The Brazilian spoke about how the Russian changed his life
Zizo Asnis - Editor and writer of Porto Alegre, southern Brazil, but it has Russian roots. He writes articles for the guides to cities around the world, but Russia has become a very special place for him - it inspired him to write the first book - "Transibiriana". Here's what he wrote about his visit to Russia:
"I am very much expected from my first trip to Russia. My grandparents were Russian, and I've always wanted to visit their homeland. I knew a lot about Russian culture and even tried some Russian dishes that my grandmother cooked. I help make travel guides, and I used to read them! Good guidebooks about Russia contain a lot of historical information. So I thought that I was well prepared for the trip. But after I came to Russia in 2004, my trip has turned into a real adventure - and even taught me some survival skills.
You can communicate not only with words
As a tourist, I decided to go first to Moscow and St. Petersburg. In large Russian cities, there is no language barrier: it is not difficult to find someone in English speaking (I must admit, it was much more difficult during my first visit, than it is now!). Although some cashiers at the stations do not understand foreigners, there is always another way to communicate: you can simply write the name of your destination. Most Russians know how to read the letters.
"Transibiriana - a train ride on the Soviet world"
But in the depths of things are different and you have to solve this problem: during my trip to Siberia, I learned how to use gestures to communicate. Some people on the train did not speak in English, but in Russia you know: you can communicate not only with words. Now I know that the foreigner in Russia should not be ashamed. He should talk to people, ask questions, even stupid sometimes. This I knew from my own experience. I do not believe that anyone can understand and get an idea of Russia simply by reading books and studying its history (although this is also important). It is impossible to understand the Russian mentality, has not been in this country.
The harsh in the best sense of the word
Russian are unique and differ in their history and geography. I think that the image of the Russians as a harsh and hard of people connected with their history. Imagine kings, communists, Stalinism, the Iron Curtain and the insulation - and all this for some 100 years. And yet - the geography and the weather: in order to survive in such a climate, people have to be harsh, but in the good sense of the word. They are always ready to help others.
Since the conductor friendly (the word "conductor" I learned on the train)
I met many good people in Russia. After my first trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg, I knew I had to come back to this country, to come back in the heartland. So the next time I naturally chose the trip to Trans-Siberian Railway (my book about this journey came in the Portuguese language, and I hope that one day it will be translated into Russian).
So, I sat down in this legendary train in October 2015. On his first stop in the city of Perm, I met Alexander, who owns a small travel agency in the city, and together we went to the Museum of the History of Political Repression - Perm-36 (Gulag Museum).
I think that this place is a must visit every tourist who travels in Russia (at least in Siberia). I was surprised to learn that few Russians know about the Soviet labor camps of the Stalin era. Thanks to the Russian guide and translation of Alexander I understood everything and I can say for sure: just knowing the black pages of history, knowing what it looks like "historical evil", we can be sure that it will not happen again (for example, the Nazi concentration camps, such as Auschwitz) .
It's time for a snack
On that day, 25 October, was my birthday, which I mentioned in passing to Alexander. I was very surprised when he invited me to his home, where his fiancée and future mother in law made for me a dinner party with a cake and congratulations! I met this guy a few hours ago, but the feeling was as if I celebrate his birthday with his family, with his Russian family!
The festive dinner with my Russian "family." Dumplings on the table, which I personally helped prepare
That day Russian mother taught me to do the dumplings. This process, which is very brings: you cook the meat and dough together in the kitchen! I have tried many Russian dishes before, thanks to my grandmother, I know that such pies, pancakes and soup. But cooking ravioli was just a great experience! "