Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

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!


Jul. 21st, 2015 06:43 pm (UTC)
I noticed that it becomes more and more difficult to spot young Russians abroad until they speak. Globalisation:)
And, speaking of Russian women, you should have mentioned make-up. Anywhere, any time of the day, any occasion:)
As for men, especially over 25-30, one of characteristics would be hairstyle. Most Russian men wear simplest hairstyles - no creativity. Especially in the Asian part of the country. Ah, and facial expression, of course: sooooo serious! As if they are constantly solving some vital problems.

Edited at 2015-07-21 06:46 pm (UTC)
Jul. 21st, 2015 06:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, make-up, you're right! :) But I've noticed the older Russian women at my pool are less made-up. Perhaps they've become too Westernized. :) I can't imagine taking time to put on make-up, fix my wild hair and worry about my outfit for simple tasks like going to the grocery store or to get gas. I simply don't have the patience or desire, when I could be doing a thousand other things.
Jul. 21st, 2015 06:50 pm (UTC)
Btw, the family about which I'm speaking were very nice. I went up to them on my way out, the young daughter had an infant in her arms and she was so cute! However, I refrained from touching or saying anything overly sweet about the newborn because I didn't want to offend them. Is it normal for strangers to pinch the cheeks of Russian babies, as people sometimes do in the States?
Jul. 21st, 2015 06:58 pm (UTC)
I can't say for the whole country (because traditions vary much in different regions), but here in the Urals we are rather reserved. To touch strangers' children is not a common thing. I felt really bad when we were travelling in Turkey of Egypt with our toddler daughters, and everybody tried to pinch or pat them (they were really sweet toddlers). I really wanted to wash their heads after every walk:) To say pleasant things - it's quite ok, it's almost a must - to say something sweet of a baby, especially a girl.
Jul. 21st, 2015 07:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks, this is very useful information! I thought that it would be alien behavior if I pinched the baby[s cheeks or asked to hold her as a stranger, and I was right! I'm glad I was reserved with my behavior.
Jul. 21st, 2015 07:05 pm (UTC)
Smiles and compliments are universal:)
Jul. 21st, 2015 07:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, I didn't even think about this, but really, we usually say pleasant words and compliments but not touch children.
Jul. 21st, 2015 06:51 pm (UTC)
"Solving vital problems" - you are right! This is that sign we can see every time and everywhere)
Jul. 21st, 2015 06:52 pm (UTC)
Yes, facial expressions are usually soooo serious! :))


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by yoksel