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In my life I've had three serious relationships

In my life I've had three serious relationships one was with a fellow Australian, one with an Englishman and the current one is with some sort of Uzbek-Kazakh-Russian-German hybrid. So you could say I moved up the cultural difference ranks with each boyfriend. From one who was from the same area as me, went to the same school and whose family we're very close to mine; to one who lived on the opposite side of the globe but still spoke the same language, with subtle cultural differences that we both found interesting to compare, discuss and often argue about; to one who didn't speak my language (he does now thankfully), comes from places I never thought I would visit in my lifetime and does and says things that well, sometimes just completely blow my mind.

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I think it fully hit me just how different culturally we are when we we're walking through the park the other week, being all romantic with one another as he whisked me off for an anniversary dinner. Noticing a rabbit bouncing through the park I almost squealed with excitement and exclaimed how cute it was. His response? "We should catch it and eat it, and then I can make you a hat for the winter."

The thing I like about cultural stereotypes is that often, they do have an element of truth to them. My boyfriend seems to have some qualities that are German and some that are Russian. He insists on pouring my drink for me all the time and cheers-ing at weird times (for us Aussies it's just once at the start of the drinking session, not every time you pick your glass up). Sometimes when his brother roams around the house screaming at him I have to confirm whether he's actually angry or not it's about a 50/50 probability and when I met his family I very quickly had to learn how to hide the fact that I couldn't do a vodka shot every 20 minutes. Equally, he refuses to believe that I could possibly not like the taste of beer.

Meeting the parents was certainly an experience that I enjoyed and found fascinating while his mother is the most amazing cook and puts any of my signature dishes to shame, she goes crazy if i walk around the house with no shoes on and makes me soaps with pretty knitted materials around the outside so i can keep my clothes smelling nice. His father insisted on having about 20 pictures with me drinking wine, eating biscuits and just generally standing next to him he changed shirts at one point because he felt it wasn't slimming enough and the boy's sister made me take her through the English words for every piece of cutlery we we're using and everything we we're doing.

This is another thing I should point out none of my boyfriend's family speak any English. It's mostly Russian though he and his brother speak sort of half-half with German. His father tries to speak German to me as I understand the basics, so we do find that we can talk a bit. Of course my boyfriend has been amazing at translating, and his father in particular loves to tell a good Russian joke then poke him constantly till he explains it to me (a guy went to the doctor and said I had a dream, my alcoholism was cured. How do I make this happen? The doctor says well stop drinking, the guy says but then I stop dreaming LOL).

But the cultural differences don't stop at the family. On a recent discussion over why it's apparently less fun on a night out when girls are there I couldn't understand this as I have loads of guy friends in Australia who are exactly the same around girls as guys the boy pointed out that I'm constantly saying he treats me with a lot more respect than any Aussie guy did. It seemed that a guy back home's idea of a date involved a pub and his mates, though I will happily submit that I maybe wasn't always picking the best ones. Either way, I do feel that the traditional Russian in this boy as well as his modern German-ness seem to have blended perfectly to create someone who can hold doors open for me but also do the dishes if i cook and doesn't think I'll be the sole carer of possible future children.

I'll admit I have yelled at him drunk a few times that I won't be the Russian woman who takes a submissive role and doesn't question him staying out late at night. In my head, this is what the majority of traditional Russian women do; it's that cultural stereotype sneaking in again. And every time he gets a very confused look on his face as if to say, if i wanted a Russian girl I wouldn't have gone for you?! But we work through these little differences, and I learn more about his culture and he about mine in the process.

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Posted in Personal Development Post Date 11/29/2019






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