well I've been watching russian telly, and let me tell you - there is not a lot of difference. It's just like ours, but on speed.
i) I watched their X-Factor equivalent (trans. 1 minute), and I saw two contestants. One, a teacher in her late 30s from Siberia, whose piece started with a midi soundtrack. She's sitting by a table and her son in a waiter's outfit comes over and pours her a glass of wine. This she then placed on her forehead and began a slow dance around the stage, proceeding into a strange striptease-like series of maneouvres without a lot of grace.
They fucking loved it.
ii) The next contestant, Andrei from Moscow Oblast'. This young man, mulleted and well dressed, plays the accordion. He decided that this was a talent that the world needed to see. He was literally like Slash, but with a polka style rhythm played very fast and all the moves.
Again, they loved it. They wanted more.
iii) 'Zhdi Menia' - Wait for Me. Basically a reality show about people trying to find lost loved ones, but which my babushka decided was hilarious. Lots of midi tunes, people crying etc. At the end of which was an anti-paedophilia commerical, an extremely realistic and graphic anti paedophilia commericial.
The babushka found that less funny. It was rather uncomfortable.
Also went to a the Kizhi island this weekend, on a hydrofoil (lime green). It was really cool, just like something out of 19th century literature.
You can buy gin and tonic in a can (80p). You can buy a bottle of stolichnaia for 4 pounds.
All in all, a great couple of days. I really wish I could upload photos.