|Subject: Re: Russia - tour vs. independent|
You wrote about the attempt to overcharge for the ballet tickets. It's the system: Foreigners ante up to support the arts. Locals pay very little. You got to the Ballet at the Russian rate as your guide picked up the tickets. Had you gone to the box office, you would have paid, maybe not the $95 rate, but considerably more. Anytime you get tickets through the hotel, you pay for the service.
In China we found several prices: Chinese, Overseas Chinese, HongKong Chinese, and Westerners. Just consider it your donation to their culture. BUT it isn't a rip-off really, for we have so much more than the Russians or Chinese have.
Anyway, wasn't just you; was the system! And Russia is great!
Cheers! Jo in Sunnyvale CA