Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More Signs You've Been in Russia Too Long

A longer list is posted at

Here are the ones I found personally relevant:

1. You have to think twice about throwing away an empty instant coffee jar.
2. You carry a plastic shopping bag with you "just in case".
3. You say he/she is "on the meeting" (instead of "at the" or "in a" meeting).
5. You answer the phone by saying "allo, allo, allo" before giving the caller a chance to respond.
6. You save table scraps for the cats living in the courtyard.
7. When crossing the street, you sprint.
8. In winter, you choose your route by determining which icicles are least likely to impale you in the head (this is a real problem that actually results in deaths each year when the ice melts and icicles fall)
9. You are impressed with the new model Lada or Volga car.
10. You hear the radio say it is zero degrees outside and you think it is a nice day for a change.

11. You argue with a taxi driver about a fare of 30 rubles ($2) to go 2 kilometers in a blizzard.
12. You are pleasantly surprised when there is toilet paper in the WC at work.
13. You are thrown off guard when the doorman at the nightclub is happy to see you.
14. Your not sure what to do you when the traffic cop only asks you to pay the official fine.
15. You wonder what the tax inspector really wants when she says everything is in order.
16. You plan your vacation around those times of the year when the hot water is turned off.
17. You are envious because your expat friend has smaller door keys than you have. Keys can double as self-defense weapon.
18. You go mushroom and berry picking out of necessity instead of recreation.
19. You know seven people whose favorite novel is "The Master and Margarita".
20. You change into tapochki (slippers) and wash your hands as soon as you walk into your apartment.

21. You can read bar-codes, and you start shopping for products by their country of production.
22. You know more than 60 Olgas.
23. You wear a wool hat in the sauna.
24. You put the empty bottle of wine on the floor in a restaurant.
25. You are rude to people at the airport for no reason.
26. You have to check your passport for an arrival-in-Russia date.
27. You think metal doors are a necessity.
28. You no longer feel like going to your "home" country.
29. You don't feel guilty about not paying on the trolley.
30. The elevator aroma seems reassuring somehow.

31. You no longer think washing clothes in the bathtub is an inconvenience.
32. You have to take E S L lessons before you go home.
33. When you know the Moscow Metro better than you know the subway system back home.
34. A weekend anywhere in the Baltics qualifies as a trip to the West.
35. You start buying Russian toilet paper.
36. You never smile in public when you're alone.
37. You know the official at the metro station/airport/border post/post office/railway station etc. etc. is going to say "nyet", but you argue anyway.
38. When you save tea-bags of Yorkshire Tea brought over specially from home to use for a second cup later....
39. When that strange pungent mix of odours of stale sawdust, sweat and grime in the metro makes you feel safe and at home....
40. When the word "salad" ceases for you to have anything to do with lettuce.
41. When mayonnaise becomes your dressing of choice


Blogger Russophile said...

Considering that the website took all that text straight off my website, could you give me the link back instead?

Here is the updated URL.

You can see that they took it from me by clicking on the link just under the blue link just under the picture at


9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow you really worked hard. I know sometimes it is emberassing to post little amount of information. But its ok. We are kind, so you dont need to make up anything. Just post the little facts you know and it would be an awesome paper.
Good luck! And God bless you!

6:42 PM  

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