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S03.E05: Russia

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On the eve of the Olympic games in Sochi, Bourdain takes his first trip in nearly 10 years to Russia, accompanied by his longtime traveling partner Zamir Gotta. Looking through the lens of a now Putin-controlled Russia, Bourdain confers with prominent locals, visits Moscow’s historic Metropol Hotel, takes the Grand Express train to St. Petersburg, and explores the drinking and dining scene.

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Oh Zamir is back from being frozen out of Tony's prison.  That Transylvania episode was really, really bad.  I loved how Tony was working on a beer in the hotel lobby when Zamir popped in and he knew he was switching to vodka.  I wonder if they adjust their time schedules when Zamir is working with the group.  Starting later in the morning so the body can process all of the vodka?

 

Was it my imagination or was there more production value and video graphics in this episode. Weird.

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This is the only time Zamir's presence was useful to the show.

 

Interesting how the show has focused on corruption with Mexico and Russia. I am actually less likely to go to Russia though even though I have always loved Russian literature. I would like to go to Hermitage one day, but I don't know when in that political climate.

 

I really enjoyed the interview with the filmmaker and her analogy about how there are two Russians, one being and instinctive, ruthless bear and the other being a country full of intelligent people. I thought that summed up a lot of what I've read about Russians and their history. It's fascinating at least.

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They replayed this tonight, even though it said it was Peru on my DVR, I imagine because he talks to Boris Nemtsov and even asks him if he is worried about being imprisoned or murdered because of his opposition to Putin and he responds simply "Tony, this is where I was born, where I have lived for 54 years...I believe Russia can be free." Chilling given his assasignation last week.

 

eta: Tony did an updated voiceover about Nemtsov's death.

Edited by biakbiak
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