Russians have endured much over the centuries—weather extremes, ruthless dictators, pointless invasions, civil revolutions, and such. As a consequence, they have become ingeniously self-reliant and confident they can weather any storm (figuratively).
By contrast, a wimp like myself, is intimidated traveling around a country like Russia. The Cyrillic language is like Greek hieroglyphics on steroids, the spoken word, spoken at normal speed, is impossible to understand, and the normal body language (to Russians) used for a word as simple as good bye (pronounced dos-vi-dan-iya, and spelled до свидания in Cyrillic) is intimidating.
Against all these odds, and the fact I had already gotten terribly lost in each of my first two days wandering around Moscow, my friend Gennadii Kuznetsov, who I met on my first trip, convinced me my trip back to my Hotel was “a piece of cake” (no Russian translation)
We video-taped his confident instructions. He agreed that they could only be played to Americans if I got lost. He “guaranteed” I would return to my hotel tout de suite (15-20 minutes). He was close. Three hours and 1,200 rubles lighter, I stumbled into my hotel at the Olympic Center.
Enjoy the video!