Another draft written long ago, but funny the topic came up again just the other day talking to Walid about Africa. I'm headed home from Russia in the morning. I'm thinking about this: Second World at Wikipedia
The term "Second World" is a phrase that was used to describe the Communist states within the Soviet Union's sphere of influence. Along with "First World" and "Third World", the term has been used to divide the nations of Earth into three broad categories. The term has largely fallen out of use since the end of the Cold War. The other two 'worlds' are still widely talked about.
Too bad "second world" is out of use, because it is apt here. Stages of my experience in Russia were thus: 1) Wow, this place is really scary. 2) Wow, this place is scary but the people are ok. 3) I'm getting used to this. 4) Look at that, they're rebuilding stuff here and there. 5) I like it here, but not sure I could give up my American standard of living to live here.