in being so drawn-out while E-burg was much more concentrated.
The map has its points of interest. Perm certainly isn’t that shape and then they’ve managed to put themselves at the edge of their own map, but not near enough the edge to eliminate E-burg. There’s something endearingly half-hearted about that. Maybe they were trying to show their twin cities, but they left out Qingdao, the Chinese one, and in fact the Mayor was just about to follow Boris Johnson’s example by flying out there in search of some money.
Anyway, I really enjoyed my meeting with the Mayor! To start off with, I rang his hotel and they said they had no such guest. Then we kind-of established contact via his Russian mobile and the connection kept dropping. Finally, when we were trying to meet in Oxford Street, his mobile broke completely…It was just like being back in Perm, especially with the unpleasant weather and 98% of Oxford St shoppers being foreign.