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It's a strange world, being an English language writer on LJ. Some of you may wonder how an American made her way to the Russian blogosphere. It all started in April 2012 when my Ukrainian friend sent me a link to one of Ilya Varlamov's (varlamov.ru) African stories. Immediately I was captivated. A sea of intelligent and prolific thinkers/travelers all writing in the same place. I became hooked, reading many of the top bloggers daily for intellectual pursuit but also to study Russian words.

Then I became friends with another popular Russian blogger, made my way to Russia, and wrote a story that received a lot of attention when he translated it into Russian on his blog. Now I have a wonderful audience, consisting entirely of Russian speaking subscribers. I still don't know how some people make their way to my journal but I'm very grateful for your readership, insight and comments. Sometimes I question whether I should continue writing on LJ
, or move to another platform where I'll reach a larger English speaking audience. However, I think there's some value in having an American woman writing here, in a creative space that is dominated mostly by male bloggers.

This post will now remain at the top as an open forum. I try to maintain an active dialogue with readers and you can write what you wish in these comments. Tell me something interesting about yourself, how you discovered my blog, ask questions about America, travel or any other topic. And, most importantly, let me know the types of stories in which you're interested. Thank you for visiting, and cheers from the USA!



( 1236 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jun. 28th, 2013 04:32 am (UTC)
Shallow comment: You're so hot and sexy in that pic, woman! Next time I'm in town we have to get dolled up and go out on the town! Xoxo on a more grown up note, i love your blog and think you should keep growing and sharing. Loves!!

Edited at 2013-06-28 05:02 am (UTC)
Jun. 28th, 2013 05:31 am (UTC)
Seriously? So you changed the picture? You still look gorgeous, so there :-p
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jun. 28th, 2013 05:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amandakysses - Jun. 28th, 2013 07:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 28th, 2013 05:00 am (UTC)
Recently, I read the book "Russian problem in the English language," written by a Russian woman, who grew up in America. In the book, a lot of attention is paid to the difference in the cultural codes between Russians and Americans. Do you really feel it? And what do you think is most difficult when dealing with the Russians ? Of course excluding language :-)
Jun. 28th, 2013 03:28 pm (UTC)
Yes, these cultural differences are felt immediately upon arrival in Russia. The main distinctions, in my opinion, are:

(1) America is a very open and friendly society. We speak to and smile at strangers. There are rude people here like everywhere else, but in general Americans are very kind and helpful. I cannot say I felt warmly greeted as a foreigner in Russia. Russians are more closed down when it come to sharing information or personal details. Such information is reserved only for those close to them, while Americans are more trustful of outsiders.

(2) America welcomes tourists and foreigners. I live in the DC area, one of the prime tourist spots in the nation, and I routinely see police officers and citizens help foreigners with questions or directions. I never saw this in Russia. It is not a tourist friendly country and it's very difficult for people to navigate there. There's absolutely no tourist infrastructure.

(3) There's a rule of law in America and most people respect it. If they don't, there are consequences to pay (parking tickets, arrests, etc.). Laws exist in Russia, but they are not as widely enforced. It's like a "free for all" society where people do as they please, with no consequences.

These are the main things. I wrote about some other differences in my first Russian post.

Edited at 2013-06-28 03:30 pm (UTC)
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May I comment? - oslushnik_olexy - Sep. 24th, 2014 09:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: May I comment? - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 24th, 2014 10:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: May I comment? - oslushnik_olexy - Sep. 24th, 2014 10:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: May I comment? - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 25th, 2014 01:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: May I comment? - oslushnik_olexy - Sep. 25th, 2014 09:48 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 28th, 2013 05:07 am (UTC)
I found your blog through macos' blog. I liked his posts about America too.
I interesting in all stories about America and glad any information about your country. Also I interesting in your vision on Russia because you perceive things and events different way.
Jun. 28th, 2013 03:32 pm (UTC)
Denis, I hope you can visit America one day. :)
Jun. 28th, 2013 05:51 am (UTC)
I found your comment in English in other blog. I found it interesting :)

What do you consider the most difficult in the Russian language? Pronunciation, writing or something else?
Jun. 28th, 2013 03:34 pm (UTC)
Did you read my post about my Russian studies? http://peacetraveler22.livejournal.com/23512.html. Maybe you will find it interesting. The most difficult thing for me is gender for objects, tenses, and of course some Russian words are incredibly long. I can write Cyrillic very well. You can look at my hand-written note cards in the post I referenced.

Welcome and thanks for reading!
Jun. 28th, 2013 06:11 am (UTC)
I read about your blog in the macos` post. It was in the LJ top. I was interested in your impression about Russia. Perhaps it is possible to re-post your notes from another platform to LJ, so you`d have different parts of audience: Russians and others =)
Jun. 28th, 2013 03:35 pm (UTC)
Hello and welcome! I have one more story about Russia, to be published soon. I hope you will enjoy.
Jun. 28th, 2013 06:34 am (UTC)
Well, seeing how most americans fled from livejournal to other blogging platforms, like tumblr, years ago - yes, it is strange to see an English language writer on LiveJournal :)
Jun. 28th, 2013 03:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, the Russians now dominate LiveJournal. Unfortunately, we don't really have an English language equivalent, where all bloggers are in a central location. American bloggers tend to have stand-alone sites.
Jun. 28th, 2013 06:55 am (UTC)
Please please keep the blog in Livejournal :)
Jun. 28th, 2013 03:39 pm (UTC)
It would be hard to leave LiveJournal. It's very interesting to communicate with my Russian readers. It's a cultural exchange, virtual style. :)
Jun. 28th, 2013 07:20 am (UTC)
Yes, the post of macos in the Top - attracted my attention to your blog. :) I like your stories and your manner to describe things. And it's a one more window to interesting places - I like travel blogs with photos in general. And I wanted to read something interesting in English, just to keep up and improve my English.

Well, if you want increase your audience, you can try some "social networks", for example, there is a popular amongst Russian speaking people site "Вконтакте" - vk.com . Or maybe facebook... (although, as for me, I prefer vk.com )
But your LJ blog should be the first and preffered, as I think. Because it is more accommodated and convenient to photo-blogs. And on other platforms you can repost links to you posts in LJ.
Jun. 28th, 2013 03:40 pm (UTC)
I am on VK, but only as an individual. I think it's a good idea to create some type of page there. And, you know, I very much want to visit Belarus! Hopefully in the near future.
(no subject) - vitsky - Jun. 28th, 2013 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jun. 28th, 2013 05:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 28th, 2013 07:26 am (UTC)
I saw link to your blog in macos's post.
First I was curios about your vision of Russia, but then I found a lot of things about US, interesting things. So it's very nice and interesting to read your blog and I hope you will continue it in LJ=)
Jun. 28th, 2013 03:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'm glad you like my stories about America. Next week I'll write about Vermont.
Jun. 28th, 2013 07:49 am (UTC)
Well, if you open your account on a different platform, you'll get a different audience. Some of the old friends will find you, but not all of them. People are lazy to move to new platforms away from the ones that they feel comfortable with. So if you want to keep contact with LJ audience, you should keep your account in LJ.

I am a bad advisor regarding expanding the audience though, as I never tried. With many bloggers it happens without any special efforts just because they write interesting things. It probably makes sense to repost some of the posts you write in Russian having someone voluntarily help you with Russian from time to time.
Jun. 28th, 2013 03:43 pm (UTC)
Yes, people are sometimes lazy. I like to write a lot of text, and I worry that I sometimes bore people with short attention spans. I have friends that will help with translation, and it's a good idea to occasionally publish a story in Russian.

You were one of my first subscribers, way before my Russian stories. Always providing valuable insight into your country and culture. I wish to thank you again for that. I look forward to seeing you and your wife again next time I'm in Moscow.
Jun. 28th, 2013 09:03 am (UTC)
I don't like zyalt
Jun. 28th, 2013 03:45 pm (UTC)
Why don't you like him? His stories are sometimes interesting and he travels to unusual places. I met him when he was in DC last summer. Personally I didn't find him friendly at all. I also don't understand how he writes about starving and poor children in the slums of Africa and other countries with absolutely no emotion. But everyone is different. :)

Edited at 2013-06-28 03:51 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - Alex Winter - Jun. 28th, 2013 07:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 28th, 2013 11:32 am (UTC)
Don`t leave us
Oh, no, Marie Poppins, don`t leave us. Kids will be sad.

I knew about you in Macos`s.
And besides, your blog very unusual and interesting And it helps me with English. I speak free, understand everything but the rap, read books, but I don`t have o lot of expirians in wrighting. You are a good trainer, couch.
By the way I start to learn English in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, not your state, joke. My teach was a great georgian women, who have leaved in Big Apple for 17 years. Because in Russian there are no any English soud, she trained me every English sound for weeks every. And she used looking glass and candale. Iooking glass for (ou), (u), and candel for (p), (t). (h).
Jun. 28th, 2013 03:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Don`t leave us
I'm glad to be an English tutor of sorts for many of my readers. And thanks for your compliments and insight into your country. Always interesting!
Jun. 28th, 2013 01:47 pm (UTC)
I hope you cross-post your entries to Facebook? I always do. This way you could be approached by much more English-writing audience. But you have here your niche and we all would like you to stay.
Jun. 28th, 2013 03:48 pm (UTC)
I sometimes post to Facebook, but am not very diligent in doing so. I think I'm definitely a niche writer here, as there are very few English travel writers. In fact, I don't know of any others. Most English language pages on LJ are complete crap, covering entertainment news or fashion. Nothing substantive. Thanks for reading!
Jun. 28th, 2013 09:25 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to say "Hello" :)
I saw your comments at puerrtto's journal and thought that you might be an interesting person. :)
My name is Kate, i am from Saint-Petersburg but currently i'm getting my Master's degree in Marburg, Germany.
Nice to meet you here)
Jun. 28th, 2013 09:28 pm (UTC)
Hello! Welcome. :) I have lots of stories about Russia, including your home town of St. Petersburg. I love this city! You can search the St. Petersburg or Russia tag on my page to find the posts. Pleasure to meet you.
(no subject) - alseyn - Jun. 28th, 2013 09:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 29th, 2013 05:04 pm (UTC)
I've read Macos' translation of your story on Echo of Moscow(Эхо Москвы) site.
Jun. 29th, 2013 05:11 pm (UTC)
Interesting, people were very mean to me in the Echo of Moscow comments! I've never been called a "bitch" so many times in my life. :) Thanks for reading!
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