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Thread: Trip to St. Petersburg

  1. #1
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    Trip to St. Petersburg

    Hi everyone,
    I will be going at the end of the month to St. Petersburg as part of a student exchange. We will be studying Russian at St. Petersburg State University. I have never been anywhere outside of Canada before so not sure what to expect. Does anyone have any advice, tips, or just anything I should keep in mind? What are the styles like there? Do girls wear jeans? or will I be obvious as a foreigner if I wear jeans? How cold does it get there in the winter? What should I bring to keep warm? I will also be there when it's spring/summer, so what kind of clothes do they wear then? Also, does anyone know any neat places to hang out beside from the stuff in the guidebooks? Thanks!

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    Re: Trip to St. Petersburg

    Quote Originally Posted by Сара
    Does anyone have any advice, tips, or just anything I should keep in mind? What are the styles like there? Do girls wear jeans? or will I be obvious as a foreigner if I wear jeans? How cold does it get there in the winter? What should I bring to keep warm? I will also be there when it's spring/summer, so what kind of clothes do they wear then?
    You will stand out as a foreigner, but there's really very little you can do about it. Just be polite and cautious and you should be fine, though. People don't really hate foreigners as much as they say they do.

    When I was in Moscow for the winter (probably not quite as cold as St. Petersburg, but it never got above -18 C the whole time I was there), I found that long johns or leggings under my pants were the way to go. Also, a good jacket, warm shoes and socks, a thick hat, gloves and a scarf are a must-have.

    As the weather gets warmer, you will still need a lighter coat, and if you're there in June or July make sure you have some short sleeves.

    Really, I'm very jealous of you and would switch places in a heartbeat if I could. Too bad I can't....

    Have fun![/quote]
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    You will stand out as a foreigner, but there's really very little you can do about it. Just be polite and cautious and you should be fine, though. People don't really hate foreigners as much as they say they do.
    Well, I am just wondering why you say for sure that foreigners will stand out. If I bring clothes that are similar to what they wear there and don't walk around with a big smile I dont' see why I should necessarily stand out. Until I start to talk obviously. But if I don't say anything I dont' know why anyone should know I'm a foreigner.
    Where are you from? You sound like you've been to Russia quite a lot. Which did you like better: St. Petersburg or Moscow? Have you been to any of the smaller cities?

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    I just came back from a semester in St. Petersburg, and I acutally fit in pretty well. Old ladies kept coming up to me in the street and asking for directions, anyway, and then looked all surprised when they heard my accent, and asked me if I was Finnish. Jeans are actually very common, but girls wear them very tight - loose jeans will reveal your foreigner-ness. The Russian Girl Winter Uniform seemed to consist of a tightly fitted sweater turtleneck, either jeans or a short skirt with hose, boots (heels are popular but flats will fit in okay if they're streamlined, as opposed to, say, big-ass snowmobiling boots), knit hat or beret-y thing, gloves, and a leather or fur coat. Scarf optional.

    If you don't want to be marked as a foreigner, stay away from Columbia or Northface type winter coats, clunky snowboots, loosely fitted pants (oh my God, I don't know how girls worm into those jeans they wear) and clothes with visible wear-and-tear.

    Also, the only foreigner-hate I recieved was from a few store clerks those bizznatches at the train kassas. Bring a Russian with you to buy train tickets. Seriously.

    The reason you want to avoid looking like a foreigner is not, like, fear someone will beat you up, but to avoid pickpockets. They are omnipresent in Petersburg and target foreigners. Make sure you keep your wallet and passport inside your jacket where it is more difficult to lift off you.

    I vastly prefered Piter to Moscow, but I also fell in love with a few of the smaller cities, Pskov and Kazan (in Tatarstan). (Okay, Kazan isn't actually little. It just seemed friendlier than Piter.) If you get a chance to to to Tatarstan, I recommend it. Tatarstan was awesome.

    Everyone is going to try to convince you that Piter is bone-chillingly freezing and as a North American you'll just die. It's not true. I'm from Wisconsin, and it's about the same temperature and weather there as it is up north, off Lake Michigan. If you're from Canada, you're probably prepared fine for the weather.

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    Браво, Линдзи!!!

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    I don't think my dutch 'winter coat' (wintertemperatures rarely go below freezing point) will stand up to Russian winters, so I'll have to buy a new coat when I'm there anyway, but what do Russian boys/men wear in Petersburg or Moscow?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper May
    ....but what do Russian boys/men wear in Petersburg or Moscow?
    Usually boys and men wear sheepskin coat (дублёнка) or usual winter coat (with a couple of warm things under it if it's cold), gloves and a cap..
    Мы выбираем путь, идем к своей мечте,
    И надо не свернуть с пути уже нигде.
    И стоит шаг пройти, заносит время сле-ед,
    Обратного пути у жизни просто нет.

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    This might be a difficult question to answer but I'll give it a go: just how cold is a Russian (Moscow/Petersburg) winter? All my Russian trips thus far have been between March and September, but I'm off to Moscow tomorrow where, the Moscow Times tells me, the temperature is -15 C.

    Bear in mind I've spent my entire life in temperate Western Europe. Never been skiing .

    How much of a shock to the system will it be? I've heard that foreigners' fears of the Chilly East tend to be much exaggerated...
    А если отнять еще одну?

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    Just don't get lost in Moscow at night, like I did once. You should be OK then.

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    Море удачи и дачу у моря

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    –15°C is quite normal winter temperature. Just have a warm coat, scarf (or turn up your collar), gloves and a cap which covers your ears. Put on a sweater under the coat and take socks thicker than usual. Most vulnerable spots are toes, hands and ears. I don't think it will be shock for you, just cover all opened places. Shocking temperatures begin with –20 and, especially, with –30°C when you can't move your fingers and your nose and ears try to fall down. If you are not «experienced user» of low temperatures then you may get ill after walking by streets even if you didn't feel uncomfortable. To avoid it always save your foots and neck by thick socks and a scarf, don't gulp cold drinks, don't stay too much in the frost for the first time.

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    Just don't get lost in Moscow at night, like I did once. You should be OK then.
    I'm sorely tempted to be in bed by 4pm every day. I'm the nesh type. (Will people know the word 'nesh'? Interesting to see.)
    А если отнять еще одну?

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    Just have a warm coat, scarf (or turn up your collar), gloves and a cap which covers your ears.
    So a pair of chinos and a polyester tank-top won't suffice then? I'll have to repack .
    А если отнять еще одну?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Сара
    Well, I am just wondering why you say for sure that foreigners will stand out.
    It's just one of those generalizations that I believe in. I've had people come up to me and ask directions, ask me if I was German or Dutch after I opened my mouth. So, I should and say that MOST foreigners do stand out, but if you want to think about every little thing you wear and do, you could probably blend in.

    I've been to several smaller cities, mostly within 5 or 6 hours of Moscow, and I like them much better than Moscow. Not as westernized. Not as congested. More welcoming.

    Joysof: What on earth does nesh mean?
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    'Nesh', as I spoas all y'vurriners woant naw, is a perfickly gude an' honjist word vur 'dellikit'... Aw lor, yer wude think thit nowbdy lirns no Inglish no more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper May
    I don't think my dutch 'winter coat' (wintertemperatures rarely go below freezing point) will stand up to Russian winters, so I'll have to buy a new coat when I'm there anyway, but what do Russian boys/men wear in Petersburg or Moscow?
    I celebrated the New Years' Day in St. Petersburg, spending a week there, and it was not cold at all this year. When I arrived it was raining, and that continued until the 31st of December, when it was like -5 C, then it started snowing next day, the temperature stayed the same. I had just my woolen coat on, it was OK for the temperature, but not OK for the rain -- which I mostly avoided in metro and taxis.

    The previous year however, it was quite different. It was below -25 C for sure, and perhaps below -30. So you never know what it might be like.

    Russian boys are almost indistinguishable from their Western counterparts, especially if you make allowances for colder temperatures. The older generation is more conservative, they like leather coats/jackets and often fur caps, but that's changing, so being a male foreigner is a lot easier than being a female foreigner. If you leave your bags and backpacks in the hotel and avoid flashing your camera, chances are nobody is going to notice you.
    Jonesboro, Arkansas. Mean, stupid, violent fat people, no jobs, nothing to do, hotter than a dog with 2 d--cks.

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    'Nesh', as I spoas all y'vurriners woant naw, is a perfickly gude an' honjist word vur 'dellikit'... Aw lor, yer wude think thit nowbdy lirns no Inglish no more.
    'Sa dillekt wurd vur 'dellikit'. Canny blem y'vurriners fa tha', kin yaw?

    That was a hybrid of Devon schoolmarm and Ayrshire Terrier, in case you're wondering .

    In plain English, 'nesh' describes someone who can't take their drink and gets cold sores in winter. Sums me up perfectly.
    А если отнять еще одну?

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    Aweel, the'r naething wrang wi manglin ither fowk's dillekt, noo are the? Ah mean, nowt at all, leik. Mind you, of course I jolly well know how to speak propah English, what, but it's rather more gay to combine other dialects. It enriches t' language, knoo what I'm sayen?
    Army Anti-Strapjes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper May
    Aweel, the'r naething wrang wi manglin ither fowk's dillekt, noo are the? Ah mean, nowt at all, leik. Mind you, of course I jolly well know how to speak propah English, what, but it's rather more gay to combine other dialects. It enriches t' language, knoo what I'm sayen?
    I'z offtin fine tehat wen I'z mixes up meigh dialekts, I'z comes huome wiht a soar crotch.

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    I don’t know why but Russians don't wear bright clothing, bags, things… If you see a red bag or green jacket this one is the dark one or the owner is foreigner.
    Я танцую пьяный на столе нума нума е нума нума нума е
    Снова счастье улыбнулось мне нума нума е нума нума нума е

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    You mean the men, of course, Veter, right?
    The women love wearing bright things .. white, yellow .. even luminous pink is quite popular round here
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