#ToldTale: Driving in Russia

Road in Kurai Steppe

Yesterday I met a Russian émigré, occupation unknown. He told me that he has driven across several countries, including the U.S.A., Argentina, Turkey, the Netherlands, Mexico, and a couple others I can’t recall. These places have passable-to-excellent public roads, he said, and most of them have some kind of public rest areas along these roads.

But the one country he won’t traverse is his own: at one time they had almost as many nuclear weapons as the United States, but not a single rest area in vast stretches of the country. Never mind the frequent shakedowns, non-existent asphalt, and bleak scenery.

A country, he said, may be judged on the quality of its public facilities, and in Russia, you have to make shit in the bushes.


Photo credit: akudrin

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • JALINE March 25, 2012, 21:18

    Just read a book that was sort of about this – Cars for Comrades – which dealt with the Soviet automobile industry. Two Russians who toured the U.S. came back telling tales, not about monuments in D.C., or the New York City skyscrapers, but about the roads. To them, the defining features of the U.S. were the roads and the gas stations, parts stores, and advertisements that usually accompanied them.


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