Before I came, I read that Russians have a reputation for rudeness, for shortness in speech, for poor service in shops and for ignoring others in the street. At the same time - in the enigma/wrapped in a blah/ literature – they always turn out to be very friendly, with hearts of gold and to have those famous Russian souls.
As a stranger, with no grasp of the language this public lack of need for dialogue is actually quite relaxing. I can buy something in a supermarket with just a curt thank you without anxiety, and can also walk about ignoring those around me.
Meanwhile, also conforming the type, the people I am working for have been endless kind and gone out of their way to be helpful. So, although I have only been here just over a week, I feel quite at home.