Yaroslavl Street Smarts for Dummies (and non-City People)

November 24, 2011

This will probably be my most embarrassing post of the year. I’m about admit to all the things that posed a challenge not necessarily because they were Russian, but because they involved living in civilization. Please don’t lose too much respect for me, my dear readers. My neighbors are cows where I come from, and I mean that quite literally.


Note the bus-to-human size ratio. It means the bus has right of way.

  • They have different numbers for a reason: they don’t all have the same route.
  • They don’t go in a loop. They go from point A to point B, then back again. That means that just because you get on bus 1, it doesn’t mean you’re headed home. You might need to cross the street to find bus 1 headed the other way.. Check a map until you get your bearings straight and know which way you’re supposed to be headed.
  • A тролейбус is a cable car (with the metal thing sticking off the top) and an автобус is a regular bus. They are different.

Cars and Pedestrians:

Once, I went on a crosswalk that led to a fence like this. And oncoming cars like that. Oops....

Once, I went on a crosswalk that led to a fence like this. And oncoming cars like that. Oops....

  • Cars won’t stop for you. Bigger and stronger and made of metal means you have right of way.
  • Don’t assume you’re safe just because you’re on a crosswalk.
  • Don’t assume you’re safe just because the little green man is walking (aka, the “it’s safe to walk” sign is a compulsive liar).
  • Look ahead to where your crosswalk leads to and have a plan. I have found them to lead to fences that barred me from the sidewalk on the other side. Surprise!
  • Watch out from manholes. Seriously. Sometimes they are higher than expected, lower than expected, or just plain not there. I would like to add that this was actually advice during our orientation in Moscow. I giggled when I first heard it. I didn’t giggle when I almost fell into one….

One final word, which comes from walking past car accidents nearly every day: if you find yourself in a car here, please, please buckle your seat belt! No matter how good your driver is, there are going to be a lot of people on the road not obeying the traffic suggestions—excuse me, I mean laws.

Signing out,



One Response to “Yaroslavl Street Smarts for Dummies (and non-City People)”

  1. Debbie said

    Very humorous. True wherever you are. Stay safe.

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