Alyona Reinhard 5 years ago met in Turkey with an American soldier named Anton - and her life has changed since then. She flew with him to the USA and gave birth to a son. Alena told Newslab.ru about signs, bad roads and attitudes towards pregnant women in America.
Tell us about yourself - where were you born, where did you study, who did you work before the move?
I was born in Krasnoyarsk. All her 30 years there and spent, says Alain portal Newslab.ru. She left only for the holidays. She graduated from the Siberian Federal University, the Faculty of Architecture with a degree in Urban Construction and Economy. She worked as an engineer in the project office, for some time she taught at the Siberian Federal University.
And how did the move to America happen?
My life in Russia quite suited me, there was no wild desire to go somewhere - especially, to America. I never wore it in my dreams. If we were even thinking about moving, it would be more likely to Europe. I love Scandinavia very much. And I ended up in America because of my husband and at that time an unborn child. So in my case - it is moving there, and not from here.
5 years ago, I went to rest in Turkey with my friends. There, one evening, we met with a group of American military. They had one evening off, and they came to Alanya. Having exchanged contacts on Facebook, we parted. But one of them - Anton (my future husband) - began to correspond. Although my English was not up to par, I always loved to communicate with foreigners.
And yes, her husband's name is Anton, but he (like his name) has no relation to Russia. He himself is half American, half Filipino.
While he served, we could not meet especially. Limited to facebook, no plans were made. And suddenly, after 3, he invited me to his friend's wedding in Poland. I decided why not. In Poland, we spent the holidays in the company of his friends. When I left, we all cried, right up to the mother of the bride, for the wedding of which we came.
A couple of months after Poland, he arrived in Krasnoyarsk. And stayed for a whole year! We traveled a lot around our edges: Baikal, Khakassia, Tuva, Altai. Then one day on the bank of the Katun, Anton made me an offer.
At first I did not dare to go to the USA for a long time. For the move did not prepare. It was supposed to be a short trip to get to know the family. And I really thought so until the last moment.
The wedding was scheduled for November. And while she was planned, it turned out that I was pregnant.
In connection with all these circumstances, I revised my decision and left behind my work and usual life, and with a small suitcase I went to meet a new life. But I do not rule out that this is not our last stop, not our last country. Now I am open to everything, ready to go even to the ends of the world, no matter how loud it may sound. Well, my husband in this regard is generally very easy to lift. Especially after 7 years in the army and life in different countries.
Was it difficult to give birth in a foreign country?
If the wedding on arrival was a planned act, then I certainly did not expect to be decently pregnant. But so the stars, in another way and not tell.
Most of the examinations I took in Russia, in the usual female consultation. Doctors, tests, first screening, and so on. Even Anton had the opportunity to pass our checks. After moving to the US, I also attached to the clinic for further observation. I will not be able to tell anything about the fashionable direction of tourism - visiting childbirth in the United States, since my case is closer to the usual local medical care. Except for the provided translator, everything was like a local.
Fully comparing the pregnancy with “us” and “not with us” is quite difficult, since I have never had to go all the way in Russia. But the fact that we are doing more surveys, that's for sure. There are no optometrists, pts and other doctors in the US who do not attend women. The local doctors were very surprised at the chest ultrasound I had brought, because here they are sending him only if there is suspicion.
In general, everything else passes, as we do. There is an excursion to the hospital, some minimal classes. I was also told how everything will happen on that day. But most of all I was surprised when I learned that I could call a person to 6 for delivery. The whole 6, Karl! Though casting spend. And no analysis is necessary. So you could immediately call the 6 people who would be invited to their families?
And tell us about the differences between Russia and the United States? What is the difference between Americans and Russians?
The main difference, in my opinion, is an incredible multinationality. Russia is also a multinational country, but this is not so clearly and not so obvious. There are a lot of immigrants here, and they seem to be moving with all their country. Little Italy, small Poland, small Vietnam everywhere. And that's fine. We even just look at the visitors with astonishment, and what can we say about those who live? While Anton was in Krasnoyarsk, I strongly felt it.
- Where are you from?
- From Russia.
- Mmm, but from where, specifically?
- From Siberia.
The real difference is in the perception of foreigners. Here, no one is surprised that I am from Russia, does not show special interest to me precisely because of this fact. Still, the country is very multinational.
But how everyone was surprised in Krasnoyarsk after our acquaintance with Anton and his arrival in the center of Siberia from distant America. The reaction was completely different! Surprise. The hype. How is it, the whole American! Sometimes the attitude towards him was as if he was an unknown little animal, and not a man. We urgently need to show all your friends! And to learn to drink in Russian, to swear and everything else. Among the companies to which we fell during our mini-travels in Siberia, this attitude was common.
I do not claim that this is the case throughout Russia, especially in its European part. But here Siberia, apparently due to the rare visiting of us by foreigners, often suffers from this.
About the roads. A clue about the two main problems of Russia - fools and roads - we thought up ourselves and cherish. And there are problems everywhere. In general, of course, the roads in the USA are excellent. Wide. If the curb - then this is a whole extra lane. If the congress or turn is soon, a large additional section is arranged, the passage widens in order to make a maneuver without hindrance for everyone. And highways and junctions near major cities are amazing. Two-level, three-level, four-, five- ... and sometimes you cannot count!
A year ago, I could not even imagine how life would turn out.
But there are bad sites. Very often, roads overlap for repairs, thereby creating new traffic jams. And just like in Russia, there is a tendency - the roads outside the city are better than in the city. Right at times. And in some cities (for example, in neighboring Wilmington) there are areas where there are simply no roads. And all because they are so criminal that not a single repair crew takes on work there. That robbery, the shootout.
But most of all I am struck by minor roads. Incredibly narrow, winding, without shoulders. Sometimes, literally, you don’t get into this lane by car. With flashing beacons on unexpected surfaces, then on a boulder, then on a stump, and warning signs "slippery when wet." I don’t presume to say that such roads are in all of America, but here the states of Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York are cut by them. And many people use them actively, even on long journeys, in order to bypass the points of payment of roads.
Sometimes they are laid with such a terrible incline and with such sharp turns that my engineering eye is still beginning to twitch nervously. According to Russian norms, this is basically unacceptable, and even more so on public roads and in the region, where winter tires are not recognized or used.
Superstition. All these Russians will take the type "not to return, if you have already left," "not to croak," "to sit on the path," "not to sprinkle salt," I have not met here. So this is a great example of Russian superstition. I won't say that I believe in everything, but a lot comes to mind.
More from ridiculous. Once, in a hurry, Anton asked: “tear off six inches of plaster for me,” after which I hung a bit. Of course, dear, I’ll just google, how much is 6 inches in meters-centimeters, translate, and then I can probably fulfill your request ... When will I get used to all the local differences? It's all different, weight, length, temperature, speed. Even a week starts from Sunday, not Monday!
What would you like to change in Krasnoyarsk, guided by the experience of living in a new country?
I would suggest Krasnoyarsk restaurateurs to be more original. Because there are so many different national cuisines and recipes in the world. Even in our small Newark (what can I say, the whole state of Delaware is smaller than Krasnoyarsk, in terms of population) there are so many different cafes, restaurants, and deliveries. It seems to me that for several months you can try different things every day and not repeat. In Krasnoyarsk, it’s like a chain reaction - someone opened a burger one, and it started, more 15 units all over the city, with slight differences, but still the same buns with meat.
And Krasnoyarsk just need to add landscaping and landscaping in general. I will not say, of course, that in America everything is beautiful and green everywhere. But the overall impression is created like this. Very well-kept lawns, an incredible variety of flowering plants. Clean and tidy. But then again - this is about Newark. Small town. Big cities look completely different here.
Do you feel like a stranger in a new country? How is Russian life there?
The feeling of another country, of course, is. Language barrier, other rules, other habits.
There are a lot of Russians in America. I think it is not a secret. The closer to the coast - so their concentration grows. But in our city and in my environment they are not there, or I have not met them yet. I have the opposite here - full immersion in the national and language environment. Plus, in such an unusual family - the husband's father and his whole family moved from the Philippines 30-35 years ago.
In general, the United States is a very multinational country, especially the coast, and the fact that you are Russian will not surprise anyone at all. More local wonder stories of our acquaintance with her husband. I don’t feel negative about myself because of my nationality, and there’s no local negative about Russia as a whole. Knowledge, of course, about our country is minimal among the locals. Some obvious stereotypes and fragmentary moments.
Was it difficult to find a job / accommodation? What did you do?
On my visa, I have the right to work part-time. But while it was not up to it - when she arrived, she was already in the middle of her term, now I am working on a child.
We still live with my husband's family. The decision to stop here was made because of the child. Parents of the husband help us with the grandson very much. We plan to move soon, we want to change the state.
Leaving Russia, what was the hardest thing to part with?
With a family. Especially because of pregnancy. This is the first grandson of my parents. And so far they have only seen him in a photo or in video chats. But I still can’t go to Russia - I’m waiting for the green card, I can’t leave the country.
How long have you lived in the USA? Did not think back?
I live here for long, from last year. Due to pregnancy and the first months after birth there was no time to be bored. Home does not pull, I just want to meet with parents. And the rest - I look into the future. So much else is not seen and not experienced. And with our love of travel, I think, another trip is just around the corner. And my son from the cradle will be a traveler.