This is the memoir of a Scottish man who lives in Moscow who goes on tourist vacations to the middle-of-nowhere. Places where they have never seen anyone from Europe. Places that, when he says he is a tourist, they laugh at him. All places that were in the former Soviet Union. This book gives a GREAT window into the lives of some people who have never ever had books written about them, and moreover, had much of their culture destroyed in the Stalinist era. Who knew there was a Chess City built in the middle of nowhere? Who knew that Europe’s first major desert was created by Stalin’s insistence on crop production. While there were parts of the book that were more personal than travelogue that made me want to scream “Could you have even done a TINY bit of research or preparation before going to these places?” Still it’s a very interesting subject that isn’t really treated in English.