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I experienced that once. In 2002, I was invited as a speaker in a conference organised by the Privolzhsky Federal District in Nizhny Novgorod. It started at the end of the conference by a toast-session around a huge table with a few things to eat and a lot to drink. Each one of the 40 conference participants had to make a toast (and it was impossible to fake drinking...). I waited until the twentieth to make my speech (so I was sure everybody was still able to listen, but dizzy enough not to remember what I would say) and I made a very sentimental speech about our common culture (quoting Dostoevsky and Bulgakov) and about our common destiny... It was a great success!

It ended very late in a tiny office inside the beautiful Nizhny Novgorod's Kremlin after many more toasts with a group of totally drunk collaborators of Serguei Kirienko (Putin's representative in the Volga Federal District)...

That's my only experience of Russia so far, and it's a very surrealistic and good memory...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 04:37:18 PM EST
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Great story!  Very common "real" Russian experience.  Bonus points for getting drunk with Sergei Kirienko's men.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 04:50:19 PM EST
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