A love-hate relationship with Russians

Now, stereotyping an entire group of people is not necessarily a good thing, but I have found myself surrounded by Russians in many situations here in Estonia. While I lived around Russian speaking people in Russia and Ukraine, it is different here, simply because of the seemingly polar oppositeness of Russians and Estonians. I find this very entertaining, and after my time here, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I have a love/hate relationship with Russians. This isn’t meant to bash Russians, in fact I tend to love Russians more than hate them. It is the things I love about Russian people that can also drive me crazy (maybe I’m bi-polar or something). So, hopefully no one gets offended by this post, but really, I just love (and sometimes hate) Russians.

Examples:

LOVES

  • My Russian students are a blast to teach! They are generally not afraid of speaking and are willing to put themselves out there to learn the language.
  • Willingness to joke around and laugh. I love joking with Russians. They understand my jokes/sarcasm and I understand them. Russians aren’t slow to smile and laugh in a comfortable atmosphere.
  • Russian food is amazing. I had borsh the other day and I loved every spoonful (with a tiny bowl and unnaturally large spoon, of course).
  • I kind of understand the Russian language, so hearing it is semi-normal and I can kind of get the gist of what Russians are saying.
  • Russians think it’s funny when I try and write Russian translations on the board. They laugh at me and I totally don’t care, it lightens the mood (because seriously, I’m not trying to actually say the word correctly).
  • Russian music videos and comedy shows on TV. I have no idea what they’re saying, but it’s still hilarious to watch. Check out this YouTube video for a taste.

HATES (this is the terrible part to write–but it’s true for me)

  • Russians are a bit loud… Especially in our apartment complex late at night (usually just on weekends). Whenever there is a group of guys singing in the hallway, it’s always Russians.
  • Pushy grandmas. Man, Russian grandmas wander around the world assuming that everyone will move out of the way for them. They’ll push to cut in line, get on/off the tram, pretty much anywhere.
  • The Russian market meat place. Oh man, I can’t go in there. I wait outside when Pete goes in to get our cheap meat. (But, this is also a love because of the price of meat–and it’s tasty!)

Ok, ok. That wasn’t so terrible/stereotypical, was it? I hope not.

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3 Comments

Filed under Culture, Estonia, Travel

3 responses to “A love-hate relationship with Russians

  1. hi! Randomly found your blog after googling “I want to move to Tallinn”!
    I loved your post about “love/hate with Russians”! After living in Russia for a year and a half and then visiting Estonia I totally know what you mean about the difference there… and with all of your assessments with Russian! I have some friends who have moved to Tallinn and I am looking to move as well– my friends are looking at English teaching jobs and i was wondering if you could point me in the right direction of where to look for some? I am more interested in working somewhere in the field of international affairs/relations, maybe interning at the embassy? I would love to chat if you have any information or advice that you would like to share! My email is kyra.m.gordon@gmail.com

    Thanks!
    Kyra

    • Hey Kyra,

      Sorry it’s taken so long to respond to your comment! Very cool that you’re looking into moving to Tallinn. As for jobs teaching English, there are several places who look for native speakers (International Language Services, In Downtown). I liked teaching English, but I have also looked into finding other work in the area, but I found it really hard to find work because I didn’t speak Estonian or Russian (if you speak Russian, you might have better luck). You can go to cv.ee to check out job postings. My husband worked at the Embassy, and sometimes jobs open up for ‘local hires’, most people have to go through the vigorous application process to get a job at the US embassy. I love the city and whatnot, but cost of living is really high compared to the average income. Good luck! Let me know if you have other questions.!

      K.

  2. Natalie Robison

    Kimmy! I am trying to get as much info about Ukraine as possible. I’ve been to Mexico about a million times now and it’s so old hat that I’m trying to get used to the feeling of not knowing where I’m traveling to. I’m asking everyone I know for tips and such. Also I want to hear about all the best places to travel afterward. If you have time drop me a line or two yeah? That’d be so excellent. And I’d trust your travel advice over most! 🙂
    My email is sweetsistersue@hotmail.com

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