Like their matryoshka nesting dolls, Russia is a place that has many layers to be uncovered. It’s the largest country in the world, taking up one-eight of the world’s livable land. But what is it like traveling there?
Having toured their with Madlib and J. Rocc at the end of last year, Freddie Gibbs experienced all the Mother Russia has to offer–some of which he enjoyed (Russian strippers) some of which not so much (a particularly popular soup).
So get your fur ready, Freddie Gibbs is taking you to Russia, his way. These are the 13 things you need to know before you take off.
“The rule for food? Don’t eat the Borscht. It’s horrible.”
For those of you that don’t have Ukrainian grandparents, Borscht is a soup made from beetroot that is slurped up all over the Ukraine. Each region makes it a little differently but the main ingredient across the Easter Bloc is beetroot, which gives it a particular unappetizing color. In Russia, their version usually includes meat, cabbage, and sometimes even potatoes. But according to Freddie Gibbs, you don’t want to be snacking on this purp colored specialty.
“They drink a lot of Vodka. All they drink is Vodka.”
Russians are known for that clear liquid they make from grains or potatoes. You probably drank too much of it last time you ended up at club with bottle service. It was also all Freddie drank when he was out there, maybe a little too much. “It’s why I don’t drink it now,” Freddie says. “It ruined it for me, totally.”
“Try to find one that speaks English.”
“I didn’t really see too much art but I saw some architecture, like the Kremlin. That’s definitely the thing you need to go to.”
The White House of Russia, the Moscow Kremlin is the President of the Russian Federation’s crib. The name translates to “fortress” and that’s what this building is–a massive fortified complex located smack in the middle of Moscow. The building offers views of the Moskva River, Saint Basil’s Cathedral and the Red Square. There are formal tours of the building and it’s museums, scoop up tickets here.
“Take a Xanax because, it’s gonna be a long flight.”
If you’re coming from the US it’s going to take you at least 9 hours to get to Moscow, Russia’s capital. (For example the flight from New York is 9 hours and 20 minutes.) It took Freddie Gibbs 15 hours to touch down in the land of vodka and borscht. While we can’t condone you take prescription drugs, we can suggest an Advil PM.
“I had a driver for the most part, but there was definitely a lot of traffic.”
If you’re wondering how you’re going to get around when you’re in Russia, you could do like Freddie and get chauffeured. Be sure to plan ahead for that traffic. There are also taxis and if it’s not too cold, you can also use your legs. “Yeah, you can walk. They also have a river, like Italy but in Moscow.” So could you take a boat? “Nah, not at all. You can swim.” Hmm…
“They really love Onyx, that’s like the number one rap group in Russia.”
Despite the internet crossing country lines, sometimes music takes a little longer. If you’re heading to Russia brush up on your Bacdafucup.
“Russian strippers are pretty magical.”
Freddie Gibbs suggests spending your time in Russia with some half naked women. “Russian girls, I like them.” They play American music in the spots, but are the dancers dropping it low to 2 Chainz? “Nah, I wouldn’t say all that. They’re not that far advanced.” It’s going to take a few more years for “Birthday Song” to hit.
“They’re small as f*ck.”
Freddie Gibbs compares the hotels in Russia to the hotels in New York in that they’re lacking in size. The rooms are comfortable in their own quaint way and have some decent beds. He insists, “They’re nice, they’re just small.”
“Not like, super friendly, but they’re not like super rude or anything.”
Like the climate, Russians can give off the allure that they may be cold. Reference The Drink portion of this piece and we’re sure you’ll be fine.
“They tried to teach me some, but I don’t remember any I was so high when I was out there.”
You probably didn’t take Russian classes in highschool and if like Freddie, you think you might be “busy” while you’re on your trip, try brushing up on the Russian language before you head over. We found scoop this site that offers some free lessons. There’s also always Rosetta Stone.
“I mean it was so cold–people were in so many layers I couldn’t really tell.”
If you’re traveling in the winter, the lesson here is bring layers–lots of them. It can get really cold, sometimes hitting 0 degrees Fahrenheit. People wear “a lot of big ass parkas and trench coats and stuff like that.” Come prepared.
“I’ll add it again, don’t eat the borscht!”
Guess it’s really that bad.