Sunday, February 4, 2007

Na Zdarovia

When you raise your glass of piva or vodka, this is what you say before you bid da zvedanya and wrap up in your long fur coat and hat to walk down the ulitsa or head out for a coffee or tea, 'green or black?' at the PECTOPAH--or restaurant--to enjoy your ikra--and boy is that sevruga yum-my!

On a serious note, we can all realize that perestroika must have been difficult as a transition, but it is another reality check to be reminded that it is still in a difficult transition phase--how could it be expected to go from black market to capitalism and imbue trust overnight--impossible. Some people were handed businesses and although others were purchased, the Grand Canyon between haves and have nots grows immeasurably wide. On one hand, an oil magnate--on the other, someone who was hoping to retire right about the time reforms hit. It's one saving grace that most people were probably given their apartments and no longer have to pay rent--at $300/month salary for a state-employed dentist, I don't think progess has hit the majority of the 150 million residents. But someone must be buying the suburban (3 beltways in Moscow) high-rise luxury condos, which sell for $500/sq. ft. A mystery remaining to be solved....

All this from someone who had the 5-star tour.....imagine what it would really be like to see the real Russia. Go, St. Petersburg!


Rebecca said...

Can't wait to hear all about the trip, InfoChef!

ChristianLiberalChic said...

Ditto. I can't believe how easily I'd forgotten their problems. It's humbling to realize how unbelievably lucky we are to live where we do...and how much we take for granted.