A little advice in Russia – Put your money on the table


Today I learned something very curious. In America when we go to the market, bank, or even a restaurant and we conclude our dealings,  we proceed to checkout and pay for our item or meal. The actual paying or act of this is that we hand the money to the teller or cashier. We don’t even think about the process of exchange, we are comfortable exchanging  money from hand to hand. But did you know that this isn’t the way it’s done in Russia? So what’s the difference? Here we place our money on the counter in both directions. Even when I put my hand out at the checkout after paying the cashier will avoid laying change in my hand, she will go ahead and count out the bills and coin, then placing them in the assigned tray. When this would happen I’d often be a bit perplexed as to the reasoning behind it. So what did I do? I asked around. The best answer I got was that it’s a “superstition” of sorts which resonated with me. If I understand this it means a sort of break in the process. Similar to when getting on the bus here and seeing a 50 kopeck  laying on the floor (nobody picks it up). Where the money rests is where it stays (bringing wealth to the person who put it there), but then I could be totally wrong. It would be interesting to hear the thoughts of others on this one.


7 thoughts on “A little advice in Russia – Put your money on the table

  1. That’s a really fascinating traditional and insight into Russian culture. It’s funny how paying and tipping differs around the world. In South Korea if you leave a tip the waiter will run out after you thinking you’ve accidentally left money on the table.

    1. Hello Sam, hope it’s okay to call you Sam. I was like one of those ah ha moments that I understood this. When they happen I’ve decide to start posting them. I think I need to come up with a special name for them. I went to your blog and looked around a bit. Love it. Would enjoy doing a post on it if you are open to it. Anyway looking for other ways to express myself, by the way would love to have you as a guest blogger too if you are interested.

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