Preconceived ideas smashed in Ekaterinburg

You all know how we all are victims of preconceived ideas, spread by the media or those that “know”.

Examples:

All German dance on tables and drink beer.

In South Africa we have lions in our backyards.

Polish people can only but steal.

Russia = vodka, Kalashnikovs, prostitutes, drugs

It is true that all these things do happen, but to what extent?

Thanks to my wonderful KLR I could discover some truths that didn’t fit with the popular view.

Let us take Russia as example. Until a day before I arrived in Russia I received only but warnings.

I was travelling quite cat-footed in this big, wonderful country. The first night I spent at those wonderful people of Luga. The first week, however, I spent most time out on the pampas, (I know, not Russia), to avoid all these dangers. Then I met Vladimir, Alexei and their parents in a town whose name I still do not know. It was one of the best experiences of my ride so far.

But the Russian women … Much is said about them. The Olga’s that are going to try ….

Then came my rest days in Yekaterinburg. On my first rest day, armed with a map only in Russian, I tackled the city. First of all I met Sophie, a young lady from China, yes, Red China. She spoke an excellent English and gave me a city map in English. Together we started discovering that wonderful city. In a church where we witnessed a baptize ceremony being conducted we met Julia, a Russian lady now living and working in Switzerland. We three continued our walk through the city and ended the day with a long coffee-and-cake session in a coffee shop. We had so much deep talk that it felt as if I had known those two already my whole life. Sophie and Julia were stars on my first day in Yekaterinburg.

Over Couchsurfing I met Marina, a lawyer from the city. We had coffee and dinner and a long chat. What a brilliant lady! The day thereafter she invited me to a birthday party and dropped me off at my small hotel after the party. Marina was everything what the preconceived ideas didn’t tell us. She was a professional, well-educated, well-travelled, a very good example of how our human beings should be. Marina, if you ever should read this, thank you! Spasiba!

Then still in Yekaterinburg I met Elena, another professional lady working at a top-ranked company. We had coffee, a lot of laughs, much to tell, and again I was touched by the sincerity of the Russian soul. Elena wasn’t on man-searching either, doesn’t want to leave Russia, feels about her country as I about South Africa. What a lady she is! Thanks Elena!

Then I think back about Vladimir, a qualified engineer that could earn much more abroad. He doesn’t want to leave Russia because he is a patriot.

I know that these few encounters may not be representative of a whole country but I want to mention them as people that seldom get mentioned in the write-ups about Russia.

And after two weeks of travelling in Russia I still haven’t see a prostitute or a Kalashnikov, was never offered drugs and had only a tot of Vodka.

What a wonderful way, on a motorbike coming from the other side of the globe, to have my own preconceived ideas being smashed by wonderful educated people!

Now I am going to have a beer on all the Vladimirs, Marinas and Elenas of this wonderful country. And about my experiences with people in Tyumen, not those two hotel ladies of yesterday, I will write later.

I love this way of travelling more and more!

About Lodie

Africa, Africa, Africa!
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6 Responses to Preconceived ideas smashed in Ekaterinburg

  1. Antoinette says:

    Wow, Lodie. Jy is ‘n baie besige man! So baie dames in so ‘n kort tydjie… 😉

  2. Christine R-G says:

    When you make an assumption about me, you distort and demean every good intention I have; you diminish any opportunity I have to be part of a circle of goodness and a companionship of mind and soul. And then my every strength and vulnerability is bound to be misread.
    Miguel Ruiz speaks of 4 agreements:
    Be impeccable with your word;
    Don’t make assumptions;
    Don’t take things personally;
    Do the best you can.

  3. Christine R-G says:

    You are fortunate, Lodie, that you don’t need a lot of time for new friends in foreign countries to ‘read’ you correctly and join your worldwide circle of soul companions. Travel safely and joyfully.

  4. Arno Jordaan says:

    I am pleased that you have this experience in lovely Russia. I worked there for a short time some years back and fell in love with the people. The people I came in contact with was warm caring souls. Enjoy every mile, and thanks for sharing this trip

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