Thursday, July 5, 2012

Awkwardly Awesome Moments

Comrades,

It has been another long week. I apologize for not updating the blog earlier, but I have been swamped with work. Monday through Thursday, I come home from school and do 3-4, sometimes even 5 hours of homework.

Throughout the week there has been some pretty funny and awkward moments I would like to share with you:

1. So I joined a gym not far from my house as a way to de-stress at the end of the day after all of my homework and to work off all of the calories from my host mother's delicious, yet excessively plentiful meals. The first time I went to the gym I did not realize that some of the weight machines are in kilograms rather than pounds. I usually lift between 20-30 lbs so when I set the machine to 20, not realizing that was 20 kg and not 20 lbs, I lifted the weights for a second before realizing my fatalistic error. I then did that awkward thing when the weights crash and everyone in the gym stares at you....

Another note on Russian gyms...the men exemplify the stereotype of a Russian male weight lifter. I thought the varsity athletes at Georgetown were into weight lifting until I came to Russia. The men congregate around the weights and compare themselves to each other. Quite hysterical.

2. Yesterday was the fourth of July. To celebrate, we attended a traditional Russian choir concert. After that, I came home, studied and prepared for a presentation this morning on Russian-Ukrainian relations (it went splendidly). My patriotic moment, however, was on Saturday night at "Planet Karaoke." After several drinks with Americans, we busted out to "Sweet Caroline." It was a proud American (and English) moment indeed.

3. Today we had a master art class with a local lacquer artist who showed us how to make broaches. I painted a flower because I lack artistic talent. I initially asked him if I could do a Kandinsky-style, abstract image and he laughed and said Kandinsky and lacquer are incompatible styles. (that was a dorkier comment, I realize).

4. I have been asked hundreds of questions about life in America, particularly from my host mom and her grandchildren. I will share some of my favorites that shed light on Russian culture and the Russian mentality on America?

- Do you have cheese in America? Blueberries? Ketchup?

- Does Spiderman live in America? Where? Is he friendly? (asked by a 7 yr old)

- You want chai?
- Sure.
- What do you want to eat?
- I already ate dinner.
- So? Want to eat again?
- No thank you.

5. Some host mom quotes from my friends:

" In the future, how many children do you want to have? Do you want to breast feed your children?..You should, it is good for them." - asked to a 22 year old by a host mom.

"You should eat more cabbage to make your boobs grow so men will find you attractive."

Alright, that's all for now folks. Surely more awkward moments to come.


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