Sunday, August 3, 2008

Closing the gap?

It was strange to be in an American grocery store after being in Russia and to not be amazed by the size and selection. Normally it seems so vast in comparison. Since the last time I was in the U.S., so many megastores have sprung up in St.Petersburg that the local supermarket I was at today seems small and humble. There are still plenty of products here that you can't get in Russia, though.

So I was walking through the store describing the scene in Russian in my head. Normally when I'm in Russia I think in Russian but I sometimes talk to myself in English when I'm imagining myself describing a situation on my blog or to my sister in an e-mail. Now that I'm in the States, I'm storing up observations to describe to my Russian friends.

It's 10 pm and I'm falling asleep.

4 comments:

  1. What do you think? :) Will the gap ever be closed? I kind of doubt it. But then again as A. Pushkin said: "Умом Россию не понять, аршином общим не измерить..."
    maybe whatever democratic structure Russia uses, it will be able to sustain and eventually develop into something that is so dear (or should be) to every American: "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..."

    Russia is not there yet. On the surface it all looks great, but Liz, you know this, dig a bit deeper and everything threre is nothing but a farce.

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  2. When do I get to see you? I can't wait to catch up in person! How long are you here for anyway?

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  3. Vitali, I definitely agree. I was referring to appearances. I failed to mention that no one in Russia can actually afford all the imported products lining the shelves!

    I'm a bit afraid of the direction Russia is heading. Why are they focusing so much energy on making things look pretty? It's like they're building up for something big. For now people are free to talk about what life is really like, but what comes next?

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  4. "Why are they focusing so much energy on making things look pretty?"

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    A very strong inferiority complex. You have probably noticed over the months and years you have spent there that the majority of Russians struggle with a huge inferiority complex. It's true for the government, high officials and also those who have lots of money. They try to compensate the lack of substance by putting on this glamorous outward appearance on the face of Russia. Dig under the skin and there's no substance underneath. The funny thing is those who try to put that glamorous face on Russia think they do a favor to it... Yeah, right.

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    "For now people are free to talk about what life is really like, but what comes next?"

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    I think, as someone said, "history teaches us that history teaches us nothing at all!"

    Look at the Russian past: a pagan society that always wanted to achieve some significance on this globe (but couldn't!). Russia, from its very beginnings has been ruled by a strong, authoritarian iron fist. I am pretty sure it's not going to change until Jesus comes back.

    Paganism is an abomonation in the sight of God. The orthodox pagan retuals in Russia have reinforced the direction Russia has been taking over the centuries from worshiping the God of the Sun (Rah) to worshipping the bones of the dead "holy people". God doesn't take pleasure in that and will punish any society with a lack of wisdom for doing that. That's why they still have the dead Lenin in the mausoleum or worship icons. The society, as a whole, is rejected and lacks any wisdom or understanding of His ways.

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