I can see Russia from my house (but getting there is another thing altogether)
The late British historian, Eric Hobsbawm, describes Lenin’s Bolsheviks as mounting an all-out offensive against the cultural backwardness of the notoriously dark, ignorant, illiterate and superstitious masses with an all-out drive for technological modernisation and industrial revolution. Our experience at the border entry to Russia from Georgia, as the centenary of the October Revolution approaches, would indicate that progress has so far been modest. It took us 10 minutes to get out of Georgia and seven hours to get on the road in Russia. No-one seemed to have any idea of the purpose of getting traffic flowing into the country to start spending their tourist or business dollars. Long haul trucks queue for days to get through the only land entry to the country from Iran, Turkey, Armenia and Georgia. The skills on display indicate a Russian version of the Ballarat Diocese method of staffing this outpost – transfer the worst of them out of sight.