This book gives real descriptions about the thoughts and ideas of ordinary Russians, the faceless people, the people you see walking in the streets, the people that had to go thru all the changes in the lives. A good description of what Russians thoughts and beliefs about life around them.
Having heard about all the experiences myself from my Russian girlfriend... beliefs.. black salaries, corruption, in goverment. I was there to get a small experience of it all for myself. This book gives accurate description of actual life in Russia.
Beliefs that wealthy people 'stole' money, corruption on every level of society, the unofficial bribes..
Having been to St Petersburg and small villages around the city I can assure you that a visit to Russia is well worth it. A complete cultural shock, but people that will welcome you in their homes. Down-to-earth and used to getting by with very littke, never complain about anything, very thankful for anything that comes their way.
if you have any interest in Russian history or have been following Russian affairs by the sideline, this book will give you the in-depth about what is current in Russia and in the minds of ordinary Russians.
No other country offers such good value for money for a tourist.. if you are with someone that can speak Russian that is ! Otherwise you will have to pay tourist price (double!) wich still is cheap compared to other European countries.
Russia is now unmistakenly capitalist. To find out how it all started, read this book.
Don't be put of by anything negative you ever heard about the Russia or Russians. It is a amazingly beautiful country with amazingly beautiful people, amzing beautufl nature scenes and beautiful cities, castles and palaces.
To experience Russian life, don't do it from a fancy hotel or a airconditioned tourbus. Be on the street, on the underground train, and in the house of an ordanry Russian family. You will come to appreciate what you have and see how people cope with the little they have.
For Russians, things can only get better.
I've now been to St Petersburg 4 times. Living standards keep improving every year. Considering to study another foreign language ? Consider Russian, sure to be a economic superpower in the foreseeable future.