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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...Read more...Collapse )


( 826 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jul. 27th, 2015 06:47 pm (UTC)
Shannon, your posts are getting more and more provocative! )))
Jul. 27th, 2015 06:50 pm (UTC)
This was simply an observation, I didn't think it was so provocative. :) But I guess I was wrong!
(no subject) - primerose_bloom - Jul. 27th, 2015 07:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 27th, 2015 07:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 27th, 2015 09:59 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - interwei - Jul. 27th, 2015 10:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Jul. 28th, 2015 03:36 pm (UTC)
Why are you so nasty and rude?
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 28th, 2015 05:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 28th, 2015 05:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 28th, 2015 07:06 am (UTC)
"What do I think about this type of swimwear?"
I don't like Speedos and prefer a trunks of different types - short for the Russia and a longer one for the Egypt's sun cause my North skin is sensible for it. Approximately one of ten of my friends like Speedos.

A long one are not good for the Russia because our sun is not so workable most of the swimming season and it is simply felt very cold in them when trunks are wet.
About your assumption that Russian like the Speedos.
I can say that we don't have much sun in here and we are having a thought that the sun is necessary for man's health, so a lot of Russians are feeling free to sunbath without any clothes and the Speedos is a public measure. I don't think, that it can be observed as a some kind of Russian's feature it rather can be called the USSR's heritage.
What is about the Russians are too loud - is a total bullshit, because there are loud people and the modest ones in Russia and in every other country in the world. I think the people are loud when they feel unsecure of uncomfortable, if not to take in account the drunkenness when every person become as loud as possible.
Jul. 28th, 2015 03:34 pm (UTC)
Re: "What do I think about this type of swimwear?"
It's a good point about limited sun time in Russia. I didn't think about this before, yet many readers brought it to my attention. In the U.S., we are told the opposite and encouraged to wear a lot of sunblock. Bright sun and exposure to rays ages skin and possibly leads to skin cancer, etc. About Russian speech being loud, I didn't necessarily mean only in volume level. It's the pace of the speech, stressed syllables, etc. which make it sound harsh to ears that are attuned and accustomed to English speech. You are correct - there are loud, obnoxious people everywhere. Unfortunately, we can't escape them entirely. :)
Jul. 28th, 2015 12:10 pm (UTC)
These speedos were common in USSR because they were first of all made for sportsmen.

I have American-style trunks only because I forgot my speedos when travelled to America for the first time.
After desperately searching for normal speedos in a shopping mall I was advised that those strange nylon shorts are actually for swimming here and speedos are only for gays and professional sportsmen :)
Jul. 28th, 2015 03:35 pm (UTC)
Yes, in the U.S. these speedos are worn mostly by athletes or professional swimmers. I've never seen one male member of my family wear them - ever!! :)) I think they are so unattractive.
Jul. 31st, 2015 08:14 pm (UTC)
When I was to Moscow last time shop assistants quite often asked me from the very beginning in English if they can help me. So I think that not only way and manner of dressing and clothes make impression but mostly behavior.
As for swimsuits...
First - psychology - in their thoughts people are still the same as they where younger (sometimes much more).
Second - now the situation here becomes to be better but recently they used such swimsuits that they can find to buy.
Third - quite close to the previous one - swimsuits are not such an item of wardrobe that can be used quite often but few weeks in a year or even more rarely so some of them don't want to spend money... etc.
And of course, younger people have other mentality (me too)))
Aug. 1st, 2015 01:58 am (UTC)
Wow, cool! I've never once had any shop worker in Moscow, or anywhere in Russia, try to help me in English. Maybe it's because I'm usually there with a native Russian. I wear the same bathing suit for years. I'm cheap when it comes to clothes, and don't way to pay to replace items until they are torn or worn out. I'd rather spend my money on other things, like travel. :)
Aug. 20th, 2015 04:09 am (UTC)
Is it easy for you to spot your fellow compatriots when you're in a foreign country?

Very much. By glance. I don't know how to explain this phenomena. I live in NY for 23 years, made only one mistake as far as I remember. It was some Pol who used to live in Russia when he was a teenager ;-)))
Aug. 20th, 2015 02:52 pm (UTC)
I can't spot fellow Americans very easily. I guess it's part of the mysterious Russian soul and connection that you can so easily recognize your fellow compatriots. :)
(no subject) - qmed3 - Aug. 20th, 2015 04:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 30th, 2015 08:45 pm (UTC)
Americans are much louder to me and good friend of mine who doesn't speak any English says "no, I'll better learn anything else rather than this mew-mew language" (he speaks quite few rare languages but not English). But well... main thing here in general is, as less we understand as more loud it sounds to us. However, Americans are louder even you understanding what they talking about from just a personal observation. Good luck in the battle with speedo-patriots! :)
Dec. 31st, 2015 09:56 pm (UTC)
I think it's better to learn languages that are useful, and English is the international language. :) Speedo patriots...lol!! :))
(no subject) - prygofff - Dec. 31st, 2015 10:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 31st, 2015 10:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - prygofff - Dec. 31st, 2015 10:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 29th, 2016 06:38 am (UTC)
Шенон подводит итоги 2015 года
Dec. 15th, 2016 02:46 pm (UTC)
Totally agree about Russians' bathing suits. Totally disagree about our loudness. Americans are so much louder to my ear. I cannot hear Russians walking with me and speaking Russian on busy American streets (in big cities)

Edited at 2016-12-15 02:47 pm (UTC)
Dec. 15th, 2016 02:48 pm (UTC)
All people are different, of course, even within the same country. :) I really hate in the USA when people are talking loudly on mobile phones in public places. It's so rude and disrespectful for others. Anyway, this post was just to troll readers, back when I was trying to increase the rating of my blog by writing scandalous and yellow posts. I don't do this anymore, and just today wrote how I really hate stereotypes of any kind.
(no subject) - orangelass - Dec. 15th, 2016 06:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 15th, 2016 06:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
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