Back in Nizhny Novgorod

And it’s reminded me that the farther away from urban centers you get, the nicer people are.  We Midwesterners have always said so, and it’s true.  Here in this provincial big city (over a million people, but spread out, giving rise to a little-city feel), I can already feel the difference from the Petersburg-Moscow idea of velkommen: Glare at you and spit out a one word answer, how dare you ask a question, especially if you’re a foreigner, and most likely one of those hedonistic Americans, to boot!?

To give you a concrete example, I simply asked the ticket collector today if this was the most direct tram line to the Belinskovo, and she made sure that the new ticket lady after the shift-change tell me when to get off.  Now I really feel bad for all those times I “rode rabbits” (a colloquialism that means “to use public transport without paying”).

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