The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.
Переклад цього матеріалу українською мовою з російської було автоматично здійснено сервісом Google Translate, без подальшого редагування тексту.
Bu məqalə Google Translate servisi vasitəsi ilə avtomatik olaraq rus dilindən azərbaycan dilinə tərcümə olunmuşdur. Bundan sonra mətn redaktə edilməmişdir.

What Americans think about Russia

Scott at the New Year's Fair on Red Square. Photos from the personal archive of Olga Khristoforova

I know from my own experience that Americans treat Russia and Russian people with a great deal of curiosity and goodwill. Perhaps only with the exception of President Putin which they consider to be a symbol of world evil, writes Olga Khristoforova in her Holaolly blog.

My friend Scott has already come with me to Russia three times. At first, he was very surprised at the cordiality with which even strangers greeted him - either a Soviet badge at a flea market would be presented, then a random passer-by would invite him to the “spill”. It was a great revelation for him how safe it is on the street even at night, contrary to the idea of ​​an extremely criminalized Russia prevailing in the West.

The role of Santa Claus Scott fits every time very responsibly, so the image is extremely convincing. Photos from the personal archive of Olga Khristoforova

I will put on the best at once, or Scott on ice fishing somewhere in the Penza region. Photos from the personal archive of Olga Khristoforova

Every time, returning to the United States, Scott enthusiastically tells his friends about the unprecedented beauty of the Moscow metro station and about the dead Lenin in the Mausoleum; about kebabs on the grill and about a strange vegetable salad with sausage, seasoned with fermented drink from old bread; about ice fishing and a bathhouse with brooms; about the boundless Volga and tea on the top shelf of the Moscow-Penza train compartment; about my cheerful grandmother Nina and her balalaika; about the scale of the New Year in Russia and about how, on New Year's Eve, he was stuck in an elevator costume of Santa Claus. After such colorful stories, Russia is seen by Americans as a sheer exotic attraction that you definitely need to visit.

The irony of fate, or Exploitation of the American immigrant in the fight against the Colorado potato beetle in the Russian village. Photos from the personal archive of Olga Khristoforova

Scott brings T-shirts with V.V. Putin as souvenirs to himself and to friends from Russia - they are extremely popular in America. They say that Putin is the only one who we could wear on ourselves. In the meantime, there is no need to know about it. ”

The case in Sheremetyevo. Scott chooses gifts to friends. Photos from the personal archive of Olga Khristoforova

Americans have especially fond feelings for Russian cuisine. Even if they have never been to the countries of the former Soviet Union, at the word "borscht" they immediately begin to smile and dreamily roll their eyes - they say, we know, we love.

Excerpt from the menu of the Russian restaurant in Portland. Photos from the personal archive of Olga Khristoforova

Far from being a cheap Russian restaurant in Portland, where I live, very popular. Russians rarely go there, because the price of $ 17 for a portion of cabbage rolls with sour cream seems to us, Russians, a complete swindle. And the Americans go, they like - in what other restaurant they will have to nibble on sunflower seeds and eat vodka with bacon.

Oregon is the only US state where Russian is the third most popular language after English and Spanish, which indicates a large share of the Russian-speaking population. Nevertheless, at the first meeting of each of my new acquaintances, it is very interesting that I am from Russia. They always immediately wonder what part of the country they are from, and seem to get a little upset when they hear that I live very far from the taiga. After the release of the film "Happy People: A Year in the Taiga" about the daily life of villagers in the small taiga village of Bakhta in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, a good part of my American friends dreams go to this beautiful, harsh and such inaccessible taiga.

The queue for Russian pies length in 40 minutes. Seattle, WA. Photos from the personal archive of Olga Khristoforova

But it's one thing to dream, and quite another to actually go there, as did Walter, whom we met by chance during the city festival. At first we started talking about his dog, which he trains in Karelian, because the ancestors of the Walter family lived in Finland, on the border with Karelia. Then it turned out that in the late 90s Walter worked as a truck driver.ohm in Russia. Together with his Georgian partner, who helped him with the Russian language and other incomprehensibilities, at the wheel of ZIL, Walter traveled around a good part of Siberia and the Far East.

Shortly before the expiration of his work visa and his return to America, Walter took a flight to Chukotka. Somewhere in the Far East, the ZIL engine ordered a long life. Due to the protracted renovation, the return to Moscow was postponed. After 9 days, ZIL was on the move, but Walter did not have time for his flight from Moscow to the United States. In order not to violate the visa regime and to leave Russia on time, he decided to cross the border from Alaska. And he went. On ice. More precisely, on the ice bridge, which forms in severe frost between the island of Big Diamid (belongs to Russia) and Small Diamid (belongs to the USA). The customs officers did not find a reason to detain him and happily released the US citizen to his homeland. The US police stopped the ZIL only in Washington. Since this colossus did not meet any American standards, I had to give it to the museum of military equipment.

Walter and his understanding Karelian dog. Photos from the personal archive of Olga Khristoforova

In all this incredible story, only one thing remained a mystery to me - if the Bering Strait in winter is a sea of ​​moving ice blocks, then on which such icebreaker did Walter ferry his ZIL from the Chukotka Peninsula to Bolshoi Diamid Island? Unclear. Bering Strait - This is not Crimea, there is a ferry crossing unnecessarily. Although who knows what happened at our eastern borders in the late 90s. It's a pity, I can't ask Walter again - there are no contacts left. But it seems to me that if an American was driving a ZIL in our Far East, then, probably, the Bering Strait was up to his knee ...

PS Scott was so impressed with the visit to Russia that he shot a couple of short videos about it.

Original article published in personal blog Olga Khristoforova and reprinted with permission of the author.

ForumDaily is not responsible for the content of blogs and may not share the views of the author.. If you want to become the author of the column, send your materials to kolonka@forumdaily.com

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