21 May 2003 - Moscow
Bolshoi, bolshoi, bolshoi

In Russian, bolshoi means big, which is a word you would think they would use more often, given their predilection for all things big.

Everything is huge is Russia: the country, the buildings, the statues, the women.

Well, the women seem to fall into two categories: extremely thin or extremely large. There seems to be some sort of correlation between age and size. I exagerrate a little, but not much.

The statues are just huge. What on Earth makes people think that having large monuments to themselves is such a great idea?

But maybe there is so much in Russia that they can afford to be profligant. The country is huge. Remember, it's taking us six nights to cross the country from Ulan Batar to St Petersburg by train. There are (at least) five time zones covering the country. And there is a lot of space in between the towns.

Russia is large enough and rich enough in raw materials to be self-sufficient. They don't need to be trading partners with anyone if they don't want to. And yet, all this potential seems to be wasted. Things are sometimes so inefficient, especially when you compare it with countries like Singapore, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Luxemburg. It's a paradox that the larger a country is, the less they seem to be able to do with their resources. The US is an exception to this, and I suppose that Russia is correct in trying to use them as an example for privatisaton, but they have a long, long way to go.


posted on Monday, June 09, 2003 - permalink
Comments: Post a Comment