Friday, February 5, 2010

From Russia with Love

I’m in Russia, but I have yet to start feeling the love. For starters, this internet I’m on? It cost me $60 bucks. No, that’s not a typo. For 24 hours of connectivity to the world, I pay the price of what it probably costs to provide wifi to the whole hotel. You’d think I would at least get a nice glass of champagne with my purchase. No such luck. I’m also tired. Like, my head wants to split in two, type tired. Right now I’m debating on trying to tough it out and stay up til dinner, or let it get the best of me and just wake up in the middle of the night and be a starving, ravenous monster. I’m leaning towards monster.

I’d love to say that I’m going to spend some of my free time seeing some of the sights in this country because I’ve never been here before, but that would be a big fat lie. I don’t plan on stepping outside of this hotel unless I’m making a mad dash to the bus that is going to take me to the track. It’s cold here. scratch that, it’s freezing. My flimsy California cold-weather attire had the nerve to show up here and think it was going to do something against this kind of cold. As soon as I walked outside I started coughing like I had been a smoker for the last 50 years of my life. My lungs just didn’t know what to do. I think I actually saw the driver chuckle at me.

Which brings me to the one thing I have experienced in Russia thus far. The lack of smiles. I keep grinning at people and offering a polite acknowledgement and it has yet to be returned. This must be a cultural thing, akin to what nice Midwest folks think when they visit New York, just on a slightly grander scale. I’m going to make it my mission to find a Russian that will crack a smile for me. I know it’s in there somewhere; maybe they just save them for warmer weather. Which by the way is totally understandable. The one man who did smile at me was actually hitting on me. He wanted to give me his number and offered to take me around and show me the sights, to which I had to politely decline. Not because of the weather though…just because it was downright creepy.

Other than that, I’m doing great. I just plan on resting up and getting ready to jump on Sunday. I will be up against a strong field of Russian long jumpers, half of whom I probably have never heard of, but who nonetheless will go out and pop a world leading mark and disappear back into obscurity. I swear, this country produces long jumpers like nobody’s business. Until next time…



***Let’s make today “smile at a stranger day” and hold the smile until they are forced to smile back! .

9 comments:

Matthew T. said...

Russians that don't smile. Wow, that can't be a pleasant feeling. Russia tends to be really cold in the winter from what I've heard. Put up a good show against the other long Jumpers and you're good to go.

Anonymous said...

you got it right, smiling is a cultural thing. if person smiles in the street it's considered what that person is kuku. thats in most ex-soviet union countries lol i had similar reaction when i got to America thinking why all the people smiling, are they kuku?...

Annairb said...

Steal their cleats when they are not looking! Just make sure you pick someone who wears the same size!

Wiiqi said...

Russian pragmatism would suggest there is little purpose in habitual or brief gestures to people in passing. Those expressions are reserved when both parties will receive sincere kindness.

Regarding your previous blog entry:
The text book advice your were given I think was useful for the ordinary athlete. Reading what your have written about this particular event, long jump "playing in the sand" is an activity you really enjoy.

I had the pleasure of meeting Larry Myricks at the annual LA84 held at Mt. Sac Community College. Memories of the jump offs between Myricks and Carl Lewis will remain one of my most vivid memories. I got to help pit side at one of the competitions of these to 8 plus meter long jumpers.

Long Jump is for the athletic artist, men and women who can uniquely express how to dance in the sky. The deficiencies in your jump Brianna begin when you launch from the board. Your arms, hips and legs thus far are used as blunt instruments.

Example: Your knees as a focal point from a side view reveals that your legs are often behind or parallel to your hips well after you begin your decent. I am certain that is at least a 3 to 5 inch reduction in your distance. In addition without over thinking matters you could be much more aggressive getting off the ground. Use your passion for reaching that green grass on the other side.

End Note: Instruct your videographer to record from the pit side of the board. Keep the camera stationary only manipulating the zoom. Record in two parts (start to mid range & mid range to jump) because it is not useful recording material the equipment is not designed for.

Blessings in Faith

Wiiqi said...

Sorry for the typing errors. Typing with paws can be difficult.

Anonymous said...

Hire your own Blog Master to post your material, so you only pay for a fax or phone call.

Anonymous said...

haha. hope you cracked a smile today! and go shop for warm clothes and enjoy russia Bri!:)

Martin said...

I was just curious how you plan ahead your travel for quick one-and-done foreign competitions. For instance, when dd you arrive to minimize jet lag and what other tips do you have?

LaLa said...

Eastern Europeans aren't big on smiling at strangers so don't take it personally. In some cultures smiling strangers are seen as insincere or untrustworthy. As if you are trying to hide your true intentions. In other cultures, a smile from a woman is a come-on.

It can be disturbing when you smile and don't get that warmth back. Just be yourself Bri. :)