1. Thank God for Babushkas
An American friend will bring you a can of Campbell’s condensed chicken soup when you have the flu.
A Russian friend will have their babushka make a giant batch of borscht for you and then deliver it to your house in a stockpot.
2. Damn no more Cheating
An American friend will study with you before university finals.
A Russian friend will give you all the answers to the exam questions as soon as the professor has left the room, whether you asked for them or not.
3. Oh the weather outside is frightful
An American friend parties indoors during the wintertime.
A Russian friend takes you to drink vodka shots on a snow-covered park bench in -10 F weather.
4. Then again………….
An American friend apologizes and pays the fine when the police catch them illegally drinking alcohol on said park bench.
A Russian friend bribes the police officer, and then continues to down ice-cold shots.
5. Got to love Russian hospitality
An American friend will ask if you’d like a glass of water or juice or something on entering their home.
A Russian friend has already boiled a pot of tea and set out a plate of cookies and open-faced sandwiches in the kitchen.
6. Let’s Go Exploring
An American friend will take you to museums and monuments to teach you about their town’s local history.
A Russian friend will escort you to structurally unsound WWII bunkers and abandoned Soviet hospitals — remnants of the country’s tumultuous past.
7. What more could you ask for?
An American friend will let you sleep on their couch for a few days, or even weeks, when you’re between apartments.
A Russian friend will lend you their entire apartment, moving back in with their parents for whatever time is necessary for you to find a permanent place to live.
8. Gives new meaning to “Yogi Bear”
An American friend will suggest that you visit a psychiatrist when you’re depressed.
A Russian friend will tell you shrinks and antidepressants are useless, and that the most effective recipe for happiness is vitamins and exercise.
9. Home Cooked Russian Meal
An American friend will suggest going out to a restaurant for dinner.
A Russian friend will go grocery shopping with you for your favorite food and then make you a delicious home-cooked meal.
10. It’s easy to be real here.
An American friend will greet you with the standard, “Hi, how are you?” and respond, “I’m good, thanks!”
A Russian friend wastes neither time nor smiling muscles on such meaningless niceties. The most common response to the question “How are you?” is нормальный — “normal.”