Siberia Tales pt 3 – The eagles get restless in the autumn

I started this in Russia but never finished it…here goes nothing

Russia vs The West – the little differences


  • Russians drive fast
  • Russians drive like maniacs
  • Russians have no rules, the only rule that applies is the one the guy in the biggest car adheres too
  • Russian cars run the gamut form your sterotypically communist Lada to the poshes, blingest Porsche Cayenne/Lambo/Generic US hotrod you can think of. Traffic lights = race start lights
  • Your average russian motorcyclist drives round and round the city revving the bike to extreme levels every time he passes outside my hotel


  • Weddings are big here
  • We appear to be staying at Wedding Central, Tyumen. Thursday, Friday and Saturday the hotel foyer is full of them. Sitting downstairs for an hour once I counted 4 Brides coming past, and another car (always a white Hummer limo) was pulling up outside
  • Wedding dresses are big here, really big! almost as big as the high heels (which are astronomically high everywhere in Russia). Even better there is a Bridal shop,one of four we ve seen in a city centre that takes little more than 15 mins walk to cross, which has actual real life mannequins that sway side to side in the dress of choice every day.
  • All weddings run like military operations. for each step there will be a professional photographer and a professional cameraman following every move and ordering the happy (?) couple into every sort of cheesy pose you could imagine. They will be shot walking out of the bar, out of the hotel getting intot he car etc several times, on their own, before the big moment itself. This is not some shaky video they re getting, this is Hollywood!
  • Wedding processions are a couple of cars long and all of them drive through the town with their hands permanently on the horn. Adding to the usual cacophany of noise that is de rigeur on the roads here (see above). We ve only observed this once but there was one bride who got out of her car and proceeded to strut down the centre of the road through the traffic jam – Ruth Parry, I was dissapointed not to see youemulate this down the A470 a few weeks previously


  • Given the topic on driving, can you blame Russian cyclists for riding on the pavement?
  • Most cyclists are kids on low range European bikes, Merida and focus were particualrly common although there were one or 2 Treks
  • I never went but apparently many of the parks have dedicated MTB trails, certainly there were one or two serious looking riders out who had been playing inthe mud
  • I saw one road club out – fair play to them, road cycling in Russia must be horrific!


  •  Service in Russia is based on whatever dish is ready first. Regardless if that dish is a starter, main, side, desert or whatever
  • Beer in Russia is good, A secret stolen from the time in Eastern Europe I guess.

I could have added more, but if I’m honest, I ve forgotten…

Peace out

About ddraver

A Cornish petroleum geologist living in the Netherlands. Expect some stories about travels, comments of the perils of being an ex-pat and some mindless ranting/musing on cycling.
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