Things that will shock you in Russia. Part 2

Russian Orthodox churches

While the looks of Russian Orthodox churches, with their beautiful golden onion domes, are already impressive, the inside interior will really blow you away! With the abundance of icons and gold and silver details, a visit to a Russian Orthodox Church will definitely shock you. In the best possible way.

Mobile internet and Wi-Fi

The speed and quality of mobile internet in Russia is whole new level. In a good way. Super fast and reliable 4G and LTE coverage is available in most big cities and towns. Russians are also proud of their free public Wi-Fi (including Wi-Fi on public transport such as buses, trams, suburban trains and underground). In fact, did you know that Moscow’s metro was the first in the world to launch free Wi-Fi on its trains?

Supermarkets

It is no surprise that Russian supermarkets are slightly different to European ones, for example. Not because the brands are different but the food preferences. For instance, Russians love their dairy: dozens of varieties and brands of milk (молоко), kefir (кефир), cottage cheese (творог), sour cream (сметана), yogurt (йогурт), ryazhenka (ряженка) and so on.

On addition to dairy, it is undeniable that Russian consumers have a love affair with mayonnaise. Mayo is an ubiquitous condiment in Russian cuisine and is so popular that it usually takes up a whole massive fridge in the supermarket.

Lastly, it would be a sin not to mention pickled foods – Russians eat a lot of pickled stuff, from cucumbers to watermelon!

Hospitality

What does Russian hospitality feel like? If you are invited for a home visit, upon your arrival you will be offered slippers to wear (тапочки). Yes, Russians keep the spare ones for their guests and no, they do not wear shoes they wear outside at home. Then, expect your host to show you “where you can wash your hands”. After all, you will be offered drinks and food, and dirty hands plus food is not a good combo. Be prepared that there will be a lot of food waiting for you, unless it is just a quick visit – in this case still expect some tea and plenty of sweets and pastries. Oh, and be ready for some deep meaningful conversations, not a small talk! All in all, it is a very enjoyable and fun experience that will shock you… in a good way once again!

P.S. By the way, Russian do not say “na zdorovye” (“на здоровье”) when raising a glass. Only people in movies and do that.

Did we miss any interesting points?

Team EBC