Sharing from a newsletter, someone recently visited Russia and shared
these points about the place:
Pretty much everything was contrary to to typical Western
expectations, but contrasting in a positive way:
- The ship was relatively newly renovated, clean and well managed
- People are generally reserved and well behaved, very far from a
general Hollywood image of heavy drinking boisterous Russians. Downing
copious amounts of vodka and inevitably smashing the glasses against
- The quality of food was excellent. Not spectacular in a "haute
cuisine" way, but healthy home cooking with fresh and high quality
ingredients. Especially notable the aromatic taste of fresh
vegetables, salads, tomatoes and potatoes.
- Service was always attentive and friendly even though nobody
speaks more than a few words of English as a general rule.
- Cities are very clean compared to Western cities. People do not
drop rubbish everywhere. They don't seem to be munching something all
the time like you see in the West. If you inadvertently drop
something, people will discreetly alert you to pick it up. This s like
Switzerland must have been in the 60s.
- Supermarkets, even in smaller provincial cities, are full with
quality food including fresh produce of good taste and quality.
- What struck me is how well behaved and un-neurotic the children
are. Must be the healthy food and a much lower load of vaccinations
and sugar. There were lots of kids on the ship and they were busy
playing hide and seek and all kinds of games WITH EACH OTHER and not
getting on parents' nerves all the time or throwing tantrums like I
see it all the time with Western children. But also parents don't seem
to get on childrens' nerves that much.