• Andrew Schwark

A Piece of the Russian Soul

I wanted to tell you something about my trip from a few months back. The one with my first real Russian friend, when I went to Chelyabinsk.


Chelyabinsk is, maybe was, an industrial city. I remember large smoke stacks and long,


squat buildings which formed kilometers long industrial plants. I think I was told that somewhere there is a place called "tankograd."


I thought that was cool.


Anyways.


I met up with Max and he showed me around a little bit. We hit up some of his favorite spots - there was a cool place called Surf Coffee that had a good vibe to it.


And at one point a guy in a blue sweatsuit that matched his blue Lambo. Russia never ceases to amaze.


So Chelyabinsk. Honestly I could take it or leave it. Who cares? Let's talk about the most classic of classic Russian vehicles.


No it's not devyatka.


It's the WAZ (everyone should ignore the fact that it's actually based on a US design). What does WAZ stand for by the way?


This barebones, steel truck is built to last. Like end of the world, keep you alive type of last. No heated seats. No power windows. Forget four wheel drive this is ONE WHEEL DRIVE.


Until you put it into two that is.


But it goes everywhere and can do just about anything. I loved it and when the trip ended prematurely with a low oil pressure issue, I glimpsed the Russian tenacity and the hidden adventurous soul I think many Russians have.



I think it's something like a fatalistic optimism.


"We're all going to die, but if the car runs a little more we can break for tea first."


Ha.


Of course I had to take a few photos and finally got to use the XF 56 1.2 enough to realize that it is an outstanding lens, maybe I'll do a review at some point.


All photos edited and color graded with no major photoshopping shenanigans. Cheers!