Kurgan, Russia

  • Date
  • 20 August 1999
  • Lodging
  • Hotel Slavyanskaya
  • Distance
  • 636 KM
  • Total
  • 35420 KM

Arrived in Kurgan around 5:30 p.m. and a local led us to the foreign-owned Hotel Slavyonskaya, which also owns part of a plant in town. We have found several cities where companies have built their own hotels for visitors and business associates, since the local ones are in such poor condition.

After registering, we headed to a nearby restaurant recommended as one of the best in town. Upon arrival, the restaurant sent an attractive young woman downstairs to invite us inside and show us the extensive menu. Then she advised us of the entrance fee: 70 rubles (US$2.80) for women and 50 rubles (US$2) for men. What?! Jim could not believe the fee and I could not believe the price discrimination, so we left on principle.

Then we made our way to another fully booked restaurant with an entrance fee and then to a third restaurant charging 25 rubles (US$1) for entrance. We ended up eating pork shashlyk, bread, pickles, onion and tomatoes at a sidewalk café. Perhaps we gained nothing in our pursuit of a meal without a cover charge, but we felt we did the right thing by boycotting the absurd, new custom.