"I'm not used to lettuce bubbling": an American about life in Russia
Categories: NationsBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/im-not-used-to-lettuce-bubbling-an-american-about-life-in-russia
Justin Yeager came to Russia about 10 years ago from the city of Claxburg, West Virginia. Russian Russian way of life and Russian people are already familiar to him now, but initially it was hard. The American was shocked by many things, especially the number of doors in the apartments and the "liquid salad with non-alcoholic beer" struck him. Although, admittedly, many Russians are also scared of okroshka.
Now Justin lives and works in Yekaterinburg, he has opened his own English language school, is happily married to a beautiful Russian girl Oksana, and is raising a charming son. An interview with him appeared on YouTube, where he answered several questions about life in Of Russia.
Justin with his parents and wife.
What made me move to Russia
Oh, it was so long ago, it's hard to remember. I think the main reason is that during the holidays I worked as a manager in an institution like Pizza Hut to earn some money. That's how I met the guys from In Russia, who worked there under the Work&Travel program. We got to know each other better, they seemed like cool guys to me, and I thought, "And in Russia is not so afraid. People are absolutely normal!" — and decided to try.
I am currently teaching in an international student program. At the school, which is mainly for the children of diplomats and businessmen — their children have to communicate in English. I also have my own language school.
Before I came to Russia, it seemed to me that most of the women here were either gymnasts or ballerinas, and most of the men were chess masters. They play chess very well and also know how to play the guitar. And when I came to Russia, it turned out that some of this is really true. Most of the guys I know really know how to play the guitar at least a little.
What surprised me the most
Most of all I was surprised that there were two doors in Russian apartments. I myself am from a small town in the south of the USA, after that I lived in New England for a while. But even living in Roy Island in the heart of the city, I almost never closed the doors of my apartment. But when I arrived in Russia, I saw the first door first, and I had two keys for this first door. Then the second door. And she needs more keys. I do not know, it shocked me a little.
The difference between Russians and Americans
I can't even say what exactly the difference between Americans and Russians is, I've been here for a very long time. But I'll tell you what. Maybe it's the language. Many people say that English is basically insincere. There are a lot of people in America who will smile at you, say hello, nod their heads, even though they don't care about you at all. And when you say in In Russia, especially in Russian, people are much more straightforward, they will not "sweeten" anything. There is a difference between "being rude" and "being straightforward". Therefore , in Russian people are not rude, but simply more direct. You ask a question and get the answer you need, instead of pouring sand to find the "stone of truth" that you are looking for.
Russian girls, whoo! Previously, I would have said that they are less interested in material values than American women. But my culture is built on material values — more! better! harder! faster!
About Russian cuisine
My favorite dish is dumplings. But I like them only if they are made by hand. If they are frozen, then it's like any other semi-finished product, nothing special. The best thing about dumplings is the cooking process. This is an all-day event. The whole family gathers, everyone talks, gossips, maybe drinks a little. It's a lot of fun. When you grind meat in a meat grinder, but not electric, but the old—fashioned way, this is the best way. And then you sculpt with your hands. This is definitely my favorite dish.But I also have a whole list of unloved dishes, which after 10 years of living in I have never been able to get used to Russia. For example, okroshka. Not a fan of this dish. This is when you take kvass — it's beer, only without alcohol, it looks like water with the taste of bread and bubbles. And take the salad and combine them. And then you sit and watch it bubble. I'm not used to lettuce bubbling. You sit there and think that this is probably the worst decision of your life. Individually, everything is fine, but not together.
Favorite Russian music group
I'm a little older, so I like the music accordingly. I prefer "Chaif".
Funny or ridiculous moments in Of Russia
Since I've been here for a long time, I've had some really ridiculous situations, like, for example, don't speak Russian. The best of them is my first night here. I went into the apartment, there was such a Soviet, old radio. And there was only one channel playing there, on which the anthem of Russia sounded, since at that time all channels are already finishing their broadcasting.
In the morning I was going to go to the store, I had a dictionary, I was sitting and translating everything on a piece of paper, preparing a shopping list. Thinking: mmm, tomorrow I'll be ready for anything.
I was able to find everything on my list except sausages. I don't eat hot dogs very often in America, but I thought that since I have a pot and I can cook them, then why not.
But I couldn't find them anywhere in the store, I looked everywhere at all. Well, I had to ask. Speaking in English, we have to be very polite, I can't say, "Come on, give it here!" More precisely, I can, but I shouldn't. I have to say, "Could you?" and something like that. I was making such a polite offer in my head and saw an elderly woman, a grandmother, which is very typical, she was putting the goods on the shelves. And I said to her, "Sorry, where, oh no. Please show me where your pussy is?"
Of course, it was a complete failure. I still had no idea about anything, but I noticed that the woman turned white, turned green and covered with other flowers. I called my friend Anton and said, "I've been here less than a day and have already created an international incident." To which he replied that I was lucky that she never showed her own. This is the story for which I am most ashamed since my arrival in Russia.