Several minor facts

Today I’ll overview some lesser things that don’t deserve an entire post.

Labor classes

On the first labor lesson we’ll take a big screwdriver
and a file and make a small screwdriver.

– a joke

First of all, I’ve already mentioned school labor classes, but didn’t explain it. Labor lessons imply simple manual work in elementary and carpenter’s or housekeeping work in middle school.
Labor classes are the only classes taken gender-separately. In the 5th grade girls begin to study housekeeping, sewing and cooking while boys move to workshop to machine wood and metal.

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I don’t know much about girls’ classes, but the only thing I’m assured in is that their cooking is a guaranteed poison. For the sake of justice, most boys are terrible carpenters.

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An ordinary workshop has several simple machines like lathe and drill. Every student has a workplace with bench-vice and instruments. Whatever they do depends on the teacher: from screw boxes to wooden hilts. Skilled students are able to create a useful chopping board or even a stool.

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Labor classes are always funny and interesting. Almost everyone loves them. It’s easy time and you finally do something material.

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Free (?) help for friends

Russian friendship is rather peculiar. Here many things are done by familiarity. If you want something with guarantee, better ask a friend or at least a familiar person.
If you pay blindly, you risk to have low quality goods or poor service. Indeed, if you go to premium class place, you’ll have a perfect treat, but you don’t visit only #1 stores, do you?
According to what I’ve heard, this relationship method belongs to Asia. And Russia has a light version of it. It’s way worse in the East.
So, people look for any clue to get a familiarity with someone they need. Or they address directly to the person that has some relation to the subject they’re interested in. And they’ll regularly ask him or her to do something for them. Like re-installing Windows, repairing electricity, giving an advice for picking a car… Friends are supposed to help friends for free, but these relationships imply a payback. Once you ask someone to help, later he may ask for your help and you cannot refuse. Yeah, just like in Godfather. Paying back with money is absolutely inappropriate and will be considered insulting.
This is how Russian friendship works.
Unfortunately, some bad persons tend to get profit at the expense of their friends. Then they could even blame a friend for their own failures. So you have to decide what request to accept and what to decline. Both options have consequences.

Mail order brides

Perhaps you’ve heard about Russian women who could be met online and agree to move to foreign country and marry in exchange for permanent residence. Well, this practice is almost gone in presence. It was popular in 90’s, when young females had no perspective in Russia (males could make a profitable but short criminal career). So their only way to have a bright future was to marry a relatively rich foreigner and leave Russia.
Nowadays for majority of Russian women cost of learning English outweighs possible profits from emigration, therefore they stay.
However, swindlers may pretend a pretty girl to suck foreigner’s money under pretense of plane tickets, etc. So, I don’t recommend to “order” a girl you’ve never seen IRL.
On the other side, women are in danger too. Sometimes they end up as a prostitute without passport in a foreign country.

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Na zdorovie

A famous toast outside of Russia, but no Russian will ever pronounce it, because it’s incorrect both grammatically and semantically.
“Na zdorovie” literally means “for your health” and it’s a polite respond for gratitude:
– Could you pass me bread?
– Sure.
– Thank you.
– Na zdorovie.
In case of toast Russian can say “Za tvoyo zdorovie!” – “To your health!”

Ashberry gun

This thing comes from my childhood. It’s a simple but menacing weapon. It could be done very easy: all you need is a plastic bottle, a saw and a rubber glove. Cut bottle’s neck with the saw and slice a finger from the glove. Place the finger on the bottle’s neck and fix it with its own cap. Done!

ashberry gun

Now find a handful of any dense berries and put one of them into the glove’s finger. Pull and release. You’ll be surprised with power of this thing. It hurts even through thick jeans.
We used to play war games with ashberry guns and it was amazingly funny. Fortunately, nobody lost an eye.

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