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Coffee and Russian Men Perception…

This morning over that wonderful cup of coffee that always makes a great start to any day. I was doing some thinking’s about this weekend that just passed…

We got into a heated argument with another gentleman and several ladies over an issue with the flats we live in. It was over installing a door in the hallway and we are against it. The law says that if one person is against it then the door can not be installed. Or else we can have the door tore down. The rules are on our side…

Well the gentleman was a cop who lived upstairs and his girlfriend finally convinced him to try to strong arm me into letting the door be put up. After he tried to intimidate with being tough and flashing his credentials around. It dawned on him that I was not the type who cared who he was and that was that…

When we realized that he was in trouble with his girlfriend and her mother and several other women. We made a deal with the group. I only care if the door goes up and everyone makes the hallway into a personal trash storage place. You know a place that old washers and dryers go when they die because they are too heavy to move any farther. Plus hundreds of other things that could be done in the hall…

So Sveta and I came to a compromise and the door will go up and the door bell has to be moved, also no trash, no family room or smoking area. no carpet, not furniture, no pictures, no lumber storage and anything else that I can get grouchy about… (Yes I get grouchy!)

Now to the part of men…

When we parted our ways the gentleman came to me and thanked me. I being an American put out my hand to shake his hand and at that moment realized that this 300lb + policeman wanted to hug me!

Now being from America the land of real men, real men do not cry, real men do not hug, real men do not kiss and real men… (You get the picture.)

I got to experience a 300lb cop lay his head on my shoulder and said thank you…

So as he walked away, I was stunned because my upbringing was such that strange men do not hug or lay their heads on each other. Especially two men who just about got into a fist fight…

Later I mentioned it to Sveta and she said it was normal for Russian men. Then I thought about the times in my past when I see Russian leaders kiss each other on the cheeks and many times I see Russian men hug each other out in public. I then realized that this was the first time that I had a serious confrontation with someone and what was normal for him was not normal for me…

His perception of how things are, is different than what I perceive. Culture is the big key in this situation…

In Russia men do kiss each other on the cheeks and they do hug and immediate family is not the criteria. In America we have our personal space around us and for a stranger, much less one that you have just been in an argument with, to invade that space, is fighting time…

That is why I love Russia…

Windows to Russia!

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