Archive | April, 2013

Why Russians aren’t smiling

29 Apr

A lot of Americans that come home from a quick trip to Russia ask me why Russians are so mean. I always respond that Russians aren’t mean at all, and, in fact, they are some of the kindest people that I know. What makes Russians seem mean is simply a cultural difference in what facial expressions are appropriate and when.

I came across this blog post about why Russians don’t smile like Americans do, and I couldn’t have said it better myself. Anyone who is planning a trip to Russia would be wise to read this blog post about why Russians don’t smile.

A Stalin era poster. "Be vigilant. Even walls are listening nowadays. Chat and gossip are not far from high treason. DO NOT CHAT!"

Learn more about Ashley R. Cummings on Google+.

Vegas, Tweeting and Pregnancy!

25 Apr

So my husband and I went to Las Vegas these past two days to celebrate his birthday. We had a great time, but after about 35 hours of Vegas, I tweeted out how I like #Vegas (notice the hashtag) for about 2 days and then I start twitching (true story). Anyway, I got the following tweet back immediately.


This tweet gives me the giggles times 100. Mostly I am imagining my 30 year old, 6 month pregnant self showing up at the club and telling them I’m on the guest list. Pretty sure he/she would get fired as a promoter if I showed up. See pic below for reference. Not that I’m not a babe of a soon-to-be-mom, but…really, I don’t think a babe of a mom is quite the crowd they want showing up at Surrender Night Club & Encore Beach Club. ha!


Should I tweet back? What do you think? Any ideas of what I could say? Maybe I’ll even call. “Hi Lazaro@Surrender! I’m totally interested in getting on the guest list for tonight’s dance party, but could you tell me a little bit about the bathrooms? I need quick access to pee whenever I need to, especially if I’m getting my dance on.”

Learn more about Ashley R. Cummings on Google+.

Heart and Prayers go out to those in Boston

15 Apr

May God bless the people in Boston right now. What a tragedy at such an incredible and motivating event.

God bless our brothers and sisters there!


30 Things I Love about Russia & Ukraine

3 Apr

Came across this gem in my travel journal. It’s a quick read that really does highlight some of the best (and the “best”) things about Russia & Ukraine. I truly love these places.


1. Any of the following: borsch, pancakes with tvorog, syrok, Russian black bread, juice, Zhivchik.

2. Watching out for vomit piles.

3. Faberzhe eggs.

4. Tanning on the beaches of the Black Sea.

5. The Lavra and cool, dead, old bones.

6. Russian.

7. Puzata Khata, best restaurant ever, and way cheap.

8. Tula, Russia and Leo Tolstoy’s estate.

9. Having time to read whatever I want. Interestingly enough, it ended up being Brothers Karamazov.

10. Big Mamma in Kiev.

11. Showering/bathing in the Black Sea when you don’t have an actual shower.

12. The sweet smells including–cigarette smoke, alcohol, dill, dirt, sweat, incense, salami and rain..

13. Ladies with beards…(LADIES…PLURAL…AS IN MORE THAN ONE).

14. Golden smiles.

15. Getting stared at all the time…probably for being pretty?!?!

16. Read Square.

17. Shaurma’s on the street, oh baby, yum.

18. “Mexican food…” (ew).

19. Techno music playing everywhere (also, ew).

20. Close calls with death (aka Russian drivers).

21. Cheap Russian vodka (even though I don’t drink).

22. Listening to people talk quite openly about me, because they don’t think I understand Russian, and then politely informing them that some Americans can actually speak Russian quite fluently.

23. Enjoying the shock on their face after #22 happens.

24. Ice cream.

25. Worst internet access of life.

26. Protecting your place in line like you’re protecting your life.

27. Any sign that says smoking and drinking is prohibited. ha!

28. Grosses lifts/elevators of life.

29. Trying not to die while crossing the street.

30. Moscow & St. Pete’s prices vs. prices everywhere else in Russia and Ukraine.

Oh…the essence of one of my favorite places on earth!


Learn more about Ashley R. Cummings on Google+.