Wednesday, May 26, 2004

A Cheap Thrill Ride

I am still amazed by how inexpensive everything is here -- and by the difference in American and Russian attitudes about the price of goods and services. We left Alexander and Irena's home in Dzerzinsk at about 9:15 p.m. last night, and we ended up missing both the train and the bus to Nizhny, which is about a half-hour away. That meant we had to catch a cab.

Jeff, Masha and I stood discreetly at a distance as Alexander negotiated with a taxi driver. (He was afraid the driver would jack up the price if he knew Americans were going to be his passengers.) Alexander had expected the price to be 300 rubles, and both he and Masha looked disappointed for us when it was 350 rubles. That's a difference of about $2, and the total fare was the equivalent of about $15.

Fifteen dollars for three people to take a half-hour taxi trip through the Russian countryside, and Alexander and Masha thought it was going to bust the budget for Jeff and me! (Is that the right usage of "me" vs. "I," Libby???) Several years ago, I took a cab by myself from the eastern edge of Washington, D.C., to Falls Church, Va., and it cost me $35!!!

There is one thing that is the same whether you are here or in America, however: If you step into a taxi, your odds of surviving the day rapidly decline. At one point on the open road last night, the cabbie was driving 140 kilometers an hour (about 87 miles an hour). That may not sound like much, but the roads are in the condition of those in West Virginia -- and the cabs travel between the tram lines, so if a tram just happens to appear, some serious maneuvering might have been required.


Blogger David R said...

Clever to get the price w/o letting on that Americans would pay. Nice that Alexander and Masha are so considerate of you!! Your writings, especially your windows into the lives of the Christians there, make me want to move there!

10:32 PM  
Blogger Libby said...

Danny, pleeaaase write some negative logs so that Amy won't take Sophie to Russia

10:55 PM  
Blogger Rick & Peg said...


Does anyone own a vehicle there?

What is your food staple?

Oh yeah...what color are their eyes and what is their favorite color?

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Kimberly (anonymous was the only way I could get on--either this blogging thing is crazy or I'm just stupid, more likely the latter.)

I'm enjoying Danny's post so much, but not being at home in VA right now, I'm also enjoying everyone else's. Libby, I hope the dogs aren't driving you crazy and "Camera", I hope you're having fun with Chirpy. Charlie, I hope you are feeling better by now. And Danny's parents, Lord willing, I'll see you on Sunday evening. And Danny, we love you and we will eat our share and your share of crawfish tomorrow at "Mudbug Madness". And if Tom, Masha, or Jeff can come up with what sound a crawfish makes, I'll even enter the Crawfish calling contest. heeeerrre crawfish, crawfish, crawfish--suey, suey--who's a good crawfish, want a treat. And to end on an Elli potty update, today is the first day ever that she has remained clean and dry the whole day! Woo-Hoo! Since she still wants a treat everytime, though, she may weigh 300lbs before she turns 3!

Danny, I love you and to all my Christian family, I love you too and miss you,

Kimberly, Anthony and Elli -- in the swamps of Louisiana (actually, my sister's house in Shreveport).

7:56 AM  
Blogger Marilyn said...


Your logs are so entertaining and inspiring to the rest of us here in "The States". You just might have a future career as a journalist - oh, wait, you are one.
Keep up the good work, it sounds as if you guys are a real encouragement to the Russian brethren and sistern.


2:33 PM  
Blogger Libby said...

Hi Kimberly!! We miss you too... and yes, your dogs are driving us crazy!... But only the first day.. Peanut kept wandering off ignoring our call. Danny had said she was deaf, so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. But Holly was watching her one day, and when she didn't come when Holly called, Holly spanked her.. thinking she was stubborn, not realizing she was deaf. Well with the laying on of hands came a miraculous cure and she has stayed in the yard and comes when we call! Neither of them seem to be eating like they usually do... so they must miss you.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Libby said...

"Mudbug Madness".... "Crawfish calling contest"???....... but then I guess we have pet crawfish, and rabbits and starlings hoping around the kitchen.
A big Virginia WOO HOO to Ellie! And a tickle for the big blueberry...or is he a cherry today?

6:48 AM  

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