From Russia With Love

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Seaboard92

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Classy

I'm assuming you're talking about Respect, which I also watched. Jennifer Hudson nailed the part IMO.
\
I love it.

It's nice to hear someone whose "normal" perspective on first class, nonstopdan recently heavily criticized AA's 777 Flagship first (especially the food). And again, great movie choice.
Yes that was the movie I went to in Flint. Yes she did a great job at that part. I learned so much about Aretha actually. Part of the reason I went to it was because I know Victoria wanted to see it, so I figured I would tell her if it was worth going to it.

See I've had to spot passenger trains before so I've just developed the method of counting cars mentally in my head. Which probably isn't quite a perfect guesstimate but my trap always has been on the platform when I've done it.

Generally I don't like reading the "Reviews" of airline products on line because I think they are looking at it in a different light. I think they are generally too entitled and come to it from that mindset. Then there is me I'm normal and look at almost everything in the world with wonder. Like most people who would fly business or first occasionally.

I’m enjoying your detailed notes.

I’ve recently developed a fascination with all things Russia, especially the railways. I can’t wait until I get to go! Looks like a real fun time!

Russian railways are a real unsung hero.
It's funny when you mention notes because I take almost no notes during my trips. I write it after I get back from memory. Usually by looking at my photos I can jog my memory. In this trip to get some of the restaurants I had to look back at my bank statements to see where I spent money. I put a lot of effort into writing a really good trip report and I put a lot of time and effort. I try to write like I speak and make things much more relatable. I'm glad you enjoy it.

If you want advise on what to do in Russia I am happy to tell you where to go and what to see. I'm actually debating leading a group tour of the Trans Siberian for normal people who want to do it, but can't afford the rich "Golden Eagle" Trains that are aimed at people who want to do the Trans Siberian but aren't confident enough to travel in Russia solo on the public train. I don't know how the Golden Eagle stays in business with it's prices. So if I do that I would definitely welcome you to come join on that.

And even if I don't do that I could see in the not too distant future I might try to live in St. Petersburg because I love the city, and someone in it.

Their railroad is amazing in every way. It truly is a lifeline to most of the country.

You might enjoy my YouTube videos of my 2010 trip into Siberia. And, by coincidence, I came across my notes from that trip and have begun -- in bits and pieces -- to type them up. Seaboard's account is inspiring me to get that done.



I'm glad I can inspire you that means a lot to me. I always love your reports, and your wealth of knowledge. So for you to be inspired by me really makes me happy.


As usual your reports are so good. I look forward to your report on the TSR. I’ve watched several YouTube videos on it & it would definitely be a “bucket list” for me but only now possible enjoying others reports and pictures!
I would say that one of the things I like best about Greenville is watching all the families and young people enjoying downtown and the Falls Park.

Thanks for your great report.
I loved every part of the Trans Siberian. And thank you for the nice compliments. I really try hard to give the best trip report I can on everything. You know if you ever get around to doing the Trans Siberian I am happy to make recommendations on what to do. This trip has actually inspired me to start a non profit cultural exchange program for young adults in both the USA and Russia to get to know each other by traveling together across both countries by rail. I haven't put a lot of work into that idea yet. But I'm hoping to work on that more in 2022. I already have been talking to a Russian business consultant who is my age about the Russian end. And working with a former enemy of mine on the American end. I think something like this is so important that any previous grudge needs to be left out. People need to meet their world, and learn about others. That is the only way to stop intolerance between the two nations.
 

Cal

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t was funny they gave me the price for a local and not the foreigner price. Almost everything in Russia has two prices one for Russians and one for foreigners. If you can speak Russian or keep your mouth shut you more than likely get the Russian price.
I've experienced that in Vietnam and Vietnamese shops here in the states.
I stopped for a minute to photograph the only streetcar line in this side of the Ob as the metro replaced most of them. I find this streetcar rally photogenic as these old and new cars rumble along track that if it was in the USA would be declared exempt not fit for passengers. Yet here this little cars rumble for a few commuters on decaying infrastructure.
What's the name? I don't think you posted a picture of it.
 

Cal

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So we got dressed and took a cab I was appalled to hear they even get free veterinary care for their animals as well as free health care for people. The cost it costs to spay or neuter a pet in the USA in my town is like $300 for a simple surgery. In Russia you can do it for $4. Quite a big difference.
:eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
 

Cal

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Never have I ever had that happen on a wide body aircraft. It really allows you to see just how big those engines are. I honestly enjoy hard stands as it gives a great view of the planes on the airfield.
I have once before in Guangzhou on China Southern, although truth be told I don't remember it much. And as an avgeek I too enjoy boarding planes out in the apron, although there is nothing quite like the excitement of going down a jetway (at least for me, as I rarely fly).
It’s true I could be entertained there easily I’m very basic.
From your trip reports you seem anything but, and not having tried soup before this automatically disqualifies you from being "basic" :)
But what was perfect was the fact she was leaned against my shoulder and her hand in mine.
You know you were right, this would be a wonderful movie. This is actually more interesting than some books I've read.
I have no idea which airline this is.
1638685785010.pngT
A Lufthansa A350-900
The a350 is such a stunning aircraft, one of the few aircraft I like better than it's 'competitor'-- the 787 (although it's not really it's competitor, the 777x is).


Anyways, I really enjoyed reading your report. Very fascinating and honestly, Russia wasn't exactly on my bucket list before but this definitely moved it up. Thank you for putting the time and effort into writing this and I will eagerly wait for your next trip report.
 

Seaboard92

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And me here thinking you are a well rounded person!

Anyways, this is quite fascinating to read.
Culturally I am a well rounded person. Just not when it comes to food. Doesn't mean I won't try things though because in the Russian house it is rude to refuse what is given to you. So I will happily attempt to eat anything. .And hopefully they avoid the one allergy I have.

I've experienced that in Vietnam and Vietnamese shops here in the states.

What's the name? I don't think you posted a picture of it.
Russia is interesting with the two prices. For the most part you can get away with the Russian price if you speak Russian, or go with a Russian and keep your mouth shut. The people at the railway museum were surprised to hear I was from America.

The name of the tram is on line thirteen. When the Metro was built there was a major retraction of the tram network. So very few lines exist in the actual city side of the Ob.

I have once before in Guangzhou on China Southern, although truth be told I don't remember it much. And as an avgeek I too enjoy boarding planes out in the apron, although there is nothing quite like the excitement of going down a jetway (at least for me, as I rarely fly).

From your trip reports you seem anything but, and not having tried soup before this automatically disqualifies you from being "basic" :)

You know you were right, this would be a wonderful movie. This is actually more interesting than some books I've read.

View attachment 26066T

The a350 is such a stunning aircraft, one of the few aircraft I like better than it's 'competitor'-- the 787 (although it's not really it's competitor, the 777x is).


Anyways, I really enjoyed reading your report. Very fascinating and honestly, Russia wasn't exactly on my bucket list before but this definitely moved it up. Thank you for putting the time and effort into writing this and I will eagerly wait for your next trip report.
I actually do write screen plays as a hobby actually. It is just something I really enjoy doing. I'm telling you an adventure in Russia with native Russians is a perfect adventure film.

I don't like either the A350 or the B787 actually. I don't know why but I just don't. I love going to the apron more then the jetway. But for me the magic of the jetway is gone because I walk down at minimum two a day.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. You should definitely go to Russia some day. Just beware as you might also fall hopelessly in love with the culture, and the country and want to stay longer like me.
 

MARC Rider

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I honestly just prefer the name Friendship Airport. I really don't know why we throw Washington into the name at all. I think of it more as Baltimore's airport and less of Washington. Granted Washington Dulles is really not any closer to the city either. I also only call DCA National Airport. None of which is really political to me. Just a matter of personal preference.
Friendship Airport was the first airport I flew out of when I was 8 years old. Even though I was living in Philadelphia by then, I was flying down to Miami to visit my grandparents in the company of an aunt. The next time I flew there, I was in college. It was in early 1974, and the tags on the baggage still had "BAL", but I was surprised when I landed and found out the place was now called "Baltimore-Washington International." They didn't get the BWI code until 1980 or so, when I was already living there and flying out of the place semi-regularly. One thing that was great about it was that they had local pay phones for both Baltimore and Washington. Thus, when I was passing through, I could make a local call and talk to my parents in Washington. "Long distance phone calls," another quaint practice of the old times.

I didn't realize that they had named it for Thurgood Marshall until they starting announcing it on the MARC train, "Thurgood Marshall International Airport train station is next. Shuttle bus to the airport."
 

jis

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On the way I passed a vintage 1930s or 40s Stalinist era skyscraper and the Kievskaya Train Station.
That Stalin Gothic structure is late 1940s to early 1950s. It is one of the so called 7 sisters. Originally 8 were planned but one was canned before it was built. There are 6 other buildings around Moscow that are similar to this one. Moscow University is perhaps the more famous one but is quite a distance away from the city center, outside the Third Ring.

This one used to be the Hotel Ukraina, but now it is a Radisson Collection Hotel. When built, it was the tallest hotel in Europe. I stayed for a week in a room by one of the those turret like structures near the front right of that building.

See the Wikipedia Article on Seven Sisters and other Stalinist Architectures for more details on the seven sisters.
 

jiml

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Wow, you have outdone yourself with this report. It's in your usual complete and readable style though. It always amazes the level of detail you're able to retain in the final product. Great pics too. Surrounding yourself with train travel and beautiful women is not a bad way to vacation either.

The tourist vs. local pricing is common in Hong Kong too. The difference visiting places with or without local friends can be a real eye-opener at restaurants, stores and markets. Deplaning from a 777 by stairs is an experience for sure. With AA you'll soon discover some airports where they're the "poor cousin" and don't get jet-bridge access most times.
 

jiml

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Friendship Airport was the first airport I flew out of when I was 8 years old. Even though I was living in Philadelphia by then, I was flying down to Miami to visit my grandparents in the company of an aunt. The next time I flew there, I was in college. It was in early 1974, and the tags on the baggage still had "BAL", but I was surprised when I landed and found out the place was now called "Baltimore-Washington International." They didn't get the BWI code until 1980 or so, when I was already living there and flying out of the place semi-regularly. One thing that was great about it was that they had local pay phones for both Baltimore and Washington. Thus, when I was passing through, I could make a local call and talk to my parents in Washington. "Long distance phone calls," another quaint practice of the old times.

I didn't realize that they had named it for Thurgood Marshall until they starting announcing it on the MARC train, "Thurgood Marshall International Airport train station is next. Shuttle bus to the airport."
There's a lot of airport renaming that has little impact on the people who use them. Everyone still refers to them by the name they're most familiar with and BWI is a great example because it accurately represents the area it serves. They renamed Montreal's main airport to Trudeau years ago and everyone still calls it Dorval - the place it is located. The adjacent train station that serves it is also called Dorval. If they renamed LAX tomorrow with some locally celebrated name, everyone would still call it LAX.
 

Seaboard92

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That's what we in New Mexico also say.
You can say Thank you for South Carolina too because at one point in my high school years or college years we were 51 out of 50 in education in the country. I believe they were counting the District of Columbia that year. We are overachievers at being the worst.

That Stalin Gothic structure is late 1940s to early 1950s. It is one of the so called 7 sisters. Originally 8 were planned but one was canned before it was built. There are 6 other buildings around Moscow that are similar to this one. Moscow University is perhaps the more famous one but is quite a distance away from the city center, outside the Third Ring.

This one used to be the Hotel Ukraina, but now it is a Radisson Collection Hotel. When built, it was the tallest hotel in Europe. I stayed for a week in a room by one of the those turret like structures near the front right of that building.

See the Wikipedia Article on Seven Sisters and other Stalinist Architectures for more details on the seven sisters.
I actually really like this style of architecture to be honest. I only saw the two. I didn't realize they were the Seven Sisters though. You gave me more stuff to learn and read. Thank you for that.

Wow, you have outdone yourself with this report. It's in your usual complete and readable style though. It always amazes the level of detail you're able to retain in the final product. Great pics too. Surrounding yourself with train travel and beautiful women is not a bad way to vacation either.

The tourist vs. local pricing is common in Hong Kong too. The difference visiting places with or without local friends can be a real eye-opener at restaurants, stores and markets. Deplaning from a 777 by stairs is an experience for sure. With AA you'll soon discover some airports where they're the "poor cousin" and don't get jet-bridge access most times.
Thank you again for the nice comments. I try really hard with every trip report I do. Sometimes I feel like I fail at it. I think towards the end of this one I was sorta struggling a bit to write things. But what do you get on a train by yourself for three days with little human interaction. I love surrounding myself with train travel but I can tell you the beautiful women are a much more fun though. I learned so much from each of them. And had a fantastic time with them. One has invited me to visit her on vacation in the islands this winter with her new boyfriend. I will definitely take her up on that. And one I visit once a month in St. Petersburg. And all three friends from Siberia will be coming to ride the Canadian as soon as Canada will let them in. We are hoping to get a block of six sections because they are cheaper which for them is better, and two we want to actually be together. Roomettes wouldn't work for that, and neither do the doubles.

I have the distinct advantage my level of Russian is good and I speak it with a local accent to Siberia so no one generally questions me too much. I love getting off by stairs. I know PDX does it for international arrivals.

Seaboard 92,
Really well done. Thank you!
Thank you so much. I really put a lot of effort into this so it really means a lot.
 

jis

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I actually really like this style of architecture to be honest. I only saw the two. I didn't realize they were the Seven Sisters though. You gave me more stuff to learn and read. Thank you for that.
Yeah, I like them too. They are all built like a proverbial brick sh*thouse. Huge thick walls, and a beautiful fresco in the ceiling of the entry foyer.

Incidentally the Moscow University one makes a brief appearance in the last episode of the TV series "The Americans" as Philippe and Elizabeth finally arrive back in Moscow driven from the border by Arkady who was the Washington DC Cultural Attache (euphemism for the KGB boss) at the Soviet Embassy, after running away from the US having been discovered to be Russian spies.
 

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Regarding the condition of tram tracks, here is a sample from Tomsk in 2010. It was the first time that I rode a streetcar that carried a re-railing frog. I associated that with Northwest logging railroads. The rolling stock ranged from the Soviet era to some shiny new cars. Ditto with the trolley coaches. In the secondary cities it's apparently the U.S. in the1930's, with civic expenditures chasing increased auto traffic.

2010 Russia 089.jpg
 

Willbridge

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I have the distinct advantage my level of Russian is good and I speak it with a local accent to Siberia so no one generally questions me too much. I love getting off by stairs. I know PDX does it for international arrivals.
In a big country there are so many local/regional accents that people hearing a foreigner may assume they're from a different accent group. A friend of mine from the Berlin veterans is Bulgarian-American and was stationed in Berlin before the Wall. He used to eat at Russian restaurants in East Berlin and people always assumed he was from a different part of the Soviet Union. He, of course, claimed that Bulgarians spoke better Russian than Russians do.

There are mysteries in how people hear accents or dialects. In Germany no one has come up with an authoritative explanation of why they think I am British or Scandinavian when I use my limited German. (I have a Northwest accent in my English, think NPR's Ari Shapiro, or long-ago Lowell Thomas.)

I just barely can speak enough Spanish to give assistance to customers but when I went to Tijuana a store clerk quoted me the local price for a purchase when I asked my pre-rehearsed questions. Then she asked me a question that I hadn't rehearsed and was outraged that I had (unwittingly) defrauded her. She may have been misled by my carrying the local newspaper under my arm. As I've mentioned before, Lufthansa flight attendants would greet passengers boarding in Denver according to the language of the complimentary newspaper they would pick up. (Probably done elsewhere, but my flights are few.)

Alighting from a plane via stairs was a special thrill at Tempelhof, because, as a colleague noted, it made him feel that he should wave to the crowd. We had seen it in the newsreels and television so often that it had the effect for a moment of making one feel part of history, like walking along the Champs Elysee. Then came the trudge to the terminal through the drizzle!
 

mcropod

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Thankyou indeed for your comprehensive report and the fab pix which accompanied it. I had a TSB trip planned before the plague times, but that fell over because of a combination of Oz shutting up shop, and it all collapsing at the Russian end.

I'd like to connect with a local guide as I have no Russian language ability, and it would be foolish to travel independently without it. I'm a solo traveller. My booked way (and still-preferred) is going Vladivostok to Moscow, but detraining and overnighting, and longer, in quite a number of places along the way.

I think it'll still be some time before we can confidently book overseas travel.
 

Seaboard92

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Yeah, I like them too. They are all built like a proverbial brick sh*thouse. Huge thick walls, and a beautiful fresco in the ceiling of the entry foyer.

Incidentally the Moscow University one makes a brief appearance in the last episode of the TV series "The Americans" as Philippe and Elizabeth finally arrive back in Moscow driven from the border by Arkady who was the Washington DC Cultural Attache (euphemism for the KGB boss) at the Soviet Embassy, after running away from the US having been discovered to be Russian spies.
I love the fresco in the entry but I also like the general Soviet Urban Design that has persisted even to today. I think there is a lot to be said about the common green spaces. I really like walking between the various apartment blocks in the courtyards and the green spaces. I really wish that was something we would include in our apartment complexes in the United States. Like there is not a apartment that does not have it's own playground, basketball court, and some gym equipment outside. I really think that adds so much to apartment living to make it bearable. I know the apartments in my town just have a parking lot and that's it. The Russian ones have so much more. I also somewhat feel like a local when I'm using them as a cut thru.

I still need to watch that series. My mother recommended it for me and I haven't had time to do it just yet.

Regarding the condition of tram tracks, here is a sample from Tomsk in 2010. It was the first time that I rode a streetcar that carried a re-railing frog. I associated that with Northwest logging railroads. The rolling stock ranged from the Soviet era to some shiny new cars. Ditto with the trolley coaches. In the secondary cities it's apparently the U.S. in the1930's, with civic expenditures chasing increased auto traffic.

View attachment 26067
This is actually one reason I am a big proponent of buying Russian equipment for light rail and tram expansion in the United States. I read somewhere you can buy a brand new Russian Tram for about 150,000 Dollars where a modern S70 will run several million for one unit. Don't get me wrong the new S70s are great cars but they require perfect conditions to run reliability. Meanwhile the Russian equipment can run on horrible track with unreliable electricity and dependably give service. To me that would make Russian built street cars a far better investment in cities that are starting a tram or trolley network. I make the case with my city I live in we could easily have a great system for the cost of a handful of S70s by repurposing a freight line that could easily be rerouted off the college campus downtown.

My theory is if we could reroute the NS R Line from Fairwold (Northeast Columbia where it crosses the CSX Hamlet Sub) onto the Hamlet Sub which would remove trains from the USC Campus. Then we could repurpose the NS line into a trolley line with little infrastructure improvement by just adding a siding or two, and a trolley wire. We could have a good starter system which would prove why we need to invest in rail. Then we could get the S70s.

In a big country there are so many local/regional accents that people hearing a foreigner may assume they're from a different accent group. A friend of mine from the Berlin veterans is Bulgarian-American and was stationed in Berlin before the Wall. He used to eat at Russian restaurants in East Berlin and people always assumed he was from a different part of the Soviet Union. He, of course, claimed that Bulgarians spoke better Russian than Russians do.

There are mysteries in how people hear accents or dialects. In Germany no one has come up with an authoritative explanation of why they think I am British or Scandinavian when I use my limited German. (I have a Northwest accent in my English, think NPR's Ari Shapiro, or long-ago Lowell Thomas.)

I just barely can speak enough Spanish to give assistance to customers but when I went to Tijuana a store clerk quoted me the local price for a purchase when I asked my pre-rehearsed questions. Then she asked me a question that I hadn't rehearsed and was outraged that I had (unwittingly) defrauded her. She may have been misled by my carrying the local newspaper under my arm. As I've mentioned before, Lufthansa flight attendants would greet passengers boarding in Denver according to the language of the complimentary newspaper they would pick up. (Probably done elsewhere, but my flights are few.)

Alighting from a plane via stairs was a special thrill at Tempelhof, because, as a colleague noted, it made him feel that he should wave to the crowd. We had seen it in the newsreels and television so often that it had the effect for a moment of making one feel part of history, like walking along the Champs Elysee. Then came the trudge to the terminal through the drizzle!
Now in German I have a Berlin accent but that is because my grandmother is from Berlin so we speak with that accent which is normal I believe. I have trouble sometimes understanding the Bavarian or South German dialects because they speak different. It is interesting because my teacher is from St. Petersburg you would think I would have picked up that dialect especially because with Kseniya I never really use Russian with her. Yet I speak with a Siberian accent.

I actually use the same trick on my flights I judge the language based on whatever clues I can find on the person. It is such a good method. My Russian passengers are always surprised when I take their order in Russian and greet them in it. They love it but it always surprises them. What surprised me though is how I use the language about two or three times each day. I actually have a Russian Flag Pin on my uniform seeing my supervisor couldn't be bothered to order my nametag with my languages I speak.

I also wave too from the tarmac like that. Of course now I'm usually waving to the gate agent.

Thankyou indeed for your comprehensive report and the fab pix which accompanied it. I had a TSB trip planned before the plague times, but that fell over because of a combination of Oz shutting up shop, and it all collapsing at the Russian end.

I'd like to connect with a local guide as I have no Russian language ability, and it would be foolish to travel independently without it. I'm a solo traveller. My booked way (and still-preferred) is going Vladivostok to Moscow, but detraining and overnighting, and longer, in quite a number of places along the way.

I think it'll still be some time before we can confidently book overseas travel.
I hope you are able to go and do that trip someday. It is a really great country and it is a truly wonderful trip. I might be able to introduce you to some local guides and people in some various cities. And for sure they will show you a great time. Thank you for the nice comments. Russian is an easy language to learn I find especially if you know both German and English. I consider it a somewhat of a cross breed language. You would be surprised how many English words are in Russian with a slightly different sound. The word normal is pronounced Normalna
 

jis

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@Seaboard92 reading your report brings back many memories. Here are some that seem to be worth sharing.

I visited Moscow about a month after the Ostenkino TV Tower incident. So things were considerably less stable and settled back then.

Unlike you I traveled by train from Helsinki to Moscow on the EC Leo Tolstoy. It had only three en route stops - Vanaikkala (Finnish Border post), Vyborg (Russian immigration and addition of the domestic section to the train), Bologoyo and Moscow Leningradski, though back then it was called Oktobryuskaya. It did not stop at Tver though we passed through it. We arrived at a platform across from the Krasnaya Strela (Red Star). Interestingly, we were held at a signal presumably for congestion ahead, right next to the Ostenkino TV facility where there was that incident in the recent past.

I had a private guide for the duration of my stay since I don't speak much Russian. He turned out to be a rail enthusiast. So that was good. Excellent unplanned but extended tour of the Metro came in handy.

We made additional plans beyond what the standard Moscow tourist sites that the tour company had originally committed to. Upon my suggestion one day we went to the battleground of the famous Battle of Borodino which the French formally won and entered Moscow. But in reality it was the beginning of the end. It is memorialized in Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, which interestingly is played at every American Independence Day concert in Washington DC! And of course Leo Tolstoy wrote War and Peace about it. So I was not going to miss a chance to visit.

Another day we took a train to Peredelkino to visit Boris Pasternak's (author of Dr. Zhivago) grave. I always wanted to visit it. You can get a brief glimpse of it in the movie "The Russia House". Incidentally The main character Barley Scott-Blair, played by Sean Connery, stayed at the Ukraina Hotel, that I have mentioned earlier, when he was in Moscow!

And as I said, I walked a lot, all over Moscow, sometimes with the guide and sometimes just by myself.

I returned to Helsinki by Leo Tolstoy through a raging blizzard north of Tver all the way to the Finnish border at Vanaikkala. At the border checkpost they spent more time looking for young Russian women stowaways hidden in the train than for any other contraband, which was a bit weird!

I agree with you that Russia is a lot like America, in some good ways, and in some bad ways too.

A final interesting footnote.... I was in Helsinki for a technical standards meeting. My company IPR folks told me not to take my company laptop into Russia! So I locked it up with some baggage that I did not need in Russia in a locker at the Helsinki Central station before boarding the train to Russia, and retrieved it upon return to Helsinki. As I said, things were a bit up in the air back then.
 
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neroden

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I agree with you that Russia is a lot like America, in some good ways, and in some bad ways too.
Of the foreign countries I've visited, Russia was the most familiar. (I visited in the 1990s.) It was striking how much it was like the US, culturally. In the way most of Europe isn't, most of South America isn't, Australia isn't, and China isn't. (I haven't had the chance to visit anywhere in Africa or the Middle East.)
 

Bob Dylan

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Of the foreign countries I've visited, Russia was the most familiar. (I visited in the 1990s.) It was striking how much it was like the US, culturally. In the way most of Europe isn't, most of South America isn't, Australia isn't, and China isn't. (I haven't had the chance to visit anywhere in Africa or the Middle East.)
Canada? I also found Australia the most similar place I've been to Texas( with lots of differences) but then some people don't consider Texas as being part of the US!🤣
 

mcropod

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Oz
(snip)
I hope you are able to go and do that trip someday. It is a really great country and it is a truly wonderful trip. I might be able to introduce you to some local guides and people in some various cities. And for sure they will show you a great time. Thank you for the nice comments. Russian is an easy language to learn I find especially if you know both German and English. I consider it a somewhat of a cross breed language. You would be surprised how many English words are in Russian with a slightly different sound. The word normal is pronounced Normalna
I'm optimistic that I'll be able to do so, and I'd be very keen to make contact with you about potential guides when my plans have some level of structure - many thanks!

And if you're ever in SE Oz and fancy a lookabout, let's know.
 

Barb Stout

Conductor
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
1,002
Location
Albuquerque, NM
It seriously took thirty minutes to get the water to a boil. And I only had one pot that could work for the oven and for the boiling. So I was having to transfer items between the two constantly. Making it a really tough kitchen experience. She was laughing her rear end off the entire time because I’m funny when I cook. I don’t take a lot of things seriously I believe in having fun and being spontaneous.

Eventually after like two hours of cooking for what normally takes thirty minutes I had a bit of South Carolina soul food for my friends. And I quickly washed the pot and diced the pineapple. Ксения and Alexander are shocked I sing and dance while holding a knife. But it’s really quite simple I hold my knife like I would on the train which stabilizes the blade. I have 100 percent control over it. Then I made my cinnamon pineapple treat for dessert.

Honestly I think this was my worst Mac and cheese but I think it was mostly a kitchen issue. After that we still spent a lot of time together just hanging out till she finally was like my flight is in five hours I need to sleep.
Macaroni and cheese is South Carolina soul food?
 
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