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How to Spot a Russian...


Over the weekend, I was sitting at my apartment pool, relaxing in the hot sun when I was disturbed by very loud voices. Immediately I could tell that it was some of the Russian residents living in my building. For me, it's easy to spot Russians in the crowd, perhaps because I spend so much time communicating with them in my personal life and in this blog. They most often talk in a very loud tone, which sounds aggressive to my English trained ears. Why is this? This is not only at my apartment, but also a perception based on numerous personal encounters with Russians in the USA, on airplanes and throughout Russia. It's not an insult, just an observation. :) The topic of the conversation can be extremely friendly, with a loved one or friend, yet still sound like an argument to me because I barely understand any Russian words when they are spoken by natives.

Other signs that the person at my pool is Russian - older women almost always wear bikinis, despite their physical shape or appearance. Very old, overweight females stuff themselves into these types of bathing suits, and it's fine. About someone else's appearance, I have no opinion or say, and if they're comfortable in this type of clothing, more power to these ladies! :) However, it's not so common for old women in the States to wear bikinis, I very rarely see it. Similarly, Russian and European men at my pool almost always wear Speedos, or tightly constricted swimming trunks. It doesn't matter that they have huge bellies, I suppose it's just a cultural difference in swimwear attire. Something like this...


Photo credit nemihail.

What do I think about this type of swimwear? Horror! :)) I strongly dislike Speedos, even on extremely attractive guys. I guess I prefer modesty, and leaving some things to the imagination. It's for this same reason that I have never worn a bikini, even when I was younger and in much better shape. These are the two simplest ways for me to spot Russians at my pool, and there are a lot of them living in my new apartment complex! Of course, there are certain Slavic facial features in both men and women that also make the determination easy. How about you? Is it easy for you to spot your fellow compatriots when you're in a foreign country? Can you easily spot Americans in Russia? I can almost never pick out fellow Americans in a big crowd overseas!


( 826 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
Jul. 22nd, 2015 11:07 pm (UTC)
ватница, ты просто не в дискурсе, а потому просто убирайся отсюда, ибо тупиц тут и без тебя хватает.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 23rd, 2015 12:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 24th, 2015 11:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Anna Tairova
Jul. 22nd, 2015 11:13 pm (UTC)
Its just intonation. not rudeness
In Russian, most of the time we speak with “falling” – or “descending” – intonation, something like your intonation is when you say in English “Ok. Just one minute” to your wife. Nevertheless, in Russian this “falling” intonation is standard and by no means rude. We even ask for things with this intonation and thank others with this intonation!

You would ask (1):

– Could you pass me the plate please? (and then go as high with your voice as you can to show how polite you are).

We would ask (2):

– Передайте, пожалуйста, тарелку. (and go very low – it is conventional and polite in Russian, and if you attempt for “ascending” you will sound like a mentally challenged person).
From © https://sturdyrussian.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/why-are-russians-so-rude/
Jul. 22nd, 2015 11:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Its just intonation. not rudeness
Yes, I agree about intonation. :) I said the same thing in comments to this post.
Jul. 23rd, 2015 12:37 am (UTC)
Вычленить американцев в российской толпе? Без напряжения! Генотип WASP в целом - негритянский на 15%, американские латиносы в Россию не ездят, сидят по тюрьмам. Ну, а азиатов и негров, - так совсем легко, если конечно у Вас не двусторонняя зрелая катаракта и полная аносмия.
Jul. 23rd, 2015 08:58 am (UTC)
ну вот - определились: "шорты" с сеточкой внутри - это типа и есть "американские плавки"! :0)))
и да - в них нормально купаться :0)))
просто в моем детстве Америка была врагом, и никакого такого товара в СССР не было и быть не могло. Поэтому месняки определялись просто: кто купается в семейках - тот месняк.
(человек в плавках мог и выхватить люлей как "турист залетный" ежели окажется не в том месте (на скалах скажем) и не в то время)
Jul. 23rd, 2015 03:34 pm (UTC)
You should not search for enemies in the world. Important to separate people from politics, regardless of the nation. :)
Jul. 23rd, 2015 12:37 pm (UTC)
It's easy to recognize Americans. They smile too much, which is pretty noticeable for everyone (except Americans). :)

I saw a group of Americans once in our city in a mall. And, I must say, they definitely were loud.

Edited at 2015-07-23 12:43 pm (UTC)
Jul. 23rd, 2015 03:26 pm (UTC)
Hi! Yes, we smile frequently. :)) Isn't it more pleasant to see a smiling face, instead of a frown? I think Western Europeans, and even many Asians like Thais, smile a lot also.
(no subject) - nar_row - Jul. 23rd, 2015 06:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 23rd, 2015 06:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 23rd, 2015 02:00 pm (UTC)
Так вот почему амеры нас боятся!
User gosh100 referenced to your post from Так вот почему амеры нас боятся! saying: [...] Висел в ТОП недавно пост от американки [...]
Jul. 23rd, 2015 02:19 pm (UTC)
> What do I think about this type of swimwear?
Well, I am used to it because during all my childhood I saw men on beaches only in this type of swim suit. But I like trunks more, and IMHO they look much more sexy than Speedos ;) Btw IMHO there are men's clothes much more disgusting than Speedos, it is leotard which ballet dancers usually wear. I can't look at male ballet dancers in leotards :)))
> Is it easy for you to spot your fellow compatriots when you're in a foreign country?
Well, yes. Because a lot of Russians behave like bydlo, talk loudly, swear, treat service staff like the latter are their slaves and so on. (Btw "spot" is not a completely correct word for me in this situation, because I usually hear Russians before I see them :)) Nevertheless, here in Poland I saw a couple of very decent Russian speaking girls (they spoke very quite and politely) whom I didn't suspect to be Russian at all before they had not started to talk...
> Can you easily spot Americans in Russia?
Well, I am not sure about Americans as a special type of foreigners, but I was able to spot foreigners back in Saint-Petersburg. They smile; they don't look depressed, preoccupied, in a hurry like a typical Russian. And of course if Americans are talking I can hear their accent and thus recognize them :)))
Jul. 23rd, 2015 03:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, trunks are more sexy. I agree! :) I don't like any type of tight clothing, where the outline of the penis is so exaggerated or in your face. O_0!! There's something unique about the facial expressions of people from Russia and former Soviet bloc countries. They almost always look soooo serious on the outside, as if they're carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. Perhaps it's because many of them have faced so many obstacles in life, not sure.
Jul. 23rd, 2015 03:07 pm (UTC)
User lazybear referenced to your post from Громко! saying: [...] На тему громких русских. http://peacetraveler22.livejournal.com/145882.html [...]
Jul. 23rd, 2015 03:56 pm (UTC)
I meet american people in Russia, and i have to say - easy way to spot them in crowd - it`s a smile!
Americans smiles always and for everyone. Russians never do it like this.
Jul. 23rd, 2015 03:57 pm (UTC)
Yes, you're right! We are smiling fools. :)) Completely normal to smile and even speak to strangers here in the USA.

Edited at 2015-07-23 03:58 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - strelokhd - Jul. 23rd, 2015 04:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 23rd, 2015 04:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strelokhd - Jul. 23rd, 2015 04:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 23rd, 2015 04:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strelokhd - Jul. 23rd, 2015 04:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 23rd, 2015 04:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 23rd, 2015 04:02 pm (UTC)
but usually enemies finds us.
it's a pity.
it's a pity that usually we have less shells than enemies...
Jul. 23rd, 2015 04:13 pm (UTC)
I am actually very envious of this uninhibitedness about Russians regarding their bodies at a beach or a pool, or a banya. I remember having had a couple of opportunities on previous trips to go to a Russian banya, but I never felt at ease because I didn't want to undress in front of anyone. We were all women, of various ages, and in the first occasion, the group I was with were people I had become friends with.

The second time, I hadn't gotten to know my fellow banya-users very well. I just don't like to disrobe in front of most people. Not even a doctor. It's a shame, because I always hear how relaxing and rejuvenating banyas are supposed to be.

On the current trip I am taking in Russia (which is almost over), I have not gone to any banyas nor do I plan on it. But someday, maybe I'll try it again. Maybe I just need a birch tree branch to smack the inhibitions out of me...
Jul. 23rd, 2015 04:17 pm (UTC)
Banya is so awesome! :)) Esp. if you can go to a real banya, in the village. I did during my last journey, and it was an amazing experience. It was the only way to bathe. But I sat there naked, by myself. :)) How is the trip going? Did you take the long train ride yet?
(no subject) - rsr_raz_dva_tri - Jul. 23rd, 2015 04:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 23rd, 2015 04:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 25th, 2015 07:37 pm (UTC)
Hehe, yeah true about spotting Russians by swimwear. I am Russian and find speedos unsightly :)

I have traveled a lot, and have devised my own set of "markers" to spot Americans abroad: often overweight, very pale (or sunburned) and do not speak any other languages other than Amurrican English, assuming everyone else will speak their language to them wherever they go abroad. Sad but true :)

Jul. 25th, 2015 07:55 pm (UTC)
It's not really sad. Most people learn additional languages out of necessity, not for fun. :) English is the international language, so we aren't forced to learn another dialect for business or career prospects, or even for travel to a large extent. Fat people are everywhere, including tons in Russia. Based on recent studies I've viewed, the difference in the amount of obese in Russia and the USA is less than 10%, not substantial. I think the main way to spot us is that we smile a lot and talk to almost any stranger. :)) And American women definitely dress much more casually in every day life than Russian and Eastern European women.
(no subject) - _franny_glass - Jul. 25th, 2015 09:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 26th, 2015 01:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - _franny_glass - Jul. 26th, 2015 04:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 25th, 2015 10:58 pm (UTC)
>They most often talk in a very loud tone, which sounds aggressive to my English trained ears. Why is this?
You don't see me :) Not of all russian speak loudly :)

It was one funny situation with me in the Vilnus: They have menu in English and Lithuanian. I don't know Lithuanian so I use English to communicate. And it's time to check. Waiter asked me what I will use - cash or card. I said "card". He brought check machine and I gave a card... a card of Sberbank with Sochi 2014 Olympic symbols imprinted :)
He said - Спасибо ( on Russian ). It was funny :)

PS I have visited Munich. Now I can visit US without any tour agency :)

Edited at 2015-07-25 11:02 pm (UTC)
Jul. 26th, 2015 01:07 am (UTC)
Munich is great! Did you like this city?
(no subject) - yacc11 - Aug. 1st, 2015 05:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 1st, 2015 07:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yacc11 - Aug. 1st, 2015 07:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 26th, 2015 05:48 am (UTC)

Why you hate Superman?
Jul. 26th, 2015 03:31 pm (UTC)
What's wrong with the modern version of Superman? Looks good to me. :)
(no subject) - _franny_glass - Jul. 26th, 2015 04:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 27th, 2015 03:58 pm (UTC)
I bet, that little bugger macos gave you an advice to write such a provocative post)) More than 800 comments about underwear, dear me
Jul. 27th, 2015 04:00 pm (UTC)
No, he didn't. And I purposefully didn't create a provocative title for the post, because (unlike macos), I don't want a lot of trolls infecting my blog or a post like this getting into the TOP. But somehow it got there anyway. :)) First time one of my English language posts has been placed in the 1st position. I could probably be in the top 20 bloggers if I simply wrote about Russians every day, but I have no desire to do this.
(no subject) - zhang_fei - Jul. 27th, 2015 04:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 27th, 2015 04:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Jul. 27th, 2015 11:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
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