Russophilia and after-hours boose sales

Perhaps I’ve been one of these grumpy ever-critical Russians too much and too long. To make up let me open a new Russophilia category for things that I actually like about this place and its inhabitants. Done, here.


The first entry will be an ordinary liquor and beer store at Pervomayskaya 57 in Kandalaksha that put one plastic table in the corner of the hall, dubbed itslef a cafe, and thus circumvented the ban on boose sale after 9pm. Being a cafe they will have to insist on opening the bottle on the premises but no one will force you to stay there till done.

What I appreciate about my compatriots is their not taking No for an answer. If yellow is illegal we’ll just call it a mix of green and red. If you need a licence to operate a motorcycle, we’ll supply them with 49cc documents to stay below the radar. Can’t fish with a net? But no one said you can’t just put a fence across the river – a common practice here. Examples are plenty of how Russians not only invent rules (no big deal, every dictatorship worth its salt acts as a prohibition generator) but find their way around.

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