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The Russians

The Russians are an interesting bunch of people, or more properly, peoples, as there are far more ethnic groups than most people are aware of, all of which speak Russian to some extent.

Russians are usually pretty friendly, once you get past the initial reserve, which might not take long. Men tend to be cooler in this respect than women. Almost anyone will talk to you, and it’s quite normal to talk to people you don’t know, for instance during long train journeys, in a way that is pretty rare in Britain for instance.

One environment that always eases a chat is having a drink, and Russians are pretty well known for liking a drink.

Russians can often be very generous, particularly out in the regions, and will often give gifts or buy you drinks, or otherwise try to help out.

After years of communism and economic decline, Russians often have a fairly relaxed attitude to work, and are not particularly punctual either, particularly outside Moscow.

One thing you have to admire is the humour and tolerance that Russians show to the often dire problems they have, and the shit they have to take from their awful government.

Howard Gethin

Now resident in Moscow, Howard works as an editor and still makes occasional forays into places where men carry guns and mountains are nearby.