Foreign life that emigrants can not get used to

18 peculiarities of foreigners’ everyday life that Russian immigrants cannot get used to

Accustomed to living within the framework of one culture, we can hardly believe that it would occur to anyone to live in any other way. It is all the more unexpected and amusing to suddenly encounter the habits and concepts of other nationalities that are different from ours.

The editorial staff of has read Russian emigrants’ blogs and revelations of foreign culture lovers, and now we share with you the facts which surprised us.

South Korea

  • Rice and kimchi are such a beloved ingredient of traditional cooking that Koreans get additional appliances for them. For instance, in a Korean apartment you can easily find two refrigerators: one regular and one specifically for kimchi.


  • According to some immigrants, the Japanese kindergarten of yochien is an ideal place for a child, but an additional headache for the parents. On the one hand, the children are in the hands of really loving and caring teachers, often going out into nature, to the theater, and actively involved in sports. On the other hand, every day in the garden you have to bring your own cutlery, towel, napkins, mugs and a thermos; once a week you have to take your lunch and take your special cloth slippers to the laundry. In addition, for each event there is a list of necessary items, which parents should provide their child in advance.
  • A habit that gaijin (foreigners) have a hard time getting rid of is talking on the train, especially during rush hour. On the train, people are usually immersed in books or phones, and if they do talk, they talk very little and quietly, because they don’t want to distract others. This rule is unspoken, but traditionally observed.
  • Active Italian gesticulation is known all over the world, but few people know that Japanese speech consists largely of non-verbal communication, which other cultures are not immediately aware of. Ignoring these gestures seems rude to the Japanese, and speech without them does not seem expressive enough. For example, the first gesture in the picture above means something expensive or just a big amount of money (“Did you buy a new car? That must be it”), and the second one is used when talking about a person who got too high or became what they call a big shot (“My cousin just got promoted to general manager, and now he’s like that.”).
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  • Here, as in a number of other European countries, there are specific laws regarding renting. For example, according to “winter” law the landlord can not evict the tenant during the period from November, 1 till March, 31 under any circumstances: neither in case of nonpayment, nor by the court decision. Because no matter how badly your tenant is a defaulter, leaving a person without a roof over their head in winter is unacceptable.
  • Pupils are officially forbidden to use cell phones in schools, while parents are generally more relaxed about school performance and do not consider it a disaster if a child repeats a second year.
  • According to the observation of the French, locals do not share the mass enthusiasm for photography and rarely order photo shoots. They are ready to splurge on a wedding photo shoot, but they do not understand who would think of ordering family or New Year’s Eve photo shoots, let alone love-stories.


  • In England there is no concept of provinciality in our sense of the word. The contrast “center – suburbs” doesn’t work here, and there’s nothing special about being a native Londoner. Historically, it was in the city that those who had to work hard lived, while the rich nobility lived in the country estates. Provinces, on the other hand, are considered specific regions in this country, such as the north of England.
  • If we had to quietly envy our classmates, whose parents in the middle of the school year took with them on vacation, the English schoolchildren were less lucky: for such vacations parents would have to pay a fine of 60 to 120 pounds. It is believed that such family absences have a bad impact on academic performance and cause unnecessary trouble for teachers, who have to explain the missed material.
  • Ordering tea without milk is virtually unrealistic. It does not depend on the high cost of the restaurant and according to the observations of emigrants even on your personal request, the tradition of black milk tea is so deeply rooted here that you will be served it as a matter of course.
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    A Russian resident of Rapallo, Liguria, appreciated the local logic when she had to pay her light bill at a tobacconist’s shop. And if you got screwed and did not have time to pay the bill on time, to restore the connection as soon as possible will have to notify the company about the payment. by fax.

In Italian restaurants, the role of owner, director, manager, chef and waiter is often played by the same person or several family members. It is not customary to sing karaoke, turn on some background music channel and dance even during the holidays. All the attention at the table should be given to the meal and a little less to the conversation.

Italians wear sunglasses all year round. Both men and women have a few pairs of them. The fairer sex is not afraid of juicy and atypical for our understanding colors of clothing: bright yellow pants, scarlet shirt or a pink sweater are not uncommon in the Italian closet. Another distinguishing feature is the crazy love for tanning: from May to November locals try to “soak up” as much sun as possible and tan to a rich chocolate hue.

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