Read what common Russian people think about foreigners and life in general...
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driver of a minibus-shuttle
Explains how Swedish people are different from Russians and more...
How we met: I took “marshrutka” - the popular mean of transport in Moscow nowadays. It is a minibus which serves the same routes as usual buses but it’s speedier and costs a bit more. I had a seat near the driver and started to talk with him...
Bio: Sasha is the driver of the shuttle in Moscow. He also worked for three summer seasons in Sweden as a driver.
Recommendations: I asked Sasha what would he advise to the foreigners to do in Russia.
Sasha: “I don't know. It depends on the person. If he’s interested in the architecture, then - let him wonder round the city. In general they should communicate more with Russians to find out what Russia is.
Quotes: I asked him if foreigners use his bus and if they are different in a way.
Sasha answered pointing to a black man standing in the street: “Look there are many foreigners like him - students... I like them, they come to study. Students are same everywhere, no difference. Well, foreigners feel themselves more relaxed in the bus, they drink beer inside and have no complexes”
Then I asked him what he thinks of foreign countries in general and it is occurred that he worked for three years in Sweden.
Sasha: ”Life in Sweden is definitely better, we will never have such a life here. Look, in their villages there are hot water, central heating and asphalt… But, Russians, how to say, are more open. You know what, if I have problems I will discuss it with my mate. If Swedish has problems, he will sit silent like nothing happens. Besides, If I want to visit my friend I will go to him directly, Swedish would make an appointment 2 weeks beforehand, can you imagine this?”
Me: “Would you like to live in Sweden?”
Sasha: "No, I don’t. I’d like to earn money there, but spend it in Russia.
|Alexey, guide in Altay region|
Altay mountains: Alexey thinks that Altay
mountains are very good for rafting. In fact, this
is his favourite activity there: to go down the river,
and stop at the new unexplored places. In fact, many
of the stories that he told us were used in our Altay
Guide, so you can read it for more info.
|Kostya, a taxi driver from Barnaul,|
How we met: I ordered a taxi from Barnaul to Novosibirsk airport and Kostya was the driver. We drove in the night for about 4 hours and had an interesting conversation.
About being a taxist: "Working as a taxi driver used to be quite hard in Russia a few years ago. You were always at a risk of being stabbed by someone from the rear seat... Now it's not dangerous anymore, but still, just in case, in our taxi company we have this rule that if anybody is in trouble, it's just enough to say "desyatka" in the radio and in 1 minute there will be thirty cars at the place where you are.”
About working as a truck driver: Kostya used to work as a truck driver in the early 90s. He said it was a tough job. "We used to driver in groups always. We had these old trucks, Kamaz, which is a really uncomfortable car. Every journey something breaks and all the parts are so heavy, that only two people can carry it, if you need to repair anything... But the worst thing were those bandits who stop you on the road and ask to pay money if you want to go further or they take the stuff you're carrying. Some drivers who were carrying expensive things were even killed. It's not like this with everybody. If you're driving a TIR truck, they are protected by FSB (Russian Federal Security Bureau) and nobody wants to mess with them. But then the license to have a TIR costs a lot..."