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Today I was in the computer lab at the language school where I work, chatting with a fellow teacher, and another teacher who I’d never seen before walked in, a young guy with a Scottish accent. He said something about it being cold, and I said it was only going to get worse, and he said “Someone told me to get some fur-lined boots for winter, but that sounds pretty gay to me.” I thought to myself: First of all, dude, how old are you, 13? Second of all, if fur-lined boots sound gay to you, you’re going to have a rough time adapting to Russian culture. For there are many things in Russia which might appear “gay” to the homophobic Brit or American (especially when it comes to footwear), and yet, ironically, Russian culture can be quite heterosexist. In any case, you dumb wanker, you’d better get yourself some warm boots if you don’t think you’re going to run home screaming before winter sets in.

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Kostia (in Russian): Khuy, khuy, khuy*. Why is spam always about khuy?

Me: Because people make money by creating insecurities and then selling products to relieve those insecurities. But do they really write “khuy” in Russian spam?

Kostia: No, I’m talking about English spam. Russian spam is all about real estate in Moscow. 

* The worst Russian swear word, meaning “penis”. Information on the rich Russian swearing vocabulary here and a bit more here.

About This Blog

I'm an American who started blogging when I moved to Russia in 2004. Eventually I moved to Sweden, where life is pleasant but uneventful, and stopped blogging for lack of interesting things to say. And then I joined Facebook, which further destroyed any motivation for blogging. Maybe someday I'll start blogging again, but for now, this blog is dormant, an archive of The Russia Years: 2004-2008.

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