Remember that everyone you meet is a person. Even a soldier at a checkpoint or a hotel manager. Among the dour, colourful or bustling this can be temporarily forgotten, but remembering can ease many encounters.
Language permitting, make friends! The Russian librarian will take you to a pagan ritual in the forest, the sweetmeat vendor will recount the Gita’s philosophy about life and action, the girl on the bus will invite you to her aunt’s wedding.