Thursday, October 19, 2006

Not so White Nights

A friend of mine and I travelled to Russia in October of 2006. These postings and pictures document that trip.

General observations:

  • There's a lot of money in Russia
  • There's a lot of corruption in Russia
  • There's an oversized sense of entitlement among Russian service providers who deal with tourists
  • There's a lot of bitterness and resentment about the fall of the Soviet government and the loss of everything the government provided (housing, pensions, etc.)
  • There are more statues of Lenin still standing than were pulled down
  • For a government that said there was no God, they restored a lot of churches, cathedrals and monasteries
  • There's no such thing as a sunny day in Russia
  • Nothing is ever small or average in Russia - always the most extreme of whatever adjective is chosen - largest, deepest, richest, oldest, most violent, etc.
Before the revolution, Russia was a superpower as a major provider to the world. The potential for Russia to dominate still exists. The key will be whether they can struggle through this period of adjustment from socialism to capitalism, and control the corruption that's so pervasive.

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