If you find yourself arguing with Russians, make sure you’re shouting louder - this will help you to win. It works all the time. How did I learn this lesson? Well...
I was traveling back from Olkhon Island on Lake Baikal to Irkutsk. The van was pretty empty: just the driver, another traveler, a Russian woman, and me. The driver stopped at a gas station and we decided to buy some food. Obviously, we were not planning to end our journey here, but when I exited the store with my fellow traveler the van was already leaving
However, the most difficult part of my trip was braving the low temperatures. I experienced -32°C in Ulan-Ude. As a rule, make sure to wear loads of layers. Having learned this, I was able to go hiking in temperatures as low as -20°C
It might sound lame but you’re supposed to be very good at drinking alcohol if you want to survive in Russia. Accepting the offer of a drink is a must in Russian etiquette, there’s no way you can refuse. On the other hand, Russians don't drink as much as people think: in nightclubs most people are sober. It’s more to do with hospitality and making guests feel relaxed, to be on the same page with them even if they speak a different language.
The most Russian experience I had happened at a dacha close to Lake Baikal. We ate homemade sushi with omul and went to the banya. It was unexpectedly hot. You’re supposed to wear nothing but a hat. The whole ceremony, including being hit with birch branches, drives you crazy enough to go out and roll naked in the snow. It was amazing. We were only drinking beer. After a few
I have to say, the train conductor (
Russians are also different from Brazilians because they’re patriotic. They know their history and are proud of it. Unlike individualistic Brazilians, they have more sense of community, sense of a united country. There’s a Lenin monument in every city. There’s even a big head of him in the center of Ulan-Ude. The first nuclear ship based in Murmansk bears his name. You know, Russians sing the national anthem on New Year’s Eve. This really surprised me! Most Brazilians are probably drunk before midnight
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