From the same store selling Odnoklassniki Vodka comes…vodka-filled chocolates? I guess they’re more customs-friendly if you’re trying to bring home a few more CIS classics – not technically a liquid, and therefore suitable for carry-on?
Two years on and I’m still sometimes amazed at the propensity for hard alcohol in the CIS states. I still remember the first store I stopped in while taking the bus from Xinjiang to Almaty (Kazakhstan) in July 2013: our coach bus stopped beside two clampboard buildings in the middle of Kazakhstan’s windswept steppe, and I stepped into one looking for a SIM card. I first thought I’d wrongly stepped into a liquor store, as half the walls were covered in vodka, cognac and cheap hard ale – more than a bottle for every homestead we’d passed in the past hour. But no – all of Kazakhstan’s grocery stores were similarly devoted to one of the country’s greatest pastimes.
I’ll let you know how the taste test goes if I find any guineapigs willing to shell out $4 and try.