In the land of Putin

While watching hours and hours of State-controlled Russian TV  — it’s a weird but productive sociological experiment — American writer Gary Shteyngart recalls an encounter in the country of his birth:

On my last visit to Moscow several years ago, a drunken cab driver from a distant province drove me through the city, nearly weeping because, he said, he was unable to feed his family. “I want to emigrate to the States,” he said. “I can’t live like this.”

“You should try Canada,” I suggested to him. “Their immigration policies are very generous.”

He mock-spit on the floor, as he nearly careened into the sidewalk. “Canada? Never! I could only live in a superpower!”

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