Now seeing the word ГЕМОРРОЯ in green on the middle left and knowing that Г is a G, and that РР is a double RR, I jumped to the conclusion that this was an advert for gonorrhea (obviously not an advert FOR gonorrhea, that would be ridiculous… although still very reasonably priced at only 900 roubles).
Giggling at my envisioned blog post pointing out the cultural differences of gonorrhea treatments being advertised on tube trains, I took this picture… then of course turned around to find the most attractive girl on the train staring at me… which made me giggle more.
Had my Russian been up to it I may have tried to explain that it was for my blog, not my condition… but actually had I paid the sign more attention I might have realised that it wasn’t a gonorrhea treatment at all.
The first clue is directly below my mistranslated gonorrhea… БЕЗ ОПЕРАЦИИ (byez operatsii), as I know ‘byez’ means ‘without’ and it doesn’t take a genius to realise that ‘operatsii’ is more than likely ‘operation’… and I’m pretty sure that no amount of cultural difference would require such a bacterial infection to be operated on… It could just be genius marketing at work again (“tell ’em it doesn’t need an operation and they’ll flood in”), but I hadn’t considered that at this point.
Secondly, if I’d done my Cyrillic-Latin transliteration in more than my usual half-hearted manner then I would have more properly converted ГЕМОРРОЯ to GEMORROYA… and if that isn’t a big enough clue then I should tell you that (of course) Russian uses many words borrowed from English, and if the borrowed word starts with an H then they often change it to a G… Thus Hamburger is over here pronounced Gamburger.
Which means GEMORROYA would translate back as HEMORROYA, and I was taking a picture of an advert for piles treatment.
Now if I’d realised that at the time there would have been no need for words when I noticed the attractive girl watching me take the snapshot. I could have simply sat firmly down beside her with a satisfying thud, thus proving either my lack of piles or my utter insanity in her eyes.