Russians abroad

Well I just got back from Egypt and thought I’d knock out this little post about some of the curious things I noticed. The title is actually a bit misleading, as this more relates to the treatment of Russians Vs Europeans in all-inclusive hotels in places like Turkey and Egypt but you just try squeezing that mother into a title.

So when we got there my girlfriend told me to always speak English to the staff as they treat the Europeans better than the Russians. Didn’t really pay much attention as I thought it might just be a case of the everyone-against-Russia syndrome. But it turned out she was right. When I asked to have a room not on the first floor at reception they responded nicely at then put on out hotel bracelets, adjusted them and cut off the excess (you know, the bracelets you have to wear to show what hotel you are staying at). We go and sit down to see endless Russians floating around us trying to attach their bracelets and looking for scissors to cut off the excess. The first dose of preferential treatment had been received.

This theme continued throughout. We had waiters offer to bring our drinks over and had staff bend over backwards to blow us in any way possible.

Why all the attention?
Well, my theory is simply that Europeans are, generally, more polite, say thank you more and, possibly, tip more - although I’m not too sure about the last one. Also, I think a lot of the staff seem to like practising their English and jump at any extra chance.
As for Russian’s resting at these resorts, well they tend to be cold and seemingly rude to the staff, although the Russian habit of not saying thank you for everything is generally a cultural thing, not a case of individual rudeness.
My dad amusingly attributed it to “Russians treating staff like slaves”, of course that may not be the case, but to a person without much info on Russian culture (i.e. a majority of Europeans) this is what it looks like, hence why people always say Russians are rude.

I was discussing this with my girlfriend and we somehow got onto discussing generosity. As a partial defence she claimed that Russians are more generous (in quite a few respects this is actually quite true) and the debate ended with: “It’s better to be generous than say thank you two times”.
True enough maybe, but that certainly doesn’t affect the Egyptians’ desire to make sweet service love to us Europeans (this includes the tip-crazy Americans too, they love you guys).

A lot of Russian have noticed this and on the bus to the airport I was listening to one woman complain to the tour rep about it - she said: “как всегда, иностранцев облизывают, а Россия пошла нафиг” which translates to: As usual they suck up to the foreigners and give Russia the middle finger (not literal translation).

So there you go, getting the special treatment for a week, saying thank you profusely and loving it. What do you readers think, what causes the staff to be more polite to the Europeans? As always, feel free to comment.     

(Ps, while searching Google for a picture named ‘special treatment’ for this post all I got was porn and even a bit of bestiality - got to love the interwebz)

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Unknown on September 11, 2013 at 6:19 AM said...

I've lived in Egypt and my Egyptian friends at resorts would complain about Russian tourists, mentioning some of the reasons that you stated. However, they would also mention that Russians (and some Europeans, I would say) Show a distinct lack of respect for the local culture in more socially conservative countries by wandering around resorts in speedos and bikinis and getting very drunk in public. It tends to wear on the hospitality of Muslim countries after a while.

Lt. Columbo on September 12, 2013 at 12:53 PM said...

well i know Brists are well-hated in Spain because of our raucous, drunken antics.
spedos should be a crime too tho!

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