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Thread: Living in Russia from the viewpoint of an American student

  1. #1
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    Living in Russia from the viewpoint of an American student

    Unfortunately, I don't have much time these days to visit MR as often as I used to, but I can't not to share a very good story I came across in the interent.

    Heather Worley Living in St. Petersburg, Russia

    I tnhink it is interesting for both foreigners and Russians.

    Just one random quotation (a little bit provocative )

    If one more person tells me that St. Petersburg is not very Russian, and Moscow even less so, I will scream. If this ain't Russia, I don't know what it is. I'm running into Russia all over the place, everywhere I go. Russian people, speaking Russian, eating Russian food, listening to Russian music, marrying other Russian people, having little Russian babies (all of whom speak better than I do, unfortunately), buying hand-knit socks at the metro from little Russian babushkas - really, if this isn't really Russia, what is it?

    Russian culture is going through a massive identity crisis. People keep telling me that to see the real Russia, you have to go out to the country, talk to derevenskie lyudi, simple people. That there is no Russian culture in the city. No culture at all, whatsoever - St.-Petersburgers are a culture-less people. Completely culture-less. Not uncultured, mind you, but cultureless. There are no values, no traditions, nothing. Little do they realize that this is not actually possible. It is not possible for people to interact without culture, and without interaction, you can't do anything except sit in a hole in the dark. You can't eat, you can't buy things, you can't work, you can't even move - because once you've done any of these things, you've done it in some sort of structured way dictated by your culture. (Or maybe you've made everyone mad by doing it in some way your culture forbids...but still, that's culture.)
    Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I

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    She's entirely wrong, of course. I find life in Moscow to be largely indistinguishable from life in Paris and London, the small matter of the
    monthly wage not withstanding. In ten years time, I would vouch that it will be entirely indistiguishable. No bad thing. And sod the derevenskie lyudi: there are unreconstructed bumpkins in towns and villages throughout Europe and the world; looking to them for any sort of culture would seem to me to be a vain task.

    It's the provincial cities which interest me: these vast places with hundreds of thousands - or indeed millions - of inhabitants, whose daily activities register not a blip on the global radar. Perhaps this is where to look for unadulterated Russianness? Or perhaps, like lots of other things for which good-natured sorts search, it just ain't there to be had.
    А если отнять еще одну?

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    Почётный участник astarz41's Avatar
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    Thanks for that link! I always find it interesting to read people's impressions of life in Russia. I can sort of relate to both sides because though I am from St. Pete I've lived in the US for a while now. She talks about a lot of things that I have "re-descovered" for myself this summer when I went back to Russia.
    Свет
    С утра запутается в шторах и цветах,
    Которые ты забываешь поливать.
    Тебя не радуют весна и пение птах,
    Ведь снова ты должна любовь свою порвать,
    Ведь снова ты должна...

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    Zues, cool article. makes for some good reading material. It also helps when the person is a good writer. I like her writing style. Anyways...

    astarz41 ~ Твой аватар... это ты ?? Вот такая красавица !!
    А если я не прав . Забудь!
    Вот это да, я так люблю себя. И сегодня я люблю себя, ещё больше чем вчера, а завтра я буду любить себя to ещё больше чем сегодня. Тем что происходит,я вполне доволен!

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    Почётный участник astarz41's Avatar
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    There are alsom links to the journals of her classmates:
    http://www.blurty.com/users/adrianilo
    http://greatrussian.aiesec.ws/
    And another one
    http://www.lindsayfincher.com/

    Dogboy, Нет не я, это фигуристка Sasha Cohen.
    Свет
    С утра запутается в шторах и цветах,
    Которые ты забываешь поливать.
    Тебя не радуют весна и пение птах,
    Ведь снова ты должна любовь свою порвать,
    Ведь снова ты должна...

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    LOL. Sounds like the town I live in. Go out to the country and you've got some pretty fun, smart and joyful people. Go in to the cities, and the people act like they are computer programmed.
    Of course, you will always have some extent of everything no matter where you go.
    "Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is doing it. Right is right, even if nobody is doing it."
    St. Augustine
    http://www.paladinrepublic.com

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    Unfortunately, this account is as full of misconceptions and prejudices as just about any other.

    The Soviets had this theory that if you didn't know how to get there, you probably weren't supposed to be there in the first place. Now, since Russia is capitalist, there are signs and advertisements everywhere, thank goodness, but street signs and numbers are still mostly absent, so forget addresses. It's like a Communist hangover or something. Sometimes there are street signs, little blue things about the size of printer paper, with the name of the street on it, way high up on a building, maybe twelve feet up. They're impossible to read from a distance. It's best just to wander and figure things out. Also, streets here change names sometimes even when they don't change directions. My route to school is like this. I make two turns, but am technically on about eight different streets.
    The gal somehow believes that the entire world -- except the evil communists -- decorate their cities with two-feet high street names, visible from the other end of the block, thanks to the perfectly rectangular grid of streets and avenues. In Europe, and Russia is quite European in this respect, they try to decorate their cities with architecture and not the huge high-contrast street names. In fact, what they have in Russia is much better than in most other cities in Europe, where the street name may be mentioned only once at some crossing, in a font which is just about invisible. Not to mention the lack of standard locations and appearance for house numbers.

    And this one:

    So much was covered up, destroyed, or simply fabricated by the Communists that there's no telling what really happened in some cases.
    Now she only needs to realize that the anti-communists have been a lot more resourceful in covering, destroying or simply fabricating. Only I'm afraid that's hardly going to happen.

    The exchange places won't take anything other than the most pristine bills, which doesn't make sense - clean does not equal valid. It can't be wrinkled, marked on, or faded in any way, even though they have those little black-light machines or whatever-it-is that they use to verify currency. I think this is bizarre - no one makes yucky-looking counterfeit. If your bill is less than perfect (as mine was), you have to go to a bank, and they charge 10%! Total rip-off. But I had to do it there, because otherwise I would have had $100 and, somehow, still be broke.
    This story is really boring. I've heard it re-iterated so many times. It is completely untrue. There may be some paranoid kiosks, but then there are others. I won't even mention the guys in the streets who take everything and offer better rates, and they don't care about your IDs.

    She attributes this to the Soviet system, under which busloads of schoolchildren and teachers were required to spend the day in the country to help bring in the potato harvest before they could start lessons, so there is a historical precedent for a slow start to studies.
    BS. The truth is that summer is the vacation time, so there is nobody to prepare a schedule. You can't anyway because the teachers are all on vacation all the same. So when the semester starts, they have to start teaching and make a schedule at the same time, and that takes time. Nothing to do with Soviet anything except the statutory vacation.

    but the fact is that if you are a native speaker of a language, you are an expert in that language, even if you're stupid about everything else on the planet.
    Oh my...

    Russians applaud in unison. It feels rather weird - sort of like being at a pep rally or something - but it's expected, and if you screw it up, someone will glare at you. Or if you have a host sister, she will move your hands for you, since you're obviously too uncultured to know proper theater behavior. Why do they do this? you ask. Because Russian culture is a collective culture. In collective cultures (such as most eastern cultures), harmony, group identity, and cooperation are more valuable than individual opinions, wants and desires. This isn't a bad thing, it's just different.
    Sheer unadulterated idiocy. The reason why they glared at her was because she tried to applaud at the wrong moment -- when the play was still going or something, which was quite a nuisance for the other spectators. They applaud in unison because there are only a few moments when that can be done -- like when a play is over. Doing it before that is simply being impolite, and doing it after that is simply pointless. Individual wants and desires... Utter nonsense! I just love it when American teenagers start reflecting on cultural issues.

    Reading about the history of the revolution made me think about how poorly Americans understand Russia. Despite the many awful things that happened later, the Russian Revolution was one of the first times in Russian history that ordinary people were heroes, and that they felt their voices were being heard on a level that mattered. I think it's very easy to forget the power that moment had in the lives of the people and to focus instead on the repressions that occurred under communism, even though repression existed in Russia long before Lenin. I think we get an unbalanced picture.
    She thinks! She is unsure!

    Everything on Moskovsky Prospekt is what I expected Russia would look like before I came - gray and dreary and incredibly uniform. My part of town, which is considerably older, has beautiful architecture that is run-down, as opposed to this part of town, which has newer, ugly architecture that is run-down. Apparently, the communists had a master plan to make that the center of town, which didn't take, but they managed to build a lot of ugly buildings before they realized that no one really wanted to live there.
    Just about everything here is wrong. The communists did not have a master plan about making anything the center of town. People did and do really want to live in that part of town.

    Natalya commented to me once that Americans have a lot of self-confidence. I'm not really sure she meant by this, because she said it to me in English. If she'd said it in Russian, she might have used the word "samouverronost," which can translate as self-confidence, but which Rachik (teacher at OU) says is probably more accurately described as arrogance. So I don't know if she was simply translating the Russian concept for me, or meaning it in the English sense. Either way, self-confidence is not something valued as highly in this culture as it is in American culture. I consider self-confidence to be a positive trait, because I'm an American, but I think in other cultures it doesn't have a word because it's just normal - you're neither arrogant nor you're mousy.
    Самоуверенность and self-confidence are the same. The problem with the Americans is that they are self-confident where they should not. This has to do with the role of doubt in critical thinking. Just look at the way she says absurdities without ever pausing for a second to think.

    I think there's something wrong with our culture.
    Hear hear.

    All this reading and all the final tests going on right now got me to thinking about the American system of education, particulary at the high school level. It stinks. I think all I read in high school was Shakespeare and Huckleberry Finn (four times). Oh yeah, and Dickens, who I can't stand - he was paid by the word, and it shows. This leaves out nearly everything good written in English. And I'm really amazed that we never get around to world literature at all - including all the Russian greats, like Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, etc. etc. We didn't even read Don Quixote, which is something everyone reads.

    I think this is probably because we only study about six subjects at a time, which can include things like sports and music (both necessary, but, really, can't those be after school?). Russian students, on the other hand, have around 17 subjects at a time - no joking. Anya, who is not even a stellar student, takes biology, chemistry and algebra, and everyone takes tons of history and literature, physics and other sciences, and language arts.
    And then we're sooo self-confident.

    starting to think that, rather than being only sort-of European, Saint-Petersburg isn't European at all. Or I suppose it's possible that Western and Eastern Europe really are just incredibly different. Spaniards talk loudly on the streets, smile at people they've just met, are constantly laughing and joking, are very eager to be helpful.
    Not Western vs Eastern, but Southern vs everything else. Is that so hard to understand?
    Jonesboro, Arkansas. Mean, stupid, violent fat people, no jobs, nothing to do, hotter than a dog with 2 d--cks.

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    Thanks, Zeus! Quite and interesting notes really.

    @badmanners: yes, she has some prejustices. Who has none? This Heather is american, after all! So, what did you expect?
    Anyway: her notes do contain approx 10 times more truth about Russia, than american mainstream media emitted for any comparable period of time. Some achievement, isn't it?
    Кр. -- сестр. тал.

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    There aren't too many bigger stores in St. Petersburg like you would find in most American towns - not really department stores or big anchor stores, and certainly nothing like a Wal-Mart. There's a shopping center downtown called the Passazh that's sort of like a mall, but it's really small and really expensive. Just down the street is Gostinny Dvor, a former royal residence that is now a huge shopping center. It's very easy to get lost among the many small shops, but you're more likely to find things like good-quality luggage and clothes there, although at high prices. Supposedly there's a real American-style shopping mall, complete with a food court, on the mainland near Justin's place, but I haven't seen it.

    Most stores in Russia have everything behind counters and glass cases, and you have to ask an employee to get it down for you, and they only hand it to you after you pay. In some cases, one employee gets things down from the shelf and writes you a check which you take to the cashier, and after you pay, you take the receipt back to the first employee to pick up your stuff, and then the employee tears the receipt so you can't get a second load for free. Some of the larger produkty stores have two or three cash registers, and you have to order and pay for all of your stuff separately. And if the employee working the section of the store you need something from is on smoke break or talking on her cell phone, and the other employees are in a bad mood, you just have to wait for her to get back before you can even order.
    Not true. There are numerous supermarkets in the city, where nothing is behind counters (except cheese, meat and fish produce that must be cut/sliced individually -- and there are pre-packaged versions, too), and none of the check/receipt nonsense applies -- you just load what you want into your cart, drive to the cashiers, queue up, and pay. Naturally, these supermarkets are not in the central areas.

    Isn't it frightening that we thought Russia actually wanted a nuclear war, and they thought the same thing about us?
    The only difference, of course, is that America had plans to attack the USSR with their nuclear arsenal before the USSR had the A-Bomb. It was actually the Russian A-bomb that prevented the nuclear war from happening -- but then it gave the American propaganda a wholly new dimension.

    Included in the tour was the first Foucault pendulum ever built. The swinging motion of the pendulum somehow proves that the earth is round (sorry I don't know all the details...). Evgeny said the guide would always say, "See! The Earth is round! We've proved it!" His comment was, "We knew the earth was round. Everyone had known that for years. The church didn't deny that..."
    The ignorance of this girl is shocking. The precession of the pendulum proves that the Earth is rotating, not that it is round.

    If Putin wants a population boom, he really should end the war in Chechnya.
    Right. And then the bastards will revert to killing the populace by a maternity hospital. Been there, done that. Besides, road incidents kill a lot more Russians than the Chechen war -- but that just shows again what kind of nonsense her "judgments" about Russia are impregnated with.

    "But Chechnya has always been part of Russia!" the Russians protest. No, Chechnya has always been fighting not to be a part of Russia.
    Who cares. The Americans, of course, would have just wiped off the entire population and then have taken the land. The Russians had to take that land because it was the land of bandits and robbers just next to Russia. They returned to their traditional activities (robbery and kidnapping) as soon as they were granted sovereignty ten years ago. They started a war against Russia, as well.

    Then I started telling Anton that in America, you don't have to have propiski (a residence permit) to move. If you want to move, you can just move. If you want to get a job in Russia, you have to have a propiska for that city.
    All wrong. If you have a place to move in, you just move in. You only need to notify the local authorities of your address change.

    One of the girls at school was telling me today that if you don't have an SPB propiska (as she doesn't), you can't check out books at the public library.
    If you don't have an ID in the US, you can't check out books at public libraries either. I forget if the ID must be local, though.

    Universities here don't generally have amazing libraries like we do in the U.S., and there's no interlibrary loan, and not everyone has really great access to the internet. The free access we have to information in the US is phenomenal, but I hadn't realized how phenomenal until I came here.
    BS. Large universities (like the St. P. State University) has a number of very large libraries, and then there are even bigger public libraries in the city. All free.

    The next question after this is always what we use for ID. The answer "driver's license" is always sort of surprising for them. Anton also wanted to know why the American government doesn't want to keep track of where everyone lives.
    First of all, anyone with a driver license in the States must replace it (or amend it with a sticker) whenever his/her address changes. So that is tracked. Second, the address of a person is registered at banks, insurance companies, utility companies, etc. Along with a host of other interesting information. All that is freely accessible to just about anyone, and is completely transparent to the state.

    The police "found" a little packet of white powder on him, stole $500, and were holding him in a cell while they "waited for the results of the test." The interpreter they'd found was gently hinting, "Maybe you left the money at home, or you spent it somewhere...are you sure you had it on you?" The guy finally gave up and said, "Yeah, I think you're right...I must have done something else with it," and within two minutes they announced that the test had come back negative. Thank goodness for the interpreter, or the poor fool would have spent the rest of his life demanding his money back, and never gotten out of jail. Unfortunately, this is pretty normal here.
    I do agree that things like that happen in Russia. However, it is simply incorrect to say "Thank goodness for the interpreter, or the poor fool would have spent the rest of his life demanding his money back, and never gotten out of jail." Quite the opposite, if the guy never had that white powder, he simply had to keep saying "not mine" and that would have been it. Of course, if he had actually bought some funny "white powder" at some funny club, he would have gone to jail, and then thanking the interpreter is in order.

    stopping at Lenta (sort of like a Russian Super Wal-Mart)
    So she finally saw them.
    Jonesboro, Arkansas. Mean, stupid, violent fat people, no jobs, nothing to do, hotter than a dog with 2 d--cks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad manners
    If you don't have an ID in the US, you can't check out books at public libraries either. I forget if the ID must be local, though.
    Any photo ID will do. You have to have proof of local address (like, for example, a utilities bill sent to an address within the library's district addressed to you), though, in order to get a regular library card. If you don't have proof of local residence, you can generally get a visitor's pass that will allow you to log on to the computer equipment, recall items from storage for use on the premises, etc. You don't need any sort of ID or library card to simply go into a public library and read there, so long as you aren't checking out books, though. They're open to the public for browsing. Some university libraries do require passes or student IDs for entrance, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by bad manners
    Universities here don't generally have amazing libraries like we do in the U.S., and there's no interlibrary loan, and not everyone has really great access to the internet. The free access we have to information in the US is phenomenal, but I hadn't realized how phenomenal until I came here.
    BS. Large universities (like the St. P. State University) has a number of very large libraries, and then there are even bigger public libraries in the city. All free.
    My campus library has over 6 million volumes and 4 million additional microfiches. The Madison public library system has an additonal couple million, and if you want a book that the Madison library system doesn't have, they'll borrow it from another library system. Now, Madison is a pretty intelligentsia-ridden town, but it's really not a major city - I assume the more dominant US cities have better systems, even. I'm not trying to be snide here, it's a genuine question: can the StP university and public libraries compare, even to my small middle-of-nowhere city's system? I don't have any numbers, but they didn't seem that volumnious when I was there. But they might have really impressive stacks not in public view.

    Quote Originally Posted by bad manners
    First of all, anyone with a driver license in the States must replace it (or amend it with a sticker) whenever his/her address changes. So that is tracked.
    Hee. Is it really a legal requirement that the drivers' license be updated? Because mine still has my address from when I was 16 on it, and I've moved like five times since then.

    Okay, I was curious, so I checked out the Wisconsin DOT website - as driver's licenses in the US are a state matter, not a federal - and this is what they have to say:
    http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/change.htm
    If you hold a Wisconsin identification card or regular driver license you may change your address by doing one of the following:

    -Call (60266-2353 and request that your driver record address be changed
    -Mail your change of address to:
    Division of Motor Vehicles
    Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT)
    PO Box 7917
    Madison, WI 53707-7917
    Include your ID or driver license number.

    You should notify WisDOT of your change of address within 10 days of your move.

    If your name changes, you must visit a DMV service center to have a replacement license issued. A replacement driver license will be issued to you for $4. A replacement ID card costs $6.
    So apparently you should notify them, but it doesn't seem to be required - if it were law, you'd expect stronger language. I realize this is highly unscientific, but I asked my four roommates if their driver's licenses showed our current address, and none of them did. I don't think it's highy common to keep the driver's license addy up to date, at least not in this state. Other states may have more draconian laws, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by bad manners
    Second, the address of a person is registered at banks, insurance companies, utility companies, etc. Along with a host of other interesting information. All that is freely accessible to just about anyone, and is completely transparent to the state.
    Yes, it is registered with them, but it's not supposed to be freely accessable. I grant you that an employee of those companies, or a rather clever computer hacker, could easily find one's address and personal information, but the information is hardly public domain. I can't go down to Allied Energy and get anyone's address and personal information but my own. Moreover, not all companies are obliged by law to share their information with the state - in many cases, warrants are required to seize customer information.

    Quote Originally Posted by bad manners
    Самоуверенность and self-confidence are the same. The problem with the Americans is that they are self-confident where they should not. This has to do with the role of doubt in critical thinking. Just look at the way she says absurdities without ever pausing for a second to think.
    Far be it for me to contradict you about my own country, but you've, in your criticism of this American girl's misconceptions about Russia, presented quite a bit of less-than-100%-accurate information about the United States. Yet I'm not going to accuse you of excessive self-confidence. As Scorpio said, all of our points of view are colored by our own nationalities, whether we like it or not.

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    [quote=Линдзи][quote="bad manners":3a3ofb97]
    If you don't have an ID in the US, you can't check out books at public libraries either. I forget if the ID must be local, though. [/quote]

    Any photo ID will do. You have to have proof of local address (like, for example, a utilities bill sent to an address within the library's district addressed to you), though, in order to get a regular library card. If you don't have proof of local residence, you can generally get a visitor's pass that will allow you to log on to the computer equipment, recall items from storage for use on the premises, etc. You don't need any sort of ID or library card to simply go into a public library and read there, so long as you aren't checking out books, though.[/quote:3a3ofb97]
    My remark was about checking out. I admit that in Russia they will probably ask for an ID for everything.

    [url="http://www.pl.spb.ru/chitatel.htm"]http://www.pl.spb.ru/chitatel.htm[/url]

    Читателем библиотеки им. В.В. Маяковского может стать любой житель Санкт-Петербурга старше 16 лет и имеющий постоянную прописку в Санкт-Петербурге. Для записи в библиотеку необходимо предъявить паспорт с указанием прописки или документ, удостоверяющий личность (заграничный паспорт, паспорт гражданина другого государства, удостоверение личности офицера, свидетельство о рождении) и справку о регистрации в Санкт-Петербурге. Читательский билет выдается бесплатно.

    Жители Ленинградской области, других городов, а также лица, имеющие временную прописку в Санкт-Петербурге, могут пользоваться только читальными залами библиотеки. В этом случае необходимо предъявить только паспорт или документ, удостоверяющий личность. Читательский билет выдается бесплатно.
    Quote Originally Posted by Линдзи
    My campus library has over 6 million volumes and 4 million additional microfiches. The Madison public library system has an additonal couple million, and if you want a book that the Madison library system doesn't have, they'll borrow it from another library system. Now, Madison is a pretty intelligentsia-ridden town, but it's really not a major city - I assume the more dominant US cities have better systems, even. I'm not trying to be snide here, it's a genuine question: can the StP university and public libraries compare, even to my small middle-of-nowhere city's system? I don't have any numbers, but they didn't seem that volumnious when I was there. But they might have really impressive stacks not in public view.
    Unfortunately, I cannot quote the Public Library of St Petersburg directly but here is what others say about it:

    http://www.kohkpetho.ru/rec.php?article=162

    Крупнейшая в Санкт-Петербурге библиотека — Публичная (Российская национальная библиотека), ее фонды составляют более 34 миллионов экземпляров.

    Библиотека была основана в 1795 году, а открыта для публики лишь в 1814 году. Здания книгохранилища сооружены Е. Т. Соколовым в 1796-1801 и К. И. Росси в 1828-1834 годах.

    По размерам своих фондов Публичная библиотека является второй в России и пятой-шестой в мире. Кроме того, ей вполне заслуженно присвоено звание старейшей публичной библиотеки в России, она обладает наиболее полным в мире собранием русских книг и рукописей. Здесь находится самая полная в мире коллекция изданий петровского времени (1708-1725). 250 тысяч книг и периодических изданий содержит знаменитый фонд «Россика», в котором до 1917 года собирались все иностранные произведения о России. Особого внимания заслуживают такие раритеты, как «Остромирово Евангелие», древнейшая русская рукописная книга, издания 1056-1057 годов, или первая русская книга для чтения «Изборник 1076 года», «Лаврентьевская летопись» — 1377 года. Все эти реликвии хранятся в древнерусских фондах, а сами они насчитывают 30 тысяч рукописных книг и 18 тысяч актов и грамот.
    To compensate for the unofficial link, here are the links to other libraries in St. Petersburg:

    http://www.csa.ru/BAN/

    Единый книжный фонд БАН насчитывает около 20 млн экземпляров отечественных и зарубежных изданий, рукописей, карт, микроформ и других документов. Действующие фонды централизованной системы БАН включают более 16.5 млн экземпляров изданий, в т.ч. иностранных - свыше 6.5 млн., т.е. около 40 %. Периодические издания составляют более 8 млн экземпляров (в т.ч. иностранных - более 4 млн). С 1746 г. БАН получает обязательный экземпляр всех изданий Академии наук, а с 1783 г. - бесплатный обязательный экземпляр всех отечественных изданий, причем до 1810 года она была единственной библиотекой в России, обладавшей таким правом. Комплектование фондов БАН текущей литературой ведется также путем покупки в России и за рубежом и по международному книгообмену с 2.5 тыс. Библиотек и научных учреждений в 84 странах мира. Новые поступления составляют ежегодно свыше 400 тыс. экземпляров, из них 100 тыс. - иностранные издания.
    http://www.lib.pu.ru/about.html

    Научная библиотека Санкт-Петербургского государственного университета - одна из старейших и крупнейших библиотек России, является памятником отечественного просвещения, науки и культуры. По богатству и разнообразию фондов она находится в одном ряду с известнейшими университетскими книгохранилищами мира. В фонде насчитывается 6,7 млн. томов.
    http://www.unilib.neva.ru/rus/lib/about/

    Фундаментальная библиотека Санкт-Петербургского государственного технического университета начала свою работу одновременно с открытием в 1902 году С.-Петербургского политехнического института и в настоящее время является одной из крупнейших в городе. Фонды библиотеки превышают 2,6 млн. единиц хранения.
    So, 63-64 million volumes in just those few libraries. And there are dozens of other smaller libraries, with a few hundred thousand volumes each.

    How does that compare, indeed?

    So apparently you should notify them, but it doesn't seem to be required - if it were law, you'd expect stronger language. I realize this is highly unscientific, but I asked my four roommates if their driver's licenses showed our current address, and none of them did. I don't think it's highy common to keep the driver's license addy up to date, at least not in this state. Other states may have more draconian laws, though.
    Thank you for confirming that. You may compare that with the Russian case, where half the Russians have a propiska at a place they do not live. Don't you see a certain parallel here?

    Yes, it is registered with them, but it's not supposed to be freely accessable. I grant you that an employee of those companies, or a rather clever computer hacker, could easily find one's address and personal information, but the information is hardly public domain.
    Indeed you cannot. But you're not the government. Besides, was it the "Reason" magazine that recently scared its subscribers to death by publishing this "hardly public domain" information on its very subscribers?

    Far be it for me to contradict you about my own country, but you've, in your criticism of this American girl's misconceptions about Russia, presented quite a bit of less-than-100%-accurate information about the United States.
    Hmm, I wonder where. Anyway, if you can find a couple of things not 100% accurate, it is nothing compared with that girl, when every second judgment is completely wrong.
    Jonesboro, Arkansas. Mean, stupid, violent fat people, no jobs, nothing to do, hotter than a dog with 2 d--cks.

  12. #12
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    The ignorance of this young missy is horrifying and her tendency to think along straight lines is frightening. Just about every statement she makes about Russia is wrong. Pity.
    Show yourself - destroy our fears - release your mask

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by astarz41
    There are alsom links to the journals of her classmates:
    http://www.blurty.com/users/adrianilo
    http://greatrussian.aiesec.ws/
    And another one
    http://www.lindsayfincher.com/
    Ta for the links. Excellent illustration of the "talk like a Dutch uncle" concept and wonderful examples of amoebic logic. They say laughing makes you live longer - read it and you'll be bloody immortal.
    Show yourself - destroy our fears - release your mask

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