Russia - The Magazine

So obviously the rionik isn't the only place to buy things. There are stores all over the place where you can buy stuff. However, the stores in Russia have some distinct differences from those in the United States.

I am going to look at grocery/food stores to start, but I will cover a little bit about other stores as well. One thing that I love about Russia is that no matter where you are, there is almost always some type of store (in Russian the word for store is “magazine”) within a short walking distance. The nearest store to our current place in the United States is at least five minutes by car. I sure wish we had one closer than that.


Magazine in Russian.

Magazines differ in size and can be super small to decent size. Expect to find small magazines all over and larger ones more spread out. If you walk into a small magazine you can expect to find a sales person (typically a woman but not always) who will give you what you want. In other words, you don't touch anything without asking the sales person to let you take a look at it (sometimes this is a real pain and I am not a big fan of this setup). Many of the items sit behind the counter and you can say that you either want to buy it or look at it. Other things sit under glass that is the'll typically find chocolates and other treats here.

Waiting to buy meat and cheese.

Walking into a larger magazine usually entails leaving your bag behind that you have brought with you. You generally can't carry it into the store for theft reasons. Basically, watch out for the lockers to put your stuff inside or else the security guard will ask you to put your stuff in them. Once inside the magazine, it feels much like a typical American store other than the products are probably pretty foreign to most Americans.

Lockers sitting outside the magazine entrance.

One thing that is a staple in the Russian stores are alcoholic beverages. No matter where you go, you are going to find plenty of choices on what you want to drink. In the smaller magazines, expect to find from about ¼ to ½ of the magazine to be only alcoholic beverages. In larger magazines you can expect a smaller percentage but still enough to make you realize that you aren't in Kansas anymore.

The wine. Beer and vodka are on the next isle.

Magazines for clothing are much like American stores and you can usually walk in with your bags and other things, but expect to be watched pretty closely. In most magazines that I have walked into people keep a good eye on what you are looking at and what you are doing always. For some reason, magazines with food products always seem to watch you the closest...

Also magazines for other things such as electronics, school supplies, and other stuff are typically under the locked down policy as well. In other words you have to ask to be able to touch something. This isn't always the case though and there are a lot more electronic magazines showing up where you can touch what you are looking at, but school supplies are typically under lock no stealing any of those good looking notebooks you want.

Waiting to buy school supplies.

One other thing is that a lot of clothing stores our found in areas kind of like the mall in a sense (called a “torgovi center”). Basically, it is a bunch of small shops found next to each other one after the other. This is different from the rionik though because all of the stores are indoors and at night you don't have to take down your shop like on the rionok. Each shop is different on whether or not everything is behind the counter or not.


Bradwich said...

I've been surprised at how many times "Russia" could be replaced with "Bolivia" and still have the posts come out correct. :)