Having now nearly spent three weeks in Russia I feel that we are only just starting to glimpse the Russian way of life. Over our time here we have spoken with a large variety of people who have given their opinion on Russia, its past, present and future. It seems that most Russians take a pragmatic view of thier countries history, looking upon the soviet era as being both positive and negative for the countries progression.
From what we have experienced and been told one of the differences between many European countries and Russia is that of stability. It seems that in england as well as other countries; sociaty follows a defined set of rules and on the whole when broken these actions will be recognised and delt with. In Russia there is a completely different situation. Since the colapse of the soviet union Russian have been living with a ^take what you can get^ mentality as the economic and social structure of many large cities has been very fragile. This has led to wide spread coruption apitamised by the police who are no better than criminals, if a person is mugged or robbed they take the view that the person should ahve been stronger in order to provent this crime. The police also stopped search people without cause and can take anything they like.
We have been staying for the last week in Novosibirsk, which is in Siberia. This city of over one million would not have existed without the transsiberian train line and it is as bleak as it sounds. We have been staying with Dara a russian speaking englishman and nick a dreaded russian graphic designer found off hospitalityclub they are very friiendly and have endeveared to help us out throughout our stay.
There is very little to see in this city during the day so we have become somewhat nocternal but over the week we have venture out to the zoo, which has the only LIGER in the world.*a liger is a hybrid of a lion and a tiger
more to be added as internet time is finished