Friday, 24 October 2008

Russian politeness

I just was in Berlin with a bunch of Russians. All of them were surprised by the polite people in Berlin.

A statement any German laughst about. Because in Germany people in Berlin are well known for beeing rude.

However, back in Moscow I tasted the difference. I staied in line for the passport control after arrival when a guy came up and just stayed with his family in front of me just when it was my turn to be checked.

So I asked him 'vi shutite' means, 'are you jocking'.

He holded up a green passport right before me and told very rude 'do you see this passport, I am a diplomate' with a strong I-am-better-than-you-attitude.

I replayed polite: 'from which country you are'
He said: 'Russia'

I said: 'I see, in other countries diplomats are supposed to be polite'.

His wife was pretty embarrased and did event want to let me go first. I doubt he got the point, the concept to have a status and to be polite is to far from him.

Anyway, i know I am back home.


Wednesday, 1 October 2008

nomen est omen

Nomen est omen

After 5 years traveling to Lithuania I just realize a great feature in their language.

They distinguise in the family name 3 forms, males. Female married and female single.

While german and english don't change the family name according to the sex..

E.g. englsih
Mr. And Mrs. Smith

Russian for example has the difference between the gender:
Mr. Ivanov and Mrs. Ivanova

But Lithuaniasn distinguished in between 3 forms:

Mr. Rimdeikas, Mrs. Rimdeikene (male, married) and Mrs. Rimdekeite (fenla, unmarried).

This is fantastic, just imagine a meeting where the business card tells you her status. Or even better, a conference/exhibition where already the name tage tells you how to allocate resources ;)

How is it in latin, as that Lithuanian has here strong influences

About this blog

This blog is a close up on Russia and the CIS. I am not giving you the big picture.
I would anyway fail. I am too long here. So beauty & decay,
education & corruption, high culture & kafka-style administration are meanwhile normal for me.
So this blog is like a painting from from Roy Lichtenstein... when you are with your nose on it :) You will just see the dots, not gaining any understanding of the whole.

Most things will look strange in this blog. But you can be sure, I would not live here, if there would not be a lot of great things here. Unfortunately, the weired stories are more interesting to tell & read.
Don’t judge Russia on this blog, if you want to know the country, come over and take a look by your own.