Have you noticed many of the girls in the profiles never smile?? I have received some pictures in my mail, with something that can partly look like a smile.. and when i zoom in, it looks like many of them have bad teeth... Ok.. I have been there, but untill now I haven't been thinking much about this.. Is it so that many of these girls actually have bad/yellow/brown teeth? ok.. you can ask yourself why I am asking since I have travelled, but I never gave it a thought untill now.. I have been talking to a ukraine woman, 25 yo, very beautiful and sweet.. then received a pic with a smile.. I really hope it is the photo that don't tell the truth.. but... doesn't look too good... Ok, I have only been to ukraine for a couple of days.. What about you that spent more time there than me... have you noticed this, is this a problem? because it is not the first time I get pics of Ukraine ladies that look like they have bad teeth.. I leave it to the pro's to answer..
This is somewhat related. I have not been to Ukraine. When I lived in South Carolina,people looked at me suspiciously. I know that Brits and Aussies think of us Americans as "Yanks",but in the southern U.S., you are a yank if you are not from the south. My Montana accent was caught by these people. Part of the reason they stared was because I smile often,and show my pearly chompers when doing so. Finally after rounds of drinking at a party which was called a "pigpick",3 women approached me to comment on my teeth. Eyeing me with distrust,they asked how I got my teeth,and one actually pulled on my lower lip to see if they were actually dentures or a retainer. Her friend was trying to look inside while my lip was pulled.I wanted to laugh,but the men were also looking at me with open hostility. I told them that for 1500 dollars in insurance deductible money and many months of regular dental care,they could have this too. You see,in impoverished places such as the Carolinas,people have little money for dentistry. I have seen bad,bad teeth. The rot of teeth is a horrible smell too. In the south they call it the West Virginia Smile ( Appalachia ) Of course,I was a celebrity. It is bizarre,but people I did not know would approach me and say--oh yeah--you`re that damn yankee with the teeth!!! I do not understand where the fine line is as regards socialized medicine. I am interested in knowing this. Many years later,I met a beautiful lady from North Carolina on the internet. A close-mouthed smiler. I paid for her to fly to Whitefish,near Glacier National Park in Montana. The day before she arrived I called,and she sounded garbled. She was drugged from a tooth extraction,but was determined-over my objections- to come to me. I think the tooth pulled was the second to the last tooth which remained. Damn she had a beautiful makeover in the photos!! I suspect it is the same anywhere. I just seen a photo of Shania Twain without makeup. Sorry-just no chubby for me. My question is-when I do go to FSU,should I smile with a closed mouth,or when I do smile-will people point and say-see that Yankee ( Americanyets )?? Is this a rural problem,or is it global? Is it one country more than the others? I have not witnessed this in Mexico or Canada.
I used to wonder why they did not smile much either in photos. After three trips , I noticed they dont smile period unless they are with someone talking and even that is rare.Very stoic people. One lady i visited once looked nothing at all like her photo. The photographer removed her big nose and her recessed chin . She went from a ten to a 4 . her english level was not 5 it was zero. The reason she did not smile ? She had a mouthful of braces !!!!!!!!! So i told her with my translation book to be very careful!!! LOL
I will say this . I do study people very closely , especially in a foreign land. I was browsing FSU ladies on Russian ladies .com and i noticed a lot of gapped front teeth and no smiles. But until i went over there i did notice that yes they almost all have their teeth. Maybe not perfect, but some and mostly all were average to good. Now getting them to open up their sealed lips is another thing . Now what usually works for me is this , i sneak up behind the nicest ass i can find and pinch it for all i am worth. In most cases the women usually turns around with her mouth wide open and she will look surprised. If she has nice very uppers and a very nice lower, i will introduce myself. he he he
This is one very practical observation.
One of the first things Lena told me when we met in Ekateringburg was: "If your throat itches when you breath, take small ones through your nose, it's very easy to catch a cold when one breathes by the mouth. My mother, the pharmacist made me promise I'd tell you that as soon as you landed."
I knew this having lived in Patagonia for several winters, but made a big deal of thanking her mother for the advice when I met her. It was a good reminder, nevertheless.
I read in one of the many books I got or were thrown at me, that russians are two people. The public one who never smiles to strangers who are not worthy of any display of affection or trust and the private ones, who are fun, warm and hospitable. This is what I saw and experienced in Siberia.
One time Lena, her Mother and I went to a restaurant.
While we were alone ,the two ladies were all smiles, laughs and cheerful comments all over the table.
The moment a server approached...POOF! Stone faces all the way. Her Mother was sitting across from us and saw my surprised look at the sudden change. She explained with a patient lok on her face: "One does not share one's good feelings with strangers. It's the Russian way..."
I asked Lena to translate when I said: "Nadya, we could be here all night discussing east and west reasons for smiling, or not...Thank you for the lesson"
And back to smiling and laughing we went...:))))))))))
Larissa said the same thing. I asked her why everyone was staring at us when we were walking down he streets in Kiev. She said they can
pick an American out real easy, we have smiles on our faces, we laugh
in public, we have a loose swagger when we walk. I didn't really notice it much, but they really don't laugh and smile much. But they
dance like hell in the subways in Kiev, to local musicians hustling a buck. And it was mostly the women. When we were eating lunch one day in Mariupol, there were a bunch of women eating together and laughing their asses off and having a good time. I stopped in a bar with a bunch of guys there and it was as sullen as a funeral home. No wonder the women look for us from the west. Larisa is pretty reserved in public, but in private she is a riot!! I did manage to embarass her a couple of times in public, not personally embarass her but it's just my gregarious nature she is not used to.
We discussed this smile topic with Wayne, the missionary we shared the train cabin on our ride to Tyumen from E-burg.
Lena lived in MN twice for 6 months as an exchange student
She said it did not take her long to adapt to the US 'smiley' way...The big change came when she went back to Russia wearing a "stupid grin" all over her face for no reason whatseover to the point that the inmigration officer did not want to admit her in until she showed her face like the sullen looking photo in her passport.
On the other hand, Wayne and his american born and raised wife went back to the US for a visit after 8 years of living in Tomsk. She was often upset with him because of all the women that said hello with a smile on their faces at the store and everywhere else they went, lol...
They simply forgot what a drastic cultural difference this smile thing is for everyone.
Hello guys funny you should bring this up . Well you all know I am going over this summer . The lady that helps us translate and I have became good friends . Well as my polite (West Virginia Appalachia ) Self ask this lady if there was anything I could bring her she could not get there ?
Well you know what she asked for ?
Collgate whitening past
I am curious about how many people here that went to see their lady had a chance to go shopping with her, perhaps to the local market, and get a sense for the cost of food and such. I was astounded at the price of produce, which in some cases was as expensive or even more so that I am used to paying in the United States, of course keep in mind that their in comes are a fraction of ours - my point about the teeth being that nutrition probably plays a big part, and I am sure also part of it is cultural and how much emphasize you place on taking care of them.
I did go shopping and I found the supermarkets in Kiev to be relatively the same prices in the US with the exception of Alcohol. It was cheaper, damn sin taxes anyway. We shopped in both Kiev and
Mariupol, it was almost cheaper to go out and eat in Mariupol than
to eat in. Hell ate out most of the time anyway with the exceptions
of breakfast. Entertainment was relatively cheap with the Exception of going to a concert in Kiev that cost 200 USD. Patricia Kaas for 200 I should have went in November Deep Purple was there and I wouldn't have minded shelling out the bucks LOL!
P. Kaas was in Tyumen a few weeks ago and Lena's mom bought her tickets to go see her...she was more excited than a monkey with an alarm clock going off at 6:00 AM.
Food in Tyumen was cheap, but fresh produce does cost more, specially in winter because it's mostly imported.
Lena was shaking her head while the look on her face was saying: "Crazy man, don't you know how expensive it is to buy strawberries, fresh veggies, shrimp and avocado in late winter?"
I was pleasantly not too surprised to see full blown supermarkets and department stores.
But typically each apartment building near a main street has a variety of small stores at ground level. Well...almost ground level. To enter any of them you have to climb at least a mini-flight of stairs. Californians are not used to see building planning that have snow accumulation features, lol...
I did not see any that sold fresh produce in any of them. But near Lena's home there is a version of a small farmer's market with a wide variety of fruits and produce.
And yes, vodka is sold everywhere....hic!!
I don't know what it is about Patricia Kaas, but the FSU women go nuts over her. Actually the concert was pretty good. Since my french sucks and my Russian barely works I was right at home. So as a gift the next day I go to a music shop down the road from Larissa's flat and buy her a Patricia Kaas cd, welcome to bootleg enterprises, I didn't pay attention to the cd and it was all in mp3 in win amp, so I bring it hope to rip and burn for her and it has every cd that Patricia Kaas has made on it. Maybe that explains the high price of
tickets in the Ukraine and Russia. Recouping lost Royalties thanks to the ingenious people of Ukraine. And to think Napster got their asses sued for that shit!!In US dollars it was 5 bucks, my next trip in July I'm taking an extra 500 with me to buy cd's, what a way to expand your music collection.
Toad, sounds like Tyumen is more worldly than Kurgan, I didn't see any supermarket, only small stores like you are discribing and the market. I looked for Avocados and couldn't find any, and generally speaking the quality of the produce and even the meat isn't quite up to what we are used to. What blew me away was red peppers at 150 rubles ( more than 5 bucks) a kilo considering that many folks don't make much more than a few thousand roubles a month, these things definitely become luxury.
THe other thing that struck me was that it seemed the whole city was covered in ice, and walking around is rather treacherous. My right knee is still somewhat sore from the tumble I took once.... I assume it's pretty much the same elsewhere, wait till the lawyers get a hold of that.
We met several people in Tyumen besides her family and at one point or another the topic of the city's progress would invariably come up.
There is a combination of factors the allows this city of 750K residents and the region as a whole to benefit like few other places in russia.
When the soviet system went poof and the federation emerged, every leader from every region almost without exception either fought for independence, autonomy or more perks for his own greedy corrupt pockets. The initial leaders of Tyumen region negotiated a higher level of autonomy than many others did, in part because they have the advantage of vast oil and gas reserves deposits. This means more revenue money stays in Tyumen, instead of feeding Moscow coffers. Also they got a much more liberal and decentralized way to do business with international interests.
As a translator, Lena is always helping her bosses to work contracts with at several foreign companies on a monthly basis.
So she has a good read on the pulse of the city and why the buzz of progress is in everyone's mind.
another important factor is the current leadership the region has.
The governor is very well liked by his liberal, practical and visionary approach to many issues that have been perennial former soviet problems, like bad roads and public health. Tyumenians are proud of their roads, their fixed streets, and their ban on tobacco advertisement, although admittedly this winter there was much more snow than in past years and the ice/snow accumulation did overwhelm the clean up crews. Several taxi drivers in E-burg claimed the same problem this year in their city.
JJ, funny you mentioned the red bell peppers.
when I told Lena to pick the two biggest and darkest ones, she panicked...along with the strawberries, shrimp, avocados and other goodies we were shopping for her 8 March breakfast in bed feast, maybe she thought I was going to go broke...:))
I only stumbled on ice once. No injuries. My lucky start must braved the subzero temps and decided to follow me to effing siberia because I honestly think that I was walking on ice ALL the time we were outside.
And boy, we wlaked all over three cities. Every day there was a different place to go that required walking. I loved it.