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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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