6 Awesome Things You Probably Didn't Know About Russia

1 - Beer was not an alcoholic beverage.

Until recently, beer was just a food item in Russia. In 2011, the bill that recognized the drink as alcoholic was approved in the first instance, and only on January 1, 2013, it was approved.

2 - It's vodka's fault

Amazement: 25% of Russian men die before the age of 55. This impressive percentage is related to people's intense passion for vodka. Just to give you an idea, Russians consume an average of 20 liters of vodka a year, while the British consume three liters of distilled beverages over the same period.

3 - Addicted Bears

In February this year, two bears were sent to rehab for being addicted to beer. They were owned by a restaurant owner in Sochi, Russia, and were used to entertain people who came to the establishment for 20 years. The animals were trapped in the back of the restaurant and customers could give them alcoholic beverages.

The Great Hearts organization, with the help of the animal rights foundation created by Brigitte Bardot, was able to send them to a bear park in Romania, where they will receive adequate care to treat this addiction. The restaurant's owner, Dzhernkis Uzaroshvili, said he did not mistreat the animals and that "beer is good for bears because of the cold here in Sochi."

4 - Taxi with siren

Russian businessmen found a different way to escape traffic: Through a website they hired ambulances that, with their sirens on, allowed them to arrive at meetings on time. Police discovered the fraud in 2013 when an ambulance was stopped on a patrol. One of the officers suspected that there was something strange, because, according to him, who was driving the vehicle "did not seem to be an ambulance driver."

The result: when they sued the driver, they saw that the interior of the car was customized and luxuriously decorated. At the time, the ambulance rent for an hour cost about 400 reais.

5 - “She Loves You” on x-ray

The Beatles is a very famous band all over the world and in Soviet times it was forbidden to listen to songs from western bands. Because buying records on the black market was risky, a solution was found. X-rays were bought or stolen from inside the hospital waste and the music was recorded on them. The name given to these recordings was "bone music". Creative, no?

6 - Walking the walls

If you go to Russia and come across a carpet on the wall, don't be alarmed. As it turns out, in the 1960s millions of people moved from the countryside to the city and lived in cheap apartments in newly built buildings.

Besides the material used to build the buildings (concrete) that caused the Russian cold to intensify inside the apartments, another reason for this practice was the thickness of the walls, which was very thin. Being sleepless because of neighbor fights or the like was common, and the carpet served as a good soundproofing material. Since then it has become a custom.

You should know that using wall rugs is not unique to Russians. In the Middle East this has been done for much longer. The decorative piece indicates good living conditions and this thought was very present at the time of the Soviet Union.