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Monday 10 September 2012

Kids and Dogs

I cannot imagine this photo taken in the US or France. Unless you see parents behind. But in Russia everything is possible. A small girl walking a big dog on a leash. And it is looks like she barely controls the dog (it really looked this way when I saw them walkng).

May be I am just wrong and cannot really judge without having all the information (age of the girl, character of the dog, if the girl is used to go on walks with the dog...). But the scene kind of scared me. And I keep on asking myself if it was about "teaching responsibility" or "being irresponsible" as far as this girl's parents are concerned.

Russian Speakers Wanted in la Rochelle city (France). Urgent!

I live in California. There are so many Russian here, engineers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, stay-at-home moms, people from all backgrounds and professions. And it is so unbelievable to see such mistakes in Russian translations. Though, it is not California.
As far as I understand there are not so many Russians in la Rochelle city (south west of France). Not yet.


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Sunday 26 August 2012

Garage Sales are so popular in America

Today we went for a family walk and I noticed a lot of GARAGE SALE signs like this: IMG_0856.JPG IMG_0857.JPG

These are typical garage sale advertisment signs you can find in public places (especially bigs roads and crossroads). Garage sale can be called yard sale, moving sale (the ones I've heard a lot) but also rummage sale, tag sale, lawn sale, attic sale and even garbage sale, or junk sale (not very attractive names I think but it exists).

Items of garage sales can include clothes, toys, books, household goods etc.

Garage sales are very popular in America especially in spring and summer when the weather is good and sunny (here in California it is garage sales time).

Garage sales are widely advertised in the internet. There is a special rubric Garage and moving Sales in one of the most popular web resource: craigslist.org and other resources.


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Friday 24 August 2012

Child's knitted cotton hats are summer hits in Russia this year

When I was in Russia this summer I found interesting that a lot of small girls aged from 1 to 10 yo were wearing knitted cotton hats. It was a hot summer in Russia and I do not know if these hats actually protect well from the sun and if they do not heat even more. + 30 C and all these poor girls with their heads covered with knitted hats...
A girl should be beatiful even when she is small and even if it is so hot outside. Be beautiful! Endure! You are a future woman!
It is so Russian.

Friday 15 June 2012

Awsome and terrific!

I get confused with the American education system and ask myself a lot of questions about my daughter's future in the American school. For the moment she is too small to attend a school but time flies.
I found that I was not the only person asking myself a lot of questions. I know some moms here who are seriously considering a home education as an option because they are not satisfired with the school choice they have. One of the moms said to me: "Americans went too far in a child's personality development to the detriment of knowledge". Well said.
I found these stampes in a school classroom and think they illustrate well what I am awkwardly trying to describe above as "You are a winner" American phenomenon. No criticisme, go, go, go, you are awsome!

For those who cannot see the wording well: Saying in a positif way you have

GREAT WORK

TERRIFIC

SUPER JOB

VERY GOOD

FANTASTIC

Then you have a stamp PARENT SIGNATURE

And finally to say "it was not good" they used

PLEASE CORRECT AND RETURN

Nothing negative as you can see.

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When you come to San Francisco be sure to wear flowers in your hair....(2)

Usually I use only my own pictures for this blog but Anlosty's pictures are just so awsome. I couldn't help myself. They are done during the annual footrace in SF - Bay to Breakers - which took place on the third Sunday of May. I missed the event (that's why also Anlosty's pictures are in this post, not mine) and also the chance to see all these naked people around.
You will quickly understand why SF is the gay capital. Be careful if you have small kids with you now, just get them away from the screen! ))

San Francisco breakers:

Tuesday 12 June 2012

When you come to San Francisco be sure to wear flowers in your hair....

I always said Americans had bad taste in wearing things. Unfortunately, I just cannot take pictures of all Americans I see here every day wearing clothes which do not fit them because of a wrong color, size or inappropriate style for age or occasion.

Here are just some examples:


Too short, sorry

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pijama party?

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Friday 18 May 2012

Dog's Dolce Vita

Last weekend in San-Francisco I saw this pick up "In home pet care".

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Then a few minutes later I found this store on Union street.

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Not even all human beings can dream of what I saw in the store.
Cakes, cookies, pastries...

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On my way back from SF a few steps from the doggies bakery I saw this:

birds and homeless in their tent IMG_0512.JPG

a person looking for the food in the trash can IMG_0513.JPG

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Obama's and Sarkozy's Videos Cause Culture Shock

Today I was shocked by 2 presidential videos:
American president Barack Obama at White House Dinner and candidate for the French presidential election Nicolas Sarkozy in his second round campaign clip.
Barack Obama funny speach shocked me by its form and Sarkozy's address - by its content.

Obama's speech is funny but I just cannot imagine any other president doing so....informal speech, making fun of himself and both political camps, being a comedian. It is so American and such a culture shock for Europeans: Obama's speech|en]

Sarkozy message is just shoking. If he thinks he will get Marine Le Pen votes with this message he is wrong. He is about to lose his last supporters. That what will happen in reality, I hope. Sarkozy's speech

Monday 23 April 2012

French Presidential Election Results Show Strong Radical Tendencies Within French Society

Today we saw the French presidential election results of the first round published:

François Hollande: 28.8%

Nicolas Sarkozy: 26.1%

Marine le Pen: 18.5%

Jean-Luc Mélenchon: 11.7%

François Bayrou: 8.8%

Eva Joly: 2.3%

Well, what can I say? Along with a big success of the Front National, we saw an overwhelming success of Left radicalism with Jean-Luc Mélenchon. As if we have two different France, both rather radically turned.

Gymboree - Place for Kids

We go with my daughter to Gymboree Play & Music classes. It is a kind of American club for kids and thier parents where kids can play, sing and learn (not to mix with Gymboree store).

All children are divided into different age groups. During the classes children experience music by singing and participating into different movement activities. Also there are a lot of games on the slides and some original activities like parachute time or when the purpet-clown Gymbo shows up.


Gymboree slides:

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Children playing: IMG_1596.JPG


My daughter's first painting made during Gymboree art&craft activity: IMG_0284.jpg

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Every Nation Has its Age

Americans are children: naive and never ashamed of asking because there are no stupid questions, trying, failing and trying again, dreaming, acting and achieving dreams.


Russians are teens: agressive if they do not know you but at the same time ready to do everything for friends or causes they believe in.


French are grown-ups: are afraid of a lot of things and think too much but reasonable and wise.


Imagine what world we can have with all this acting, caring and thinking people....

Cirque du Soleil - sun is the same everywhere

I do not like circus but I love Cirque du Soleil, for the performances, for art, for beautiful stories, for people. Cirque du Soleil's artists represent more than 50 nationalities and speak 25 different languages.

For me it is like that:

Imagine there is no countries

It isn't hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too.... and there is Cirque du Soleil.

We have just seen their Totem show and it was amazing. IMG_0267.jpg

What does religion and toilet have in commun?

I thought the word church was religion-related. It seems it is also toilet-related.

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May be nothing special, just a guy called Charles Church founded a company of toilet seats. But still for non-English speakers (like me)- kind of strange.

Friday 6 April 2012

Truckee

Away from civilized without-history silicon valley, towards old-fashion and somehow history-breathing town of Truckee, CA. We walked to downtown and stopped in a small cafe. What was suprising is that instead of white-teeth smile we were welcomed by a severe look and something like "What do you want?". It reminded me Russia a little bit and I decided we should stay here for a while. After a cold welcome we received plenty of nice smiles (especially our 14-months daughter), hot coffe and nice pastries.


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Tuesday 3 April 2012

TRUST OTHERS-2

To continue with Trust Others topic (see this post). Look, what you can see on a threshold of an ordinary American apartment in Sunnyvale, CA.


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Uneven Surface! Do Not Cross!

I do not know how drunk you should be to try to cross this surface by car.

Here again is an example of unnecessary (from European viewpoint) warning message which are so popular in the US.

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Monday 2 April 2012

I Love My Neighbors!!!!

Fortunately, these neighbors are not mine. Neither those who wrote it, nor those whom it was written about.

I will try to translate for those Russian and French speaking who did not embrace all verbal nuances of the language. Thanks to my friend Elena I could manage to understand all the subtleties of this neighbor's verbal (may be not just verbal) war.


Наши соседи ужасны: шумные лохи, ловящие кошек и содержащие частный детский сад.


Nos affreux voisins sont cons: font du bruit, attrapent les chats et aussi tiennent un jardin d'enfants.


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Friday 30 March 2012

Lake Tahoe - Not Just a Lake

Last weekend we went to Lake Tahoe: from sunny Sunnyvale to Lake Tahoe's snowy shore. 5 hours of driving and we jump from already-spring to almost-winter. Distances and climate changes is something that pull together the US and Russia. Though here in the US the climate changes are more rapid and thus spectacular: Sunnyvale-Tahoe is not Moscow-Novosibirsk in terms of distance but the weather difference is pretty notable (from + 15 C° to -3 C°)


What is also notable about Tahoe is that it is the largest and the second deepest lake in the US.

Tahoe made me think of Russian Lake Baikal (even if Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world while Tahoe is only on 17th place of the list). Unfortunately I had never seen Baikal but even without having seen it I am proud of the fact that there is Baikal in my native Russia. Just like Americans are proud of having the Lake Tahoe in their country.

We (Russians) often make fun of American patriotism. But look, we are actually proud of the same things. The difference if often about how differently we care about the things we are proud of....


When we were in Tahoe over the last weekend, we lived in a big apartment. Our large unit 2 bedroom/ 2 bathroom, 2,5 floors/ fireplace / fully equipped kitchen with all cooking utensils & facilities - everything for 2 adults and 1 child - made me think about our tiny/ your bed is in the wall/ please put me on a waiting list for toilets - apartment in French Alps.


If I would determine a size-comfort ratio for Americans, French and Russian I would have this:


Americans - sizable comfort

French - tiny comfort

Russians - uncomfortable size


North shore Tahoe houses and condos outside and inside:



We are proud of and we care about:



It is mine, do not touch:


Tuesday 13 March 2012

Je ne mange pas six jours (же не манж па си жур)

French language is back on track in Russia like among the upper Russian nobility before the October Revolution of 1917. Look at the sticker I saw on the window of an ordinary Russian bus in my native Lipetsk:

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It said: I move to the back of the bus!

Well, a little of French language in Russian buses would probably make someone smile (like me). We (Russians) do need to put a smile on our faces, especially while taking public transportation.

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