The Land of Seven Fridays

Yesterday, my Russian teacher taught me that you can describe a person who is constantly changing his mind and plans as someone who “has seven Fridays in a week.” As she explained the phrase in detail, I (perhaps smugly) smiled at how this simple little phrase so precisely encapsulates Russian culture. If I have learnedContinue reading “The Land of Seven Fridays”

Russia: the Best Boot Camp for People Pleasers

“And who’s going to close the door, ah!?” I cringed at the bus driver’s sharp yell as I realized it was directed at yours truly. Although logically I knew his sarcastic barb had nothing to do with me as a person, my emotional reaction outshouted any sense of logic, and tears of shame came toContinue reading “Russia: the Best Boot Camp for People Pleasers”

Not Much Time for Sleep!

It’s amazing how much can happen in a week here! Here’s a quick update on what has been going on in Tatarstan. Weekend in Kazan Last weekend, I was invited to Kazan(the largest city in Tatarstan) by the daughter of a teacher at the Institute, who works there as an English teacher and completed herContinue reading “Not Much Time for Sleep!”

The Country Where the G.P.S. Scolds You: A Little Post on Cultural Differences

After about a month of being here, I am still finding it hard to adjust in certain ways. I am not yet used to what, through my cultural lens, appears to be unnecessary harshness and scolding. Although on the logical level, I understand that American and Russian communication styles differ greatly, I have still takenContinue reading “The Country Where the G.P.S. Scolds You: A Little Post on Cultural Differences”

They Call it Culture Shock

It comes most noticeably at first in the assault of your senses: in the din of new sounds flooding your ears, in the thick scent of lead paint that varnishes university walls, in the bright colors of houses that contrast with the crumbling roads and mud-splattered Ladas. It comes secondly in trying to navigate theContinue reading “They Call it Culture Shock”