Russia has something obsessed with "luggages". Buses charge you extra for your big luggage, the subways ask for extra ticket for your luggage, some hotels ask for hourly rate to store your luggage and airways do not tolerate extra luggage, even it is only 2-3 kg more. You will observe many locals bring their luggages to the weight and try to be precise as much as they can. 3 kg extra will cost you around 800 rubles.
Every winter a huge Christmas tree crowns the Central square; skating rinks, ice sculptures and other stuff for children pop up around it.
Every local thinks that visiting the central square to have a look at the Christmas tree is a must-do.
The Victory Day - the day of Russian victory over the fascism - is celebrated all across the country on the 9-th of May.
There is always a huge parade in Vladivostok downtown (it goes along Svetlanskaya street, which is blocked for traffic this day), and lots of people flock there to take part in the festivities.
There is always some performance in the heart of the city.
What does it mean to drink Russian Vodka "a la ruse"? It means that you should drink it in accordance with Russian drinking traditions... You will only be able to fathom the secrets of Russian Vodka if you choose to follow them!
Russian Drinking Tradition # 1. No Martini… "Russians drink Vodka neat and never mix it with anything..." This habit stems from Russian severe winters and other peculiarities of the Russian national character.
Tradition # 2. No Ice… "Russians serve Vodka cool and drink it from special vodka glasses..." It's more or less clear about Vodka being served cool. Just keep in the fridge. Although I have to admit that Russians are apt to drink vodka from any kind of glasses regardless of their shape or capacity, they use special vodka glasses which are most suitable for this purpose. They look like small wine glasses (with a shaft) or just small plain glasses.
Tradition # 3 With "zakuski"… "Vodka is drunk during meals..." Russians have a special idea of their HORS D' OEUVRES TABLE. In other words, it's a table laid specially "for vodka"... It is a special subject, and we will address it separately.
Tradition # 4 "Russians drink Vodka with toasts..." Russian toasts constitute also a separate subject. If more than two people get together to have a drink of vodka (Russians are not accustomed to drinking alone, unless they are alcoholics or people in the arts), prior to swilling the next glass someone needs to say a short toast. After that the drinkers clink their glasses, knock down their drinks, take a bite at their "zakuski," and refill the glasses, etc.
Tradition # 5 Often, much, and for long... Russians drink Vodka quite often. They usually drink profusely and spend many hours drinking Vodka. Sometimes they drink it all night long and knock out the hangover the morning after with just another shot of vodka - just to feel better.
It sometimes looks or feels strange but this is the way Russian people do!
* They do not smile too much! people on the streets sometimes look sad , but they are not! Russian people just don't smile too much :-) when they are outside but they are friendly and cheerful in companies
*if you are invited to somebody it is common to bring gift or presents as flowers, boxes of chocolates or bottle of vine! Bottle of vodka IS NOT A GIFT!
*do not give even number of flowers. 2,4,6 and etc flowers are brought only to funeral or cemetery
*never whistle in the house! You'll whistle the money away!
*while entering the house, take your shoes off!
*it is a bad luck if black cat crosses the road
*it is a bad luck to see a woman early in the morning with empty bucket
*it is a good luck if you see same combination of hours and minutes: make a wish :-) (example: 20:20, 04:04)
*it is a good luck to seat between two people with same names! Make a wish again!
*it is common to knock on the wooden surfaces if you don't want to scare your future plans away or scare your luck
A very first thing that may feel distressed a spanish is the lack of smiles on the face of russian people. Is the same when you ask anything to any of them. Why is that? Is something shocking for someone who comes from a mediterranean country and is used to find wide opened, loud-speaking and kind people at streets.
But with time, you discover this is only a surface: in fact, when you enter a brand new occidental-shape commercial center, you feel you are at home again: young people with open smile welcomes at you. What does it means? I think is a reminiscence of ancient old-fashioned rigid soviet values joined with the practic way russians see the life.
It will surely take time to change this kind of things but is true they seem to be in the way. Nevertheless is usual crossing yourself in a narrow passage with russians and they will not salutate you -the opposite as in Spain- but is possible they will think it's not necessary -what for salutate a person you don't know nor have to ask you anything?-. As said before, a mix of practice sense and soviet rigidness. But is true that, when you go and contact them, they use to show as wide opened and trustful people and never make you feel as a strange.
One more russian contradiction. But this is a country of contrasts.
Before I went to Vladiostok, I didn't have any idea about Russian cultures. Though my idea has changeed as Copernicus.Especially young people have a lots of energy. Young girls ware cool and young boys have a lots of interests about anything, so Russians will have a great future.
My job is in automobile manufacture. Is there anyone who know about Russian made Rotary engine BUS??
I talked about that with young man who was TAXI driver(whose's specialty was Chemistry).
This is located at the end of bus route 49, a suburb located on the peninsula southeast to that of Vladivostok Downtown, and found open cafes and markets such as this one at the main bus roundabout terminal. Further outward were many tower blocks of housing.
...are used cars from Japan. There are a few new Japanese models here and about.
The city buses are of all various types, all old. Many are formerly Korean City Buses with their destinations in Hangul left intact (we even caught a glimpse of a 1970's model of our old neighbourhood Tokyu Bus - talk about a retro time warp from childhood!!!)
Most of the imported 2nd-hand commerical vehicles in use have the Japanese Company Name and contact number painted on the body, and used as is!!
In case you weren't aware, Lotte is the top Korean brand for drinks and confections - something like Korea's version of the Coca-Cola company.
This particular drink is a lightly carbonated sweet yoghurt flavoured soda. Tastes a lot like the Japanese Calpis Soda brand.
There are lots of Lotte products available here!
Lots of pigeons on the central square attract hordes of Asian tourists who seem to love feeding/taking pictures of them.
Locals watch all this from aside lol
Right below the Lenin Monument I was able to witness this scene of local trading. These trucks came and suddenly queues started outside the trucks, which were selling fresh bread and meat products.
Held from 24-26 August 2004, at some building located at Svetlanskaya 20.
Wish we could have attended!