October 28, 2021

Reindeer, Restaurant Overload, and the Best Taxi Drivers in All the Russias



Reindeer, Restaurant Overload, and the Best Taxi Drivers in All the Russias
In Odder News

In this week's Odder News, reindeer roam the streets, Muscovites fill the streets to prove that announcing lockdowns well in advance is a good idea, and those yellow and green delivery guys (also on the streets) are doing well.

  • Maybe Russia does have wild megafauna roaming its streets, like everyone thinks. This week, reindeer were spotted in suburban St. Petersburg. They were recorded trying to get gas and blocking traffic all over the Leningrad Region. The owner retrieved the reindeer after they went viral, explaining that they had been frightened by a pack of dogs and ran away.
  • Moscow and St. Petersburg are getting ready for the strictest pandemic lockdowns since the first one in March-April 2020. Muscovites celebrated by piling into restaurants the last weekend they would be able to without a QR code. Restauranteurs reported 20% more reservations than they took before the pandemic once the impending lockdown was announced. Because the best way to not catch a dangerous airborne virus is to dine with a crowd – or even to stand in a tight, Russian-style line to process the paperwork required to get a vaccine and a QR code.
  • Don't feel too badly for the food delivery guys wearing matching rain-resistant coats and cube-backpacks, riding their bikes in all kinds of weather. Some of them have been making R200,000 ($2,845) per month since much of the migrant labor force left Russia during the pandemic. At the same time, demand for couriers of all kinds has increased. This is well above the average Russian monthly salary at the moment and nothing to sneeze at. Still, gig work is not easy, especially for those braving rain and snow.
  • Speaking of gig workers, Yandex held a contest for its taxi drivers and deemed 15 of them "perfect drivers." The Yandex Go app workers each earned a prize of R50,000 ($711) for especially safe driving. A key element of the contest for big-city taxi drivers was "interacting" with electric scooters, a hot topic at the moment.

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