A brief primer in Capitalism, for my dear friends, the Russians

Russians are the friendliest most outgoing people, in well, Russia. At least top 5 most. Anyway, that all changes when they sit across a counter from you. There's only one person in the world more infuriatingly bad at her job, and she works the Japan Railpass counter at the Busan international Ferry Terminal, but the poor girl can't help herself, she was kicked in the head by a horse. Number one cause of death in Korea, getting kicked in the head by horses. The Silent Killer. Anyway, you get the feeling that the Russians are as bad as they are because they hate you, specifically. The inability to get anything you need from them is only made worse, or better depending on your point of view, by the fact that they look so damn miserable that there's nothing you could do, in their view, to make their shitty life any worse. Which means you can't take vengance, because it's already been taken, by life. Kindof a "Do you see the glass half full or empty?" kinda thing. I personally see a young lady, but if I squint just right, it's a candlestick. But one reason its so hard to get anything from them is they seem to have literally forgotten how to buy and sell things in their seventy year experiment with the kind of shitty ideas people grow out of sophomore year of College. I've decided to write this up in the interest of public education.

Rule #1 If you don't have what I asked for, you don't have what I want.
Pretty elementary. If someone shows up at your kiosk on an island in the Neva river not sure whether I'll die of windburn or frostbite first, and asks for a bunch of fried pierogies, a cold apple Danish is not an acceptable substitute. Nor is a precooked, prepackaged hamburger you pulled out of the fridge. Tangent: Precooked, prepackaged hamburgers are unacceptable substitutes for everything, including death by starvation. If your job is selling shit, and you didn't bring shit to sell, you aren't doing your job. When I don't want to to my job I call in sick and play XBox all day, but different strokes.

Rule #2 Money, like friends, comes in all shapes, sizes and colors.
One of the many ways money is just as good as friends. The only people who get away with demanding exact change are busdrivers. And not always either (see: Korea and Estonia, thanks guys) When you sell something for the equivalent of 87 cents, people will probably pay with a $1.00 bill. Bringing nothing but fives is a very bad idea. Not only will you not be able to sell any of your food, but when you get all pissed off because you've already heated it, and now who the fuck is going to pay, the foreigner will laugh in your face. Incidentally, the Russian word for Ajumma is Babushka. I don't know why certain countries turn women into retarded, hateful quasi humans by 50 but there it is.

Rule #3 Watch Swingers. Sometimes you gotta give 'em the shit for free.
Yea, capitalism is about buying and selling, but for God's sake, certain things in life you don't charge for. Air's free, and so are misdemeanor crimes like jaywalking and public drunkenness, as long as enough people are committing them along with you. So where the fuck to you people get off charging for bathrooms? I'm not just talking to Russia here. All you Euros* are on the hook for this one. Dickens was like 200 years ago, its time to get serious. If you have to burn 25% of the world's gas to pull your car over whenever you need to piss and not have to dig around for change, then so be it. That's civilization. At least no one over here's dad puts food on the table ten piss-cents at a time. You even have to pay if if you're already paying for something else, like in a restaurant or train station. The absolute worst was this train station in Poland. There was actually a list of different prices for the "services" they provide, from the sink you can shave in, to the sink you can wash up in, to the sink you can brush your teeth in, to the toilet, oh fuck it you get the idea. They also had one roll of toilet paper, at the front desk. So not only are you put in the position of saying to a stranger "I need to poop please," you actually have to give him/her a rough estimate of how messy it's going to be. I just yanked at that thing like I was gonna play Mummy in there. Fuck him.

*In the interest of fairness the country with the best handle on this is Korea. In America, you often have to be a patron or sneaky to use a bathroom in a business. In Korea, you can walk in anywhere at all like literally just wander into a bank, and there's a public restroom where no one hassles you. It's pretty cool.



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