Very often I am asked the question: “Do you find that life in the US is very different from life in Russia? And what is so different between these lives? I would say “Everything”.
There are some of them.
- I would start with customer service. The journey from Tomsk, Russia to Boston, USA is very long, that is why decent service is very important. There are so many people at the airports who try to help you, answer your questions no matter on your accent. In Russia you hardly will able to find someone to ask the question.
- People. Americans are very polite and friendly on the street. They will give you a way, say a complement such as “I like your hat!”. Strangers say “hello” to each other, and everybody is smiling. Russians are opposite. They say “hello” only to a familiar. They almost don’t smile. I don’t want to say they are rude, but definitely less polite. Russians will not hold the door and wait for you. However, I don’t have to make an appointment in order to see my friend. I just make a phone call to be sure she is home, and stop by her home on my way from work. She, of course, would feed me or at least give me some coffee or tea. Here in the US it takes me a month to set up a meeting with my friend.
- Jobs. Americans work too much. I didn’t have any idea about that. In Russia people have a month of vacation after 11 months working at your job, no matter you work the first year, second or tenth.
- Food is very different. Butter (even unsalted) is very salty. Bread is too soft. Lol. There is no buckwheat at the supermarkets, besides Russian’s ones (somewhere in Boston area, or Providence, RI).
- Restaurants. it is very expensive to eat at the restaurants in Russia. Usually people go over there to celebrate something. So, they wear proper clothes. Here… my husband often tells me that I look to dressy. That is why I usually wear just regular jeans to go out for dinner. What I do like here – I can take leftovers home, and restaurant provides me with a container. It is lovely.
- Buildings and houses. I lived in a small city. Small means less than 1 million people. Mostly all of them live in the apartment buildings. Here people live in the cozy houses. Americans like to decorate their houses and space in front of them before the upcoming holidays. In Russia you will not decorate area outside of your home, because everything will be stolen next day.
- The weather in New Bedford is warmer and softer. But any southern locations would be warmer comparing to my home town Tomsk in Siberia.
- Animals. There are so many homeless dogs and cats in Russia despite the cold weather. I didn’t see abandoned dogs in the US. Instead the deers cross the street at 9 am, flocks of ducks or goose walk in the parks and near ponds.
All of these things are different. And one thing is difficult – the language!