Tuesday, November 4, 2008

St. Petersburg and economics

In a local newspaper I picked up recently, an economic update included personal tips about what to do when times are tough financially. The following comments are from local deputies as well as voters.

“My wife and I are modest people. We don’t smoke, we don’t drink, we don’t play cards. And with the surplus we feed our dog and cat well. Of course, I do collect books about icon-painting, and the prices on those are a concern. I’ll probably have to moderate my passion.” -Igor Rimmer, local deputy

"Maybe no one will believe it, but deputies don’t especially have anything that they can give up: They live like regular people, from paycheck to paycheck. But I would advise everyone to give little trinkets; things that just show how rich you are." -Oleg Nilov, deputy

"As it is I already live completely ascetically-that’s the charm of the KPRF. This year I went on vacation in my own car, traveled around Russia. I don’t go to restaurants-when I can afford to eat well, it’s only at home." -Sergei Malkov, deputy

"First of all, I’ll start smoking less. Second of all, I’ll start buying cheaper groceries. I’ll abstain from buying new clothes and from going to cafes. Basically, I’ll start to keep a Spartan lifestyle: home-work-home." -Natalya, storeowner

"I won't buy smoked sausages. For a time I’ll stop going on vacation and going to the cinema, I’ll start spending my free time in front of the television: it’s cheap and fun. I would also find myself some part-time work, just in case." -Sergei, machinist

"I would eat as little meat as possible and switch to porridge. Of course, I would have to give up shopping. And I’d cut my husband off from alcohol. By the way, that last point would especially help our family stay afloat." -Olga, barmaid

Source: Zagvozdina, Irina. "Russians advised to tighten their belts." Metro newspaper. 21 October, 2008. Page 03. Translation mine.


  1. Thanks for sharing these! What an insight! Somehow my heart particularly goes out to the man who will have to cut short his passion for books on icon painting. And I hope the last lady's husband is WILLING to have his vodka cut off!

  2. Annie, how did I know you were going to comment on the icon painting? :) In a way, it is sad. I've seen people selling old books out on the street. We sell old books in the States too, but somehow it seems more tragic here. They're being sold so someone can eat.


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