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 Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
22 Russian Crosswords

22 Russian Crosswords

Test your knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history and society with these 22 challenging puzzles taken from the pages of Russian Life magazine. Most all the clues are in English, but you must fill in the answers in Russian. If you get stumped, of course all the puzzles have answers printed at the back of the book.
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.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
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.
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. 
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
A Taste of Chekhov

A Taste of Chekhov

This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.
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.

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