Cultural Shock – expect the unexpected or WELCOME TO ENGLAND!

10 years ago…

A Russian girl slightly overweight, definitely over weight in Russian terms traveled  3,000 miles or 4,826km  to start her new exciting grown up life in mysterious England, foreign country she never visited before but already heard a lot of glamorous stories, definitely a country of choice for many Russian parents sending their kids abroad, and of course some childish and magical notion about it through stories by J K Rowling – HARRY POTTER, probably the first book she read in full when she was 11.

All and all very excited and with a bright future ahead of her,  at 17 years of age she landed at Heathrow Airport and was picked up by the driver with the card with her name written on it. She knew English pretty well as she considered it, but she was about to immerse herself into unknown world of very unusual accents that she was not able to understand especially at first, but this is another story.

She was taken through English countryside into Cambridgeshire and eventually Cambridge itself. The driver took a route via city centre so she could have a glimpse at her new home town. It was a beautiful sunny day and it felt like all the pictures she saw choosing her place to study, just came to life. It was a magical.

Suddenly the scenery started to change as the driver turned onto the bigger road and then another turn still the same, she was sitting in the car and looking through passing by streets about to find out how her new home looks like. The driver turned again and pulled up at the near by very unglamorous, boxy type and rather unexpected neighbourhood. She checked if that is the right address, he confirmed. She got out of the car and with her brand new 25kg suitcase and a hand luggage she was standing outside of the plastic white door and rang the bell.

She waited for a moment and young boy about  170cm tall quite slim opened the door. In understandable English he greeted her and said that his aunt will be back soon. Extremely surprised but happy to certain extent as she reached her destination, she remained positive. He showed her the room – it was tiny box with the child’s bed that goes up the ladder, sort of Harry Potter style bedroom she will refer to it a bit later,  underneath she put her suitcase – there was a small window in the room and that was about it. She came downstairs shortly to meet the lady – host mother, who was pretty sweet and explained that her ex-boyfriend came around and he was drunk so she had to sort this out and as she paused, the young man decided  to fill in the silence:

-Do you smoke pot?…

Welcome to England 🙂




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