En Route to Russia

There’s nothing like a trip to the other side of the planet to get me to update my blog. This time, I’m headed to Vladivostok, the one-time home to the USSR‘s Pacific Fleet. (Actually, I’m already here, but am behind on posting, so…)

Anyway, I’m here to do a week of teaching (followed by a few more days in nearby Khabarovsk). I’m teaching journalism students in both cities, as well as meeting with some local journalists. The purpose is to provide some insights into American journalism and what’s happening online. Ironically, many Americans are wondering the same thing!

Heading East… Far East

I left Friday evening and my journey took me the “long way” to Vladivostok. Instead of flying west, I headed east, landing first in Moscow. Consistent with my findings as I’ve traveled abroad in recent years, all of the signs were in both the local language and English. Although this is certainly useful, I can’t help but feel a twinge of embarrassment. For one, the proliferation of English signage suggests both a culture creep and an expectation of catering that feels a little, well, obnoxious. Second, I know how few signs in America offer anything other than English. It seems to be a double standard that would do little to increase American likability.

That said, I was grateful for the signs, especially in Moscow airport when I spotted one that directed everybody — except those from Kazakhstan — to the immigration agents. The Kazakhs were redirected down a set of stairs to Lord only knows where. Those poor people get no respect.

Anyway, I’m keeping my posts short on this trip. My goal is to post a few short bits a few times a day. More to come.

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