peacetraveler22: (Default)
tonguetwister

I've whined many times about the difficulty of the Russian language. Very long words, often difficult to pronounce. Recently, I started learning basic Georgian phrases for the journey - hello, goodbye, thanks, my name is, how much?, nice to meet you...This language is comprised of many harsh and unusual sounds for a native English speaker, and it's even more challenging to grasp than Russian. Almost any ounce of foreign vocabulary I know is useless for learning Georgian. For instance, if you know English, many Spanish words aren't so hard to comprehend, and even French to some extent. This perception is based solely on my travels in France, and daily communications with native Spanish speakers in my immigration work and life in Northern Virginia, where we have a huge population from Central America. In fact, whites have been the minority in my region for many years.

I'm not concerned about perfection or grammar when learning these languages, just the spoken element so I can try to communicate with locals a bit in their native language. I think it's very important, and you should always make an effort to learn standard, universal phrases when visiting a foreign country.

I always considered English to be a simplistic language, comprised of much shorter basic terms - "hi", "bye," no gender distinctions, etc. Then, I remembered this meme someone sent me a few months ago. Who can understand it? I believe it's an excellent test of English proficiency and comprehension skills. Maybe you can share it with your children or friends who are learning the language for some fun. :)

peacetraveler22: (Default)
put-the-toilet-seat-up

When you haven't lived with a man for a long time, you forget about their annoying habits. Now I live with not one, but TWO men! I have two male roommates and we share a bathroom. This creates household wars and horrors! The women in the house argue that the men should always put the toilet seat down after they pee. The men say "why!?!, just push it down when you need to sit!" What is the proper etiquette? :) Men, do you put the toilet seat down after you pee? I beg you to please do it if you share a bathroom with a woman. I can hardly describe the feeling of being half asleep, crawling out of a warm bed in the middle of the night, entering a dark bathroom and sitting down only to discover the toilet seat is up. Suddenly you fall into the bowl and your ass is splashed with cold water! Instant alarm clock! :)) It looks something like this....Read more... )
peacetraveler22: (Default)
birds

In the middle of a grey, depressing village on the River Volga, I found myself reliving a scene from the classic Alfred Hitchcock film "The Birds." Do you remember it? I stood alone in a deserted town square, trying to photograph a decaying old church, when I was suddenly attacked by a flock of angry Russian birds!! It was so unexpected that I began to scream out of shock, even though I have no fear of birds. Of course, my travel companion didn't run to my rescue, but instead snapped a photo from a distance. This is the natural reaction of a top travel blogger. :)Read more... )
peacetraveler22: (Default)
compliment

We all love compliments! But I've noticed something unique about the Russian blogosphere, where compliments aren't always what they seem. If you look at the TOP on a daily basis, you'll see a lot of posts full of trash, bloggers criticizing other women's appearance, lifestyle choices, bodies...the list is endless. Yes, sometimes they mention that the woman is "beautiful," but then they go on to highlight numerous flaws about the person. Even when people try to be pleasant, they often slip into "critique" mode, by throwing in an undercover insult in the process. Some examples I've noticed recently:

"You're pretty nice, for a Jew."
"You're smart, despite the fact that you're American."
"You have a beautiful face, but need to lose weight."


Compliments...Russian style. :)) Of course, people all over the world are engaged in this behavior. So, today I'll teach you the English word for this - "backhanded compliment." Maybe you already know this slang phrase, but sometimes foreigners don't learn them until they're actually living in the culture in which the phrase originates. For instance, I've taught my Russian friend the following slang words - "beaver," "joint," "Mary Jane," "midget,"...others that I can't think of right now. Read more... )
peacetraveler22: (Default)
How can I ever leave the Russian blogosphere when I receive amusing and thought provoking comments like this! :)

"Странная женщина. 42 почти года, мужа нет. Работы, видимо, толковой тоже, иначе не каталась бы по самым дешевым билетам в Москву. Детей нет. Чего в жизни добилась-то? Русский кое-как выучила, чтоб русского мужчину найти? Так они давно разобраны, у них уже дети школу заканчивают. При этом гонор ого-го какой. Высокомерно поучает, хотя в сущности пишет банальности и глупости. Вам бы к психотерапевту, тётенька."

Btw, I never see the single male bloggers on LJ being harassed or criticized for not being married. Why is that? Is it only shameful for an older woman to be single in Russian culture, but okay for men to remain unmarried and childless? My life is worthless! I don't have a Russian man...how can I survive? :)

Pleasant weekend to all!

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peacetraveler22: (Default)
Merry Christmas! None of my Russian friends celebrate this day, and how about you? I arrived at my desk this morning, opened LJ and read this funny post. I'm passing it along for all the single, lonely ladies in America. Maybe you're desperate for a Russian man? After all, we have no options here - all American men are stupid and gay! :)) I don't know what "кончиттывурст" means and online translation doesn't work for the term. What is the English equivalent? Honestly, I can't tell if some posts in the pora_valit community are serious, or subtle trolling/sarcasm? I rarely understand Russian humor.

Perhaps this is a new way to fund my travels? :) Marry foreigners desperate for U.S. citizenship in exchange for payment? What do you think? :)) A reader today asked me to write a post about the differences between American and Russian women,  but I don't know many Russian females, so I can't provide an informed opinion on the topic. All of my close Russian friends are men. Maybe some of my readers now living in the U.S. wish to provide insight?

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] dr_ionych at Хочу свалить из Рашки в США с помощью женщины
Я вот что решил.Мне не место в России. Надоело здесь все, ну, в общем, вы понимаете.
Однако, сильно напрягаться ради поравалить я не готов и поэтому придумал небольшой план.

Я хочу свалить в США, познакомившись с русскоязычной американкой. Как известно, США давно загнились, мужиков там толковых нет, одни кончиттывурст и геи. А женщинам одиноко. В общем, план понятен.

Вопрос: где знакомиться с гражданками США? И что в практическом плане дадут отношения с женщиной-резидентом? Ну, там ВНЖ или еще чего.
peacetraveler22: (Default)
Russians are master conspiracy theorists! At least some of them. They deserve big trophies and shiny prizes for the creative and imaginary stories they weave in their minds, particularly when the fairy tale involves an American (like me). Very amusing when other people dedicate posts entirely about me. However, this woman claims to have lived in the USA, so I value her impressions about America, even if I disagree with them. I do wish the State Dept. paid me to write here! It would help finance more personal visits to Russia, for further espionage and information gathering. :) Btw, who wants to give me English lessons? Seems a lot of Russians think they speak the language better than me, a 41 year old American woman. Grab the popcorn, read the comments to both posts, and be amazed at the lunacy of some of your compatriots! :))

For your reading pleasure:


Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] klava_17 at ЖЖежешная Псаки
Есть тут в ЖЖ такая Шеннон [livejournal.com profile] peacetraveler22, работает адвокатом в большой юридической конторе в пригороде амерканской столицы. И пришла ей в голову блажь ( а может и не блажь:) начать наводить мосты с Россией. По русски она не пишет, но вроде как понимает немного, видимо понахваталась русских слов когда по России путешествовала. Читатателей у нее хватает, в журнале много комментариев, на которые она старается отвечать.
Пишет хорошо, грамотно, но немного нудно. Я пыталась почитать ее журнал, но осилила только постов 5 наверно. Скучно стало. Написала ей несколько комментариев, она мне ответила почти на все. И что интересно, все ее ответы были в стиле Псаки. Мне даже на минутку показалось, что это Псаки отвечала:) Хотя там и фото этой Шеннон висит, симпатичная такая, молодая. Но и Псаки тоже ведь ничего себе так:)
Короче, я поняла что Шеннон хочет наводить мосты, хочет сотрудничать и дружить, но только на ее условиях. Почему на ее? А потому что она  права, за ней - правда, она знает истину в последней инстанции. Она же американка! Причем говорит, что хочет понять, искренне хочет разобраться и так же искренне не понимает, как это с ней не соглашаются и как можно ей возражать. Ну что тут сказать? Псаки такая Псака...

peacetraveler22: (bear)
russian-people-are-aliens

I woke up this morning on the wrong side of bed, in an incredibly bad mood. Everyone in my family is ill with the flu and my sister and her husband both recently hospitalized for unexpected sickness. Then I got to work and opened my favorite mindless website to see an article about my beloved Russians. Immediate smiles and laughter! The article is entitled "16 Things Russians Do That Americans Might Find Weird." You can view the original article here and copyright credit for most of the content below belongs to BuzzFeed. We've already discussed many of these behaviors in various posts, and some of them I've personally witnessed but not all. Let's take a look at some Russian behaviors that are odd to Americans.Read more... )
peacetraveler22: (bear)
herring

Remember my post about the Ukrainian market? I wrote there that I love food and my position hasn't changed. In America, we're getting ready to enter the most delicious time of year. We'll celebrate Christmas in less than two weeks. For my family, this means big gatherings and feasts. I can't really say I love Russian food. During my visits I tried some local cuisine, but didn't like most of it. I'm a very picky eater, not liking fish, seafood or a lot of meat. Recently on a popular U.S. website there was an article entitled "17 Bizarre Foods Every Russian Grew Up With." Maybe you'll find it amusing. I picked the most interesting dishes from the list and I've tasted a lot of the items. For me, the most disgusting delicacies are all the food molds stuffed with meats, herring and other treats. Like this photo, where the dish is called "herring under fur coat." :)Read more... )

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