Cultural Differences

N and I went to see our accountant yesterday. The encounter looked like a joke about a Ukrainian and a Russian who walked into a bar. N tortured that poor woman for 1,5 hours, and in the end we didn’t manage to file taxes.

The conversation went as follows.

“What’s your income for X?”

Long pause. “How do you define income?”

“Well, income is the money that you received. How much income for X did you get this year?”

Long pause. “I have a question.” Long pause. A long convoluted question is then delivered.

The accountant answers the question. “Now. What is your income for X that you received this year?”

Long pause. “What exactly do you mean by received and by this year?”

At the end of the meeting, I leaned over to the accountant and said, “Do you see the cultural differences between Ukraine and Russia now?” “Oh, I do,” she said. “I really do.” I’m guessing she’s now looking for places to donate to Ukraine. Or a place that accepts refugees from Russian aggression before she has to meet us again next week.

At the beginning of our relationship, this took a whole learning curve for me to adapt.

“Do you love me?” I’d ask during a romantic moment.

A very long pause would follow until finally he’d ask, “Can you define love?”

P.S. Everybody I tell this story begins to worry about N’s life, so I want to clarify: I find all of this extremely endearing. I’m in love with the guy. He can’t sneeze without me going into raptures.

15 thoughts on “Cultural Differences

  1. “N tortured that poor woman ”

    For some reason I have an idea that your interaction would be different….

    Accountant: “What’s your income for X?”
    Clarissa: “How should I know?” “Here…” (opens p largeurse and pulls out a large stack of jumbled papers, tissues, make up and a random plush animal or two and dumps them on the accountant’s desk) “do something with that and get back to me.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel very understood. 🙂 Or possibly spied on since that’s pretty much exactly how I did it yesterday. Aside from the makeup and the plush animal (how on Earth did you know this?), I had a bunch of colorful gel pens in there. Neither the animal nor the pens can be blamed on Klara. They are mine, and I drag them everywhere.


  2. Latest news from my country:

    In good news:

    “The Negev summit between the foreign ministers of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Morocco, Israel and the United States kicked off Monday in southern Israel. … Historic meeting focuses on Israeli-Arab “security alliance against Iran””

    Israel and Turkey are discussing the construction of a gas pipeline to the Israeli Leviathan field as an alternative to Russian gas supplies to southern Europe – Reuters.

    Israel welcomes 10,000 immigrants since start of Ukraine war

    ✅Во вторник Израиль планирует открыть «зеленый коридор» для россиян
    ❗️ Страны продолжают отжимать айти-специалистов у России.
    Во вторник Израиль планирует открыть «зеленый коридор» для россиян, работающих в израильских IT-компаниях.
    Они получат возможность иммигрировать в Израиль, вне зависимости от того, есть ли у них еврейские корни.
    Процедура проверки документов и выдачи разрешения на работу для беженцев из России, будет ускорена и займет всего несколько дней.
    Обычно она длится несколько недель даже для репатриантов.


    1. Totally smart to import a bunch of Putinoids who aren’t even Jewish. Brilliant idea.

      I’m just, honestly, speechless at this point. Rewarding Russia for starting a war is a move of extraordinary stupidity.


      1. ” Rewarding Russia ”

        Israel is definitely one of the countries with the worst reactions to the invasion (along with Germany, France and Hungary, I’d add Serbia but… no one expected any better for them so it’s hard to be disappointed).

        I know a Hungarian who drove from west of Germany to the Hungarian-Ukrainian border to pick up a family she’d arranged to stay in a granny flat at their mother’s house. Then, Hungary wouldn’t let them cross the border by foot (necessitating a reroute through Slovakia) then it was to sign a ‘guarantee’ if they were to stay in Hungary so she got on the phone and finally found them a place with friends in Germany).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The amount of goodwill and admiration for Israel has been enormous in Ukraine since 2014. Israel has now destroyed most of it while gaining absolutely no reassurances from Russia whatsoever on Iran or Syria. For what purpose, I have absolutely no idea. They have welcomed every Russian oligarch with open arms for years, and now even more so.


          1. \ The amount of goodwill and admiration for Israel has been enormous in Ukraine since 2014.

            Why? Has Israel helped Ukraine in 2014?


            1. Ukrainians were very inspired by Israel’s fight for nationhood in the face of enormous odds. It was constantly, “look at Israel, they did it, so we can, too.” There are clear parallels in terms of wanting to have your own nation-state when people keep saying you aren’t a real country and shouldn’t exist.


  3. As we’ve previously established, I’m comparatively ignorant about Russian ethnic stereotypes, but this just seems like a personality difference between individuals. I’m familiar with nerds, and N sounds like one and is one professionally.


  4. I went to news site and …

    “Police say they are probing two separate shooting attacks in Bnei Brak and Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

    At least four people were killed, and another was critically injured …

    Tensions were high following two terror attacks in the past week, one in Be’er Sheva and the other in Hadera.”

    Happened just now.

    Ramadan starts on Saturday and this is the result. 😦

    Went to news site to search for this news:

    “Ukraine’s delegation to the ceasefire talks with Russia on Tuesday said Kyiv would agree not to join NATO, but would have its security guaranteed, naming Israel as a possible guarantor.”


    1. I highly recommend taking all of the chatter about the talks in Turkey with a huge grain of salt. For instance, it was earlier reported that Russia announced it will withdraw troops from Kiev. It almost immediately proved to be untrue. Medinsky retracted within the hour. But Associated Press and others are still reporting it as true.


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