Thursday, July 1, 2010

Using a Fan is Dangerous For Your Health


You would not believe how hot it has been here. Seriously, it’s hot, in the high eighties to mid-nineties. At least if you are outside there is some hope of encountering a breeze, inside would make the devil jealous. When you walk into our classroom you’re hit with a wall of stifling, oppressing heat. I have yet to meet a Russian who believes in fans. Our poor program director had to go beg Washington for the money to buy three fans. So now there are three fans in the rooms we use. They’re there, tempting us with the possibility of moving air… but someone must first convince our Russian professors that using the fans will not kill us.

Both times I’ve been here, in Russia, I’ve run up against Russian belief in what is healthy and what is not. Example: drinking a cold drink, will give you a sore throat. Sitting on the floor, will render a girl infertile and apparently running a fan will aggravate the condition of someone who might not be feeling the best. My group was sitting in out video and press class. One person coughed and the teacher asked if we were too cold and if she should turn off the fan, we said no. A few minutes later another person sneezed and she turned off the fan. And we’re back to square one.

Oh, by the way, my picture ended up on a Russian website from the excursion to Aksakov’s house, they are not very flattering, I fear, but if you’re curious.

Disclaimer: These are not the views of CLS, American Councils, or the State Department

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