In Russian class, I was always taught that if a Russian offers you something it is best to say yes. I learned quickly that even if you say no, you will eventually be eating or drinking whatever you were offered. You might be thinking, why would this be a problem? Well when you’re like me, you choose to say yes to everything out of politeness and don’t make a fuss about it. As I am currently a guest at someone’s apartment, I feel an obligation to take what is given to me with a smile. An example of when it might have been best to say no is the first day I arrived. After an incredibly rough day (think constantly throwing up on a 10 hour flight), my host picked me up at the airport and we continued to drive two hours to get to the apartment. When I arrived I was offered some soup, which I gladly took. Then I heard something about language (I would like to make note that the word for tongue is the same word for language). So I said yes, my language is good. Out comes an entire cow tongue. Yes, I ate cow tongue slices on an incredibly uneasy stomach with a smile on my face. Another example is last night. I was eating some cheese slices and my host mom gave me some bread to eat them with. This bread smelled kinda funny to me (think nail polish and acetone), but I decided to just eat it anyway. Then my host sister took a slice and made a face and said, “this smells like acetone!!” She then turned to me and said, “hell why are you eating this??!” I just laughed and said that it did indeed smell kinda funny. Turns out the bread was rotten. Go me. Politeness, I hope you didn’t make me sick.

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