Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked:What should I absolutely not do when visiting your country? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread. Thank you to the team at Quora for making this happen!
1. Don’t give even number of flowers as a gift. That’s for dead folks. Proper bouquet will have 1/3/5/7/… flowers.
2. Don’t wear your street shoes inside private homes (unless you were specifically told you can do so). Streets are dirty so we wear slippers or go bare-feet.
3. Don’t joke about terrorists, bombs, etc. Don’t leave your bags unattended. Don’t touch unknown unattended bags. Expect security checks in some public places. Especially in big cities and Caucasian regions.
4. Again: don’t leave your belongings unattended. You may not find them when you return. This also means not leaving your car unlocked and not leaving anything valuable in a car in a plain view (including GPS trackers).
5. Don’t expect to get on with credit card only. There are lots of places which only accept cash.
6. Don’t criticize Soviet Union when talking with people over 40. They grew up at those times and might be nostalgic. Even if they enjoy modern life they might not like hearing foreigners talking about it.
7. Don’t assume we support everything our government does. Quite often we don’t. Don’t criticize our government. We do it a lot by ourselves, we don’t need your help in that.
8. During the winter & early spring don’t come too close to building’s roofs – there might be icicles there. If one falls on your head it can kill you. And you never know when one decides to fall. And yes, we have public utilities to clean the roofs, only there are too many roofs.