When travelling we generalize from single contacts with people, so a reader should be very careful on taking by true what we write.
After three weeks in Russia, this is by far the toughest country I’ve ever travelled. Not knowing the language (but able to read, which is better than in Japan or Taiwan, where I’ve been) together with the lack of any tourist information (not even for Russian people) and the strange – sometimes for us seem like rude – and most ofter illogical way of being of the Russian ‘service’ – can be supermarket, bus, ticket seller, etc. – and no respect for others by any so-called ‘car driver’ makes very stressfull and energy consuming to travel here. But at same time very special and very interesting in a sociological point of view.
Yesterday when making a tour in Krausniarsk with our host she tells us that the music going loud from the speakers is saying “We like Putin, we like Putin”, or something similar. In Europe a song like this would be just for fun and not go more than once in a radio station. Second interesting point, when for the second time we ask about Kasparov and his opposition to Putin and his enjailment… “I don’t know, never heard about it”. The media in Russia is known to live in a auto-censorship, the television is all state or governement owned.
Well, without a break with the past, without much information about the ex-gulags, it is difficult for us, europeans, to make another judgement. But I hope to be wrong.