March 01, 2007

A Real Prokhorovshchina

Whenever I travel abroad, I try not to run into fellow Russians. This is simply because their khamsky (rude, boorish) behavior tends to make me blush with shame. 

In airplanes, they drink themselves to oblivion, yell at stewards, ignore rules about the use of mobile phones, get up out of their seats to grab their carry-on luggage before the plane has pulled into the gate, try to skip check-in lines, etc. 

It is much the same picture at foreign health resorts. To wit: this past November I vacationed at such a resort in Egypt and, as we say, “I was ready to fall through the Earth from shame.” Some of my khamsky compatriots, you see, were abusing of the resort’s all-inclusive regime. One such khamsky Russky (who could have used a breath mint) would line up at the bar as early as 9:40 am (it opened at 10 am). Then, without so much as a “hello” or a “please,” order 10 (free) beers from the Egyptian bartender. One day, fed up with such boorishness a la russe the bartender put 10 beers on a tray and, with a sardonic smile, handed it to the tourist while uttering, “Welcome to Egypt.”

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