I have been in Krasnoyarsk for a week. I have noticed some things. Let´s say I am inspired. Not only me. I told my friend that I am in the middle of Siberia and I like it. I have tried to get him to go to Erasmus for 4 years. None of my previous experiences inspired him. But stories about Krasnoyarsk made him apply. So thank you, Krasnoyarsk, I guess. What about Krasnoyarsk?
Russia is not all about vodka.
When I was thinking about Russia I was expecting that the majority of people are drunk. I expected people partying a lot, then fighting, then becoming friends, then fighting again. I was expecting:
The truth is that Russia is all about:
Everyone is drinking tea. I used to be green tea enthusiast, but here it is totally different game. I drank a pot of tea when you meet a radio guy. I drank pot of tea when you meet your host first time. I drank pot of tea with dinner. At the same time there is „ pjat ozjor in the fridge” just as an accessory, because my hosts will never drink it. What I heard from many people is that being healthy is cool. My Petersburg couchsurfing hosts told me that the young generation is into healthy lifestyle, sports and staying fit. A middle-aged radio host I met told that their generation was into vodka but now is really into staying sober since Russia´s life expectancy is not so good. I guess my grandmother is happy. She really believed that when I go to Russia I become alcoholic. Dear grandmother, it looks next step will be yoga or meditation. Then again, I think of Siberian winter and last thing that comes to my mind, is yoga.
While I was laying in the hospital and the doctors were taking out water from my knee with needles, all I can think of was vodka. When they put another needle, I could not stand it and asked:
“Могу ли я водку?”
„ Nнет!” answered both doctors and one of them pushed the needle harder. When she finished, she told:
„Теперь вы можете пить водку!”
Russian hospitality is real thing
As an Estonian I have much to learn from that. My tutor stayed the whole night in the airport waiting for my arrival, then taking me home and work like I am small baby. Every time she meets me she paints the nails before ( I do not know if this is called russian hospitality or maybe there should be a post about Russian women? ) She agreed to go to bar with me. Clearly she did not like there.
My host couple offered me lots of tea upon my arrival. Woke up 9 AM Sunday to show me the way. Introduced their parents and invited me for sashlõkk. My Couchsurfing hosts offered their vegetarian food and last cigarettes, even though they were quite poor. One of them even got angry that I did not eat breakfast. Then I met married couple in Krasnoyarsk. Before even meeting them, Maksim already invited me to their home for borsch that her wife cooked. ( Oh my god, I thought, borsch takes ages to cook and they invite random person for such cuisine.) Their 6-month old son Lev greeted me with smile like I am in their family. Maksim showed me the city and told me the best places for hookah. A radio presenter or my host family always offer me cookies and sweets.. I think they should not, because I can not stop eating them.
I thought I have had good borcsch but oh boy, I was wrong.
Because of Soviet Union this amazing soup is common in Eastern Europe. I thought I had eaten this soup thousand times, but when I tried this in restaurant in Krasnoyarsk or Maksim´s wife homecooked meal, I was blown away. So rich taste, like a paradise, boože moi, ja hotžu ežee! I need to learn more. However – pelmeni are still like pelmeni. Nothing special.
Somebody should write about conducters
Russian writers are known for developing and finding interesting characters. I wonder if anyone has written about those conductors. I have met Lionell Messi The Criminal. He was a tattooed guy who clearly did not like his job and when I said dobre utro, his eyes told me that if he was drunk, he would hit me. Then there was CrossWord Olga. This middle aged lady probably cooked good borsch but did not care about her job. She did not check the tickets, but only solved crosswords. Then there was Andrei the Cap, who liked eating pumpkin seeds and listening EDM on his phone while sometimes sleepily strolling the bus to sell tickets. Oh, boy, oh boy – I really like their outfits.
Everyone is about Germany.
Even though locals try to say different, Germany is cool here. Majority knows German. Majority have been to Germany. Many want to go for German projects. Why? Two reasons. One is that from WWII there is big German community here. Second, German organizations have done a great deal here to promote their projects and events.
To be honest I came to Krasnoyarsk with only one mission. Okay, yes I want to take part in Interra projects and start my own in the city. But my biggest mission is to find Cheburshka – this weird, strange creature from CCCP. I wonder who created this thing and what was his/her inspiration?
Vodka? Women? Cookies?
Я очень хочу встретиться с вами, Чебурашкa.
written by Krismar Rosin