June 06, 2019

Opposite Day in the World's Smallest Country

Opposite Day in the World's Smallest Country
It turns out the water is always greener on the other side of the strip-of-Europe fence between mainland Russia and Kaliningrad. (See In odder news, below.)  Newkalingrad.ru

Throwback Thursday

С днем рождения (happy birthday) to Russia’s everything, the father of the Russian language, the genius poet Alexander Sergeivich Pushkin. If you didn’t memorize a line of his poetry at some point, have you really studied Russian? Так дай Вам, Александр Сергеевич, бог любимым быть другим народом – нами. (May God grant that you, Alexander Sergeevich, be so loved by another people – us. One of Pushkin’s most famous lines of poetry, with additions.)

Go on a pilgrimage with the help of our article on places Pushkin visited, or enjoy Pushkin memes from home. 


As the students say, I'm dead. Except, opposite day, so it's not funny.

1. A gravedigger in Astrakhan dug his own grave by failing to pay child support, accumulating R200,000 ($3,600) in debt. Then he literally dug himself a grave and played dead in it when the bailiff came knocking at his workplace. It turned out he wasn’t such a dead ringer for a corpse though; his name was the only magic word needed to bring him back to life. Child support delinquency is a grave problem among working men in Russia, who outnumber women in failing to meet child support requirements, most of whom are unemployed, four to one. 

2. Tick bites and short holiday breaks get the Russian scientific stamp of approval. Honored Doctor of the Russian Federation and former First Lady of Krasnoyarsk Natalya Tolokonskaya announced that she believes tick bites are partly responsible for Siberians’ heightened immunity to viruses. Meanwhile, the rest of Russia is ticked off about next year’s official winter holidays being shortened from ten days to eight, yet psychologist Anetta Orlova said that shorter holidays might actually help prevent boredom and family fights. 

3. Students at the State Agricultural University in Tyumen studied their scholarships away. After a 31% increase in students passing their exams, the scholarship fund had to be divided between many more students, meaning less rubles for everyone, especially the best students, some of whom saw their stipends cut in half. The administration is asking for more funding from the government, but, in the meantime, we hope that this does not put friendships to the test, as students become stingy with their notes and homework help. 


In odder news

  • “Friends, aliens did not poison the fountain,” said the administration of Kaliningrad on VKontakte when the  city’s water turned bright green after someone dumped antifreeze in it.
  • An official in Kiselyovsk downed a cup of water full of worms in an attempt to calm residents worried about the larvae coming out of their tap
Russian official drinks worms
Not one to worm his way out of an awkward situation. / Rambler.ru
Stolen bridge
Won’t be crossing that bridge when we come to it. / kirap51 / Vkontakte


Quote of the week

“Everything is going well, that’s what’s bad!” 

– Mikhail Zhvanetskiy, writer and satirist, complaining that success is demotivating. 

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