Friday, December 25, 2009

From Russia With Love

First of all, Merry Christmas to everyone!

I was in Moscow day before yesterday (yup, the once enemy territory). The city is so beautiful with its grand architecture (specifically the Red Square) and its Ladas, the car that runs no matter what the weather conditions. On top of all that, all the snow around made the beauty of the city even more impressive.

On the other hand, the people of Moscow are some of the rudest people I have come across. But then, that might have something to do with them being under Communism for such a long time. Where all their lives were dedicated (or supposed to be) to the State and nothing else. All they lived and died for was the State and over a period of less than 3 years, that was gone. All of a sudden these people find themselves in the world of Capitalism (or some form of it) and they have to start all over again.

People in Moscow, as some might assume, weren't really poor at all. I actually saw more Maybachs in one night in Moscow than I have seen in Dubai since I have been here. The streets were filled with expensive cars that I won't (and can't) even dream of buying. People in Moscow are rich and they make sure to spend money wherever they go (they have many monday-thursday 24 hour "night clubs"). They are not happy though. Any store you go, the people behind the counter look at you like the enemy has entered. You speak in English and you are their worst customer. They don't care whether you buy something or not. Well, actually not only if you're a foreigner but they don't even care if their own people buy something or not. They probably still have the old mentality...that people will come and buy no matter how they're treated because the supplies are scarce. Although that is not the case anymore as the stores have regular supplies but the mentality of the people will take time to change!

Another thing, I can actually count on my finger-tips how many people I saw in Moscow actually smiling. Its not like they are ugly people or anything, I think they're very beautiful people but they don't know how to smile. They look depressed. It makes you sad to look at them. A frown and rudeness is a common thing in Moscow it seems...its a way of life.

I also noticed, with the old technology around, that Russians are very intelligent. But because, again, they had been State-focused for such a long time that now that they're somewhat free to think for themselves and on their own, they have no idea what's going on. If you notice their behavior around things that are post 1992 for example, you might think they have never been out of their caves (which of course is not the case). What I think is, that their genius has been constrained, and as a result drained for the time being, by the State that never let them think about anything but the betterment of the "fatherland".

My walk down Moscow's streets left me thinking...if Russia had, from the beginning, concepts of liberty, justice and pursuit of happiness embedded in its constitution--they wouldn't have any problem being as great as the United States is today. And vice versa. If these concepts are taken away from the United States, and the government control is expanded over all facets of American life (the process seems to be underway), it won't be long before I write something similar about the American people...that Americans are very intelligent people but their genius has been drained by the State and I find them to be the most unhappy and rude people on earth.

On a positive note though: While people in Moscow still reminisce about the past and sometimes wish the State control would come back, Americans still are very much in control of their own destiny and the government control is still very limited. We'll see what happens in the coming years though.

(I will put up pictures of Moscow soon).


Thorum said...

I wanted to thank you for your good work and wish you a happy and healthy New Year!! I married a Russian by the way. ;)

The Anti-Jihadist said...

I've always had mixed feelings towards the Russians.

They have a rich cultural and literary history, almost as vast as the Russian landscape. Ten percent of the country or more perished in WW2, with much of their country ravaged by invading armies, but they still triumphed. They are survivors.

On the other hand, Russia gives aid and comfort to some of the worse tyrannical regimes imaginable (i.e. Iran). In the 20th century, Russia put in power followers of one of the most bloodthirsty ideologies in history, i.e. communism. These are people who have piled up such a huge pile of corpses, that they have given Islam a run for its money in the genocide department.