September 20, 2005

Russia: So I have Returned (work in progress)

So, I have finally got round to adding something on my blog after a few months. For those of you who didn't know (and for those who forgot) I spent the whole of August in Moscow 'teaching' english whilst just generally having a load of fun whilst sightseeing having been shown around by a load of russian girls. Needless to say, I had a great time!!

Anyway, one thing that did strike me was the wealth inequalities that people over there face. For example, 80% of all of Russia's wealth is concentrated in Moscow. Outside the city centre it did resemble something like a third world country. A real eye opener, that's for sure. It is a shame, but it just goes to show how far mankind, as a species, still has to go in order to guarantee everyone a 'fair' chance in life that us in the West only take for granted.

However, as I have already said I had a great time, even though I still have to get to grips with the basics of this very difficult and at times frustrasting language. Would I go back? I honestly don't know. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed myself but I don't think I would have wanted to have been there for a year for example.

The reasons: Firstly, the russian police thoroughly deserve their reputation of living by the motto of 'money talks.' For example, being told that there was 'something wrong with my paperwork' in order to extract a 'fine' to avoid wasting my time in a russian cell whilst they checked it out did at times annoy me. I know that there is supposed to be a drive being led in order to remove corruption but obviously there is still some way to go on this count. For those of you who were wondering, I stood my ground with the russian police and argued that I had done nothing wrong and demanded to have someone from the embassy met me at the station if I was arrested. This was enough to basically get the police of my back, even if I did spend one whole afternoon in Moscow avoiding the police and just acting weird just to get away from their corrupt grasp.


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