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The Real Russia: What It Would Be Like to Be at the Games - They're Not All Spies

by Mary Kay Wright

Myth Busting:  7 Common Misconceptions Russians say the rest of the world has about them

1. “We are all spies”
Yes, if you believe Hollywood! The Cold War is over, there aren't KGB agents around every dark corner.

2. “Russia is dangerous” Not any more dangerous than any other large country. Every city has it’s bad areas and the same safety rules that apply everywhere else apply in Russia. 

3. “We drink vodka all day” Russians really do love their alcohol and have a high tolerance but that doesn’t mean everyone is an alcoholic. Alcohol is present at most occasions but as a matter of custom and tradition.

4. “Russians are all miserable and gloomy” As you walk around the streets of Russia you will notice that hardly anyone ever smiles. Showing emotion is considered strange or impolite. Smiles, laughter and warmth are reserved for the privacy of Russian homes with friends and family.

5. “We hate Americans” Actually Russians love American trends, music and culture. When they finally make it over like Starbucks did in 2007 – they are insanely popular!

6. “It’s always cold and gray in Russia” Yes - Russia’s winters are brutal but so are the Midwest’s!  Russia has a mild spring and fall and in some places extremely warm summers. The sun does shine on that side of the world too.

7. “There are dancing bears and babushkas everywhere”  Bears – yes but in the same wilderness areas as the rest of the world. Sadly, Babushkas don’t play as big of a role as they used to in Russian culture – this is a truth that is fading out. 

The time I spent in Russia was an eye opening and fascinating experience. I decided to write this guest blog because every time the topic of Russia comes up in conversations….people can’t seem to get enough about what it was really like to visit!  So don’t be afraid to add Russia to your own bucket list while you are watching the Games at home.