Meet the English

6 Things I Do as a Russian that shock my English Family

Things I do as a Russian that shock my English family

1 Eating Chicken with my Bare Hands

Most Russians eat chicken with their bare hands. Unless it’s a chicken fillet and this is the only time when a knife and fork comes into play. Eating boney chicken with cutlery is considered uncouth. And if you do so everyone at the table will at least give you a disapproving look.

I once decided to roast the whole chicken with potato for my English family. My grandmother used to make this meal on Sundays and invite her friends and relatives for dinner.

So I served the chicken and we all tucked in. Well, in my case I didn’t just tuck in but started to almost devour the chicken carcass. Halfway through I felt both my husband and his mum staring at me in an utter shock. They thought it was uncouth to eat chicken with my bare hands like a savage. I felt a complete bumpkin and let out a nervous giggle.

My husband’s got used to my ‘bad manners’. Yet from time to time he calls me Gollum (a creature from Lord of the Rings) and we laugh our heads off.

2 Verbal Brutality

Russians don’t mince their words. And I always say what’s on my mind. Especially with my husband, I tend to be super honest which he’s never fully appreciated. In fact, he’d rather I kept everything to myself.

3 Cooking

Me cooking a fresh meal every day doesn’t only shock my English family but my British friends and colleagues.

Yet according to the Russian family standards, going above and beyond is when you prepare a lunch box for your husband to take to work. Making breakfast and dinner is a wife’s ordinary routine.

During the week I tend to skip breakfast for the sake of a few minutes of extra sleep.

4 English Idiom Usage

I love speaking in idioms but from time to time I say the wrong thing.

Let me give you a few examples:

Do you remember from the top of your head? Oh no…Sorry. It’s off the top of your head.

If I struggle to recall the exact wording, I just make up something meaningless. Though I do encourage my friends and colleagues to correct my awkward English.

5 Me Being Cold

How can you be cold? You are from Russia! – everyone keeps telling me.

Sorry to disappoint folks. I am actually from Siberia but shiver at every draft and get ill 5-6 times a year. I love to wrap up in my woollen blanket in summer. And I choose to wear a warm roll-neck jumper on a breezy day.

This is shocking but when it comes to the weather Russians aren’t that tough after all.

6 Period Drama Language

I am obsessed with period drama. Besides, there’s an endless list of films and series I’ve watched so far. The 6 episodes of Pride and Prejudice alone have been binge-watched 7 times.

things that British people find weird about me being Russian

And this is why I’ve got a vocabulary that any 18th/19th-century woman would envy.

Please tell me that you are at least a tiny fraction as weird as me 🙂

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  • Reply
    January 5, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    Oh my, that sounds like the typical english stereotype “Dear, that’s not how you eat a chicken.”
    though I myself don’t eat meat but I can relate to your cross-cultural problems.
    Fortunately in my case I moved to a neighbourland so some differences aren’t that gigantic, though there are still plenty. Though fortunately I haven’t yet had to attend any ‘formal’ german dinner..that might be stressful. When I eat at a friends’ house I always use the cutlery and hope I’m not holding it in the wrong hand because at home alone I of course at in my own style, sometimes with a comic book resting against a ketchup bottle 😀

  • Reply
    October 13, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    Wow. Nice to know real things as I am going t visit Russia. Can you tell me about irkutsk life and I go there to stay for a year..?

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