The Russian woman who moved to the USA spoke about things that still amaze her
For the last 2 years, travel blogger and former Cosmopolitan editor Irina Goldman has traveled the world with her husky Space. More than 500 thousand Instagram followers are already following the adventures of a girl with a dog. Now a sweet couple is exploring America, and the girl publishes inspirational photos, talks about life in the United States and debunks myths about this country.
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From the province to the capital
I left the house in 17 years. After school I entered the university in Samara. My parents could not rent an apartment for me, but I did not want to live in a dormitory in a 3 room on 3 meter with a public shower and toilet. So I started to work. I went around the doorways, trying to sell intercoms to the tenants. Then she got into the local magazine, learned to make pages and mastered graphic programs. They came in handy already in Moscow, when with 20 000 rubles (about $ 300) in my pocket I went to conquer the capital.
Portfolio and provincial hard work were enough to get into Cosmopolitan magazine. Then she went with her husband to conquer America. In the US, I started blogging. A year later, he began to bring me good income from advertising, copywriting courses and third-party orders for texts and creative.
What America is good
In the USA, they don’t like to talk about the bad. They don’t rub the stories about the homeless, they don’t broadcast amateur shooting of the fight on Airborne Forces in prime time. Here they say about what is good, or about the weather.
First, I want to hide from the "white-toothed grins." This is too unusual. Six months later, you begin to smile at random passers-by and sometimes even say hello to them. It would seem that this is such a trifle, but it gives an incredible charge.
In America, people really don't care what you look like, and that's great. Since childhood, I am a fan of the "beach style" - as I call the image of a la homeless. I like to walk with Space in puffy slippers, a leotard, a hoodie and a hat in one ear.
But when you do something illegal, everything works the other way around. It is impossible to write - it means really impossible. And the rules are the same for everyone, regardless of the wallet. When traffic policemen stopped me in Moscow a couple of times, I recalled that “it is possible to solve the problem differently” only when the fine was already in the glove compartment. It's great when people live by the laws.
If you went to someone else's unshielded plot, the owners can safely call the police, which, incidentally, arrives faster than domestic ambulance or firefighters. In residential areas of one-story America, you can often find the Neighborhood Watch sign, which means "Neighborhood Watch." If neighbors notice suspicious activity, they will certainly report to the police and help each other. My dog and I often climb other people's gardens, but first we ask permission. Not a single American has ever refused our request to take a couple of shots, and many advised a better angle and allowed them to climb stairs and even climb trees.
In America, bringing food to the table is an unwritten rule. If you go to dinner with the Americans, then you need to agree in advance with the hostess the list of dishes that you are going to cook. The locals bring food right in the pots, wrapping them with a towel so that the dish remains hot, and then they take their dishes home. If you were invited to a barbecue, do not forget to buy steaks or sausages for yourself and 1 – 2 pieces “on the table”.
And of course, kombucha. I just love this Kombucha drink. And there are flowers at the $ 5 – 12 supermarket that have been in the vase for weeks, Starbucks on every corner ...
What is bad America
I wonder who came up with the idea of attaching a shower to the wall? Every morning and evening I go through a quest: wash yourself without wetting your hair. Never managed to win. Trying to wash the paws of the Space under the stream of water in the bathroom is generally an impossible mission. You have to wipe your favorite pads with a cloth.
Parking and taxi prices are a separate pain. In the center of a large city for an hour of parking you can give $ 18 – 20 for one iron stallion. There are few free places, and you need to be really lucky to find free. In 20 minutes on a taxi, at least $ 20 disappears from the card.
Equality of the sexes, for which Russia is so zealously fighting today, is the norm. As I miss the men who hold the door, gallantly skip ahead, pay the bill in the restaurant and help with heavy bags. If a man decided to take care of a stranger, he can easily be convicted of sexism and even sue for discrimination.
"Dog walking is prohibited" - I look at the sign in Russia and decide to get around, but my friend yanks: “We don’t walk, we go through the park.” Already after 10 meters I counted 3 tetrapods. America taught me to obey the laws. In case of violation, the punishment will be immediately followed, and beautiful eyes, tears or crisp notes will not be able to change this.
The little flashing red man at the crosswalk nearly led to a big tragedy. In America, it’s not green, but a flashing red pedestrian means that you can cross the road. I got so used to it that I just forgot what happens differently.
“$ 700 ?!” - I remember how long I was afraid to show my husband a fine for an impressive amount. Once I decided to "sink" a little. The road sign “No more than 35 miles per hour” looked reproachfully at a black car rushing home through a white captivity. Exactly 5 minutes later, the car with flashing lights stopped the malicious intruder, rolled him a substantial fine, and almost sent her to court.
In America, you will never be stopped if you drive by the rules. No one will watch you in the bushes and shoot the radar. But, believe me, if you break the rules, the police will appear even in a dense forest or desert.
There are no official excursions to the office, you can get there only if someone from your friends works on Facebook. Any employee has the right to bring guests with them, having registered them in advance. However, you won’t be able to walk around the office freely — you don’t have the right to leave the person who invited you. My husband’s acquaintance, when he arrived in Washington, invited us to inspect the local office with him.
Due to the constant presence of delicious and free food, it’s hard not to gain weight. Workers even came up with a special name for 15 pounds (almost 7 kg) that newcomers gain in their first year at the company: Facebook 15.
Every Facebook office has a free dining room. Chefs prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner for employees, and there is also a small pizzeria in the building. Imagine a buffet of a Turkish five-star all-inclusive hotel. Here you will find low-calorie foods, both vegetarian and those who are on a gluten-free diet.
Any provincial shop can envy the assortment of local free snack bars. After the words “everything can be taken home,” my fingers turned into an excavator bucket, and my pockets were filled to the brim with sweets.
Hack machine is most striking. Headphones, batteries, mice, wires, a keyboard and a dozen other things that are constantly filled with tea, forgotten or lost, any employee can take for free. Each item has a price tag so that people understand how much the company costs for their absent-mindedness.
My bathroom does not have everything that is in the Facebook toilet for women. Gum, invisibility, a pair of deodorants, creams for all parts of the body, disposable toothbrushes, personal hygiene products.
And also - hundreds of areas for inspiration and relaxation, more than 50 meeting rooms, 1 000 camera angles for shooting: In exchange for PR in social networks, artists turn the office into a unique art space, 2 rooms with board games for every taste, a gym, showers and, most importantly, a corner for needlework.
Dog Attitude in the USA
Dogs are allowed here almost everywhere. You can not part with them even in restaurants. An apartment with a pet in America can be rented for one or two. Especially Space is a special dog. She has a service dog identity. It’s like a guide dog, but otherwise - emotional support dog, that is, it is a dog that provides emotional support. Such a plastic card can be obtained by anyone who proves that the four-legged is needed to make you feel good, and supports you emotionally.
Almost all of America lives on credit
Most often they buy houses, cars and summer cottages on credit, pay for university studies. Credit history is, in fact, proof of the reliability and solvency of citizens. The better the credit history and the longer it is, the lower the interest on future loans. So, for example, the interest rate for a mortgage can vary depending on the credit history of an individual person and different people can overpay completely different amounts for the same house.
Credit history is reflected in the credit rating - Credit score. This is one of the most important indicators of a person’s financial reputation. Rating is expressed in numbers from 300 to 850. The higher the rating, the more chances to get a loan on the best terms. Not so long ago, my friends took a home in a mortgage and almost jumped for joy, having received a loan rate of 4% per annum. Many people specifically take luxury cars on credit in the hope that this will increase their rating and bring them closer to the American dream - home.
In the USA, especially in large cities, Americans rarely think about marriage until they pass for 30. Before 25-27, they earn their first money to walk around the bars, pay a huge loan for college and save up for a master's degree. Having received a master's degree in 28, they begin to climb the career ladder from a junior position as an assistant or trainee. Many people prefer to wait until they have built a dizzying career.
If you did not manage to give birth before 30, no one dares call you old-born. Everyone knows that paid maternity leave in the USA is only available for 3 months, and babysitting services and private kindergartens are very expensive.
Before deciding on an important step, you need to be at 100% confident in their feelings. “You take the kettle, I am the toaster, you are the TV, I am the vacuum cleaner, and we part,” - in America you cannot easily get rid of marriage. Divorce will greatly spoil the financial and life situation of partners.
Myths about the USA
Americans do not like Russians. Yes, most of them do not care about foreign policy. Discussing a hurricane, wine, Game of Thrones or the upcoming Halloween is much more interesting to them. I have not yet met a single American who would turn his back or change his intonation in his voice, having learned that I am from Russia. On the contrary, almost every second stranger dreams of visiting our country and asks if it is possible to buy a fur coat and felt boots in every supermarket.
Millions of yellow taxis. Most Uber and Lyft are black, they are cheaper to travel and demand is higher, although there are still enough yellow cars in the city.
Americans are a limited nation. From the fact that the children are not aware of the deep meaning of the monologue by Andrei Bolkonsky “Austerlitz Sky” and that Debussy is not the author of the Twilight soundtrack, their world has not changed at all. How often do we use our erudition ourselves? Yes, an American may not know who Diaghilev is, but he will figure it out in two ways, if necessary, and even figure out how to make money on his newly acquired knowledge.
Incredibly delicious New York hot dogs. In the first place is still Vienna sausage in the dough. Her American interpretation of taste turned out to be worse and thinner than in the post-crisis Moscow region IKEA.
Central Park at a time does not see the whole. 35 minutes is enough to pass through it.
Pros of living in New York
New York is completely different and to believe that all the diversity of cultures, subcultures and architecture coexists in one place, you can only see it with your own eyes. You can not compare downtown, art district in Brooklyn, Long Island and Central Manhattan. This is the highest mark for diversity and solid “good” for photogenicity.
New York has all the 4 seasons, and each one is beautiful. Autumn in New York is poison for the soul, in winter the city fights for the title of the New Year and holiday center of the Earth, and in spring it is ready to compete with Japan on the beauty of blooming apple orchards.
The cult of food is another clear plus of this place. Within a week, I did not search by rating for a snack, but entered the first place I got. In 90% of cases it was very tasty.
Here, even unfashionable people are fashionable. Examining passers-by and admiring the impeccable style of the townspeople for 1,5 of the month was my favorite pastime. Here I want to work, develop and go to my goal. The city infects with its determination.
Anyone who has ever been to New York will understand: the city has its own incredible energy, which can be compared with Moscow. However, she is different, she is stronger. The "big apple" can be heard and felt by every skin cell.
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