Wild Wild East23 Nov 2004
I enjoyed talking with Anton Nossik last night after the discussion. (The LiveJournal link is his personal blog, professionally he has several Russian news sites including mosnews.com in English.) It was interesting to hear his main first impression of Germany: the "friendly" roads and drivers. The autobahns are certainly well built, and built for speed, but are German drivers really friendly? But then I remembered the t.A.T.u. album title "200 km/h in the Wrong Lane"... if that's a description of Russian driving, then German drivers must seem very friendly indeed.
When I told him I came from Minnesota, he immediately thought of the movie Fargo, and asked if Minnesotans really use wood chippers that way (if you've never seen the movie, don't ask...). He also got the impression that Minnesota is colder than Moscow. Somehow I doubt that.
Finally, he refuted one of my misconceptions about journalists. I had just maintained on the train ride to Cologne to Heiko and Gerd that the difference between journalists and bloggers is that blogger are can choose *not* to write, that they do not have a quota of minutes or column inches to fill. But Anton told me of a certain business dispute in Russia where both sides were paying him *not* to report the details, a form of reverse PR. He had no problems with that, since he wasn't intending to report on it anyway, but he was still disappointed when the dispute was settled.