I'm always interested in how people behave in different countries. And what's even more interesting how they behave in Russia, because we live here. When you travel, you can watch how people act there, and how they act in their home country. And, after traveling, many questions arise: why does that happen? Why isn't it customary for us to smile, have small talk, and so on? There's no single answer; you just accept it, like someone from abroad. You learn to live with it. When the conductor on the train yells at you or someone in the clinic is yelling, you just think: "Aha, so that's how it is." You can be rude back to them, or you can just laugh and find some other retort, make them laugh, or something.
I remembered a funny thing: a friend told me how she went to Brazil and received a lot of attention and compliments there, and then she came to Russia and wondered why nobody here says anything, even when she has put on makeup and gotten dressed up. And my colleague from Latvia, who studied in England, came to Innopolis [an IT village, university and technology park in Tatarstan] and said hi everyone, but no one answered him, and that made him sad. It's just a nonbinding conversation, just small talk, like, "how are you?" And he gets upset that there's no customer service. For me, this is a big question: why do people behave in one way or another.
So, going back to Asia: I remember seeing my friend off on the train to the airport and bursting into tears because I didn't know what to do next. I wanted to return, but I had to figure out where to return, to St. Petersburg, Kazan, or maybe even to Moscow.