My flatmate, Mr. Irish, is also a culprit of a cultural superiority complex, particularly when it comes to North America.
So I withstand the bashing of my nation and, in essence, my family, friends and childhood and wait for something to happen so that I can laugh at everyone. With Vancouver hosting a particularly fine Olympics, my opportunity came when Canada beat Russia 7-3 in men's hockey.
The game aired at 03:00 (that's "a.m.") here in Moscow and I was up watching it online in spite of the crappy quality of the pirated streams I was forced to visit because of the monopoly NBC and CTV have on global Olympic coverage. Wearing my favourite "Ottawa, Canada" t-shirt and a pair of red mittens with maple leaves that Katerina knitted for me, I cheered Canada on to a complete ass-whomping of the Russian team.
Yesterday in class I gloated to my students, pointing and laughing hysterically at each of them in turn. When Russia's national football team didn't make the World Cup qualifiers in the fall, my Russian students said, when pressed, "I don't want to talk about it." They didn't want to talk about hockey, either, but this time they didn't have a choice. Dream team? Please.
Of course, my American colleagues continue to point out that Team Canada lost to the USA with a score of 5-3 on Monday, but I just tell them that "I don't want to talk about it."