Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Wifi taxi

I use to complain sometimes a bit about Russia.
But this doesn't mean that there are some areas we all (G7 ;) couldn't learn.
One of the things I learned in Russia, is that the world has meanwhile a 'digital' gapp. People and countries which understand that information and their flow is a raw material, and countries who don't.
Germany is for sure on the wrong side of this gapp (hotel, 10 min internet 2 euros; standdars cellphone contract you pay for the first transmitted bit a day 2 euros 'basic fee').
In germany they didn't yet even grasp the idea of an digital society.

Other Russia (and other eastern countries).
Take a look at the attached picture I made yesterday in my taxi home from the airport.

Free Wifi in the cab!

If you are german and read thsi blog you may react with 'nobodies needs this'. But think again, didn't you (German) not think the same about cellphones, blackberry and navigationsystems at the beginning?

I mean, first of all it's free. So you don't want it, don't use it. But if you consider that you ride to the airport needs at least 2h just to be then offline for the rest of your traveltime this is a freaking good idea.

And it shows how advanced sometimes the Russian thinking can be.

If you are Estonian and read this, you may not get the point of this blog at all, as that you have an Wifi covered country and Internet access in your constitution ;)

Friday, 20 February 2009

Vodka steretypes

So, you know this old steretype that Russians drink so much.

Well, it's just a steretype, isn't it.

However, look at the attached picture. The board shop from ural airlines offers a 'glas' of vodka for 1,5 euro.
It has a crown cap, so if you open it you have to drink it.

I stay with my coffee ;)

No country of old phones

I may have mentioned a couple of times the overwhelming onslaught of iphones even while it wasn't official available.

It's overall easily possible to realize that in our office, restaurant, plane there are a dozend iphones around you.

And while I love myself shiny new gadgets and like the iphone I consider it as very funny when people spend all this money on a phone just to... Well, phone with it (and of course be stylish, show off).

Usuall russian doen't have any clue what a iphone can do (and most off the german which bought one in Russia cauz it's cool).

I just watch a girl in the airport, sending sms with her iphone while listening Music with an old gen bulky iPod :)

Stupid, didn't she even realize that the iphone has a ipod built in beside a dozend of other features.


Bdw, the Russians in my office like to joke about the old phones Germans use. And I agree that germany is embarassing for lack of mobile internet, pricing and an ignorance in the populations & politics for their potential (we prefer to support the transrapid instead of UMTS to close the digital gap).

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Anti crisis action

So, russia has a hughe crisis.
Basically because the blow it.

While they had money (from oil) they prefered to buy football clubs, buy skyscrapers and show of on international level (from St. Moritz to G8) instead of adapting technologies and strengthening their industry..
And this bdw, not done by some elite. It was done and carried out by a wide social consense.

Ok, never mind. So now they have in the crisis their very own particular crisis.
And what happens, a lot of stupid new laws.

So they try now to kick foreigners out by making it really to get an workallowance.
So it happens to me and other.

Fun, what do they think. That kicking out the foreigners of an foreign representative office with 2 foreigner (non corrupt management basically) and 100 (well managed hopefully) Russian and an aggressive growth strategie will make things better?

Finally, if you want attract foreign investment and knowhow on a country scoring a whooping 140st place on the corruption ranking you should make laws against foreign management or engineers.

Russian anti crisis programm, full throttle in the crisis :)

Friday, 13 February 2009

Estonias language ability

I guess and hope I already expressed in this forum a couple of time my respect from this small country with a hughe inferiou compley (what helps them to excel in a lot of things)

So I spent this week traveling the Baltic States.
Usually you come along with Russian. People understand, except in Estonia.

In Riga, Latvia one guy told me, that even during Sovjettimes Estonias where famous for NOT speaking russian.
Next day I went to the Estonias countryside. Somewhere in the middle I stopped to pick up a coffee.

Entering the place the propably not to high eduacated waitress welcomed me in fluent english.
And actually in 5 years I never meet anybody in estonia not speaking decent english.

So I wonder, how could Estonias refuse 50 years to learn any Russian but in 5 year they kick started themself to a truly multilanguage society ;)

The answer reveals the real power of an democratic and free EU and US versus controled regimes.

About this blog

This blog is a close up on Russia and the CIS. I am not giving you the big picture.
I would anyway fail. I am too long here. So beauty & decay,
education & corruption, high culture & kafka-style administration are meanwhile normal for me.
So this blog is like a painting from from Roy Lichtenstein... when you are with your nose on it :) You will just see the dots, not gaining any understanding of the whole.

Most things will look strange in this blog. But you can be sure, I would not live here, if there would not be a lot of great things here. Unfortunately, the weired stories are more interesting to tell & read.
Don’t judge Russia on this blog, if you want to know the country, come over and take a look by your own.