June 22, 2021

The Mai Tais Are Worth It



The Mai Tais Are Worth It
Ah, nothing like the brisk Baltic coast in July. Strandkorbs at Ahlbeck Beach, Wikimedia Commons

Who doesn't have wanderlust induced by COVID restrictions? We sure do, and apparently lots of Russians do, too; so much that they're taking on debt for a chance to slip away for a while.

According to a recent report in Izvestia, a record number of Russians have itchy feet thanks to being locked inside for so long. Lack of international travel isn't discouraging them, and this, coupled with what for many have been unemployed months, has led to skyrocketing demands for "vacation loans."

A surge in loans has occurred this spring – in some locales, up 160 percent from last year – and it's estimated that a quarter of borrowers plan to use the cash to relax. While the wave is a common phenomenon, this year's run is one of the largest in memory, with amounts averaging between R700,000 and R800,000 (about $9,500-11,000). That is over 40 percent higher than in previous years, with dubious repayability.

But in the end, isn't the R&R worth it? We can't say we blame them for wanting to escape for a while. Just watch out for bears.

You Might Also Like

New Economic Policy
  • March 01, 2021

New Economic Policy

In the Soviet era, NEP had always been regarded as a strange, only vaguely understood, and not very sensible chapter in Soviet history: a pause between the heroic Civil War and the no less heroic Five-Year Plans.
Smells Like Money
  • April 09, 2021

Smells Like Money

Soon American coins won't be the only "scents" that are exchanged inside Sberbank's buildings, as Russia's national bank plans to introduce its own perfume. 
Heavily Taxed
  • March 30, 2021

Heavily Taxed

While some countries are considering doing away with coin money, this Russian citizen is still making the most out of their rubles and kopeks. 
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

The Best of Russian Life

The Best of Russian Life

We culled through 15 years of Russian Life to select readers’ and editors’ favorite stories and biographies for inclusion in a special two-volume collection. Totalling over 1100 pages, these two volumes encompass some of the best writing we have published over the last two decades, and include the most timeless stories and biographies – those that can be read again and again.
Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
The Spine of Russia

The Spine of Russia

This coffee table book is the photographic journal of an epic 6000-kilometer road trip. The book includes over 200 compelling images of Russians and Russian places met along the way, plus a dozen texts (in both English and Russian) on everything from business to education, from roads to fools.
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955