A one-sided story is not enough
Today I stumbled upon one great inspirational video.
I had to deal with similar one-sided views in many countries. Before I started travelling I did not even realize that every country and every person have a lot of faces and can share a lot of stories. These stories help us realize that there are other points of view. And that’s OK.
I had to deal with different prejudicial attitudes abroad. Many foreigners have limited knowledge about Russia, and it is not surprising. Some people genuinely wonder why I am not drinking vodka and not wearing high heels all the time.
I had a lot of explaining to do in Egypt. It wasn’t clear to some people that Russians, just like any other people, freeze in winters. We don’t have some sort of a frost-resistant gene in the blood, we like it when it is warm. Last winter I was freezing in Egypt. I had to wear my warm coat at work and warm socks at home. Who would have thought that many Egyptians don’t use heaters during their winters? People prefer burning electricity in summer, when the streets are boiling hot and it is freezing cold indoors. Thank god someone created ACs, otherwise Egyptians would not know what to do in summer. When I pointed out that it was the right time to buy a heater for the office, my colleagues claimed that if it’s warm indoors and cold outside you will catch a cold. Hmm … if that was true, half of Russia would be dead by now. Following the same logic I offered Egyptians to stop using ACs in summer as they probably have a hot-gene in their blood that makes them heat resistant. 🙂
Sometimes I don’t know what to respond to people’s comments. Clearly I had to deal with sneers just because I felt cold in Egypt.
Many people also don’t know any cities in Russia, except for Moscow and Saint Petersburg. It is hard to explain that I am from an Asian part of Russia, and don’t really feel like Russian. Besides, I cannot cook Russian food and frankly have no idea what it is. Sometimes friends would come over and ask me to cook something Russian and I have no clue what to do.
Just like my Egyptian friends I did not know much about their country before I came, but it did not stop me from learning and exploring Cairo. Traveling helps me understand myself better and learn more about the world. It provides me with all sorts of great experiences. I am traveling to Thailand soon where I will learn more about locals and their customs.
Keep an open mind and great things will happen to you!