As we’re sitting at the airport waiting for our flight, I wanted to put together a small list of the most interesting or surprising things we noticed in Russia:
1. Russians love their history. They embrace it, make memorials to it, talk about it, joke about it, and drink to it all the time. Not just the happy times, either.
2. There are many “familiar faces” here. Looking around at the faces of people, I notice that almost everyone looks a lot like somebody I know. I guess what that really means is that we must have more Russian heritage in the USA than we know. Maybe something conveniently “forgotten” during cold war times, but, then again, I don’t know.
3. Potatoes will fill you for a long time. Potatoes come with every meal here. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Sure, they can be prepared in a variety of ways, but, potatoes are potatoes. While they might not excite me gastronomically, they sure fill me up—for HOURS! I guess that is what they mean when they say Russian food is hearty, and gets the people through many a hard winter.
4. Is it fair to call Russians “rule breakers”? Maybe it’s too easy to generalize, but there is one place that, by American standards, they are total anarchists. That place is when waiting in a line. Russians will skip people at will, and a group might just crowd their way into your line, forming a whole new line! If things aren’t moving as fast as they like…. SKIP. You just got skipped. That simple.
5. Russians are rich. Very rich. Certainly not everyone, but a lot. Hey, guy in Miami with the Rolls Royce and a few Bentleys…. the people in Moscow are not impressed. There are more designer malls here than I have ever seen before, and people come out of there with enough shopping bags to look like an advertisement for the shopping mall. You get the picture.
We’ll leave you with those thoughts and a few final pictures from our last ride on what Mike calls “The Church of Mass Transit” in Moscow–specifically Novoslobodskaya station.