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Don't Believe What You See on TV

by Tara

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.

Russian Girl Blowing Bubbles Russian Theater Poster St. Petersburg Metro Car Church of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, St. Petersburg Russian Roadside Cafe St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow Smoky Sunset Camel & LRC Russian Kids Bridge Jumping Russian Home & Church Riverside Painter in Pereslavl-Zalessky Rostov Church Spires Sunset Inside Rostov Kremlin Russian Decoy Cop Car Along the Volga at Dusk Russian Car & Home Russian Kids on Motorcycle Wild Goose Chase Siberian Man & His Horse-Drawn Wagon Geese Crossin' the Road Tara & Safar Laughing Russian Flowers & House Altay Sheep Running Away River in the Altay Awesome Russian Altay Kids White Russian Horse LRC in Russian Altay Mountains Yak!

Give me a break 20/20. Is it really so crazy to drive in Russia?

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Just don't watch tv.
Why waste your energy on garbage?
Posted by Et on March 16th, 2013 at 6:33 PM
Whence the usefulness of your unsurpassed 'Going Slowly' blog to show us what the World really is.
And for that, I thank you again!
Posted by David on March 16th, 2013 at 7:17 PM
Yes, THank you for sharing the real beauty! Still reading every post! Can't wait to visit. Miss you both!
Posted by Eliza on March 16th, 2013 at 10:53 PM
Great Journal Entry! I agree with you in every way. I've given up on the media in this country as they have become the real threat to civilization with their jaded, biased and half-informed reporting. If you want to know what's going on in this world you have to to one of two things: 1. Go out there and see it for yourself, or 2. Speak with those who have. There are good and bad places here in the U.S. but for some reason, foreigners seem to be returning to vacation here faithfully. Why? Because many of them are already aware that their media lies to them about everything. The easiest way to keep you from experiencing something is to saturate your mind with fear. You guys have been blessed to travel the world and have faithfully reported your journeys. For this, we owe you a great deal of gratitude. -Kind Regards, Paul
Posted by Paul David Soto on March 17th, 2013 at 9:14 AM
I love this photo gallery. Great reminder of the crazy, irritating and best of russia :)
Posted by BreakfastinMoscow on March 17th, 2013 at 10:31 AM
Your photos totally made me want to go back to Russia! Some crazy is good in life :)
Posted by Magalie on March 18th, 2013 at 1:01 AM
«…Russia is a horrible unsafe place, somewhere to be avoided at all costs» — it’s true! But sometimes Russia is very beautiful (not Moscow of course).
Posted by Artem Sapegin on March 18th, 2013 at 2:40 AM
Essentially TV is dumbed down - for dummies. Haven't owned a TV in years (which is quite shocking to most people), but I don't miss it at all!
Posted by Tony on March 19th, 2013 at 4:54 AM
We didn't get a TV after returning from our world trip, and I can't say I miss it! That's not to say we never watch TV. Sometimes we watch shows online, but we're picky about what we watch. It's always a conscious choice and we certainly won't be replacing the TV anytime soon....
Posted by Friedel on March 25th, 2013 at 9:14 AM
Appreciated this entry - my hubby shared this video with me and I thought you two would appreciate it. A different take on the Russian dash-cam :0)
Posted by liza on May 6th, 2013 at 6:55 PM
Thank you for this post. A much-needed gulp of sanity in today's media craze.
Interestingly, roughly around the same time that they interviewed you guys, BBC made and aired "Russia on four wheels", a tongue-in-cheek travel documentary, which was actually pretty good (kind of reminded me of Michael Palin's old "New Europe" flick).
So, not all TV is made equal :-)
Posted by PecTopaH on July 17th, 2015 at 1:12 AM