There are enough books in the world that I want to read that I shouldn’t be asking for more, but now I’m hoping that a book called America — What a Life! will get translated from Russian into English. It was written up in the NYT:
The political analyst Nikolai V. Zlobin documents meticulously everyday American life for an uncomprehending Russian readership. It seems strange that ordinary Russians would still be hungry for details about how ordinary Americans eat, pay mortgages and hire teenage baby sitters.
This reminds me of when McDonald’s first opened in Russia and the company had to create a video to explain the process of ordering at the counter, paying, then waiting for your food, carrying it to your table, hanging your coat on the back of your chair and then busing your own table when you were done. The story was on some news magazine, probably “60 Minutes,” but I can’t find it so here’s the video of the insanity that was the opening day of Mickey D’s in Russia in 1990.
In France, they call it Mac Do and you can, in fact, get a royale avec fromage. Also, the title of Zlobin’s book must be a callback to Yakov Smirnoff, the ever-present 80s Russian comedian. He’s now living the American Dream… in Branson, Missouri.