I’ve never been to Russia. The traveler in me knows that what a government does and how the people act are often very different, and in my experience with Russians that has certainly been the case. For example, I recently met a Russian girl on a long-haul flight from Doha to Denpasar. She was a musician from Moscow, and as we sat next to each other I ended up chatting with her most of the way when we weren’t napping. We became friends and toured around the island of Bali together that weekend. Facebook keeps us in touch these days, until we meet again — in Russia, perhaps.
Lately, with all the news coverage (the Olympics scandals and the investigation into the 2016 US election), I’ve caught myself wondering what it’s like on the other side. In particular, what culture shocks do Americans face in Russia? On top of that, what do average Russians think about Americans who come for a visit? I took to Quora and some of Matador’s editorial content for some insight.