National Geographic takes you inside Russia’s famed vodka rooms.
SERGEY GORDEEV: In America everyone hangs out at coffee shops. In Russia they go to a rumochnaya, or vodka rooms. The name comes from the word ryumka, or shot glass. So chances are you've got a pretty good idea of what goes on here.
Now, I left Russia when I was 15. So I didn't get to experience this part of Russian culture. But I've enlisted a couple of experts to help me make up for lost time.
At rumochnaya you don't sit there for hours. You stop by, have a drink, and go on about your business.
As you journey through the night, you learn that vodka rooms aren't about drinking vodka at all.