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Sixty-Nine Cents

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Gary moved to the United States as a child, coming from Saint Petersburg, Russia. In this essay he talks about his first experience in Florida, his trip to Disney World with his family and another from Russia. Traveling down I-95, Gary was already envisioning the salty taste of the air, large yachts parked next to mansions overseeing vast ocean. He describes his longing for the “American dream “, lots of money, and a beautiful woman. A McDonald’s hamburger and fries, the stereotypical life of an American. They stay in a cheap motel, close to the beach. On the way back to their home in NY, they stop at a McDonald’s in Georgia. His parents stopping only to eat the “Russian meal” they brought, believing they should not spend money. He realizes he is much like his family when he decides not to buy a hamburger for sixty-nine cents. Respond to Reading

1) Shteyngart describes in detail the “Full Russian Lunch” his mother served the family. Why does he include this information? Gary describes details of the Full Russian lunch to compare life style differences between Americans and Russians. Americans would stereotypically have a hamburger, fries, and a coke. Russians, soft boiled eggs and beet salad.

2) This essay contrasts the familiar world of Shteyngarts home and family with the unfamiliar world of Miami. List some of the contrasts he identifies. His accent was now “American” – Originally having a Russian accent

The motel was a paradise to his parents. – Compared to their home in Russia

The Magical McDonalds Hamburger – “Full Russian Lunch“
What other differences would you imagine exist between these two worlds? Life styles – An Americans lifestyle is much different than that of a Russian. Religious beliefs – A majority of the US citizens are Christian/Catholic Environment/Landscape – Miami, Florida.

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