Friday, May 29, 2009

30 Ways You Know You've Spent Too Much Time in Eastern Europe

1. You start to say things like, “Well now that mullet doesn’t look too bad.”
2. You start referring to your grandmas as “bobs.”
3. You hug/shake hands with/practically spoon several smelly drunk strangers on the street multiple times a week without thinking anything of it.
4. You stop asking why 5,000 police officers are perfectly lined up a down the street looking mad but doing nothing because you know very well that there is no answer.
5. You know what vodka tastes like even though you’ve never had any.
6. You find yourself climbing to the front of the crowed at stores without thinking twice about whether there is supposed to be a line.
7. You get bored when a non-techno song is being played.
8. You don’t feel like your personal space has been violated when a stranger practically sits on your lap on public transport even though there are many entire rows available.
9. You have to pick a new candy store after you’ve depleted the first one of your favorite stuff over a period of a few weeks.
10. You start to speak constantly in the same voice you would use to tell a bed-time story, dramatic iambic pentameter and all.
11. You think it's perfectly reasonable to write everything down in gigantic squiggly handwriting on one-sided graph-paper.
12. You feel more secure when a sign or paper has a giant ink stamp on the bottom.
13. You stop asking if it’s a holiday every time you hear fireworks.
14. You throw away all of your shorts and start wearing tight black jeans to play sports no matter how hot and uncomfortable it gets.
15. You go shopping at the rinok for Speedos so you can hang out at the beach.
16. You start wishing endless dramatic lists of very specific blessings on everyone you encounter when a simple “goodbye” would suffice.
17. You check a thousand times a day whether you still have your passport.
18. You implicitly start to believe that sitting on the ground will make you go sterile.
19. You start eating questionable food from street vendors without using hand sanitizer first.
20. You don’t think anything tastes good unless it’s been soaked in cold oil for a few hours first.
21. You sort of start to think it’s funny when people dressed like cartoon characters on TV hit each other on the head for hours on end on every TV show on every channel.
22. You stop caring about whether or not you’ve contracted tuberculosis.
23. You think it’s perfectly reasonable to drive on the sidewalk during a traffic jam, fully expecting to cut right back into traffic half a mile down the road.
24. You don’t think twice when you see nicely dressed homeless beggars yacking away on their super fancy cell-phones.
25. You wonder at least once whether all the second hand smoke is going to kill your brain or lungs first.
26. You start to think that a fish net is perfectly acceptable clothing for any age or gender.
27. You stare at people in public who are smiling and try to figure out where they are from.
28. You stare at people in public who aren’t smiling and don’t feel awkward about it.
29. You wake up each morning fully expecting to go grocery shopping three times by the end of the day.
30. You completely forget what it feels like to get something done quickly.

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. Ha Ha Ha!!! I love it! I definately spent too long in Eastern Europe because I totally understood and got everything on this list.

    I have one more to add, though...Considering sheer fabric, black undergarments worn beneath it, and super high rhinstone studded stiletos (occasionally worn with fish net) to be perfectly acceptable and NORMAL fashion statements :-)

  2. that takes me back! How about "You stop trying to blend in (look/dress/be like a Russian), because regardless of what you wear or do, you can count on people labeling you an American...even if you never open your mouth."

  3. I can't say that I can relate, but I love the list. Very entertaining.

  4. Please tell me the tight, black jeans thing isn't true...