Behind the Iron Curtain
My Russian blog audience is almost as big as my UK audience this week.
Whenever I think of Russia, I think of my school trip in 1970.
We docked at Leningrad - as it was known - and were greeted by starving children willing to give a week's chocolate ration for a tin badge worth $0.10c. While within walking distance stands one of largest, and most notable opera houses of the world - The Kirov Theatre.
On one hand, you had the poor, probably eating stale black bread and drinking vodka because the water is unfit to drink; and on the other hand, the rich were probably eating caviar and drinking champagne.
Images like these are burned in the memory of 16-year old schoolboy. Even now, thinking back makes me cry at what we were offered for what we gave. The value wasn't in the item's worth but in what it meant to those giving it to us.
Since my time
I realise things have changed since the trip, I don't expect much has changed. As Karl Marx said, "The rich tend to get richer while the poor get poorer."
In my life, I met people who professed the communist manifesto to be a good idea. There is one major problem most are rich and have been nowhere near Russia to witness the harshness of the regime.