Diary of a Russian Wife

12/30/2006

Your Russian Wife Is American If...

I've found an interesting topic, "You Maybe Russified If".

In response, I've created my own list, "Your Russian Wife Is American If":

1. She asks her child a question in Russian and is not surprised that he/she answers in English.
2. She doesn’t dress up any more for grocery shopping.
3. She always remembers to fasten a seat-belt – even on a back seat.
4. She says “ooops” instead of “oy”.
5. She doesn’t immediately buy the fabulous piece of clothing that she liked, but waits until it’s on sale.
6. She reads the Internet news and forums more often than books.
7. She doesn’t tell jokes that are not politically correct.
8. She prefers jeans and tennis shoes to short skirts and high heals.
9. She believes that a gift card makes a good present.
10. She doesn’t spend 2 days in the kitchen before holidays and birthdays.
11. She throws out 90% of her mail without opening it.
12. She judges the size of a house by numbers of bedrooms in it.
13. She always remembers her social security number.
14. She suspects that "parking", "appointment", "OK", "shopping", "insurance" and "lunch" are Russian words.
15. She regularly orders iced tea in winter.
16. She buys fat-free food right after she has driven an additional 5 minutes around the parking lot to find a parking place three yards closer to the shop entrance.
17. She knows that 90 degrees Fahrenheit is hot and 30 degrees is cold.
18. She doesn’t know how to turn a TV on if a remote control is lost.
19. She uses her fingers to eat French fries.
20. When she stays in a hotel, those little soap bars don’t end up in her suitcase as souvenirs.
21. She thinks that 3 inches of snow is too much snow.

12/20/2006

Colors in Russian

One of my readers asked: "Can you tell me why Russians think of things in black and white? Like they save for black days and when things are going well everything is white. Also I have heard of a saying that goes like this,"Life is like a series of black and white stripes."

Although we do have sayings referring to bad times as "black days", we don't think in black and white. We use other colors for our sayings and proverbs as well. For example, about idealists Russians say, "they see the world through pink glasses". The word "krasny" in all Slavic languages has 2 meanings: not only "red", but also "beautiful". Thus, Red Square in Moscow has nothing to do with "red" communists. It was built at the end of 15th century and was named "Red" as "beautiful".

Red SquareRed Square

Speaking of a beautiful girl, Russians used to say in the past, "red girl" ("krasnaya devitsa"). The nicest place in a home is called a "red corner" ("krasny ugol").

Colors are closely connected to emotions in the Russian language. We say, "his face turned green from anger", or "he turned yellow from envy". Of course, nobody turns green or yellow – these are just expressions.

By the way, "blue" means "gay" in Russian. Nobody knows for sure why. There are several theories where it came from, and one of them – that it's influence of English language: term "gal-boy" (feminine boy) sounds very similar to Russian "goluboy" ("blue").

New Forum at Red-October.net

My husband has added a new forum at his web site, Red-October.net. Here you can discuss all aspects of marrying a Russian woman, K-1 visas, travel to Russia, Russian traditions and Russia in general! Check it out: www.red-october.net/russian-wives-forum.