Domodedovo Airport (DME), Moscow, Russia. Just paid 219 Roubles for another extremely average cup of coffee. 219 Roubles is $11 AUD. They don’t even have a what we call “flat white”. If you want it white, you have to buy a cappuccino or a latte and they think they are so cool and cafe latte is so super duper that they can just charge you this astronomical price for this dodgy cup of coffee that is not even full. This is mind blowing and it seems to be normal in today’s Russia. This is the side of the new Russia which I hate from the very bottom of my heart. It’s expensive.
Russia is also very sweet. Yes it is. There is a lot of sugar. People eat a lot of sugar. People put a lot of sugar in their tea and coffee. People just eat plain sugar cubes (and lollies, honey, sugar and then lollies again) just like that. People eat lollies, chocolate with high-sugar drinks like dodgy fruit juices and then they complain. We like to complain. I was invited to a friend’s place for dinner, a young family with a 2-yr old son. A word is apparently around that their son is “very active” and the mother herself called him “hyper” when I got there. Guess what he ate while we were having potato and marinated mushrooms for dinner? Lollies! Actually, no. First, he ate some chocolate. Then some lollies. And then he collected cream topping from our cake pieces, which he really enjoyed. Then he found a hairdryer and started jumping up and down and banging it in the wall. In the meantime the mother was sharing her concerns with me that the boy had tooth caries and they couldn’t find a quick fix for it. A different mother with a little boy (1.7yr) boarded the same train with me, going to Moscow. After saying hello’s she complained that her son never sits still, probably just wanted to warm me. Then she pulled out a bag of lollies and one of those juice boxes and was feeding it to her baby till he fell asleep. When he woke up (it was an overnight train), she just stuck that juice bottle in his mouth. For breakfast she gave him cream biscuits and more sweet juice. Some one tell the Russian mothers that there may be a link between the amount of sugar and hyperactivity of their children!!!
Russia is very late. People wake up late and go to bed late. Kids go to bed after 9pm. The children’s “good night kids” show on tv is at 8:45PM and I think it goes for 30mins. People also tend to catch up later. 8 or 9pm is often a normal time to go and visit a friend. When going home after that, there are still old women selling apples in a bucked at a bus stop at 11.30pm. Why sleep when you can sleep in.
Russia is good. No country is without faults. But there is always that special connection to the place where you were born.