Thursday, May 9, 2013

the Cold Shoulder :: When It's Great to Not Be Able to Speak Russian

It's too my advantage that I don't speak Russian when on the streets.

See, in Russia, when strangers talk to you, it's not always a good thing. In fact, likely, the people that will speak out to you will, in fact, be somewhat intoxicated or not mean you any good.

In America, I have a tendency to respond to anything someone says to me. I like to reply with full eye contact and frequently encourage a conversation. I love talking with strangers!

In Russia, that wouldn't be a good idea. And, since I can't engage in conversation with them, I just stare straight forward and pretend they don't exist.

Which really is a good idea in this country.

It's good that, when I'm out from city center and meandering a street alone, folks don't always know I'm a young American who is alone in Russia. It's generally quite ok, but I'd like to keep it that way.

It feels crazy to be so cold and closed off. I've offered smiles before here when I'm used to smiling but learned that they're usually not returned. Thus I've adapted to keeping my smiles inside my brain.

I saw a lady the other day and we shared a smile - beaming ones. As I passed her, I said, "Hello!" and her facial expression (shock) was amusing. One does not generally expect an American to be wandering their apartment parking lot.

Photographs are from Kirovsk with CS Host # 9.
He took me up!

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