From Black Sea by Neal Ascherson, a Scottish journalist, about his travels around the Black Sea region:
The transition to a market economy in the lower Don requires more than laws made in Moscow. It needs nothing less than a cultural revolution, an overthrowing of inherited moral codes no less complete than the transformation which St Cyril intended.
Once in a hotel room at Anapa, I argued late into the night with a Cossack who had decided to start a tourism business. He was eating Azov herrings as he sat on his bed, pulling off their heads and splitting their bodies with a horny expert thumbnail. His idea was to invite rich foreigners down to the Don country for holidays. "You could bring them from Moscow on charter flights," I suggested. "And you could build a dude ranch out in the steppe beyond Novocherkassk, with comfortable chalets with running water, and offer them a Cossack Heritage Experience."
He shook his head. "That would cost money. To bring them by train would be far cheaper. They could stay with local people who have apartments, and would rent them a room for dollars."
But surely, I said, you had to make some sort of investment first to attract foreign customers, so that you could recoup the start-up costs and make a profit by charging high prices. "No, no," returned the Cossack entrepreneur. "The foreigners will pay very high fees, and we will spend as little on them as possible, and in this way we will make more money."
There were two other people in the room. One was a young archaeologist from Tanais, herself of Cossack ancestry. She had been listening to this conversation with rising disgust. Now she said, "We are talking about the sharing of our culture with guests from other lands. For that we do not need this vile commercialism!"
The other person was an Armenian, a Rostov worker who used his car as an unofficial cab. He said nothing. But he caught my eye. A gold tooth glinted. He rolled his gaze upward, and very gently shook his head from side to side in disbelief. Russians!