Many of you know so much about Russia! Some of you were fortunate enough to go there, others spent a lot of time reading about it. Whatever the case, I hope the information below fuels your curiosity even more and propels you to dive deeper into the culture and history of this country, a country so big that it has 9 time zones. What follows are some interesting bits of information that might catch you by surprise!
1. The Russian language doesn’t contain “the” and “a” in it (we do not have articles). Perhaps this is why you will often hear a native Russian speaker, while speaking in English, say “I want to go to store” or “Please give me cup of coffee.” Though it may take longer to say certain phrases and words in Russian, it isn’t because we have too many unnecessary words.
2. Many of you know that Moscow has several McDonald’s restaurants but did you know that the biggest one can seat 700 people? A large movie theater in America might be able to accommodate that many patrons. Imagine making enough food to feed all of those people at once. The store is located in Pushkinsklaya Square and has seen lines stretched out around many blocks. This store can also seat 200 people outside.
3. We all love to celebrate New Years – Russians love it so much that some do it twice. That’s right, once on January 1 and then again on January 13th. The latter is for the Eastern Orthodox Church. I suppose it is a good idea to have 13 days between them both so you can have time to rest and recover from the first one.
4. Do you remember the planet Pluto? Did you know that Russia is roughly one million square miles larger than what used to be the smallest of the nine planets in our Solar System?
5. Palm trees do exist in Russia! This means that there must be parts of Russia that have tropical-like climate. Far from the cold stereotypes of how people view Russian weather, the Krasnodar region sees little to no snowfall and in the summertime temperatures can reach 40-43C. I have been to the Black Sea growing up and absolutely loved the climate!
6. In Russia, it is not only the lowly drug addict that can be found getting high; it turns out that some bears also enjoy the feeling. Sniffing jet fuel is a favorite and dangerous past time for many bears. They get addicted to the vapors and then pass out. Being that bears can weigh so much, this has been known to cause trouble in some airports. I wonder if they get the munchies too?
7. Though it has already come and gone, September 12th is known as the “Day of Conception” in Russia. Couples will get a half day at work so that they can go home and procreate in hopes of having a baby on June 12th. I wonder if many people get paid for the half of the day they spend at home? Seems like Russians really put a priority on increasing the number of citizens. Perhaps they should speak with China or India to find out what they did to grow so much .
As always, I welcome your thoughts and opinions. As vast as Russia is in size, there is no shortage of “things we didn’t know” about it. Should you have any interesting bits of information, please share in the comment section.