10 Rules for Doing Business in Moscow - UPDATED
2. No, you are wrong. Your driver has probably been picked because he drives MORE safely than the average Russian
3. 30% of all coffee in Moscow is OK. 70% tastes like its been made from ground squirrel droppings and tree bark. The decor, cost or location of the establishment is not a guide.
4. There are three standards of eye contact you will experience in Moscow:
a/ Blatant, slightly aggressive yet also blank faced staring = I am a normal Russian
b/ No eye contact whatsoever = I am a waiter or waitress in a restaurant you are sitting in
c/ Eye contact with an open, warm smile = I am a hooker working your hotel bar for punters
5. Other Russian translations:
"Bored, uninterested, slow and unhelpful" = "Waitress".
"Bored, uninterested, slow, unhelpful and rude = "Waiter"
6. There is no word in Russian for restaurant. The closest word actually translates as "Totally OTT themed eating establishment, ideally with the most obscure theme imaginable, extending throughout the menu, decor and costumes of the staff."
6.a. And you can choose from the sushi menu for your starter. Sushi is a part of every theme.
7. There is no Russian word for "personal space". If you are a small women and its a tall man then it really is very unpleasant which is why most Russian women wear very high heels (see point 11)
8. Don't drink Russian beer. It's all poisoned
9. Cream cakes. They look nice but don't be fooled. They are all made from a slightly denser version of the "not really-cream" that gets sprayed from a can.
10. The petrol smell does go, eventually. It then turns into a nasty, nagging taste at the back of your throat that lasts until about 3 days after you get home.
11. Never check in luggage on the way out. Its no less likely to arrive than anywhere else, but if you have to buy clothes in Russia, you may decide that it is better to go straight home and not cut the deal rather than wear Russian shoes...
12. Fags are cheaper in the airport before duty free
13. Most Russians do not wear deodorant or perfume. They are confident that their own body odour acts as a perfectly reasonable substitute. You may want to plan you trip to avoid periods of warmer weather accordingly
14. Yes, I know there were supposed to be 10 rules. But "President Putin decided last week...."