How do Russians Celebrate the New Year?

Unlike any other western countries, the New Year celebration in Russia is much more festive compared to Christmas, not only because the calendar for the Orthodox church itself is different, but also because the history behind it has a big impact. Being under the communist regime, which created a separation between government and religion, and also dampened the church’s power over the country for a long time, has caused Russians to lose interest in celebrating any religious holidays. Also, it was prohibited by the government. That is why New Year is another way to celebrate what you need to celebrate (Psst… Russians always find a way to…

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One Day in Kronstadt

Visiting Saint Petersburg without paying a quick visit to its surrounding towns is like having a cup of coffee without sugar. For me it may taste a bit odd, but for many others it would be the perfect taste.It’s not a must, but it will make your trip more enjoyable, especially if you have more time to spend in Russia and have great curiosity about this country; whether about its long history, philosophy of life, or its people. And nothing is better than ambling around its small towns, where locals are simply doing their own errands, caring nothing about how they look to tourists. That doesn’t mean…

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Giving Birth in Russia Part 1

Imagine that you are staying in a very old hospital. The doctors are serious, the nurses stern. The facilities are the bare minimum needed during your hardest time of labor. This might make you think twice about getting pregnant in Russia. But, wait...Is this the description of a hospital you get from Hollywood movies? If it is, please simply turn your television off and find more reliable sources! Most of the hospitals spread throughout much of the cities were built during the Soviet era, which will make you judge at first glance that the hospital is just "old"; not fashionable, not looking like the modern, sophisticated hospitals in…

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Banks in Russia, Which One Should You Choose?

Finding a credible bank is not an easy job, especially if you are an expat living in a new country. A country which, according to some judgmental people (even though they have never set foot there before), is so dangerous and corrupted that you'd better not move there or even think to save your money there! Putin will use it for maintaining his power! Oh, no! Believe me, dear, what you have in your bank account is about enough for those oligarchies to buy a box of their favorite candy or a toothpick. To be honest, I used to believe that and refused to transfer my cash…

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Travel With RZD. How Comfortable Is it?

Living in a country with grotesque territory is some kind of blessing for a person with itchy feet like me. It just means I will have more things to see and places to explore. As an Indonesian I can't complain much. Everyone who asks me about my country of origin says, "Wow! You are so lucky. You can go to Bali because it is so close." However, Indonesia is definitely not only about Bali. BUT I don’t live in Indonesia anymore. I am ‘trapped’ here in Russia where people tend to say, "Oh gosh. You are crazy. What on earth are you doing there?" Believe it or…

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