Travelling To Russia Online Reviews
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With the world slowly opening up again, many countries are preparing for tourists’ visits. Simultaneously, people are packing their bags and looking for places to go. The thought of travelling to Russia has attracted tourists for centuries because of its rich history and culture; however, Russia is so different from Europe that tourists often feel the need for guidance on adjusting to such an environment. Even with that, they may still develop love-hate relationships with this country.
Travel Reddit is full of informative posts with guidance on what not to do or how to prepare for such a country. From learning Cyrillic to training your body for constant vodka consumption, you can do a lot to prepare for your trip. We think that Russia is an extraordinary place. Some things are different, so tourists should be cautious about them; nevertheless, there are aspects you will love about this country. In the hopes of clearing some miscommunications and explaining a little bit more about Russian culture, we will share the genuine experience tourists had in Russia with our commentary.
Public transportation is great.
Public transportation in Russia was quite good. The metro is awesome. […] You’ll have no problem at all finding your way around the cities.
Reddit user: “eastindywalrus”
Russia takes pride in its transportation. Many finances go to cleaning up the streets, metro, and buses to ensure the comfortability of the citizens. Since most citizens prefer public transport over cars, cities assure that it works like a clock. Russian metro deserves separate mentioning. The floors pierced with patterns hypnotize every newcomer, while the walls shine even in the darkest corners. The reason why the Russian metro is so mesmerizing – the government built it as a testament to Stalinism. Many stations are dedicated to famous authors and politicians while being decorated with marble and mosaics.
If you have a problem, and you smile, you are perceived as dumb.
Normally when in a sticky situation abroad you’d just smile to show you have no bad intentions. In Russia smiling means you’re dumb. So this doesn’t always work.
Reddit user: “DSteemers”
This is in fact not true nowadays. It is an old misconception that if you smile after making a mistake, it is a sign of you not understanding the seriousness of your actions. Nowadays, Russians do not believe in that anymore, and if you do encounter somebody assuming badly of you, it tells more about that person than you. In big cities, you will rarely find somebody thinking badly of you for smiling.
Russia is racist, sexist and homophobic.
Important disclaimer: I’m a tall, white, heterosexual male. Most Russians I’ve spoken to didn’t realize I wasn’t Russian until I opened my mouth. LGBT travellers and non-white travellers will want to be more careful than I typically have been. As a whole, I think for female travellers outside of those categories (so, white women), Moscow or St. Petersburg might not be too bad, but do note that attitudes toward sexual harassment in Russia are not quite like those in other parts of the world today.
Reddit user: “jeyforjey”
Unfortunately, Russia is indeed not as progressive as some other countries in the case of equality. Russia is a homogenous, traditional, and religious society. Nevertheless, while rural areas may exert some negativity towards foreigners, most of the time, they are more curious than aggressive. Big cities are more progressive and used to tourism, so it is unlikely to encounter somebody reacting negatively towards you. While Russia is more tolerable towards women and people of a different race (nobody will attack you because of it), we would advise members of LGBTQ+ to be careful. Even though LGBTQ+ communities exist in Saint Petersburg and Moscow, there is still a significant struggle for people to become accepted by society.
Read more: Top TEFL Destinations for LGBTQ+ Teachers
People will not help you.
Anything would always go wrong and you can’t count on people to help you out.
Reddit user: “DisinfectedShithouse”
It is unpolite for a Russian to offer help if nobody asked them for it. Offering to help is often interpreted as being too engaged in somebody else’s business, so many choose to ignore a person, even if they see that somebody is in trouble. However, if you deliberately ask for help, most of the Russians will be eager to answer. They are very welcoming and warm people, but they need to know that you require assistance.
Russians are cold.
I did feel the Russian ‘standoffishness’ quite strongly and felt quite socially isolated while travelling in Russia (for 2 weeks). True, some people were very warm and friendly (mostly outside Moscow and StP to be honest), but I generally got a sense of coldness from most people I encountered.
Reddit user unknown
This misunderstanding comes from the fact that Russians are very reserved people. To be polite, they do not need to smile to show their involvement in somebody else’s life. Their mentality centres around the idea, “You have your life, I have mine. We don’t touch each other unless you need something from me.” Tourists often misinterpret the lack of smile as the coldness of the heart; nevertheless, it is wrong. Russians smile with their friends and close acquaintances. They laugh and chat when they have a deeper connection with an interlocutor. That is why you should not take their lack of smile as a bad sign. They simply don’t know you yet.
Russians drink a lot of vodka.
Drink lots of vodka.
Reddit user: “Artscyents”
Russians always laugh when they get asked about how much vodka they drink. Even though Russia was at some point centred around vodka, this time has passed. We don’t say that alcoholism is not a problem in Russia, but vodka is not a preferred drink among the majority. Though, people often use it to warm up in the colder regions of the country, where there is a danger of freezing to death.
There are not a lot of people who speak English, so learn Cyrillic
Learn how to read the Cyrillic alphabet, it helps immeasurably
Reddit user: “gypsyblue”
It will seriously only take like 20 minutes of your time and then a bit of practice, and the payoff is significant. Russian has many cognates with Romance and Germanic languages (including English) so once you can read the letters, you will be able to decipher more words than you think. Plus you’ll be able to read street signs, bus schedules, the names of stops etc. Cyrillic is SO helpful.
Reddit user: “Artscyents”
English is not a common language in Russia. In the centre of the city, you may find some people who speak it, but, in general, you should be prepared to use Google translate. As the Reddit user mentioned above, Cyrillic can help you understand the names of the streets, but metro stations always duplicate their names in English, so you should not worry about missing your station.
You will be arrested without a passport.
Keep your passport on your person at all times. It’s the law, and they’ll arrest you if you don’t.
Reddit user: “Gypsyblue”
A passport is not a necessity in Russia. You are not going to get arrested if you don’t have one on you. However, if you want to get a drink or get into a bar, it is better to have something to identify yourself. So no, you will not get arrested for not having it, but it is better to have it just in case.
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LAST UPDATED: 6th June 2022
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Personal information is no longer needed by Everything TEFL Ltd but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that Everything TEFL Ltd securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to Everything TEFL Ltd collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think Everything TEFL Ltd has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the Everything TEFL Ltd processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the Everything TEFL Ltd has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, Everything TEFL Ltd is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the Everything TEFL Ltd.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to Everything TEFL Ltd, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
Everything TEFL Ltd
28 – 32 Pembroke Street,
Republic of Ireland
Telephone: +353 (1) 554 6227
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.