Russian Roads – An Oxymoron
by Dave Essel
My translation of Yulia Latynina’s piece from Yezhedevny Zhurnal in today’s issue shows what has come of Russia’s efforts to build a competitor to Silicon Valley. Meanwhile, one cannot help but be reminded of other pressing Russian issues that may be getting left behind.
No Westerner who has not been to Russia, for instance, can truly grasp what a Russian means by bad roads (or, by the same token – a “good” Russian road). In fact, some of the infrastructure labelled road or highway in Russia would be deemed impassable by loggers in Oregon.
As I translated the road section of Milov/Nemtsov’s latest report, I could not help googling for things about roads in Russia. Laughing just to keep from crying should be the supreme Russian phrase and not a line from the Delta.
I collected a few pictures for fun.
From English Russia (click here for more), I particularly enjoyed this one
because of the oh-so-Putinesque speed limit sign! As with most things in Russia from “democracy”, to “world financial centre”, to “nanotechnologies”, the talk is talked but the road can’t be walked.
Even in this field, Russia suffers from the usual gigantism.
But I think last word should go to an Australian couple who rode a BMW bike across Siberia and without intending it summed up the country in a dozen or so words:
… in the dry they just can’t be avoided.
AND THAT’S RUSSIA.