Have discovered a minor but important difference. Everything is done in cash here (we get paid in cash at the end of the month in a brown envelope). Paying the deposit and first month’s rent is a bit of problem, with plastic cards more of a difficulty than a solution. Since I can only draw out a certain amount each day from the ATM – and with only some banks such as Gasprom and SBER not charging a fee - I have been haunting the local cash machines all week accumulating roubles – and living off my lunch vouchers for food.
Even handing over large wads of cash seems clumsy, I’m just not used to counting the stuff.
(and have just discovered that I am being charged a fee by my bank account)