What lies beyond Sochi?
Only the largest country in the world in terms of area.
Post-Olympics, should you find yourself stretching out to explore the rest of Russia -- especially Moscow and St. Petersburg -- a little cultural background can help you make the most of this dazzling land.
You can't miss them: flowers are everywhere in Russia, even in the bitterest cold.
Men give women flowers for almost any occasion -- it needn't signal romantic interest.
Women carrying huge bouquets down the street or in the Metro is a common sight.
It's a sign that relations between the sexes are still largely traditional.
Women are offered food and drinks first.
Men are expected to take a woman's coat and to walk her back to her hotel, car or even elevator.
Chivalry can appear charming or antiquated, depending on your view, but either way it's best to go along if you want to make friends.
You'll get good use out of a suit or evening dress
Sure, you'll want to be dressed up for the ballet or to get into a "face-control" club (a Russian specialty where bouncers judge your suitability for the premises in a glance).
But many Russians love any excuse to pull the sharpest, newest clothes out of their closets.
Going out to dinner or just visiting a museum -- there are any number of reasons to get dressed up.
Coat checks are everywhere, so you won't need to hang on to that bulky top coat.
But winter might ruin your shoes
You'll know this if you already come from a cold climate, but no small amount of shoes are sacrificed to a Russian winter.
Puddles, mud and snow can spell a tearful goodbye to your most expensive Oxfords or Manolos.
Some Russian urbanites advocate chunky snow boots for the sidewalk and a change of footwear for indoors.
Not all Russians drink vodka
Go to a big dinner with Russian friends and you should be prepared for plenty of vodka toasts.
You'll also find the drink in endless varieties -- from vodka made from melted icebergs to "ecological" vodka to bottles that come with their own knitted warmer.
That doesn't mean you're obliged to get obliterated as soon as you pass customs.
"I've met a lot of Russians who don't drink," says Fiona Spoon, a British student in Moscow.