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But I’m not going to lie: Part of me was turned on.
Here was a guy protecting my honor, placing himself into bodily harm on my behalf.
First time visitors to Russia and Ukraine are often pleasantly surprised, sometimes confused, and in certain cases, taken back by the peculiarities of Russian etiquette.
To minimize the culture shock for first time visitors, we’ve outlined some of the more prevalent conventions of social behavior found in Russia, Ukraine and former Soviet states.
It was what I had dreamt of all those years when I read of dueling pistols and men of great action and few words. ”Suddenly, I wished my women’s studies professor from Sarah Lawrence were there.
After the punching finally stopped, Anton walked up to me shirtless and sweaty, caked with blood and dirt, his arms outstretched in an unmistakable gesture of victory. Pistols at dawn seemed a ludicrous symbol of male egotism, and I longed for men in tailored suits, who solved arguments with Woody Allen jokes and New Yorker references.
Family Matters In the US, our dating custom is to bring a girl home to meet the parents and friends only when the relationship becomes serious.
What happened next was awful, confusing, and I wanted it to stop.In China, first impressions count and “it’s not uncommon for parents and grandparents to set their children up on blind dates with suitable matches they’ve found.” In Mexico, “you are not only dating the man/woman, but you are dating the family…” In Armenian culture, it’s important both sets of parents get along before the relationship gets serious. Yes, you do ask the father And not just for his blessing in marriage.Even in cultures where family opinion may not take precedent, friend compatibility is important. In Mexico, “one common expectation is getting the father’s approval [for dating] since he is the head of the household.” Some naysayers will say this is because societies are patriarchal, but in reality, most cultures are simply family oriented.But what I mistook for a smile was actually a grimace. But then Anton hugged me, heat and sweat rising from his torso, his arms wrapped around me in a promise of eternal protection, inhaling me in that way men do to show they’re grateful that you’re safe.And in that strange and romantic moment I thought, “One day I’m going to put this in a story to explain my convoluted relationship with Russian men.”I should preface this story by saying that I am Russian.
The first impression of many foreigners, particularly those visiting large cities, is an environment void of emotion.