Rubles and Ramblings

Rubles and Ramblings

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Russian Quirks

Привет!  I apologize for not updating in awhile, but I am back with a new post!  It has been over a month since I’ve arrived in St. Petersburg; time is really flying by.  With one month down, I have compiled a list of what I call “Russian Quirks”.  Basically these are everyday/normal things in Russia that I consider rather odd compared to what I’m used to in America.  I don’t have pictures to go along with this list, so I’ll just scatter some pictures that I’ve taken on all my adventures!  

1. Cats.  I don’t know why, but Russians love cats.  They are considered family to Russians.  If you ask someone what kind of animal he or she wants to be, the answer will most likely be a cat.  I’ve even seen a man with a cat’s face tattooed on the back of his hand…So if you’re a cat person, come to Russia.

2. Dressed to the nines.  Even in the grocery store you’ll see women dressed in heels, fur coats, and almost never wearing jeans.  They take pride in how they dress on a daily basis, something I am not used to back in the states

3. Don’t clear your trays.  If you find yourself in a Russian food court or fast food place, you wont find any trashcans to throw out your food and put your trays up.  Instead, they have people come around and do it for you!  Its very strange just getting up and leaving all your trash on the table, but that’s just how they do it here!

4. Dancing.  Remember when you were in 4th grade and had little dance parties with your friends?  Imagine that kind of jumping and dancing around but with Russian men and women in clubs.  Its very amusing to watch them bouncing around and waving their arms in the air, plus it makes my awkward dance moves look normal on the dance floor!

5. No smiling allowed.  On the metro, walking down the street, taking pictures…no one smiles.  It just isn’t normal to walk around with a smile on your face like it is in America.  Luckily, I’ve gotten better at putting on a straight face and blending in with my surroundings, but it is still so strange to me.

6. Is this the 90’s?  Russians are not as modern and up-to-date when it comes to music.  They have some new top 40 hits that they play on occasion, but it is not uncommon at all to hear a throwback playing in a restaurant or a store.  Example:  I was in a fitting room and suddenly “Oops I Did It Again” starting playing.  Later that day I went out to dinner where Nickleback & Hanson accompanied my meal in the background.  If you love 90’s music…Russia is the place for you.

7.  PDA??  This one is really quite strange to me.  Young couples in Russia are always alllll over each other in public.  On the metro, going up an escalator, having lunch at a café…you name it.  In Russia, no one gives it a passing glance if 2 people are making out on a bench in public; it’s completely normal.

8. “Obama or Putin?”  This one is only because I’m an American in Russia, but Russians love to ask about politics.  The first thing they’ll ask after learning I’m from the US is “Obama or Putin??”   My response to this is always the same, “No politics please!”  Normally they drop the topic, but on more than one occasion it only ends after them bashing Obama and praising Putin.  Definitely not a topic of discussion between strangers in the states...

That’s all I have for now!  Hope you enjoyed getting a small glimpse of Russian culture and their everyday lives.  I have loved every second of being here, and am shocked at how fast this semester is flying by!  In less than 20 days it’ll be spring break where 5 of my friends and I will be traveling to Budapest, Hungary for 5 days (with a day trip to Vienna, hopefully)! More updates and blog posts to come soon!!  

♡ Lots of love from Russia 


  1. I loved this post esp the photos. Next time, you need to capture the quirks too. #cattat #RBF #dancininthestreets #kissykissy #obamaYAY #oldtunes

    1. Thank Aunt Kathy!! I will definitely sneak some shots :P