In Russia, you should never shake hands with someone over a threshold (doorway, gap, etc). If you do, it is considered that something bad will happen between the two parties in the future.
Also, when it comes to shaking hands, the best advice is to let the Russian offer their hand first. Often times, men will shake hands with men in Russia, but not with women. To avoid any awkwardness though, waiting to shake hands until they offer is often the best choice.
"Any advice where I should go to find hard-core authenticity? Drunk tractor drivers having a race, head-scarved babushkas with goats, men jumping into snow after the banya, that sort of thing?"
- Head to Hollywood studios.
An Aeroflot hostess takes home 900 euro on average - its major shareholder needs all the profit he can make out of the airline to payroll London celebrities and news-people, and they do not come that cheap.
At 50 she will be sweeping the floors in a nearby shopping mall or carry somebody’s fur-coats in a cinema, unless she catches an Abramovich, and they mostly fly private jets.
Same at 60, with a monthly pension of 130 euro and a free market economy she will have a very free choice of buying either medicine or food, but not both.
Same at 70. And 80, if she makes it – women’s longer life expectancy is hardly a blessing here.
But you folks in view of such bright prospects would still be all smiles and an icon of hospitality, right?
If you fly into Sheremetievo airport and have visa concerns, here is their page on border control.
You may want to write to them if you need more information, copy, save and bring with you the answer to wave in front of the border officer's nose - just in case.
I'll try to find the site of the Russian Border Control Service in English, so far they only have it in Russsian.
Next to half a dozen questions in the Moscow Forum are:
How does one get a Russian visa without actually taking the trouble to apply for one?
I just fancy myself doing any such trick to enter Schengen.
Unhappy with formalities?
Go ask the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, they get paid for it.
Look, try going to Detroit and look for smiling faces there - GM has just filed for bankruptcy.
It’s no fun to live according to one’s means, is it?
That’s market economy, folks.
Remember what your advisers told us in 1991? Old-age pensions are the Soviet era holdover, aren’t they? And to think one’s life’s savings are really safe in the 100-years-old bank is an illusion typical of a paternalistic state, they said, we should be ashamed of it. You should take responsibility for your own life, they said, and so we did.
Unemployment benefits, Medicare, food coupons, municipal flats for the poor – tell that to our teachers, doctors and scientists who raised potatoes and scrubbed the floors in those new offices.
A loan for a house with a garden, a bedroom for each child – tell that to my neighbours from the Bolshoi theatre orchestra, they lived 4 adults and a child in a 2-bedrooms flat they had well bought and paid for.
And those are not temporary passing hardships after years of indulging in wild consumption off numerous credit cards, that’s our life.
Do you think I spend a few hours a day in the kitchen out of my devotion to Russian cuisine? Check the prices at the most modest of the Moscow diners and compare them the average salary anywhere except Oil & Gas – how many lunches can I buy without going boost, and I am not the worst linguist in the country, you know?
I don’t normally rub salt into anybody’s wounds.
But you, please, leave mine in peace, too.
One day a woman was visiting her husband that lived and worked very hard in Moscow. They were sitted at one of the best tables at Cafe Pushkin where they enjoyed a view of everything that was going on.
They spotted an old friend across the restaurant, and she said,
"Isn't that Jack Spalding?"
"Yes, it is", answered her husband.
"And, who is that pretty young girl he is with?", she queried.
"Oh, that's his mistress", the husband said sheepishly.
"My Lord", she cried, "that is terrible. How can he do such a thing at his age?"
Just then their meal came and they tucked into some delicious goose liver pate' washed down with some lightly chilled dry white wine. As they were eating, along came another pretty, young lady and stopped to talk to the husband. He seemed to know her very well, and they chatted amicably for some minutes.
After the young girl left, the wife asked,
"And, who was that then?"
"Oh, that is my mistress", he answered. "
"What? I want a divorce", she cried.
"Okay, but you realize all our wealth is tied-up in this joint venture in Russia, and that I am leveraged up to my eyeballs. You will have to go back to work. And, you will have to give up the Club and the expensive shops. Plus, the weekend home and the Mercedes, too" he intoned?
She fell silent and thought about this for a while, until the next course came, which was a beautiful shashlik of wild game and vegetables, which went perfectly with the bottle of French red wine.
Then she said, "Our mistress is prettier than Jack's isn't she?"
Another frustrated guest with a visa concern at the Moscow forum.
Honestly, can’t see the problem.
Have you got a Russian embassy in your country? Ask them, they get paid for it. If they don’t answer within a day, complain to the Russian ministry of Foreign affairs, I’ve got their contacts somewhere on my page.
Or ask your own embassy in Russia, and if they don’t answer, get to your own Foreign office.
If neither does anything, scream human rights breach and alert United Nations.
I am pretty sure you’ll get a courier visa service at your door pretty soon.
I tried this route myself as I find it roaring shame to stand in line for hours to get a visa, it’s not what we had our perestroika for. It works.
Try to find anyone interested in museum opening hours or scenic landscapes in the Moscow forum.
Now way. Instead there will be a dozen questions to a page:
Is Moscow safe?
This is the fellow who operates the place today.
Got safety concerns – pump him.
Probably all students around the world have their own superstitious about attracting the Luck on exam.
It doesn’t matter how many hours you spent on lecturers and books before exam, you must be sure good luck will follow you… and you do certain ritual for that.
For Russian students are important:
• Not wash or cut hair on the day of exam. In case, all “right” and “clever” thoughts wouldn’t leave the head .
• Always wear the same “fortune” clothes for all exams.
If you will go around Russian students’ dormitories at midnight before exam, you would hear plaintive cries from opened windows. With credit book and magic words “Freebie, be caught” students try to attract Freebie and Fortune. The louder student cry, the more possibly the freebie will come. And I know many a one who have succeeded
Another ritual with 5 kopeks coin (soviet time) or five rubles coin: when you going to pass exam, it is necessary to put it into shoes under left heel and success almost guaranteed…!
It’s interesting, especially for Moscow’ students a monument in the form of huge "five-kopeck coin" was built in Mar’ino district of Moscow (Park park of the 850 anniversary of Moscow). During session time it gathers a lot of students from all universities of Moscow.
If you would like this hot time has passed successfully, it is necessary to stand into bronze boots and blindly to throw five kopecks in the center of the big five-kopeck coin.
And to hand over all session, it is necessary to get from the center of a monument a five-kopeck coin on the name of the university, where you study and which abbreviations are put on the earth, or to put your credit book to "five" on bronze credit book.
Another monument there is in Moscow Metro. At the“Revolution square” station you can easily find among others monument of frontiersman with dog. By students belief the touch of dog’s nose brings good luck on exam, and many Moscow student hurry up in early morning on the day of exam to do this ritual.
If you are planning to study in Moscow I hope this knowledge would be helpful for you. Good luck!!!
You should drive very aggresive here (all do this way)/
For example my husband (who has been driver of trucks and has 21 years expiriensce in Canada) says that Moscow way to drive is too crazy for him :) . Than it's my duty - to drive in Moscow.
Ruls here are mostly the same (right turn with red light ia not allowed) - people are different. Be ready for suprises...
are you ready for that? American Driver license works here temporary (14 days).
car 2002-2005 cost from 45 USD a day and they ask deposit 300-600 usd
In front of of the Resurrection gate, which is the northern entrance to Red Square, the Kilometre Zero marker is set into the ground.
All distances within Moscow and Russia are measured from this point. Tourists usually have their photo taken here, while throwing some coins over the shoulder and making a wish.
The interesting thing about this is, that there are always some poor or homeless local people around who immediately pick up the money.
A French functionary who had translated the whole of ‘Eugene Onegin’ in his young days can well discuss Pushkin with like-minded Russian intellectuals, it goes well for bilateral relations.
An Illinois lawyer who is citing our national bard to a bunch of banker trainees and hopes for enthusiastic response? That’s funny, as neither party seems romantic enough to care for verses.
It’s no crime if you don’t know anything about this country or this city. But if you pretend you do while in fact you don’t – that’s another story.
Orest Kiprensky, The Portrait of Alexander Pushkin, The Tretyakov Gallery
Russian people are very friendly but if you know the language that is your privilege!
By knowing it you'll get many nice and friendly people around you.
From the first meeting they can invite you to their own house and have a lunch with you!
But try to escape late night streets and metro (subway)..
This gentleman received his OBE as the best Sherlock Holmes of all times. There should have been the two of them, I suppose, but Watson died in 2002. You may want to look for the series at Amazon, it's worth it, or try the site below.
Both live now in front of the British Embassy in Moscow (10 Smolenskaya nab.) since April 27, 2007 – see the 2nd photo - a attempt of a Russian sculptor to give that heavy hi-tech building a bit of the English flavour. I'll show it in a separate tip.
Kiwis like our Holmes, too. Here – the 3rd photo - is a two-dollar coin made by the «New Zealand Mint» in 2007 - 120 years of the first Holmes story.
P.S. It's exactly 30 years since they made the first film. Happy birthday!