À propos fellow passengers glaring when you do up your seat belt on take-off on an internal Russian flight:
It was much the same in Moscow when you flagged down and negotiated the price of a ride home with a driver heading in the same direction, he would invariably take it as a personal insult to his driving if you tried to do up the seat belt. The protocol was that you should take the seat belt and drape it across your shoulder, so that it looked to traffic policemen (GAI-shniki) like they might not be able to extract an easy bribe if they stopped you. On the whole, I gave up and took to enjoying the sensation of not wearing a seat belt, enjoying sticking two fingers up to the British health and safety obsession, even when we passed the occasional gruesome traffic accident. One in particular stuck in my mind - a minibus that had crashed into a Volga car on the way back from Sheremetyevo airport, leaving several bodies scattered across the main road, and the corpse of a young woman hanging crumpled half way through the back window. That time I actually buckled up my seatbelt as we passed the carnage and the driver glared at me angrily, as if I were implying that he might cause a crash like that too, but on that occasion he said nothing.