On the playground, in the classroom, won the street, the Americans are the only ones making noise. This was intensified by a trip to the store today.
We checked out behind two man who were having a obviously furious discussion with the clerk, but the voices were never raised. The next man ahead of us could not get his credit card to work. They had to call over a manager and everyone was very angry about everything but still no raised voices.
Then I remembered on the playground yesterday I was shooting basketball and cheering, but the kid never made a sound. He gave a “thumbs up” He smiled. He can talk, but this did not motivate him to. In general on the streets there is traffic noise but little honking – less than a high school parking lot at dismissal. And people make no loud conversation unless they are drunk.
Plus the town is clean, clean as in NO paper, plastic wrappers, cigarette ends, nothing in the gutters, alleys, streets. Even in the middle of the City Celebration the streets were spotless. Same with the people. Except for a few beggar types (very few here) everyone is freshly washed. The children at all the centers – shelter for kids from dysfunctional families, school for kids the orphanages can’t handle, and the ones at the psych hospital are freshly washed and spotless clothing every day.
Ah, and on time. We were warned that in Russia 2pm means 2pm. Not later. (In sharp contrast to India where 2pm meant 2:45 or 2:55 but certainly no earlier than 2:30) And it is true. There is no deviation from the assigned time for events. Yesterday the driver asked if we could leave for our schools at 9:25 instead of 9:30. The sign in the dining room reads: “Dinner 6-6:30. All dishes to be cleared and table completely clean no later than 6:30.”
Quiet, clean, and on time.