October 28, 2021

Reindeer, Restaurant Overload, and the Best Taxi Drivers in All the Russias


Reindeer, Restaurant Overload, and the Best Taxi Drivers in All the Russias
In Odder News

In this week's Odder News, reindeer roam the streets, Muscovites fill the streets to prove that announcing lockdowns well in advance is a good idea, and those yellow and green delivery guys (also on the streets) are doing well.

  • Maybe Russia does have wild megafauna roaming its streets, like everyone thinks. This week, reindeer were spotted in suburban St. Petersburg. They were recorded trying to get gas and blocking traffic all over the Leningrad Region. The owner retrieved the reindeer after they went viral, explaining that they had been frightened by a pack of dogs and ran away.
  • Moscow and St. Petersburg are getting ready for the strictest pandemic lockdowns since the first one in March-April 2020. Muscovites celebrated by piling into restaurants the last weekend they would be able to without a QR code. Restauranteurs reported 20% more reservations than they took before the pandemic once the impending lockdown was announced. Because the best way to not catch a dangerous airborne virus is to dine with a crowd – or even to stand in a tight, Russian-style line to process the paperwork required to get a vaccine and a QR code.
  • Don't feel too badly for the food delivery guys wearing matching rain-resistant coats and cube-backpacks, riding their bikes in all kinds of weather. Some of them have been making R200,000 ($2,845) per month since much of the migrant labor force left Russia during the pandemic. At the same time, demand for couriers of all kinds has increased. This is well above the average Russian monthly salary at the moment and nothing to sneeze at. Still, gig work is not easy, especially for those braving rain and snow.
  • Speaking of gig workers, Yandex held a contest for its taxi drivers and deemed 15 of them "perfect drivers." The Yandex Go app workers each earned a prize of R50,000 ($711) for especially safe driving. A key element of the contest for big-city taxi drivers was "interacting" with electric scooters, a hot topic at the moment.

You Might Also Like

Scooter Blacklist
  • May 26, 2021

Scooter Blacklist

The Moscow City Duma is proposing safety regulations that will help prevent Muscovites from scootering into peril. 
The Яs Have It
  • August 10, 2020

The Яs Have It

Yandex, Russia's Google almost-equivalent, is making moves to expand with products including "YaBank," "YaSafe," and "YaCash."
Oh, Deer.
  • February 24, 2020

Oh, Deer.

Sakhalin Island deputies introduce legislation to revive a shrinking livestock trade: reindeer herding.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

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.
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. 
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.
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
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.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
The Little Humpbacked Horse

The Little Humpbacked Horse

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
Russia Rules

Russia Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
Steppe / Степь

Steppe / Степь

This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.

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.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955