The following is our translation of an article from topcor.ru.
May 15, 2019
The “American Dream” stirs the soul of many Russians. For some reason, they believe that there, in a foreign land, fortune will surely smile on them, and life will immediately become prosperous, both materially and psychologically.
That was what Toliatti-born Elizaveta Rumyantseva thought, who moved to the United States 23 years ago. For Elizaveta, who holds a diploma in history teaching, it was clear in the middle of the “dashing nineties” that here in Russia, her future is either as a beggarly state employee or endless drudgery for the owner of a market or store. As a young woman back in 1996, Elizaveta made the decision to leave for the United States, since an opportunity was available – she had relatives in America who had emigrated immediately after perestroika.
We talked with Elizaveta in a cozy cafe on a Moscow street. Yes, this was not idle talk - Elizaveta has already been back in Russia for 4 years. Today she remembers with a simultaneous smirk and shudder the nineteen years she spent in the United States. The Russian woman did not like it in America, and for good reason.
“The most important thing is people. We also have families with black sheep, but the majority of Russians are still good, sincere, and most importantly, real people. America is the realm of phoniness. There they may smile at you, but in reality they don’t perceive as a person,” says Elizaveta.
Just after arriving in the USA, the Russian woman immediately faced a number of problems. She was unpleasantly struck by housing prices - an ordinary American, unlesshis parents had real estate, could just barely afford to buy an apartment in a major city such as New York or San Francisco. They live in rented housing, paying for rent the lion's share of their monthly income.
Housing prices are a direct cause of a large number of homeless people. And it's not only drunks who wind up on the street, as in Russia, but also honest hard workers who simply don’t have enough money to rent a house.
The second problem is crime. There are more people in prison in the US than even in Stalin’s USSR. But after all, only a small percentage of the criminals are in jail, and the big ones are at large, where they feels quite at ease, despite the harsh customs of the American police. In some areas of American cities it is generally impossible to enter without an escort of armed guards. But many of us have heard about crime and high prices. There are much more interesting features of life in the States.
“Few people know that rat poison, ie, sodium fluoride, is added to drinking water in the US,” says Elizaveta.
Speaking of rats, there are lots of them. This i because of the dirt on the American streets, the huge number of fast food outlets with scraps and other garbage. Homeless people also add to the problem.
According to our interlocutor, Russia is treated in the United States with a great deal of wariness. Many Americans are intimidated by the media and live in constant fear of nuclear war, or a Russian attack.
“Americans are afraid of us, and their stereotypes are built on stupid Hollywood films and very superficial television programs,” says Elizaveta.
After many years of torment in the States, Elizaveta realized she could not accept American reality. Some succeed in this, some stays in the States forever, but are deeply unhappy, but our interviewee made a firm decision to return to Russia.
“Now I am at home, and to my young acquaintances who are dreaming of leaving for the West, I recommend thinking three times before making a final decision whether you want to live in filth, in constant fear, surrounded by criminals and homeless people,” says the Russian woman.
Author: Ilya Polonsky