Unfiltered Story #32513

MA, USA | Unfiltered | October 18, 2016

(I went to a private high school in Massachusetts where we had several exchange programs. I was taking Russian at the time, and during my junior year, two Russian students came to my school for a full year of study. One day we wound up taking the bus at the same time, and they greeted me. All dialog in this story is took place in Russian.)

Russian Student #1: Hi, [My Name]. How are you?

Me: I’m good, and you?

(Both of them burst out laughing.)

Russian Student #2: In Russia, we do not say ‘I’m good, and you?’ We say ‘[Russian word]’.

Me: Okay.

Russian Student #1: Hi, [My Name]. How are you?

Me: [Russian word.]

(Uncertain about this, since my knowledge of Russian grammar was sufficient to recognize part of the word meant ‘yourself’, I went to my Russian teacher and asked what the word meant.)

Teacher (horrified): Where did you hear that word?!

Me: [Russian Student #1] and [Russian Student #2] said it’s how you respond to ‘Hi, how are you?’ in Russia.

Teacher: It means [ugly profanity]. I will have a word with them.

Me: No, I can handle this. Thank you.

(I continued to respond to ‘Hi, how are you?’ with [Russian word] whenever the Russian students spoke to me. A few months later, a number of Russian students came to the school for a two-month exchange. One day, [Russian Student #1] approaches me with several of the exchange students in tow.)

Russian Student #1: [My Name]! Hi! How are you?

(He seemed to be holding back laughter.)

Me: I’m good, and you?

(The grin fell from his face, but several of the Russian exchange students started snickering. I turned and started to walk away, then turned back.)

Me: Oh, [Russian Student #1]?

Russian Student #1: Yes?

Me: [Russian word].

(I walked away with the exchange students all laughing at Russian Student #1. He and his friend avoided me for the rest of the year.

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