Russia vs. America

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Now that I have spent at least a week in both countries, I am qualified to make the comparison.

1.  Airports:  Pulkovo Airport in Saint-Petersburg is modern, efficient, and easy to get around in.  But it doesn’t have a food court.  Score one for America.

2.  Grocery stores:  There is a produktovy magazin around every corner in Russia.  When we still had those in America, we called them ma and pa grocery stores.  Now, we have SuperWalmart.  Advantage Russia.

3.  English language:  In Russia, not that many people are fluent in English.  Most people speak a little bit.  On the other hand, Americans can’t spell and have atrocious grammar.  I’m calling this one a draw.

4.  Handicap Access:  An easy win for America, Russia has a long way to go here.  Ramps are not expensive.

5.  Politicians:  America has Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  Russia has Vladimir Putin.  A YUGE win for Russia.

6.  Drivers:  At first, I thought the drivers in Saint-Petersburg were insane.  But after a while, I figured it out.  There is a method to their madness.  There are rules, and everyone follows them.  It is an aggressive, yet effective system.  Advantage Russia.

7.  Guitarists:  America had Jimi Hendrix, Russia has Nikolai Gvozdev.  A slight edge to America.  But you can see Nikolai play tonight in Saint-Petersburg, at the corner of Ostrovskogo Ploshchad and Nevsky Prospekt, if the weather is nice.

8.  Women:  Russia has way more tall skinny women.  A win for them.

9.  Wifi:  The connections in Russia were spotty and I couldn’t upload photos to Facebook.  :(  A win for America.

10.  Manikins:  The female manikins in Russian stores have nipples.  Advantage Russia.

11.  Automobiles:  Most of the cars there are Japanese or German.  Not as many Ford, GM, or Chryslers.  We have way more gigantic pickup trucks and overdesigned SUVs.  America wins this one.

12.  Cleanliness:  There are litterbugs everywhere.  For a city of its size, Saint-Petersburg was pretty clean.  But, a slight advantage to America.

13.  Daylight Savings Time:  They don’t have it in Russia.  A sensible victory for them.

14.  Architecture:  Russia has thousands of years of history embedded in its architecture.  America has glass boxes and McMansions.  No contest here, a win for Russia.

15.  Capitalism:  In many ways, Russia is as modern as America.  But they have some catching up to do.  Advantage America.

16.  TV shows:  Most of the TV shows in Russia have a tough guy with a cut or bruise on his left cheek.  Advantage Russia.

17.  Hotels:  The Rossi Boutique Hotel was great and I will stay there again.  The food was good too.  But when it comes to meeting the needs of the modern, connected traveler, Russian hotels lag a bit.  A win for America.

18.  Football:  In America, the football is not round and mostly it gets carried around by hand.  But tackling is allowed.  Advantage America.

19.  Cheeseburgers:  In Russia, the cheeseburgers have sliced cucumbers instead of pickles.  A win for Russia.

20.  Clothing:  When you walk down Nevsky Proskpect, the main street in Saint-Petersburg, you can’t really tell by the clothing that you’re not somewhere in the US.  On average, Russians dress better than Americans.  Since I’m a slob, I’m making this a win for America.

The final score is America 10, Russia 9, with one tie.  America wins again.  Don’t we always?

As it turns out, people are the same everywhere.  If I learned anything in Saint-Petersburg, it is that the success of a trip to a foreign country is directly related to the skill of your taxi driver.  When you make your reservation with the friendly folks at the Rossi desk, tell them you want Roman Melnikov to be your driver.  He is a taxi ninja.  


Submitted: September 21, 2016

© Copyright 2021 Serge Wlodarski. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Criss Sole

Ha!!!! I had to read this as soon as I saw it. Excellent review, and I was so happy you came to visit. So many great memories. And yeah, our taxi driver was awesome :D

Wed, September 21st, 2016 11:30am


I'm cutting Russia some slack about their lack of golf courses. We'll work on that the next time I visit.

Thu, September 22nd, 2016 3:45am


This is a fairly good analogy of our differences. I believe we are extremely closer too one another then many believe.
I'm definitely going to return.....

Wed, September 21st, 2016 12:05pm


Yes. The people are very friendly, and the weather in August cannot be beat.

Thu, September 22nd, 2016 3:44am


A really entertaining and enjoyable read, Serge. And I reckon you're right, we're all pretty much the same wherever we happen to live. Brilliant!

Fri, September 23rd, 2016 7:43pm


Thanks, hope you read more!

Fri, September 23rd, 2016 2:06pm


i like how you called the language thing a draw. You should have added that americans know 2 or 3 russian words. Russians know 2 or 3 sentences.

Tue, January 17th, 2017 5:33pm


I could have added that Americans are very familiar with vodka and Russians like their beer and wine.

Wed, January 18th, 2017 2:28am


In Lithuania we have a saying "when two fight the third always wins".

Tue, March 6th, 2018 11:52am


Good one. And relevant to the current political situation between Russia and America. Neither country benefits, while China is winning big time.

Wed, March 7th, 2018 2:35am

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