I think I'm in shock after watching 20/20 this evening. The whole show was an absolute joke. I was literally repulsed from start to finish by its over-produced, over-dramatized, highly sensationalized "news" stories. All I gleaned from the experience was a reminder not to watch (or believe) anything on TV. I am so glad they didn't include us in their ridiculous segment about Russian roads.
It was fun to see our our friend Evgeniy again, however briefly. He seemed subdued, more mature than the last time we met, and it made me smile to see him looking dapper in his peacoat. The rest of the piece, just made my blood boil. There was absolutely no point to the story, save for trying to scare people about the so-called horrors of driving in Russia.
Instead of using our interview, they ran one with a woman who emphatically informed the viewers that driving in Russia was essentially a death-wish. This is basically the exact opposite of what we said. I should have known better than to expect something positive on American news. Of course they didn't include our story, a tale of Russia's beauty, and what a marvelous adventure it was to drive across it.
We told them that traffic in cities was a little crazy, but that the Trans-Siberian Highway was totally drivable. When asked if we'd experienced anything insane (akin to what's shown on the recent influx of youtube videos), we said no... but then smirked and added that we weren't surprised by them, either. From what we saw, Russia can be pretty absurd.
The saddest part about the story is that millions of Americans watched it, and now probably believe that Russia is a horrible unsafe place, somewhere to be avoided at all costs. The whole thing just makes me disgusted and angry. I feel a bit relieved too, I think we dodged a bullet by not being on the show. Who knows how they would have twisted our words to fit their agenda?
All of this talk of Russia is making me nostalgic for our Siberian road trip. I miss the ornate wooden houses, the old women selling honey and potatoes and vegetables by the side of the road, the lakeside freecamps where we washed the day's sweat away in the water, and all the friendly folks who warmed our hearts across the country. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Give me a break 20/20. Is it really so crazy to drive in Russia?