Friday, 9 September 2011


Managed to bash into something sharp sticking out of the wall, swerving to avoid a drunken woman asleep on my flat stairs, minor injury but oww! As my friends know I am pretty clumsy anyway so have bumped and grazed myself across many of the world's greatest cities.  But Moscow is definitely hazardous - I have also torn my skirt twice, on a broken metal gutter and a  badly finished window sill.

Which has got me back to a subject we have talked about a lot  recently;  that nobody here thinks it is the job of governments or other organisations - public or private - to make life easier for people.  Unlike that linking of welfare and state (at least historically) in England, the state here is only about keeping order, not often a particularly caring business. So whether in the design of processes, objects, or places, little or no thought is applied to enabling the comfort or ease of ordinary people.

And I have been wondering if this explains something about the (to me)  passive attitude towards those who act without consideration in public - for example, pushing in front of an elderly person on the metro, or driving their cars dangerously fast. Nobody seems to get angry. It is as if, just as with the state, there is no expectation that people should behave considerately to others ( although of course lots of people behave very well, with generosity and kindness of spirit).

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