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Rubbernecking In Russia

Rubbernecking In Russia

Old Aug 26th 2007, 3:45 pm
  #1  
Gregory Morrow
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Posts: n/a
Default Rubbernecking In Russia

_Time_ Magazine

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,937823,00.html

Monday, Jun. 22, 1959

Rubbernecking in Russia

"In the basement of the Soviet embassy in Washington this week, sweating
Russians worked furiously to bring some capitalist efficiency to their task:
processing a flood of U.S. tourist visas for the Soviet Union. The Russians
had expected some 10,000 U.S. visitors in 1959, but now the total seems
headed for 15,000. Not only is Russia "the place to go" for thousands of
seasoned tourists, but this summer's U.S. exhibition in Moscow is proving a
strong drawing card. So great is the influx that American Express alone had
a backlog of 200 visa applications last week. The once-formidable Soviet
tourist restrictions have been cut so much that almost anyone, unless he has
been involved in a well-publicized anti-Communist incident, can get a visa
within a week or ten days.

Capitalist Profit. Once the tourist reaches the Soviet Union, the hand that
guides him is Intourist, a state monopoly whose official title is the
All-Union Stock Company for Foreign Tourism. Founded in 1929, Intourist had
shrunk to a shadow at the time of Stalin's death, grew like a weed in the
tourist thaw that followed. Though all its stock is owned by the government,
Intourist still uses the forms of a capitalist corporation, holds annual
stockholders' meetings attended by representatives of Soviet ministries. It
also turns over to the U.S.S.R. Bank of Foreign Trade a healthy capitalistic
profit, which will be swelled by a $5,000,000 take from U.S. tourists alone
this year.

From its grey stone headquarters at 1 Gorky Street, Moscow, Intourist is run
by balding, stocky Vladimir Ankudinov, fiftyish, who has managed to hold
onto his job for seven years. Says Ankudinov, with a gold-toothed smile: "I
am what you would call a Soviet businessman." He has plenty of business.
Intourist runs 18 hotels throughout Russia, has more than 8,000 employees,
handles all accommodations, meals, transportation and incidentals for half a
million visitors to Russia each year (most of them from the East European
countries).

By Boat & Plane. Ankudinov has done his best to make travel to Russia easy.
Intourist has a permanent representative in the U.S., books tourists through
a dozen major U.S. travel agencies and 50 associated agencies. Chief among
them: American Express, which now has its own office in Moscow, and
Manhattan's Cosmos Travel Bureau. Six Western European airlines (SAS,
Finnair, Air France, KLM, Sabena and British European Airways) fly into
Russia, occasional boat cruises ply the Black Sea, and tourists can even
enter Russia in their own autos.

A third of the Soviet Union is officially closed to tourists (the U.S. has
retaliated by keeping an equal area closed to Russians), but the traveling
choice is still wide. The tourist can visit 27 Soviet cities on any of 45
Intourist itineraries, ranging from five to 23 days. The main travel circuit
includes Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Tbilisi (the Eastern-flavored capital of
Soviet Georgia), and the seaside resorts of the Black Sea (Sochi, Sukhumi,
Yalta). More adventurous tourists can go to Riga, capital of Latvia;
Irkutsk, the burgeoning capital of eastern Siberia; or far east to Tashkent
and Alma-Ata. Intourist will also permit tourists to hunt in the Crimean
game preserves, once reserved for Soviet V.I.P.s.

Snares of Bureaucracy. Intourist tempts the tourist with package travel
plans ranging from de luxe ($30 a day for a private guide, all
transportation in Russia, room and bath, four meals a day, and the use of a
private limousine) down to $10 a day for less attention and more Spartan
accommodations. Russian hotels are well below U.S. and European standards,
even such better ones as Moscow's National Hotel and Leningrad's Europa and
Astoria. The food is plentiful, heavy and generally dull-except for those
who can live on caviar and vodka-and the good restaurants (Moscow's Aragvi
and Peking) are few.

Unless he goes to Russia as part of an official delegation-and sometimes
even then-the tourist is likely to run up against a snare of bumbling
bureaucracy if he attempts to go off the beaten track of tourist attractions
to indulge some special interest. At such times he is subjected to long,
unexplained delays, often given silly reasons for not being able to do
things that are routine in other countries. His best bet for success is his
Intourist guide-interpreter (two-thirds are women), who can make or break a
tourist's trip. One U.S. doctor who arrived in Moscow last year got a
complete brush-off in his attempts to meet Russian doctors, finally went
home in a huff. But a U.S. colleague who arrived a few months later simply
told his problem to his guide. She got on the telephone herself, got him an
appointment with one of Moscow's leading cardiologists the same day.

Sensitive to Criticism. In their campaign to woo more tourists to the Soviet
Union the Russians have become very sensitive to tourist criticism and
suspicion (rarely are people followed or rooms bugged). At first astounded
and confused by the swarm of hustling foreigners, they have gradually
learned to admire the dynamic and demanding Western way of doing things, are
slowly making their tourist machinery more efficient. Where that is clearly
impossible, they favor short cuts. In the long queues that line up outside
the Lenin-Stalin Mausoleum or at the theater, Intourist sees to it that the
tourist is put at the head of the line. It could never happen in the free
world, but a Russian does not complain about losing his place in line."

</>
 
Old Aug 26th 2007, 8:33 pm
  #2  
Martin Theodor Ludwig
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Rubbernecking In Russia

On Sun, 26 Aug 2007 09:45:25 -0500, "Gregory Morrow"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>More adventurous tourists can go to Riga, capital of Latvia;

Ouch. From which year is the quote? Nowadays this is *not* in Russia ...

Regards, Martin
 
Old Aug 26th 2007, 9:53 pm
  #3  
Runge3
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: OT copy and paste say thanks to morrow

"Gregory Morrow" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le
message de news:[email protected]
> _Time_ Magazine
>
> http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...937823,00.html
>
> Monday, Jun. 22, 1959
>
> Rubbernecking in Russia
>
> "In the basement of the Soviet embassy in Washington this week, sweating
> Russians worked furiously to bring some capitalist efficiency to their
> task:
> processing a flood of U.S. tourist visas for the Soviet Union. The
> Russians
> had expected some 10,000 U.S. visitors in 1959, but now the total seems
> headed for 15,000. Not only is Russia "the place to go" for thousands of
> seasoned tourists, but this summer's U.S. exhibition in Moscow is proving
> a
> strong drawing card. So great is the influx that American Express alone
> had
> a backlog of 200 visa applications last week. The once-formidable Soviet
> tourist restrictions have been cut so much that almost anyone, unless he
> has
> been involved in a well-publicized anti-Communist incident, can get a visa
> within a week or ten days.
>
> Capitalist Profit. Once the tourist reaches the Soviet Union, the hand
> that
> guides him is Intourist, a state monopoly whose official title is the
> All-Union Stock Company for Foreign Tourism. Founded in 1929, Intourist
> had
> shrunk to a shadow at the time of Stalin's death, grew like a weed in the
> tourist thaw that followed. Though all its stock is owned by the
> government,
> Intourist still uses the forms of a capitalist corporation, holds annual
> stockholders' meetings attended by representatives of Soviet ministries.
> It
> also turns over to the U.S.S.R. Bank of Foreign Trade a healthy
> capitalistic
> profit, which will be swelled by a $5,000,000 take from U.S. tourists
> alone
> this year.
>
> From its grey stone headquarters at 1 Gorky Street, Moscow, Intourist is
> run
> by balding, stocky Vladimir Ankudinov, fiftyish, who has managed to hold
> onto his job for seven years. Says Ankudinov, with a gold-toothed smile:
> "I
> am what you would call a Soviet businessman." He has plenty of business.
> Intourist runs 18 hotels throughout Russia, has more than 8,000 employees,
> handles all accommodations, meals, transportation and incidentals for half
> a
> million visitors to Russia each year (most of them from the East European
> countries).
>
> By Boat & Plane. Ankudinov has done his best to make travel to Russia
> easy.
> Intourist has a permanent representative in the U.S., books tourists
> through
> a dozen major U.S. travel agencies and 50 associated agencies. Chief among
> them: American Express, which now has its own office in Moscow, and
> Manhattan's Cosmos Travel Bureau. Six Western European airlines (SAS,
> Finnair, Air France, KLM, Sabena and British European Airways) fly into
> Russia, occasional boat cruises ply the Black Sea, and tourists can even
> enter Russia in their own autos.
>
> A third of the Soviet Union is officially closed to tourists (the U.S. has
> retaliated by keeping an equal area closed to Russians), but the traveling
> choice is still wide. The tourist can visit 27 Soviet cities on any of 45
> Intourist itineraries, ranging from five to 23 days. The main travel
> circuit
> includes Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Tbilisi (the Eastern-flavored capital of
> Soviet Georgia), and the seaside resorts of the Black Sea (Sochi, Sukhumi,
> Yalta). More adventurous tourists can go to Riga, capital of Latvia;
> Irkutsk, the burgeoning capital of eastern Siberia; or far east to
> Tashkent
> and Alma-Ata. Intourist will also permit tourists to hunt in the Crimean
> game preserves, once reserved for Soviet V.I.P.s.
>
> Snares of Bureaucracy. Intourist tempts the tourist with package travel
> plans ranging from de luxe ($30 a day for a private guide, all
> transportation in Russia, room and bath, four meals a day, and the use of
> a
> private limousine) down to $10 a day for less attention and more Spartan
> accommodations. Russian hotels are well below U.S. and European standards,
> even such better ones as Moscow's National Hotel and Leningrad's Europa
> and
> Astoria. The food is plentiful, heavy and generally dull-except for those
> who can live on caviar and vodka-and the good restaurants (Moscow's Aragvi
> and Peking) are few.
>
> Unless he goes to Russia as part of an official delegation-and sometimes
> even then-the tourist is likely to run up against a snare of bumbling
> bureaucracy if he attempts to go off the beaten track of tourist
> attractions
> to indulge some special interest. At such times he is subjected to long,
> unexplained delays, often given silly reasons for not being able to do
> things that are routine in other countries. His best bet for success is
> his
> Intourist guide-interpreter (two-thirds are women), who can make or break
> a
> tourist's trip. One U.S. doctor who arrived in Moscow last year got a
> complete brush-off in his attempts to meet Russian doctors, finally went
> home in a huff. But a U.S. colleague who arrived a few months later simply
> told his problem to his guide. She got on the telephone herself, got him
> an
> appointment with one of Moscow's leading cardiologists the same day.
>
> Sensitive to Criticism. In their campaign to woo more tourists to the
> Soviet
> Union the Russians have become very sensitive to tourist criticism and
> suspicion (rarely are people followed or rooms bugged). At first astounded
> and confused by the swarm of hustling foreigners, they have gradually
> learned to admire the dynamic and demanding Western way of doing things,
> are
> slowly making their tourist machinery more efficient. Where that is
> clearly
> impossible, they favor short cuts. In the long queues that line up outside
> the Lenin-Stalin Mausoleum or at the theater, Intourist sees to it that
> the
> tourist is put at the head of the line. It could never happen in the free
> world, but a Russian does not complain about losing his place in line."
>
> </>
>
>
>
 
Old Aug 26th 2007, 9:54 pm
  #4  
Runge3
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Rubbernecking with morrow

Nvm, morrow wanted to post something, anything and he does not care a bout
the group's topic, neither about his own crap posting topic.
Just another greg morrow pollution and surprisingly no sex into it.

"Martin Theodor Ludwig" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le message de
news:[email protected]
> On Sun, 26 Aug 2007 09:45:25 -0500, "Gregory Morrow"
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>More adventurous tourists can go to Riga, capital of Latvia;
>
> Ouch. From which year is the quote? Nowadays this is *not* in Russia ...
>
> Regards, Martin
 
Old Aug 27th 2007, 2:19 am
  #5  
Gregory Morrow
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Rubbernecking In Russia

Martin Theodor Ludwig wrote:

> On Sun, 26 Aug 2007 09:45:25 -0500, "Gregory Morrow"
>
> <[email protected]> wrote:
> >More adventurous tourists can go to Riga, capital of Latvia;
>
> Ouch. From which year is the quote? Nowadays this is *not* in Russia ...
>


It's from 1959, when Latvia was considered a "captive nation"...


:-)


--
Best
Greg
 

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