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mds45
03-08-2012, 11:06
For me it was the sudden loss of hot water for a week.. turns out hot water is centrally supplied and once a year area by area they shut the system down for a week to maintain it.

Tony P
03-08-2012, 11:20
The spitting.

In the street, on walkways, in lifts - everywhere.
Even by well dressed men walking with elegant women.

But strangely, whatever the underlying cause, it appears to be a male disease/condition as women do not have the need to do likewise.

mds45
03-08-2012, 11:24
The spitting.

In the street, on walkways, in lifts - everywhere.
Even by well dressed men walking with elegant women.

Yep thats a big one for me too !! unbelieveable ! and of course quite disgusting.. I Only see men doing it too.

Jas
03-08-2012, 11:50
Locked fridges in shops. I am used to picking a soda, taking it to the cashier, and paying. When I tried to do that in Moscow, the girl freaked out and thought I was trying to rob the fridge! She has to open it with a buzzer.

Another, I was in a pizza restaurant and I tried to haul the salt cellar from one part of the table to another only the entire table moved with it! The salt cellar was tied to a rope.

This kacca business where you got to go and get a receit and such and then pay. I hate it.

Documentation.... fiddling about in minus 15 to find me passport just to get on a train.

The amount of time I fall in the snow. Every time I come here in winter, I always slip. I broke me wrist cos of this and was in a sling for ages.

Jas
03-08-2012, 11:56
Ok another..... women working in like heavy construction. But I seen also in Pakistan in brick factories. But in the Britain, you don't normally see women digging roads and stuff. They also do other manual labor like shovelling heavy snow.

Ok, another.... the very long hours Russians work including even at weekends often. Me partner works 12 hours a day and often on saturdays also. P gets just 14,000 roubles and is absolutely freaking out all the time about losing the job.

Another is beer and vodka. I graduated from Bacardi breezers in the UK to Baltika 3 and now to vodka. Russians sort of look down on it and think it's no good.

One thing me and Russians share is our mutual love of cake. This also explains the amount of people with gold teeth here. I also want my top row of teeth sheathed in gold, or this like steely plate material they use. My partner's mother has it but says it was cheap in Soviet times and I want the same also- but I'm afraid of dentists. Anyone any idea of current costs?

Swordfish90293
03-08-2012, 12:04
The spitting.

In the street, on walkways, in lifts - everywhere.
Even by well dressed men walking with elegant women.

But strangely, whatever the underlying cause, it appears to be a male disease/condition as women do not have the need to do likewise.

In Russian superstition culture, spitting, or feigning to spit, three times wards off bad luck, as opposed to the boogers on the street.

I once lunched in Malibu at a well known seaside eatery with a wonderful Russian girl who, in everyone's presence, proceeded to execute this cultural move, to everyone's shock. She was great.

China has actually made progress to curb this practice.

Jas
03-08-2012, 12:12
Ok listen to this..... once I was sick here, this was 3 years ago with fever and I was in a bad way and stuff. Anyhow, partner's mum came to sit with me. She got a icon, passed it over me head, then spat a spray of water over me with a sharp hissing noise.
When I got better, I asked me partner, "How come ure mum spat water on me?"
She told, "It's cos someone put bad on you and that's why you got sick. We think it's the neighbors above in flat 24, they're from Tobolsk and no good."

mds45
03-08-2012, 12:16
Locked fridges in shops.

Good one - yep did the same , nearly ripped the handle off fighting with the fridge door, the woman serving looked shocked - but how was I supposed to know - never seen a locked fridge before..

Jas
03-08-2012, 12:22
Here's something that surprises me no end: the security in supermarkets. You get these tough sort of guys who look like the Kray twins following you around at a discrete distance. I am used to it now but used to think it was sort of overkill. I still dislike it though.
Also the way you have to pay for plastic bags. I don't, so I have a prized collection of plastic bags.
Oh and tap water... I drank it on me first visit to Tatarstan 5 years ago and got what the doctors thought was dysentery! Terrible. It was just really bad reaction, but not dysentery however. So now it's bottled water and I have to wait in the house all day and can't go the Volga waiting for the water delivery people to come.

Another thing? The amount of mayonaise in Russian food and salads. When I first got served this I was afraid and thought that amount of mayo was likely to make me pass out.

mds45
03-08-2012, 12:30
Here's something that surprises me no end: the security in supermarkets. You get these tough sort of guys who look like the Kray twins following you around at a discrete distance. I am used to it now but used to think it was sort of overkill. I still dislike it though.
Also the way you have to pay for plastic bags. I don't, so I have a prized collection of plastic bags.
Oh and tap water... I drank it on me first visit to Tatarstan 5 years ago and got what the doctors thought was dysentery! Terrible. It was just really bad reaction, but not dysentery however. So now it's bottled water and I have to wait in the house all day and can't go the Volga waiting for the water delivery people to come.

Another thing? The amount of mayonaise in Russian food and salads. When I first got served this I was afraid and thought that amount of mayo was likely to make me pass out.

hehehe sounds like you are walking around constantly surprised Jas :) me too !

Ghostly Presence
03-08-2012, 12:31
Ok listen to this..... once I was sick here, this was 3 years ago with fever and I was in a bad way and stuff. Anyhow, partner's mum came to sit with me. She got a icon, passed it over me head, then spat a spray of water over me with a sharp hissing noise.
When I got better, I asked me partner, "How come ure mum spat water on me?"
She told, "It's cos someone put bad on you and that's why you got sick. We think it's the neighbors above in flat 24, they're from Tobolsk and no good."

This belief about "putting bad" on someone is especially common among people from the Caucasus. I was shocked recently when I had a conversation with a co-worker from that region of Russia who explained to me how people can put a curse on you and how one can protect himself from it. Mind you that this guy was educated in Europe and has worked abroad. I was shocked to hear his theories....

DavidB
03-08-2012, 12:32
For me, the biggest shock was how much people spend on "status." It's normal to drive a $100k car but live in a 60m^2 flat.

Tony P
03-08-2012, 13:03
In Russian superstition culture, spitting, or feigning to spit, three times wards off bad luck, as opposed to the boogers on the street.

I once lunched in Malibu at a well known seaside eatery with a wonderful Russian girl who, in everyone's presence, proceeded to execute this cultural move, to everyone's shock. She was great.

China has actually made progress to curb this practice.

My Russian 'Daughter-in-Law' is a Doctor at the main TB clinic. They take a different view on the practice of spitting that keeps them in work.

As China has make progress to curb public spitting they recognise a problem, be it health, asthetics or cleanliness and then are dealing with it (the problem, not the spit!).
Are Russians proud to appear backward compared with their eastern neighbours?

IGIT
03-08-2012, 13:04
@topic: That I'm living in Russia.

yakspeare
03-08-2012, 13:55
1) the ability for a Russian girl , in the highest of heels, to navigate icy streets at speed.

2)Russian girls who will wear a fur coat in minus 30 with matching mini-skirt(not that I am complaining!)

3) that every week seems to be a holiday here for some reason that no one can remember, with people having to work saturdays as a result. That you need even several Galina days, Sophie days etc too.

4)That an X-ray or scan can be done in minutes that can take a month of back and forth in my own country. That 500 roubles makes Russian queues at such places disappear.

5)That Russians eat birdfood-sesame seeds, like Parrots

6)No beer or alcohol at the football stadium yet in every park, spaced every 10 metres is another beer tent.(not that i am complaining)

7) the festiveness of spring and summer in the evenings, especially in the parks, with rides and attractions, free rock concerts and out door cinemas.

8) How russians just love to walk, like a religion. That a date often consists of, no not a nice dinner, but some endurance event marathon, with the woman trying to outpace olympic walkers, and you desperately trying to keep up.

9) the awesome hospitality and friendship of Russian trains. Despite no smiles on the streets, friends are made quick and fast as the train rumbles along.

10) the amount of signage here in English. every third business seems to have some sign in English. It is kinda weird.

11) the amount of Russians who studied German at school.

12) beggars galore, whether gypsies or babushkas( or Gypsy babushkas)

13) NO ONE EVER HAS CHANGE FOR 1000 ROUBLES!!!

14) Parents freaking out about cold drinks on hot days and air conditioning

15)The amount of sushi restaurants..I mean seriously?? I have 5 within 200 metres of my home.

16) How small Russian men are in general, and the MASSIVE exceptions to this that could make Goliath look a midget.

17) the notion and idea of "sponsors" and expectations of infidelity.

18) That the cost of a taxi is more expensive than the price of ballet and opera tickets. love that here.

19) How often regular Russians go to Turkey, Egypt,Spain and Italy.

20) The amount of people that can fit on a tram or in a Mashrutka..

Bandesz
03-08-2012, 14:04
Spitting is the worse. Also what russian women do in the locker room of the gym... I would not go into detail here :).
Non-existent customer service was expected but I will never get used to it.
What was very interesting to experience that the waiter/waitress takes your plate before you finish eating. You are still chewing the food and 1-2 bits still on the plan and they come and grab it unless you give the look of a serial killer and grab the plate and play tug-o-war.
The other thing that today we just laugh about: they never, I mean never succeed to bring the food in the right order at the right time. When a couple or any company of people sit at the table they order appetizer, main course and dessert... they bring when it is ready. Needless to say anywhere else you get the appetizers first (everyone at the table gets it at the same time) then same with the main course and so on... I usually try to explain it to them... but as I said... no success so far :)

DavidB
03-08-2012, 14:05
Also what russian women do in the locker room of the gym... I would not go into detail here :).

What, exactly? :D I don't know, because I haven't been into the women's locker room.

BabyFirefly
03-08-2012, 14:20
What, exactly? :D I don't know, because I haven't been into the women's locker room.

They take showers and then get dressed. Been going to the gym here almost daily since I came... worst thing I saw was a lady who was giving herself a full on spa day at the locker room. It was kind of terrible.

1. The excessive and inconsiderate (in elevators, really?!) smoking.
2. How vain and self-absorbed people are.
3. The horrible dye jobs and perms women here get. Where I'm from people dream about having hair like Russian girls do. I'd be happy to trade.
4. Of course the spitting.
5. How expensive renting even a bad flat at the end of Moscow is.
6. This kind of military-ish obsession boys and males here have... everything tanks, guns, WWII, etc, or stuff related to that.
7. It's much safer than what I ever expected.
8. That as a woman you can dress like a complete slut and you'll be safe, hence disproving the whole "dress sexy and get raped" thing I was forced fed all my life.
9. Rush hour at the metro.
10. Folks here don't drink that much. I remember during my time in Australia I felt they drunk much more. It's just here they do that walking around with a beer thing.
11. In no other country have I been handed various booklets about available prostitutes.
12. How free you are here. With the right connections and money you can do anything.
13. Medical care is nothing fancy but good and cheap.
14. How cheap aptekas are... where I'm from paying $30 for a medicine is cheap. Here that's expensive, and there's also a wider variety of medicines to buy.
15. Russians truly believe they do no wrong and find a way to justify everything.
16. The traffic.
17. The amount of scamming people do, from the simplest situations all the way to companies lying about employer's salaries.
18. How many folks here have pets.
19. I kept hearing there was a demographic crisis here but there's babies EVERYWHERE.
20. Those weird Russian folk remedies for various ailments do work.
21. How fertile the land here is, everything grows beautifully.

I'm sure there's more, just can't think of any :D

Jas
03-08-2012, 14:22
Yes, my partner goes all syrupy at the idea of going to Sharm Al Shaykh.
I just go silently glum at the thought of all that horrible sunshine and a part of the world I literally can't stand. "It's Switzerland or nothing," I say. "I want mountains, snow, lovely stuff."
"We can't afford it."
"Vorkuta then."

Jas
03-08-2012, 14:28
Ok, here's a bad one about Russia. When I was in a hotel in Moscow, it was about 10.30pm and I was hungry so I went to grab a bite to eat in the hotel restaurant. Within about two minutes I realized guys were staring at me and checking me out, sort of discussing me.
The next thing I know, this blond raptor woman stalked over to me, banged her beringed knuckles on the table and threateningly seethed, "Get out of here, you little black rat or I'll get you thrown out. You creep in here to steal my business, ok, I'm calling Sergei to get you sorted out."
I was just shocked. I ran to me room in tears.

Inola
03-08-2012, 14:35
Ok, here's a bad one about Russia. When I was in a hotel in Moscow, it was about 10.30pm and I was hungry so I went to grab a bite to eat in the hotel restaurant. Within about two minutes I realized guys were staring at me and checking me out, sort of discussing me.
The next thing I know, this blond raptor woman stalked over to me, banged her beringed knuckles on the table and threateningly seethed, "Get out of here, you little black rat or I'll get you thrown out. You creep in here to steal my business, ok, I'm calling Sergei to get you sorted out."
I was just shocked. I ran to me room in tears.

My god, where do you even find such places?!

mds45
03-08-2012, 14:36
My god, where do you even find such places?!

Yeah I've been looking for them too :)

Jas
03-08-2012, 14:40
No no no, you never want to find that kind of place, it was horrible!:nut:

BabyFirefly
03-08-2012, 14:40
Ok, here's a bad one about Russia. When I was in a hotel in Moscow, it was about 10.30pm and I was hungry so I went to grab a bite to eat in the hotel restaurant. Within about two minutes I realized guys were staring at me and checking me out, sort of discussing me.
The next thing I know, this blond raptor woman stalked over to me, banged her beringed knuckles on the table and threateningly seethed, "Get out of here, you little black rat or I'll get you thrown out. You creep in here to steal my business, ok, I'm calling Sergei to get you sorted out."
I was just shocked. I ran to me room in tears.

Yeah, I would hate to be dark skinned or LGBT here. And go to better hotels next time...

Jas
03-08-2012, 14:44
Yes, when they see you're brown they assume ure from the Kavkaz, or Central Asia and u know....... looking for business as such. That's in that kind of hotel.
But here's the thing... it was supposedly a ok hotel built for the Olympics, it's in a huge complex called alpha-gamma-delta, quite famous and safe also. But the restaurant. Hell no.

DavidB
03-08-2012, 14:44
Weird things happening, like this:

Runaway horse on Nevsky (1 part) - Сбежавшая лошадь на Невском-1часть - YouTube

mds45
03-08-2012, 14:48
Yes, when they see you're brown they assume ure from the Kavkaz, or Central Asia and u know....... looking for business as such. That's in that kind of hotel.
But here's the thing... it was supposedly a ok hotel built for the Olympics, it's in a huge complex called alpha-gamma-delta, quite famous and safe also. But the restaurant. Hell no.

Sounded like Cosmos hotel to me - thats got a certain reputation too

Ghostly Presence
03-08-2012, 14:48
Yeah I've been looking for them too :)

I haven't been travelling around Russia for quite some time now, but I rememeber how in the past you would always get calls in the middle of the night offering girls for the night even at very nice hotels. This was especially rampant in provincial hotels.

Jas
03-08-2012, 14:49
Yeah, I would hate to be dark skinned or LGBT here. And go to better hotels next time...


Huh try being both. See, one thing u can never do is show affection in public. Like in the UK, it was great, me and me first partner used to go to Mcdonald's, joke, have a laugh, I'd sit on her knee, just great.
Imagine doing that in Kazan or Moscow. U can't show like ure together as anything other than normal friends. I used to hate it at first cos I'm used to being fawned over in public and made a fuss of. Here? Er no, me partner just acts totally differently in public. It still hurts sort of. Also guys are polite but talk to me and stuff. Partner just says nothing..... Then when we get home yells like this: "You want to speak with guys, then you're out of my life. Last warning."
And I scream back, "STOP ignoring me all the fcking time then."
See how it is?

Ghostly Presence
03-08-2012, 14:50
Sounded like Cosmos hotel to me - thats got a certain reputation too

Apha-gamma-delta? Sounds like Izamaylovskiy Hotel. I think it was built for the Olympics.

mds45
03-08-2012, 14:53
My favourite hotel experience was many years ago in a regional hotel, I arrived tired and asked for a 8am alarm call - what did I get ? A very large woman shaking me saying in Russian wake up wake up !!! seemed to me alarm calls were a personal thing in Russia in the good old days :)

Jas
03-08-2012, 14:53
Yes, that's it. That's the name exactly. Izmailovksy. For sure.

DavidB
03-08-2012, 15:00
My favourite hotel experience was many years ago in a regional hotel, I arrived tired and asked for a 8am alarm call - what did I get ? A very large woman shaking me saying in Russian wake up wake up !!! seemed to me alarm calls were a personal thing in Russia in the good old days :)

Maybe you slept through the phone call? ;)

FatAndy
03-08-2012, 15:04
For me it was the sudden loss of hot water for a week.. turns out hot water is centrally supplied and once a year area by area they shut the system down for a week to maintain it.
You're lucky. Several years ago it was 1 month/4 weeks. Then bloody regime applied massive repressions to poor plumbers, and they have shrinked the time to 3 weeks, then 2 weeks, then 10 days, then one week, and this year I had 4 days off (Tue-Fri)

mds45
03-08-2012, 15:04
Maybe you slept through the phone call? ;)

I'll never know David, but all I can say is her visage didn't match the one in the dream I was having :)

Inola
03-08-2012, 15:07
Yes, that's it. That's the name exactly. Izmailovksy. For sure.

Hmm, how long ago did this happen? I was there a year ago when my friends from France stayed there and went to a couple restrants around... Everything seemed normal... I Look more like an Armenian or similar than Russian (because I am not Russian by blood) but never was mistaken for a hooker... Maybe try to dress differently? I don't mean to offend you...

Jas
03-08-2012, 15:15
I'm not offended. Izmailovksy was normal by day, there's shops, little cafes, a pharmacy also, it's ok. But at night, the atmosphere was spooky, in the restaurants and near the casino- which I had to pass to get to the lifts. Even in the lifts there was hookers, the same one who had been so nasty with me was constantly skipping into the lifts from floor to floor. Once on ure floor, normal again, locked doors and good security. This was a two and a half years back.

Inola
03-08-2012, 15:18
I'm not offended. Izmailovksy was normal by day, there's shops, little cafes, a pharmacy also, it's ok. But at night, the atmosphere was spooky, in the restaurants and near the casino- which I had to pass to get to the lifts. Even in the lifts there was hookers, the same one who had been so nasty with me was constantly skipping into the lifts from floor to floor. Once on ure floor, normal again, locked doors and good security. This was a two and a half years back.

We stayed quite late a couple of times and I haven't spotted any hookers.. Thanks for sharing any way, i'd thought I could recommend this place before...

inorcist
03-08-2012, 15:27
What in general really surprises me all the time is how Russians always seem to be fine with substandard, poor or badly thought-through solutions. I come from an area where people constantly try to optimize, improve, speed up, make more efficient. But here, as soon as something has been setup no one changes it any more. Even if they know how to improve things there's a lack of motivation. I always wonder how Russians were able to fly to space.

TolkoRaz
03-08-2012, 15:29
Sounded like Cosmos hotel to me - thats got a certain reputation too

To the best of my knowledge, I think its the only hotel in Moscow which has a Police Station in the basement! ;)

penka
03-08-2012, 15:31
Hmm, how long ago did this happen? I was there a year ago when my friends from France stayed there and went to a couple restrants around... Everything seemed normal... I Look more like an Armenian or similar than Russian (because I am not Russian by blood) but never was mistaken for a hooker... Maybe try to dress differently? I don't mean to offend you...

Hmmmm..... If you are a good looking woman, sitting alone, minding your own business, trying to enjoy your drink, it doesn't seem to matter, whether you are wearing smth risqu or a business suit. You'll be bothered in any case. Most of the time. Funny enough, local men take it as a personal offense when told you are happy with your own company.

BabyFirefly
03-08-2012, 15:31
What in general really surprises me all the time is how Russians always seem to be fine with substandard, poor or badly thought-through solutions. I come from an area where people constantly try to optimize, improve, speed up, make more efficient. But here, as soon as something has been setup no one changes it any more. Even if they know how to improve things there's a lack of motivation. I always wonder how Russians were able to fly to space.

I've given this a lot of thought as I noticed it too. I've come to the conclusion that Russians are really good at coming up with a huge idea but fail at the little steps needed to actually implement it.

Potty
03-08-2012, 15:40
Guys, you are something. I can't believe it but everything is so true. :hooray:

mds45
03-08-2012, 15:44
What in general really surprises me all the time is how Russians always seem to be fine with substandard, poor or badly thought-through solutions. I come from an area where people constantly try to optimize, improve, speed up, make more efficient. But here, as soon as something has been setup no one changes it any more. Even if they know how to improve things there's a lack of motivation. I always wonder how Russians were able to fly to space.

I think it was Bulgakov who said "it takes a lot to get a Russian to hitch his horses but when he does you'll never stop him " I would say that is more like my experience here.
The motivation to do something is minimal but when you can get people actively engaged in something you'd better watch out ! or you will get run over :)

yakspeare
03-08-2012, 16:53
My experience in russia is far more positive than negative so our "pet peeves" should not be seen as serious complaints(only the spitting I find truly foul-anything else is just eta rossiya).

One thing i don't really like is the prostitutues in nightclubs. In Australia, if a prostitute was in a nightclub-she would not be working but seeking a bf or just dancing or whatever. if someone wanted a hooker they would go to a brothel, or crawl the streets in seedy industrial estates etc at night.

there is nothing worse than some girl chatting you up, who doesn't dress at all differently, you buy her a few drinks-you are having a good time and then bam- the whisper in the ear i am X roubles per hour. I am ashamed to say I fell for it a few times, before i began to avoid almost all bars and nightclubs all together. still it is better than in Uzbekistan-where almost all are hookers at any club(unless you know specific places to go).

Tony P
03-08-2012, 17:00
I arrived tired and asked for a 8am alarm call - what did I get ? A very large woman shaking me saying in Russian wake up wake up !!! seemed to me alarm calls were a personal thing in Russia in the good old days :)

I always wondered about B&Bs in UK that proudly proclaimed "Goblin Teasmaid in your room for your refreshment at all hours".

mds45
03-08-2012, 17:02
I always wondered about B&Bs in UK that proudly proclaimed "Goblin Teasmaid in your room for your refreshment at all hours".

:) I resisting so hard the urge to write something about taking teeth out :)

Russian Lad
03-08-2012, 18:35
What in general really surprises me all the time is how Russians always seem to be fine with substandard, poor or badly thought-through solutions. I come from an area where people constantly try to optimize, improve, speed up, make more efficient. But here, as soon as something has been setup no one changes it any more. Even if they know how to improve things there's a lack of motivation. I always wonder how Russians were able to fly to space.

Be more specific, give examples. Otherwise it is a general and rather offensive blah-blah-blah. Maybe you dealt with people who were on salary and didn't give a damn about losing their jobs.:)) I used to be in this I-don't-give-a-damn mode on my last job for like 2 years, for example.:))) Many expats got offended, I frankly kept telling them "I don't give a damn, I am on 1K dollars salary.":))) You don't really expect the people who are paid peanuts to be proactive, do ya?

sis
03-08-2012, 21:52
Be more specific, give examples. Otherwise it is a general and rather offensive blah-blah-blah.
Just came back from a flight in the Russian provinces, at the airport you take a bus from the plane to the terminal, even so the plane is only 20 meters away.. it is not productive...

Go to a libary and you will have to ask for a book, you are not allowed to look for yourself..

Lots of examples. It is not offensive, it is just the way things are..

For me the most suprising thing about Russia is the number of Muslims here. Russia is aparently the country in Europe with the most Muslims, not counting Turkey. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive regarding Muslims before coming to Russia, but here most of my friends a Muslims.

Lost in moscow
03-08-2012, 22:06
Since I came to russia at 15 after growing up in the Us, and had really no idea what I was getting into, I had the whole culture shock.Number one is how open corruption is and the fact that its accepted as normal way of life.

The fact that the cops had tried to rob me at 15, sorry no, he wanted 1000 rubles from me so he would show me the directions home.
The fact that cops have been the only ones who have tried to rob me over the last 8 years.
How young kids start to smoke.
How easy it was at 15 to get beer, vodka, whiskey, w/e.
My uncle was getting pulled over for speeding 180-200km/h in the mkad and was only bribing 100 rubles, remember one on new years even, we got pulled over while driving to Voronezh, and the cop wanted 200 rubles because of the holiday))
I remember the drive from the airport, how much faster we were driving on a road that was by far one of the worst I had seen.
That strangers will get offended if you do not give them a cigaret if one was to randomly ask you for one.
The amount of people that hang out in the smoking rooms yet never seem to ever have their own pack of cigarets.
How its normal to cheat, doesn't matter on what, be it a final exam or be it your girlfriend.
How egocentric people living in moscow are in general.
How such a beautiful girls, dressed in the skimpiest dress and the sexiest high heels, yet can smell like shes not had a shower in days in the summer.
The amount of people that freely swim in various bodies of water located around or in the city...

Teach
04-08-2012, 02:51
The unbearably hot buildings in the winter, and how refreshing it is to go out into the pleasantly cool winter air.

Nobbynumbnuts
04-08-2012, 03:20
Here's something that surprises me no end: the security in supermarkets. You get these tough sort of guys who look like the Kray twins following you around at a discrete distance. I am used to it now but used to think it was sort of overkill. I still dislike it though.
Also the way you have to pay for plastic bags. I don't, so I have a prized collection of plastic bags................

About 12 years ago i was in the supermarket that used to be in the old Moscow Hotel. Opposite the Duma.
I went in and bought an item only because i needed a plastic bag for something. Because it was a single item the teller refused to give it to me. I offered to pay for it and she still refused! All the while, the thick, flat head, security guard was watching me closely with slitty eyes.
F*ck me i thought, i better be careful or they're going to haul me off to the gulag!
Russia is too rigid sometimes.

robertmf
04-08-2012, 03:40
About 12 years ago i was in the supermarket that used to be in the old Moscow Hotel. Opposite the Duma.
I went in and bought an item only because i needed a plastic bag for something. Because it was a single item the teller refused to give it to me. I offered to pay for it and she still refused! All the while, the thick, flat head, security guard was watching me closely with slitty eyes.
F*ck me i thought, i better be careful or they're going to haul me off to the gulag!
Russia is too rigid sometimes.

Back in the day, everyone carried an avoska|string bag (http://russiapedia.rt.com/of-russian-origin/avoska/) on the possibility you'd run into a queue with something - didn't matter what - to buy.

Nobbynumbnuts
04-08-2012, 04:04
Reading through the posts, a few things struck a cord with me.

Years back i stayed at the Soviet style, Hotel Belgrade, just off Petrovka Ul. I tried to get into bed and it had been made up in a weird way. Like we Brits call an 'Apple Pie' bed. I remember thinking, what the f*ck is this all about?

First day in Moscow i had to buy some items, toothpaste, dustbin bags and bread if i recall. I ended up going to three different shops! I remember thinking, 7-Eleven would clean up here!

The company asked me if i wanted a one room apartment or two room. Being polite and thinking, what am i going to do with two bedrooms? i went for the one room. Last time i made that mistake. :rolleyes:

I ordered a pizza at a restaurant in the center. I wanted it with ingredients they had on the menu but just not in the combinations they suggested. HET!

First time the hot water went off for a week. Then came on, only for the cold water to be turned off. WTF!!!

I could go on but i must say that living in Russia for 8 years was one of the highlights of my life.

.......oh, and gypsy cabs. Being told on my first night in Moscow at 1am, that i should stand stand on the side of the road and flag a car down, agree a price and jump in. Are you f*cking mad??!!

BabyFirefly
04-08-2012, 13:01
Oh, the hot water thign for me was more so that my faucet/shower made this horrible, grumbling noise the first time I turned on the hot water when there was none. I screamed and thought it would explode.

Lost in moscow
04-08-2012, 14:06
Oh right, this another one.

There always has to be someone who want's to take an evening of drinking beers into a night of destructive vodka drinking.

The lack of people who don't drink. I'm surprised every time I meet someone who does not drink. But there always ends up being a story behind it why, usually accompanied by lots of alcohol.

The lack of people who think drinking behind the wheel is basically saying that you willing to take the risk to kill someone rather than take the metro home, in a city as densely populated as Moscow...

Ah here was a funny one, over the years, I've had 5 separate occasions where bums were walking through the metro train specifically to spread their horrid smell. One lady was giggle while doing it, enjoyed herself.

robertmf
04-08-2012, 15:20
First day in Moscow i had to buy some items, toothpaste, dustbin bags and bread if i recall. I ended up going to three different shops! I remember thinking, 7-Eleven would clean up here!

First time the hot water went off for a week. Then came on, only for the cold water to be turned off. WTF!!!

I could go on but i must say that living in Russia for 8 years was one of the highlights of my life.

.......oh, and gypsy cabs. Being told on my first night in Moscow at 1am, that i should stand stand on the side of the road and flag a car down, agree a price and jump in. Are you f*cking mad??!!

Best post of the day ... maybe the week :trampoline:

Unlicensed gypsy cabs have been around forever and not just in Russia. Stand by the road and raise a pack of marlboros. Somebody will stop.

Russian Lad
04-08-2012, 15:39
Just came back from a flight in the Russian provinces, at the airport you take a bus from the plane to the terminal, even so the plane is only 20 meters away.. it is not productive...

Where is that? Usually you walk if it is a short distance. On the other hand, when it is minus 50 somewhere in Surgut you may even appreciate it.


Go to a libary and you will have to ask for a book, you are not allowed to look for yourself..

Again, where is such a library? In a village somewhere? The libraries I go to here in SPb have been allowing to look at the shelves and choose since I remember myself.

As to that water thing guys, get enrolled with a gym, they are usually in buildings with their own boilers - problem solved.

Hans.KK
04-08-2012, 16:16
Once a person in our building had carried out some plumbing work on their own with that result that the hot and cold water was mixed.
In our building there is a significantly higher pressure on the warm water than there is in the cold, so all the tappings of cold water was now hot water, very hot.

The first discovery was our dishwasher, it is not run with a timer, but it measures the temperature of the water while it warmed up and use this as "timer", so where it normally takes about one hour, a wash was now over in 5 minuts.

The next was that the toilet after a couple of flush was over 40 degrees all over, it is an experience of the more strange.
But I understand that this happen now and then.

Booth
04-08-2012, 16:57
For me, the biggest shock was how much people spend on "status." It's normal to drive a $100k car but live in a 60m^2 flat.
Awesome point,it's a mix of empty pride and quality life.Am still debating on the Russian cultural thing.At the end it seems there isn't actually any!

Hans.KK
04-08-2012, 18:05
Our building has a shape that resembles the letter C or U.
In the room inside this letter-shape there is a small garden with gr**** and there are 2 roads around between the garden and the building, one is curbside, the other is asphalt to cars, 2 tracks.
There is just room for 2 cars next to each other and about 7 cars in length.

Parking is by filling up with cars in both tracks, about 14 cars.
This means that those that are parked in the center of the pellet cars may not be able to come out.
Do this provides challenges in the morning when everyone has to drive to work (at different times) ?
Yes, but not as much as expected, some put a sign on the windshield (I'm start to drive at 7:00) other is just sitting and waiting for one-half to one full hour until all has come out of their bunkers.

Wondrous spectacle I have to say.

Nobbynumbnuts
04-08-2012, 19:18
Where is that?..........,

Vladivostok. I used to fly in and out of there regularly and the bus would do a tight U turn and disembark the passengers at the terminal door. Literally 50 meters from the plane. You weren't allowed to walk, you had get on the bus, wait for it to fill up, turn round then get off! Hilarious!
The reason they do it is so they can charge the airline for the service.
On a domestic flight everyone had to wait outside on the apron in minus 30 for for someone to open baggage reclaim. They wouldn't open the doors until the bags arrived!!

Why is it I still think of Russia fondly??!! ;)

Nobbynumbnuts
04-08-2012, 19:50
Once a person in our building had carried out some plumbing work on their own with that result that the hot and cold water was mixed.
In our building there is a significantly higher pressure on the warm water than there is in the cold, so all the tappings of cold water was now hot water, very hot.

The first discovery was our dishwasher, it is not run with a timer, but it measures the temperature of the water while it warmed up and use this as "timer", so where it normally takes about one hour, a wash was now over in 5 minuts.

The next was that the toilet after a couple of flush was over 40 degrees all over, it is an experience of the more strange.
But I understand that this happen now and then.

Hot water would go off for days on end. I'd come home and try the hot water tap everyday but would forget to close it sometimes.
I remember one day the family from down stairs were waiting on my landing for me to arrive. I didn't speak much Russian in those days but thinking they wanted to show me there 'beautiful apartment' I followed them down to to discover the place flooded, the water had run down the walls and ruined the carpets! I did my best interpretation of a stupid foreigner and got the hell out of there. The company, bless 'em, moved me out.

robertmf
04-08-2012, 21:44
Awesome point,it's a mix of empty pride and quality life.Am still debating on the Russian cultural thing.At the end it seems there isn't actually any!

:celebrate: I'm glad to see rumors of Homo Sovieticus becoming extinct are unfounded.

Russian Lad
05-08-2012, 01:44
For me, the biggest shock was how much people spend on "status." It's normal to drive a $100k car but live in a 60m^2 flat.

And the same guy may have a 5 storeyed dacha in the suburbs or even a house abroad. Don't forget about this, either. 60 meters are more than plenty, or at least sufficient for a decent living of, say, 3 persons, unless you want to play golf inside.:)) And such an apartment can cost a fortune, too. My father's apartment has around 40 meters and costs over 200K dollars.
As to spitting, I think the Russians spit more because they smoke more. We are more discreet at the table though:) It is normal to burp at the table in the West, at least in the American culture, as long as you say "Excuse me" after doing it, it is viewed as very rude in the Russian culture. An American may put his feet in his shoes right on the table, in Russia it is also viewed as something disgusting.
As to those 50 meters to the plane, it may be related to tighter security. However, when I was in Siberia, we walked to the plane when it was a short distance.
Water pressure can be regulated if you buy additional devices for that, they don't cost a fortune.


Hot water would go off for days on end. I'd come home and try the hot water tap everyday but would forget to close it sometimes.
I remember one day the family from down stairs were waiting on my landing for me to arrive. I didn't speak much Russian in those days but thinking they wanted to show me there 'beautiful apartment' I followed them down to to discover the place flooded, the water had run down the walls and ruined the carpets! I did my best interpretation of a stupid foreigner and got the hell out of there. The company, bless 'em, moved me out.

Well, was it their fault that you forgot to close the tap? People suffered because of your non-chalance, and you describe your dodging out of any responsibility regarding that as something heroic or even clever on your part. I bet you ruined two apartments, not just one. Talk about being civilized now.:))

robertmf
05-08-2012, 02:05
... It is normal to burp at the table in the West, at least in the American culture, as long as you say "Excuse me" after doing it, it is viewed as very rude in the Russian culture. An American may put his feet in his shoes right on the table, in Russia it is also viewed as something disgusting.


:redcard: Not with your mother around, you won't :bong:

sis
05-08-2012, 08:40
As to spitting, I think the Russians spit more because they smoke more. We are more discreet at the table though:) It is normal to burp at the table in the West, at least in the American culture, as long as you say "Excuse me" after doing it, it is viewed as very rude in the Russian culture. An American may put his feet in his shoes right on the table, in Russia it is also viewed as something disgusting.
As to those 50 meters to the plane, it may be related to tighter security. However, when I was in Siberia, we walked to the plane when it was a short distance.
Water pressure can be regulated if you buy additional devices for that, they don't cost a fortune.

RussianLad you bring up some good points, regarding the shoes for instance. I also think that it is goddamn rude to put your feet on the table infront of my nose. Norwegians incidentially also like doing this.

In general I find Russians to be cultured and gallant, it is nice how Russians will open the doors for women, help carying bags.. ect.

Regarding the spitting, I would not say that it is a major problem - have an aquaintence who lived in Hong Kong - there it is a real risk that somebody will spit on your head from the second floor.

Unlike the Chinese however, who have taken steps to remedy this problem, our Russian brothers are, like always, on the defensive....

One more thing that supprises me is that 20 years after the end of the cold war, still a large proportion of the population believes an American invasion of Russia is imminent

Nobbynumbnuts
05-08-2012, 08:54
........Well, was it their fault that you forgot to close the tap? People suffered because of your non-chalance, and you describe your dodging out of any responsibility regarding that as something heroic or even clever on your part. I bet you ruined two apartments, not just one. Talk about being civilized now.:))

What do you think is going to happen if the water is turned off for weeks on end, then is suddenly turned on again?
This happened to many people, i know because they told me. The office where i worked had a dental surgery on the floor above. They did the same thing! We had water stains on the walls for a long time.

BabyFirefly
05-08-2012, 09:25
And the same guy may have a 5 storeyed dacha in the suburbs or even a house abroad. Don't forget about this, either. 60 meters are more than plenty, or at least sufficient for a decent living of, say, 3 persons, unless you want to play golf inside.:)) And such an apartment can cost a fortune, too. My father's apartment has around 40 meters and costs over 200K dollars.
As to spitting, I think the Russians spit more because they smoke more. We are more discreet at the table though:) It is normal to burp at the table in the West, at least in the American culture, as long as you say "Excuse me" after doing it, it is viewed as very rude in the Russian culture. An American may put his feet in his shoes right on the table, in Russia it is also viewed as something disgusting.


Your average American will not put his feet up at the dinner table. Coffee table, maybe, but that's it.

Oh, yeah,another one is how nitpicky about certain aspects of cleanliness people are here (no shoes inside), yet, I've never smelled worse toilets or seen people do such unsanitary things with food, like, leaving it out all night, or handling raw chicken and then going about their day sans washing hands, etc.

And the lack of deodorant. I hate summers here (there, left Moscow some hours ago!) for that reason only. Everyone from the old homeless person to that cute girl over there will stink like an onion. Terrible stuff.

Domodedovo today was a prime example of Russian disorganization and inefficiency. An insane mess of people, no one knowing what to do, or where and how, and no one to answer questions, and the guards looking bored or high. I should've taken a video of it all. Only in third world countries have I seen similar mediocrity at their major airports.

Also, I've never encountered such cynical people in my entire life, about every possible subject. Nothing is ever good, nothing is ever to be believed, etc.

sis
05-08-2012, 11:30
Also, I've never encountered such cynical people in my entire life, about every possible subject.

Really? They say the difference between an optimist and a pessimist is that whereas a pessimist will tell you that things cant be worse, an optimist will tell you that things will still get worse..

I find the Russians to be an optimistic bunch...

GalinaP
05-08-2012, 11:33
Couldn't agree more!

GalinaP
05-08-2012, 11:41
Really? They say the difference between an optimist and a pessimist is that whereas a pessimist will tell you that things cant be worse, an optimist will tell you that things will still get worse..

I find the Russians to be an optimistic bunch...

and just to illustrate this:

despite having a Down syndrome child the state adamantly refuses to give me any support with, lots of drunks around, ex-husband and current boyfriend included, bad financial news (have just found out that all my mums Soviet times savings that were good for a new flat now amount to 2,300 Russian Roubles compensation, courtesy of Sberbank), bright-red tape I have to deal with in my business on everyday basis etc etc, (and things like that can be found in every Russian's life, mine is far from exception), we go on living happily where others just might choose to quietly curl down and die.

As they say, Moscow doesn't believe in tears.

Carl
05-08-2012, 12:00
Probably the general lack of people taking personal responsibility...for anything. That concept just seems to never have taken hold in Russia.

jeni01
05-08-2012, 12:41
My favourite hotel experience was many years ago in a regional hotel, I arrived tired and asked for a 8am alarm call - what did I get ? A very large woman shaking me saying in Russian wake up wake up !!! seemed to me alarm calls were a personal thing in Russia in the good old days :)



ahahahahahahhaahha

I just died laughing!

hahahahahhahahahaha

jeni01
05-08-2012, 13:10
how people would often say "this is Russia"

It makes me feel that sometimes it's ok to do or say stupid things then get away with it by saying "this is Russia" anyway

MickeyTong
05-08-2012, 14:36
...... a large proportion of the population believes an American invasion of Russia is imminent

Remember this: expatriates are the advance column of a NATO invasion force; they are in Russia to gather information and to recruit fifth-columnist traitors. Foreigners are Evil.

robertmf
05-08-2012, 16:00
Really? They say the difference between an optimist and a pessimist is that whereas a pessimist will tell you that things cant be worse, an optimist will tell you that things will still get worse..

I find the Russians to be an optimistic bunch...

An optimist is somebody who doesn't know enough.

:evilgrin:

robertmf
05-08-2012, 16:04
And the lack of deodorant. I hate summers here (there, left Moscow some hours ago!) for that reason only. Everyone from the old homeless person to that cute girl over there will stink like an onion. Terrible stuff.

Domodedovo today was a prime example of Russian disorganization and inefficiency. An insane mess of people, no one knowing what to do, or where and how, and no one to answer questions, and the guards looking bored or high. I should've taken a video of it all. Only in third world countries have I seen similar mediocrity at their major airports.

Also, I've never encountered such cynical people in my entire life, about every possible subject. Nothing is ever good, nothing is ever to be believed, etc.

It's surprising how the further one gets from Moscow, the more things improve :bong:

Russian Lad
05-08-2012, 16:36
One more thing that supprises me is that 20 years after the end of the cold war, still a large proportion of the population believes an American invasion of Russia is imminent

You ruined it yourslef. During the breakup of the Soviet Union like 99% of the young Russians worshipped the US, its movies and its culture. I was among them. Then you bombed the Serbs, who are our brothers historically. It was the turning point, such things are never forgotten. And now Russia is surrounded by NATO military bases, encircled by them, actually, if you care to look at the map, and you seem to attack the countries you don't like arbitrarily.
So, most Russians indeed hate the US now, and the current propaganda is helping the effort. I am not among the haters of the US, your government is total sh*t, though. Well, just like ours to be fair. And yes, an invasion is possible in the future - you invade at random these days.


What do you think is going to happen if the water is turned off for weeks on end, then is suddenly turned on again?
This happened to many people, i know because they told me. The office where i worked had a dental surgery on the floor above. They did the same thing! We had water stains on the walls for a long time.

It is done in the summer time for 4-5 weeks, nothing is going to happen if someone doesn't leave the taps wide-open.

FatAndy
05-08-2012, 17:18
An optimist is somebody who doesn't know enough.

:evilgrin:
Yes. Pessimist is just the same optimist, but well-informed one ;)


Remember this: expatriates are the advance column of a NATO invasion force; they are in Russia to gather information and to recruit fifth-columnist traitors. Foreigners are Evil.
Exactly, comrade - every child knows this ;)

Arthuro
05-08-2012, 17:21
Yes, many people disliked USSR, but after it collapsed and we've been watching US without a deterrent for 20 yrs, many people (outside ex-USSR as well) wish USSR could have been restored..

Actually - for these 20yrs apart from conflicts on USSR territory - US involved into Yugoslavia, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, now in Syria..
much more than during 40 yrs of cold war..

I suppose none of this would have happened if USSR still exists..
How many people lost their relatives\home\property\business\life quality etc..
Those countries (except Afghanistan) had a good quality of life before invasion, and now I suppose it is 5-10 times lower..

MickeyTong
05-08-2012, 17:26
An optimist is somebody who doesn't know enough.

:evilgrin:

http://i49.tinypic.com/1gg9ro.jpg

http://i49.tinypic.com/2isbfur.jpg

FatAndy
05-08-2012, 17:31
and now I suppose it is 5-10 times lower..
Comrade, they're enjoying so called Freedom and Democracy instead! ;) :cool:

yakspeare
05-08-2012, 17:57
Yes, many people disliked USSR, but after it collapsed and we've been watching US without a deterrent for 20 yrs, many people (outside ex-USSR as well) wish USSR could have been restored..

Actually - for these 20yrs apart from conflicts on USSR territory - US involved into Yugoslavia, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, now in Syria..
much more than during 40 yrs of cold war..

I suppose none of this would have happened if USSR still exists..
How many people lost their relatives\home\property\business\life quality etc..
Those countries (except Afghanistan) had a good quality of life before invasion, and now I suppose it is 5-10 times lower..

yeah um whatever.

fighting communists in korea, vietnam, indonesia, south america etc didn't happen....Africa too was a battleground by proxy too.

and the arab terrorists just switched from socialist revolution(with most of their arms coming from Russia) to an islamic one.

and if you were a Kurd or a Shiite in Iraq, you would be much happier after the invasion than before.

Russian Lad
05-08-2012, 23:48
yeah um whatever.

fighting communists in korea, vietnam, indonesia, south america etc didn't happen....Africa too was a battleground by proxy too.

and the arab terrorists just switched from socialist revolution(with most of their arms coming from Russia) to an islamic one.

and if you were a Kurd or a Shiite in Iraq, you would be much happier after the invasion than before.

There will always be groups happy about the invasion of their own country.
Yes, there were local skirmishes before, that's why it was called the Cold WAR, but the US was never the global police and imperialist on such a large scale. Imagine the US bombing a part of Europe, say, in 1975. There would be only one response - nuclear attack. Yeltsin didn't have the guts and was dependent on the IMF money at that time.
Or take Georgia - the US virtually sent the Georgian troops to the South Ossetia (those who believe Saaka did this without direct orders from Washington are ignorant idiots, imho), after rearming and training them. I would have gone all the way to Tbilisi in response and would have hung Saaka wrapped in the US flag, before burning him in public and shooting his ashes from a cannon in the US direction. Would have made quite a show, don't you think so?

yakspeare
05-08-2012, 23:54
There will always be groups happy about the invasion of their own country.
Yes, there were local skirmishes before, that's why it was called the Cold WAR, but the US was never the global police and imperialist on such a large scale. Imagine the US bombing a part of Europe, say, in 1975. There would be only one response - nuclear attack. Yeltsin didn't have the guts and was dependent on the IMF money at that time.
Or take Georgia - the US virtually sent the Georgian troops to the South Ossetia (those who believe Saaka did this without direct orders from Washington are ignorant idiots, imho), after rearming and training them. I would have gone all the way to Tbilisi in response and would hang Saaka wrapped in the US flag, before burning him in public and shooting his ashes from a cannon in the US direction. Would have made quite a show, don't you think so?

The US role didn't change, just its main adversary called it quits leaving the US to do as it pleased. and a nuclear option by the soviets? Nope.

FatAndy
06-08-2012, 14:00
and a nuclear option by the soviets? Nope.
Yes, we were too humanistic ad took the obligation not to apply nukes first, only as reply, in 1982.

Russian Lad
06-08-2012, 14:11
Originally Posted by yakspeare
and a nuclear option by the soviets? Nope.
Yes, we were too humanistic ad took the obligation not to apply nukes first, only as reply, in 1982.

However, I was talking about 1975.:) That was a stupid obligation, by the way.

Inola
06-08-2012, 14:30
However, I was talking about 1975.:) That was a stupid obligation, by the way.

Who would win in the nuclear war?
A. The country first to start bombing others
B. The one to use more bombs than others
C. Chinese (because they are many hence more chances to survive)
D. Cockroaches

:nono:

Ghostly Presence
06-08-2012, 14:35
Who would win in the nuclear war?
A. The country first to start bombing others
B. The one to use more bombs than others
C. Chinese (because they are many hence more changes to survive)
D. Cockroaches

:nono:

I was going to answer "cockroaches" even before I finished reading your post and thankfully you provided this response as one of the options! :)

mds45
06-08-2012, 14:37
I've always wondered why the USA took the world to the brink of a nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis and yet feels it ok to station nuclear missles in Britain and other countries close to Russia aimed at Russia - I guess they are right when they say America is a hypocracy .

Inola
06-08-2012, 14:45
I've always wondered why the USA took the world to the brink of a nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis and yet feels it ok to station nuclear missles in Britain and other countries close to Russia aimed at Russia - I guess they are right when they say America is a hypocracy .

Just being illogical or simply forgot the cold war was over... Why else? :D

Nobbynumbnuts
06-08-2012, 15:08
I've always wondered why the USA took the world to the brink of a nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis and yet feels it ok to station nuclear missles in Britain and other countries close to Russia aimed at Russia - I guess they are right when they say America is a hypocracy .

Britain and Germany are stable. Cuba isn't, i guess.

mds45
06-08-2012, 15:22
Britain and Germany are stable. Cuba isn't, i guess.

Yep sounds a good reason :) funny how sometimes the bleeding obvious escapes you ! happened before when I was listening to the radio to a singer called sandi shaw ( she's been around since the 60's ) and suddenly thought Oh yeah sandy shore :) never saw the double meaning before.

robertmf
06-08-2012, 15:23
I've always wondered why the USA took the world to the brink of a nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis and yet feels it ok to station nuclear missles in Britain and other countries close to Russia aimed at Russia - I guess they are right when they say America is a hypocracy .

This essay indicates Soviet insecurity (http://library.thinkquest.org/11046/days/causes.html) as the primary cause.

Nobbynumbnuts
06-08-2012, 15:41
Yep sounds a good reason :) funny how sometimes the bleeding obvious escapes you ! happened before when I was listening to the radio to a singer called sandi shaw ( she's been around since the 60's ) and suddenly thought Oh yeah sandy shore :) never saw the double meaning before.

Right. Bare feet-Sandy Shore. I must admit, that had escaped me too. ;)

OzPara
06-08-2012, 15:56
I've always wondered why the USA took the world to the brink of a nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis and yet feels it ok to station nuclear missles in Britain and other countries close to Russia aimed at Russia - I guess they are right when they say America is a hypocracy .

1. Paranoia over the so-called domino effect and the spread of communism.
2. Brinkmanship
3. MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction)

In the case of Cuba, the US President was stooged by his own advisors (there's a doco about the behind-the-scenes carry on somewhere but I can't recall the name. It used White House Oval Office recordings which were very revealing).

Brinkmanship and MAD were the global political version of schoolyard "push me, shove you" antics. Yes, only the 'roaches could win that one.

Were the Soviets ever in a position to launch a pre-emptive strike? Why was the US so paranoid about the possibility that they responded with MAD? Because the threat was actual.

martpark
06-08-2012, 15:57
Right. Bare feet-Sandy Shore. I must admit, that had escaped me too. ;)

Her real name is Sandi Bottom.

FatAndy
06-08-2012, 16:05
Even if they know how to improve things there's a lack of motivation. I always wonder how Russians were able to fly to space.
I can explain and it's quite easy. Everything is about money.
Aerospace and armament industry was bathing in money in USSR times. And in the end of 193x-mid 195x, when we created the industry, it was just building of "parallel universe" with much harder standards, less deviations, more optimisation, more reliability etc.
Everything connected with this industry (scientific research, technological R&D and sample production) was placed either in special small towns (somehow isolated, with better life organisation, better supply of everyday goods/foods, better medical services, better vacation utilities etc.) or "behind a tall fence" in big cities.
People were paid much better than in "civil" industries, and every such organisation (factory or research institute) was head-hunting in profiled educational oranisations (universities/highschools, technical and professional scools) for graduates with clever heads, able hands and a lot of ambitions). The rest of "people material" went to usual industry.

And these "universes" existed parallelly in USSR, almost w/o any contacts between them because of secrecy (sometimes paranoid), with relatively rare implementations of expensive new technologies into "civil' life.

That's all folks, no magic.

robertmf
06-08-2012, 16:30
... And these "universes" existed parallelly in USSR, almost w/o any contacts between them because of secrecy (sometimes paranoid), with relatively rare implementations of expensive new technologies into "civil' life.

That's all folks, no magic.

In response to the immense challenge of the unfolding East-West arms race, Stalin decided to create dozens of centers of research and development excellence in the USSR. Some of these so-called "Naukograds" [Science Towns] were "Akademgorodok" [Academic Cities} devoted to basic research. Others were secret cities which were to provide the technical foundation for Soviet military technology - sputniks, long-range missiles, thermonuclear warheads of extreme yield. Among the work performed in such places were chemical, biological and nuclear weapons research and manufacturing, enrichment of plutonium, space research, and military intelligence work.


-- ZATO secret cities (http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/russia/secret-cities.htm)

FatAndy
06-08-2012, 16:40
ZATO secret cities
ZATO is post-catastroika neologism. In USSR it was just п/я (почтовый ящик) or so called номерные города (numbered towns).

robertmf
06-08-2012, 16:44
ZATO is post-catastroika neologism. In USSR it was just п/я (почтовый ящик) or co called номерные города (numbered towns).

:emote_popcorn: Perm' is now open. Akademgorodok wasn't precisely a 'closed number', anyway.

FatAndy
06-08-2012, 17:00
:emote_popcorn: Perm' is now open. Akademgorodok wasn't precisely a 'closed number', anyway.


Akademgorodok was never "closed", as same as Puschino, Protvino, Obninsk located not far from Moscow, and some other naukograds. Some institutes or their departments were "closed".

BabyFirefly
06-08-2012, 20:37
and just to illustrate this:

despite having a Down syndrome child the state adamantly refuses to give me any support with, lots of drunks around, ex-husband and current boyfriend included, bad financial news (have just found out that all my mums Soviet times savings that were good for a new flat now amount to 2,300 Russian Roubles compensation, courtesy of Sberbank), bright-red tape I have to deal with in my business on everyday basis etc etc, (and things like that can be found in every Russian's life, mine is far from exception), we go on living happily where others just might choose to quietly curl down and die.

As they say, Moscow doesn't believe in tears.

You're right, but I mean that people in Moscow more so "survive" rather than have that bizarre "everything will be PERFECT and WONDERFUL!!" attitude I've seen in most Western country. That's what I'm referring to by optimism, just a blind faith that everything will be spectacular, not being thankful/happy with your current life. Apologies if misunderstood.

GalinaP
06-08-2012, 23:47
no apology is needed, come to think of that, everyone has their own truth and everyone is right in their own way. everything else is just talk, talk, talk

GalinaP
07-08-2012, 00:03
yes, and there's absolutely no arguing that russia is terribly maladjusted for living, it's just that it goes largely unnoticed by us and screams at you as an outsider.

Judge
07-08-2012, 09:16
How kind and easy going most people are here,you might not see this often in Moscow but in smaller cities and towns people really go out of their way to help others.

robertmf
09-08-2012, 16:52
How kind and easy going most people are here,you might not see this often in Moscow but in smaller cities and towns people really go out of their way to help others.

I would say this difference between urban & rural is worldwide, not just Russia.