Anirudh Agrawal
I have been wanting to write this answer for a long time but Ughh this procrastination, it doesn’t let us work. Right? Anyway, finally here it is :). So I happened to visit Russia for my physics internship. I lived in St. Petersburg, (yes, the most beautiful city of Russia!!).
1. The first thing you’ll notice when you set foot outside your plane is the weather, yes it's way too cold and suddenly you’ll remember all the stories of why invasion of Russia in winter was a terrible idea. But, on the brighter side, it does have decent summer and I was fortunate enough to see temperatures of around 20 degrees. (I visited during May-July)
2. Now, if you thought that English is a global language and spoken widely, well you are miserably wrong. Very few Russians can speak or understand English. All the information is in Russian and you will definitely have a hard time figuring things out. Even the billboards and famous restaurants show no sign of English language :) But on the brighter side, Russian does sound COOL!!


3. People in Russia don’t know much about modern India. Bollywood movies were very popular in the Soviet era around the 90s. So, yes they have seen all the bollywood classics :), if you are lucky enough you may even hear an old hindi song in the local supermarket. Also, they had this popular tea package with elephant on it which was from India.
4. One thing I noticed is that is different from India is that people don’t try to fool you if you don’t understand things. For example, they don’t overprice things or overcharge you.
Also, Unlike India, they have the same entry ticket to their museums and famous monuments for locals and foreigners alike which was very convenient for me being a student.


5. You will definitely enjoy the beautiful scenery around you, tall green trees and clean air. It also has many beautiful architecture like palaces and museums, and many soviet era artifacts. A trip to Russia is a delight for your eyes.
6. The public transport is amazing. Its super cheap just like India and you have multiple options available like trains, buses, subways and even boats!! But beware of those private taxis. They will definitely burn a hole in your wallet.


7. If you are vegetarian, then you will have all kinds of nightmares here. But I guess, that’s true for any country you visit as well. Also, they don’t drink tea with milk like us. They prefer green or black tea instead.
8. One peculiar thing which separates Russians from the west is that they do not smile randomly. Yeah, it’s awkward if you just smile at strangers. Also, they may look and sound unfriendly at first but are quite kind and helpful once you get to know them.


9. One thing that India should learn from Russia is the way they treat their women. There is no gender discrimination and women roam freely, independently and without fear. It’s common to see women driving buses and train :)
10. Russia is home to beautiful people and you will have a good time roaming the streets :) The fashion sense is amazing and people always want to look well dressed, even when going to nearby local places.


11. Finally, PDA (Public Display of Affection) like kissing and hugging is quite common and may seem strange at first for an Indian.
All in all, you are sure to fall in love with the country, trust me on this!!