I saw this a few places and wanted to post it myself. Not everything applies to me, but those of you who have spent much time in Russia will understand —
You know you have been in Russia too long when . . .
· You are impressed with the new model Lada or Volga car.
· You don’t think things are that bad right now.
· You say he/she is ‘on the meeting’ (instead of ‘at the’ or ‘in a’ meeting).
· You answer the phone by saying ‘allo, allo, allo’ before giving the caller a chance to respond.
· When crossing the street, you sprint.
· In winter, you choose your route by determining which icicles are least likely to impale you in the head.
· You hear the radio say it is zero degrees outside and you think it is a nice day for a change.
· You win a shoving match with an old babushka for a place in line and you are proud of it.
· You are pleasantly surprised when there is toilet paper in the public WC.
· Your day seems brighter after seeing that goon’s Mercedes broadsided by a pensioner’s Moskvich.
· You’re not sure what to do when the GAI (traffic cop) only asks you to pay the official fine.
· You give a 10% tip only if the waiter has been really exceptional.
· You plan your vacation around those times of the year when the hot water is turned off.
· You ask for no ice in your drink.
· You go mushroom and berry picking out of necessity instead of recreation.
· You develop a liking for beetroot.
· You start to believe that you’re a character in a Tolstoi novel.
· You know seven people whose favorite novel is ‘The Master and Margarita’.
· You change into tapki (slippers) and wash your hands as soon as you walk into your apartment.
· You take a trip to Budapest and think you’ve been to heaven.
· You drink the brine from empty pickle jars.
· You start shopping for products by their country of production.
· You begin to refer to locals as nashi (ours).
· You know more than 60 Olgas.
· You wear a wool hat in the sauna (excuse us, the banya), where you are going for business meetings with your colleagues.
· You are rude to people for no reason.
· Cigarette smoke becomes ‘tolerable’.
· You think metal doors are a necessity.
· You changed apartments 6 times in 6 months.
· You no longer feel like going to your ‘home’ country.
· You speak to other expats in your native language, but forget a few of the simplest words and throw in some Russian ones.
· You no longer miss the foods you grew up with, and pass them up at foreign-owned supermarkets.
· You look for kvas and kefir in the supermarket, and ask to buy half a head of cabbage.
· The elevator aroma seems reassuring somehow.
· You can heat water on the stove and shower with it in less than 10 minutes.
· You do not take off that silly sticker on the sunglasses that you just bought.
· You bring your own scale and calculator to the market to make sure the amount you are charged is correct.
· A weekend anywhere in the Baltics qualifies as a trip to the West.
· You start buying Russian toilet paper.
· You sit in silence with your eyes shut for a few moments before leaving on any long journey.
· You catch yourself whistling indoors and feel guilty.