when i walk around the city, there are obvious differences between here and back home. some of those are the language you hear spoken, the signs you expect to understand, and the local culture. one example of the latter, is tv. there are shows i've come to expect in every country that you can't escape from. such as "insert country" idol, big brother, and mtv. there's even the same gameshows everywhere i go. unfortunate, since that's one of the things i don't miss about living in the u.s. but fortunately there's also different shows to choose from. some are strange like the one that shows car accidents after the fact and interviews the drivers. some are surreal like the russian version of "married with children" (even down to the same scripts used 20 years ago) i usually only watch russian tv when i workout or to see if i can practice my russian. but lately, i've been watching just to see what's on.
last weekend i tried shopping around town but ended up finding nothing but clothing stores. i was told that russians have a higher regard for dressing well. i can speak for a few, when they say they feel under dressed when they run to the local grocery. i guess the abundance of clothing stores support that fact. anyway i hope to shop around some more weekend to see what else i can find. the only thing that i really wish i'd shipped was a nice set of dumbbells. so far i've found a couple places that sell sporting equipment but what they have the most of are...clothes. a friend told me that weights are not something people want to buy here. if they want to workout they go to the gym. i think this is one of the many differences between vlad and moscow. talking to my counterparts in moscow, they tell stories of it being more of a metropolitan city compared to the far east. which suits me fine since i came here to see vladivostok which is a bit off the beaten path. finally, i don't know if it's true or not but i've heard locals say, russians speak faster here than in western russia. now that i can believe.