You have decided to get a visa to Russia and visit this amazing country. Before going there, you should know some facts about Russians.
1. Do not expect western-style 'open' smiles from Russian people.
Sometimes Russian people seem gloomy and unfriendly. It is partly true, but you should know that a rare Russian smiles just to be polite. In Russia, smile is a sign of friendship and genuine sympathy so you can rely on a smiling Russian.
2. Do not be afraid to ask help
Always ask somebody what to do when in doubt or in trouble. Usually Russian people help those who ask but if you do not, they assume that you can handle it.
3. Be careful
Follow simple rules:
do not walk around in the dark alone;
do not take a taxi with anybody inside the car except a driver;
avoid suspicious groups of men in the streets;
try not to demonstrate your expensive belonging like watches, wallets, cameras or mobile phones; keep it close to you and do not leave unattended.
4. Speak Russian even if you speak it badly
Russian loves when foreigners try to speak Russian. They find it nice of you and try to help you to learn.
5. Russians may seem loud
Normally Russians speak pretty loud, especially in small cities or villages. Just be ready for it and try to learn when they have a row and when they have an ordinary conversation.
6. Do not use your camera everywhere
Do not take pictures of the underground Metro system, railways, bridges, dams, airports, train stations and all official buildings. Although Moscow metro is really impressing and worth seeing, we do not recommend you to use your camera there.
7. Do not be very nice
Being too nice may be considered in Russia as an invitation to flirt. Especially that could cause a problem if you are a woman.
8. Carry your passport with you
Carrying a passport with visa is important in Russia because the police can ask you to show it. If you do not have one you might be arrested or fined.
9. Be sincere
Frankness is the quality that Russians appreciate the most. If you trust your Russian friend show it by sharing your problems or thoughts. Just be ready to listen to him when it will be his turn to pour his heart away.
10. Do not overestimate yourself
When you come to Russia in winter, be sure you are provided with warm clothes and shoes. In case you are not used to low temperature, arm with proper medicine.