Talk About Cultural Differences!
I always had a feeling I was supposed to be born in a different era :). I believe this is partially why this pic of my bestie Katya and yours truly doesn't look like it was taken in 2005, but rather in 1865 :). Anyhow, the reason I even thought of this pic was because I recently recalled a funny story that happened during Chris' first visit to Russia, back in distant November 2004. As you already might know, we got married during my summer visit to the US and then I had to go back home for a year. So, somewhere between visiting my grandmothers, aunts and uncles in my hometown, Voronezh, we were getting off a public bus. Amidst the cold November drizzle, when it's not yet that cold, so what appears to be snow forms into gray slush on the pavements and highways of the busy, ever-rushing city. If you come from any Eastern European country, you might know that it's expected that if a lady of any age is accompanied by a man of any age - be it her father, her brother, her husband, her boyfriend, her friend - they would be the first ones to get out of the transport and extend their hand to help the lady out. At least this was expected when I was growing up (I have been living in the States for 18 years now, so things might have changed). And I have always liked it! Not that I couldn't get out myself, it just felt so nice, so romantic, so Scarlett O'Hara-like - and most importantly, I didn't know any different. My Dad has always done it, and all men of all ages have always done it. It was expected. It was expected to such an extent that when I was getting out of that public bus on the drizzly November evening in 2004 - I didn't even think to look to see if my new husband who got off the bus first was going to help me down. I expected his hand to be there. Alas, it wasn't :). Only thanks to some miraculous sense of balance, I managed to catch myself and not fall into a huge muddy puddle beneath me. For a second, I got mad, and then I started to laugh. And when I finally explained to my bewildered husband what had transpired - he seemed to be completely surprised. He'd never heard of such custom, he said. Talk about cultural differences!