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Hello from Russia!

Kenny Shovel

Active Member
Sergo said:
Maybe. But the more exhausting part is trying to put on paper every single word. Without that this task is senseless - as I usually get a general meaning of any news article that I hear as it is. But to understand everything is my really my goal...
You could record the programme rather than write it down.
Sergo said:
And you haven't read Iris Murdoch?
I don’t really read all that much modern British stuff, my interests lay elsewhere. I know of Iris Murdoch, but I seem to remember hearing somewhere that her characters can sometimes be a little unsympathetic, but that may be a false view I’ve been given.
Sergo said:
I see. I must confess that this "dry sense of humour" is a very rare thing here. Without straining my mind I cannot remember anyone else having it save for the relative I mentioned, and he died 30 years ago or so.
I’d say it’s much more common here, and often used in a self-depreciating way. It’s a bit of a generalised but the British like to laugh at themselves and like to see this trait in others, it’s a good way to show you’re not pompous.
I think there is often a misunderstanding between the British and Americans in that each think the other is pompous. Americans seem to think this of the British, perhaps because they misunderstand the self-depreciating aspect of our humour as it is used in a quite a dry way. In return the British think Americans are ‘full of themselves’ as we don’t see this self-depreciation being used by them in the same way, when all they are really doing is being positive about life, which seems to be a common outlook amongst their nation.
Sergo said:
I liked "Svejk" and all my friends had read it. But I have not heard in years anything about the book here, and nobody from my daughter class read it, as far as I know.
Sadly, “Svejk” is virtually unknown in this country, which is a shame as I think the humour of the book would make it very popular here. Incidentally the book itself was voted the best Czech book of all time, a few years back by Czech critics. I also have a biography of its writer Jaroslav Hasek, and what a character he was, anarchist, bigamist, communist, prankster and world-class drunk.
Sergo said:
While I was reading yours about the people in uniform, my colleague, manager, dealing with Kingston, Micron & A-Data came in and told me again that it is time to flee before our people in uniform spoiled our life for us. He says that it is in our Russian soul not to care much about anything including our own lives, and as our uniformed people are Russian too - it is natural to expect them not to care much about anything.
He sounds like a real happy-go-lucky character.
Sergo said:
Wow. Nice place. Seems to be like our dacha villages. Which is your street?
Not really, it’s quite built up, but once you take the lane down to the park you find the wood, and hill and lake that are hidden from view by the houses; really it should be the other way around. My street is a little cul-de-sac and is too small to be seen even on this map.
Sergo said:
It seemed to me that 10 - 15 mins would be more realistic... Yes, we should be there from 8.07.05 to 16.07.05, or something like that.
I’m sure you have a good time.
 

Sergo

New Member
Kenny Shovel said:
You could record the programme rather than write it down.
Really I do as follows:
1. Write the program on my VCR.
2. Repeatedly playback the program until I could write down every spoken word.
It did marvels to my understanding of spoken language (I cannot remember any other instance when my skills at English changed to the better since my being 20 or so), but it is difficult to keep at it. One has quite a lot of things to fill one's hours with, you know.
Another big problem of mine is usage of Perfect times. I do not understand them much, so I naturally overuse them, doing that wrongly more often than not, I suppose. I understand that you do not use them much. Ohhh, I have to spend some time on my Grammar someday...
Kenny Shovel said:
I don’t really read all that much modern British stuff, my interests lay elsewhere. I know of Iris Murdoch, but I seem to remember hearing somewhere that her characters can sometimes be a little unsympathetic, but that may be a false view I’ve been given.
Yes, I remember that the Black Prince hadn't been ( :D ) too bright a thing. But I've read it when the girl I loved has breaked it with me, so as the story had been kind of alike what I was experiencing in my life at that time - I liked it hugely (really the girl repeated that several times, so I remember dearly quite a lot of books about guys loving girls. "That's me, Edichka" by Eduard Limonov - another one from that list).
Kenny Shovel said:
I’d say it’s much more common here, and often used in a self-depreciating way. It’s a bit of a generalised but the British like to laugh at themselves and like to see this trait in others, it’s a good way to show you’re not pompous.
I think there is often a misunderstanding between the British and Americans in that each think the other is pompous. Americans seem to think this of the British, perhaps because they misunderstand the self-depreciating aspect of our humour as it is used in a quite a dry way. In return the British think Americans are ‘full of themselves’ as we don’t see this self-depreciation being used by them in the same way, when all they are really doing is being positive about life, which seems to be a common outlook amongst their nation.
I see. Really, I think this self-deprecating thing is immensely wise. It does lots of good in several respects: first, you learn to look at yourself as just another human being with lots of flaws which could be laughed at, second: there is less sence in it for others to laugh at you when you are always ready to do that yourself, etc. I am always ready at that, as sometimes I look a perfect fool. (As I am imperfect fool yet, I nearly always understand such cases).
And, again, being positive about life is a very useful thing too, I think. All of us are supposedly aware that life could be nasty sometimes, and even if it's not - it could end abruptly, taking away everything we like, everything we have - everything there is for us. But to spend the days we have brooding over how short these days are and how dark they could have been is quite pointless for me.
Kenny Shovel said:
Sadly, “Svejk” is virtually unknown in this country, which is a shame as I think the humour of the book would make it very popular here. Incidentally the book itself was voted the best Czech book of all time, a few years back by Czech critics. I also have a biography of its writer Jaroslav Hasek, and what a character he was, anarchist, bigamist, communist, prankster and world-class drunk.
Wow, I hadn't known that he had been bigamist, though in my youth that wouldn't have shocked me much... And I would have to look up that prankster bit somewhere... Being anarchist, communist and a drunkurd added lots to his charm for our Communist leaders back then, I imagine, so they allowed "Svejk" into Russia.
Kenny Shovel said:
He sounds like a real happy-go-lucky character.
He is a big guy with blond hair, who could really be a Finn, Sweed or from Norway... And he really likes all these countries - he comes to Norway at least once a year. Last spring he went to London - so now he likes UK too.
Kenny Shovel said:
Not really, it’s quite built up, but once you take the lane down to the park you find the wood, and hill and lake that are hidden from view by the houses; really it should be the other way around. My street is a little cul-de-sac and is too small to be seen even on this map.
I see. I am so glad that right now I can see a forest about 10 m away outside my window...
 

Kenny Shovel

Active Member
Sergo said:
Really I do as follows:
1. Write the program on my VCR.
2. Repeatedly playback the program until I could write down every spoken word.
It did marvels to my understanding of spoken language (I cannot remember any other instance when my skills at English changed to the better since my being 20 or so),
That seems like a pretty good system for learning.
Sergo said:
Another big problem of mine is usage of Perfect times.
You’ll have to explain what you mean by this.
sergo said:
Yes, I remember that the Black Prince hadn't been ( ) too bright a thing.
Well again, I haven’t read anything by Iris Murdock; indeed I have a hole in my reading in that I’ve not read much by female writers in general.
Sergo said:
I see. Really, I think this self-deprecating thing is immensely wise.
Wise? Well perhaps; at times I think it is regarded more as being good manners in Britain. Many people here say that we don’t like it when others are successful, I am not so sure of that. I think it is perhaps more a case that we don’t like people to show off or be overly proud of their success, I think that humility is still considered a virtue. It is important if you have success to seem to still ‘have your feet on the ground’, if not people, and more importantly the press, can turn against you. That is probably true in all countries but in Britain perhaps more than most.
Sergo said:
Wow, I hadn't known that he had been bigamist, though in my youth that wouldn't have shocked me much... And I would have to look up that prankster bit somewhere... Being anarchist, communist and a drunkurd added lots to his charm for our Communist leaders back then, I imagine, so they allowed "Svejk" into Russia.
I suspect they approved more because he wrote communist propaganda during WW1 for them. He is a very intriguing character and much of his life is featured in his work. For example in “Svejk” he tells the story of a man who edits a Wildlife magazine and gets bored so he starts to invent creatures that don’t exist, and finally loses his job when he writes an advert offering “Pure bred Werewolves”; something that Hasek did in real life. I believe he had quite a few people who wanted to make such a purchase, I can’t remember if he took money from them, but I suspect he did and drank the lot! Anyway, if you can get a biography of him it is worth reading.
Sergo said:
He is a big guy with blond hair, who could really be a Finn, Swede or from Norway... And he really likes all these countries - he comes to Norway at least once a year. Last spring he went to London - so now he likes UK too.
If he likes Scandinavia, you should recommend Scotland to him.
Sergo said:
I see. I am so glad that right now I can see a forest about 10 m away outside my window...
Britain used to be covered in forest hundreds of years ago but most has been removed to make land to live on. Of course some still exists; I drive past the edge of Sherwood forest (from the Robin Hood stories) every time I go home, although it is more of a large wood these days.
 

Sergo

New Member
Kenny Shovel said:
You’ll have to explain what you mean by this.
I mean that I must have missed something when they explained Present, Past etc. Perfect Tenses back in school. And as after that I have never been taught Grammar thoroughly, I am sure I misuse the Perfect Tenses. I have a general idea when to use them, but it seems that idea is mostly wrong... I have tried to read a Grammar book (I believe it is quite good - I understood some things better because of it), but I still cannot get a handle on my Perfect Tenses...
Kenny Shovel said:
Wise? Well perhaps; at times I think it is regarded more as being good manners in Britain. Many people here say that we don’t like it when others are successful, I am not so sure of that. I think it is perhaps more a case that we don’t like people to show off or be overly proud of their success, I think that humility is still considered a virtue. It is important if you have success to seem to still ‘have your feet on the ground’, if not people, and more importantly the press, can turn against you. That is probably true in all countries but in Britain perhaps more than most.
Yep. I've thought about that for some time yesterday. It must be good not to boast about one's success, especially as there are very many people around with the same or better abilities, who could not have made it. Of course it is luck and not only abilities that's needed to be successful. But it is very pleasing to oneself to think that it is all your own achievement, that you are good at what you do etc. It is also useful for "programming" oneself for future success. But of course it is easy "to loose one's ground" and feel oneself kind of superior, and that is too bad.
Yes, I have to reevaluate my own attitude...
As to not liking success of others... I think that for a normal person it is OK when others succeed. I feel no envy towards more successful people - some of them are very much more hard-working than me. It helps that I've known some of really wealthy men when they were the same as me - pennyless and without much help from parents. One of them, the founder of the first big Russian PC - oriented firm "VIST" had been my friend. Too bad he was killed 5 years ago... But when he started his business, he earned about the same as me, but while I spent all the money on clothes, trips, hobbies etc. - he and his wife had one pair of jeans each... And in a couple of years he became a millionair, and I still made enough to live comfortably (while I kept working). So I wouldn't have traded my income for that of much more wealthy people, as with that one gets much more trouble than I am ready to handle.
And, the more successful the people around me get - the more profit they could give me as my possible customers...
And I've never seen so much Rolls-Royces, Bentleys & Porches as in London. So your people are quite successful, and not excessively humble about spending their money... Am I in error? By the way, what make your sport car is?
Kenny Shovel said:
I suspect they approved more because he wrote communist propaganda during WW1 for them. He is a very intriguing character and much of his life is featured in his work. For example in “Svejk” he tells the story of a man who edits a Wildlife magazine and gets bored so he starts to invent creatures that don’t exist, and finally loses his job when he writes an advert offering “Pure bred Werewolves”; something that Hasek did in real life. I believe he had quite a few people who wanted to make such a purchase, I can’t remember if he took money from them, but I suspect he did and drank the lot! Anyway, if you can get a biography of him it is worth reading.
Wow. It seems some of the facts look familiar to me... What an interesting and reckless person he must have been...
Kenny Shovel said:
If he likes Scandinavia, you should recommend Scotland to him.
OK, I will.
Kenny Shovel said:
Britain used to be covered in forest hundreds of years ago but most has been removed to make land to live on. Of course some still exists; I drive past the edge of Sherwood forest (from the Robin Hood stories) every time I go home, although it is more of a large wood these days.

Great. It could be interesting to get a glimpse at the Sherwood forest...

You know, yesterday I went to see the HitchHikers' Guide to the Galaxy. Yeah, I liked it. But really I would have liked nearly anything in connection with works by Douglas Adams. My wife did not like it, and daughter was dubious. The hall was one-third full, and the people were not excessively enthusiastic after the film ended. I imagine that most of the audience were the people who have read the original book in English. (We have a translation into Russian, but I think that much of original humor, based sometimes on associations etc., were lost on the Russian reader, so the book was not too successful here).
It is obvious that some things are exactly what they should be, and others - nearly that. But all this adding of Trisha and Zaphod's actions, intended to give the story a boost it supposedly needed to make a good film out of a brilliant book, I think failed to achieve that.
That's kind of somebody takes a painting by... say, Gogen, - and covers 80% of it with a white paint, then addes about 5% of his own design... Result is surely not Gogen, and hardly a masterpiece...
OK, but I liked it just the same. How do you think, do they plan a sequel? the Restaurant at the End of the Universe? They would, if the HHG is a success, wouldn't they?
 

Kenny Shovel

Active Member
Sergo said:
I mean that I must have missed something when they explained Present, Past etc. but I still cannot get a handle on my Perfect Tenses...
In general your English is of a very good standard, I suspect you didn’t have too much trouble when you were in London last summer.
Grammar is obviously one of the hardest things to learn in a new language, Russian Grammar certainly terrorises me! However as long as you have a decent vocabulary and are seen to be making an effort I think people will appreciate that and in return make an effort to understand you, without worrying too much about grammatical mistakes.
Having said that I remember when a friend of mind was trying to teach me Russian I became very frustrated that we would learn so much grammar and seemed to not be increasing my vocabulary very much. But she explained to me that another friend of hers had done the opposite and learnt a large Russian vocabulary before going to work in Moscow but had not bothered with too much grammar. When she got there she discovered that no one could understand what she was talking about, as she could say words but not construct meaningful sentences.
Sergo said:
Yep. I've thought about that for some time yesterday. It must be good not to boast about one's success, especially as there are very many people around with the same or better abilities, who could not have made it.
In general you can speak about success etc if it is part of the flow of a conversation, or you have been asked. However if it appears you have deliberately brought up the subject you will look as though you are boosting and again, in general, that is seen as bad manners here. For example I worked with my best friend for over ten years, and at no point did we know what we were each earning, neither of us ever asked, neither of us ever said. Now we work apart I think we have talked about it, but it was just a general conversation. As you can see, personal finances in Britain tend to stay exactly that, personal.
Sergo said:
And I've never seen so much Rolls-Royce, Bentleys & Porches as in London. So your people are quite successful, and not excessively humble about spending their money... Am I in error?
I would say that most people here would be of the opinion that owning a Rolls or Bentley is a rather vulgar sign of wealth! However I don’t think people here begrudge people buying what they like with their money, as long as they do not adopt a superior attitude.
It is a paradox that people looking at Britain from the outside say that we have a society based on class divide. Yet the one true division of class is money, and in Britain people are not so impressed with money and have a ‘just because you are rich doesn’t make you better than me’ attitude. These accusations of class divide are often made by people living in societies which are far more divided along lines of who has and who has not got access to wealth. IMHO of course.
Sergo said:
By the way, what make your sport car is?
A Toyota MR2, one of the curvy ones.
Sergo said:
Wow. It seems some of the facts look familiar to me... What an interesting and reckless person he must have been...
Apparently, if you read the book in Czech, you can tell which bits he wrote when drunk!
Sergo said:
Great. It could be interesting to get a glimpse at the Sherwood forest...
Well, it’s much smaller now but there is quite a lot of tourism there.
Sergo said:
You know, yesterday I went to see the HitchHikers' Guide to the Galaxy. Yeah, I liked it. But really I would have liked nearly anything in connection with works by Douglas Adams. My wife did not like it, and daughter was dubious. The hall was one-third full, and the people were not excessively enthusiastic after the film ended. I imagine that most of the audience were the people who have read the original book in English. (We have a translation into Russian, but I think that much of original humor, based sometimes on associations etc., were lost on the Russian reader, so the book was not too successful here).
Again, the TV seris was, I think, better.
sergo said:
It is obvious that some things are exactly what they should be, and others - nearly that. But all this adding of Trisha and Zaphod's actions, intended to give the story a boost it supposedly needed to make a good film out of a brilliant book, I think failed to achieve that.
That was pretty much my opinion too.
sergo said:
OK, but I liked it just the same. How do you think, do they plan a sequel? the Restaurant at the End of the Universe? They would, if the HHG is a success, wouldn't they?
If HHG made enough money I would think they would do more, the film finished just as they are leaving for the ‘Restaurant at the end of the universe’.
 

Sergo

New Member
Kenny Shovel said:
In general your English is of a very good standard, I suspect you didn’t have too much trouble when you were in London last summer.
OK, thanks. I really hadn't much trouble with my English lately, but just the same - I'd have liked to make it better...
Kenny Shovel said:
Grammar is obviously one of the hardest things to learn in a new language, Russian Grammar certainly terrorises me! However as long as you have a decent vocabulary and are seen to be making an effort I think people will appreciate that and in return make an effort to understand you, without worrying too much about grammatical mistakes.
OK, so you think I mustn't trouble myself with further straightening of my grammar? I.e., you do not have a hard time getting to sense in my posts?
Kenny Shovel said:
Having said that I remember when a friend of mind was trying to teach me Russian I became very frustrated that we would learn so much grammar and seemed to not be increasing my vocabulary very much. But she explained to me that another friend of hers had done the opposite and learnt a large Russian vocabulary before going to work in Moscow but had not bothered with too much grammar. When she got there she discovered that no one could understand what she was talking about, as she could say words but not construct meaningful sentences.
Yes, our grammar is a killer. But there are people who make others understand them without knowing a word. I had a boss in the wild capitalist times who hasn't known a word in English, but usually could get what he needed in hotels etc. Really, he drank too much. If I had tried to drink as much as he had usually, I would be most surely dead by now. Ok... And once he lost his golden Longines in the pool on the roof of some hotel in the United Arab Emirates. After he told me about it, I called the reception, and in fifteen minutes we retrieved his watch. Only then he realised that to know English could be useful in everyday life.
Kenny Shovel said:
In general you can speak about success etc if it is part of the flow of a conversation, or you have been asked. However if it appears you have deliberately brought up the subject you will look as though you are boosting and again, in general, that is seen as bad manners here. For example I worked with my best friend for over ten years, and at no point did we know what we were each earning, neither of us ever asked, neither of us ever said. Now we work apart I think we have talked about it, but it was just a general conversation. As you can see, personal finances in Britain tend to stay exactly that, personal.
I see. All this make a sense.
Kenny Shovel said:
I would say that most people here would be of the opinion that owning a Rolls or Bentley is a rather vulgar sign of wealth!
But the Rolls could be soooo... beautiful! I've seen two the other day - they were like two big black wales swimming side by side through Leninsky Prospect... Wow...
Our people like flashy cars. I even know people who sold their flats to buy a car... Very often a car constitute the biggest part of what a person really owns. So if you see a Rolls in Moscow, its owner could easily be not a millionair, but some young manager, living in some rented room, and making hardly enough to pay the rent and repairing his car...
Kenny Shovel said:
However I don’t think people here begrudge people buying what they like with their money, as long as they do not adopt a superior attitude.
Alas, it is not here. Our people need many years to learn to live happily with knowledge that there are people who make lots of money. So far an average person has a grudge against those who are better off than he/she.
Kenny Shovel said:
It is a paradox that people looking at Britain from the outside say that we have a society based on class divide. Yet the one true division of class is money, and in Britain people are not so impressed with money and have a ‘just because you are rich doesn’t make you better than me’ attitude. These accusations of class divide are often made by people living in societies which are far more divided along lines of who has and who has not got access to wealth. IMHO of course.
Yes, I have experienced that in London. Maybe that's one of the reasons the life there looked peaceful to me. And it is so easy to feel tension here in Moscow - some of our wealthy people are constantly planning to leave Russia because of that...
Kenny Shovel said:
A Toyota MR2, one of the curvy ones.
Wow! A Mark III Spyder? Convertible two-seater? A great car.
Kenny Shovel said:
Apparently, if you read the book in Czech, you can tell which bits he wrote when drunk!
Too bad, Czech is about the same as Chinese to me...
Kenny Shovel said:
That was pretty much my opinion too. If HHG made enough money I would think they would do more, the film finished just as they are leaving for the ‘Restaurant at the end of the universe’.

Yep. It seemed all too obvious they kind of announced the next film to be...
 

Kenny Shovel

Active Member
Sergo said:
OK, so you think I mustn't trouble myself with further straightening of my grammar? I.e., you do not have a hard time getting to sense in my posts?
If I spoke Russian to the level you speak English then yes, I would try and improve my grammar as much as possible; basically I would want to ‘complete the job’ of learning a language.
What I was trying to convey was that it’s perfectly easy to follow what you are saying, apart from the odd example from our conversations, which are things that would be cleared up in moments if they occurred during a face to face discussion. Obviously there are times when you phrase things in a way that shows English is not your first language, however as I know other Russian people I am used to this. I also know Russians who speak English well enough to work as Interpreters/translators and even they phrase things in a ‘Russian way’ sometimes.
Sergo said:
Yes, our grammar is a killer.
A person I know who tried to teach me some Russian speaks several languages, English, Russian, French, Hebrew and was at one time learning Polish ‘for fun’ ; she had a father who was Hungarian but did not want to learn it as it was too hard (with something like 14 different endings to a how a word is spelt depending on how it is used!). So Russian is bad, but not the worst!
Sergo said:
But the Rolls could be soooo... beautiful! I've seen two the other day - they were like two big black wales swimming side by side through Leninsky Prospect... Wow...
Bit rich for my taste thanks!
Sergo said:
Our people like flashy cars. I even know people who sold their flats to buy a car... Very often a car constitute the biggest part of what a person really owns. So if you see a Rolls in Moscow, its owner could easily be not a millionair, but some young manager, living in some rented room, and making hardly enough to pay the rent and repairing his car...
That sounds like living beyond your means to me.
Sergo said:
Alas, it is not here. Our people need many years to learn to live happily with knowledge that there are people who make lots of money. So far an average person has a grudge against those who are better off than he/she.
To me this sounds natural, as you seem to have a situation where the vast majority of people have little but, from what I understand, there are also a lot of guys in Moscow who are very rich, more so than a well off Westerner.
Sergo said:
Yes, I have experienced that in London. Maybe that's one of the reasons the life there looked peaceful to me. And it is so easy to feel tension here in Moscow - some of our wealthy people are constantly planning to leave Russia because of that...
I’m not saying that jealousy towards the rich does not exist here or that people don’t aspire to wealth. I just feel that underneath that, people know they are better off than they where 30 years ago, we talked about this before I think. Of course for people younger than me, who can not remember harder times this attitude is not there, and they expect material things as the normal basis of live.
Sergo said:
Wow! A Mark III Spyder? Convertible two-seater? A great car.
It’s a limited edition model from about 11 years ago. The thing that makes it a limited edition appears to be that it has ‘Limited’ written on the back, I can’t see anything else different!
Sergo said:
Too bad, Czech is about the same as Chinese to me...
Czech is supposed to be a pretty difficult language to learn, although as it is part of the Slavic language family, in theory it should be more difficult for me than you.
 

Idun

Member
Sergo said:
Hello, Idun, thanks for comment.
:)
You are not the first to tell me so...
Really? LOL I openly admit I hadn't read any other page except the last one before I posted. Too many for me, sorry. ;)
 

Sergo

New Member
Kenny Shovel said:
...Obviously there are times when you phrase things in a way that shows English is not your first language, however as I know other Russian people I am used to this. I also know Russians who speak English well enough to work as Interpreters/translators and even they phrase things in a ‘Russian way’ sometimes.
OK, thanks. Really, I've worked as a translator when my knowledge of English had been much worse than now. Of course, I translated for Turkish people, so our knowledge had been roughly the same...
Kenny Shovel said:
So Russian is bad, but not the worst!
I knew it really. Ehh, less reason to boast of something special...
I knew some Arabs, who told me that an average person in their countries knows roughly 50% of what an Arabic Linguist could know of their literature language, because of extreme difficulty of it.
Kenny Shovel said:
Bit rich for my taste thanks!
Yep, I would not have thought of buying one myself, but an esthetic feeling... Big black curvy things... They really moved something in me. (It would be better to say how majesticaly they sailed by us, though in reality we speeded by them in a matter of seconds).
Kenny Shovel said:
That sounds like living beyond your means to me.
To me too. But that's how it is. I knew several persons who really lost everything because they had risked too much with something too vast for them to handle. Really, I am doing something like that in a sense: I handle trucks with goods of enormous value, and my own cash posessions could cover but a several percents of the total value... So if something happens to the cargo because of my personal mistake - I will be broken completely, with many years ahead of me to work just to cover the loss...
Kenny Shovel said:
To me this sounds natural, as you seem to have a situation where the vast majority of people have little but, from what I understand, there are also a lot of guys in Moscow who are very rich, more so than a well off Westerner.
OK, but I do not believe I have any bad feelings to these rich guys, who may have million times more that I own, or towards our poor, who live from hand to mouth. In a sense I lived from hand to mouth for most of my life, earning well, but not having any savings to speak of. I think that one should be content with what one posess - or try to change the situation. If one does nothing to make life better and is not content with what one has - what his/her life would be then? That could easily lead to mental illness or else...
Kenny Shovel said:
It’s a limited edition model from about 11 years ago. The thing that makes it a limited edition appears to be that it has ‘Limited’ written on the back, I can’t see anything else different!
Oh, that could be said of nearly all the "Limited" things, I think...
Kenny Shovel said:
Czech is supposed to be a pretty difficult language to learn, although as it is part of the Slavic language family, in theory it should be more difficult for me than you.
Really, I hadn't ever seriously tried to learn any of the Slavic languages. I tried to learn Japanese thirty years ago - so I still remember several words and how to count up to thousand... I tried to learn Turkish, but I didn't really need more than several words on banking, "hello - bye-bye" and how to count again... That's about it... While in Croatia, Czech Republic or Bulgaria - I naturally used several useful words, but I wouldn't remember them by now... It seems I do not have any special linguistic abilities.
 

Sergo

New Member
Kenny Shovel said:
I think I can make out one of Moscows two ring roads, is the one I can see the inner one? Which I think is called the 'Golden Ring' isn't it?

Yes, but it isn't the Golden Ring. It is really the Garden Ring, as it originally consisted of boulevards with trees in the middle. The Golden Ring is a ring of our ancient cities not far from Moscow - these we visited last May: Suzdal, Vladimir, Pereyaslavl Zalessky, Yuriev Polski, Sergiev Posad etc.
This map is about 1,5 - 2 years old, as the new house in which I have bought a flat could be seen as being constructed on this map.
Now we have three ring roads - the Garden Ring, then the 3rd Transport Ring, and then - the Moscow Circling Automobile Road. Outside of the last the Moscow Region begins. And roughly 30 km of that - and another ring road, the so called "Betonka", a "secret" concrete road that was originally intended for military vehicles. Now it is the regular road of not too good quality.

I imagine that you could see your own house on it, as I have seen mine in Moscow...
 

Sergo

New Member
Idun said:
Really? LOL I openly admit I hadn't read any other page except the last one before I posted. Too many for me, sorry. ;)

That's OK, I would not have dared to read so much myself being in your shoes... I mean if I came after these many pages were completed - it's one chance in a hundred that I would have try to read all of it...
 

Kenny Shovel

Active Member
Sergo said:
OK, thanks. Really, I've worked as a translator when my knowledge of English had been much worse than now. Of course, I translated for Turkish people, so our knowledge had been roughly the same...
Fortunately pointing at things and making rude and/or suggestive gestures is fairly universal (this is the British approach to communicating in a forging land).
Sergo said:
I knew it really. Ehh, less reason to boast of something special...
If it makes you feel anymore special ’Zdravstvuitye’ really is the most ridiculously complicated mouthful of a way to say hello in any language. I’m sure that one word, surely the first that anyone tries to learn in Russian, must put more people off than anything else. It took me ages to be able to say that without it sounding like I was trying to chase a mouse round my mouth with my tongue. Strangely, now I can say it properly, it’s my favourite Russian word; that and ‘peevo’ obviously.
Sergo said:
I knew some Arabs, who told me that an average person in their countries knows roughly 50% of what an Arabic Linguist could know of their literature language, because of extreme difficulty of it.
I wonder if the same is true of Chinese? I seem to remember they have a ridiculously large number of characters in their alphabet
Sergo said:
an esthetic feeling... Big black curvy things... They really moved something in me.
One of my ex-girlfriends was from Nigeria; she had a similar effect on me…
Sergo said:
To me too. But that's how it is. I knew several persons who really lost everything because they had risked too much with something too vast for them to handle. Really, I am doing something like that in a sense: I handle trucks with goods of enormous value, and my own cash posessions could cover but a several percents of the total value... So if something happens to the cargo because of my personal mistake - I will be broken completely, with many years ahead of me to work just to cover the loss...
No liability insurance over there then?
Sergo said:
In a sense I lived from hand to mouth for most of my life, earning well, but not having any savings to speak of.
Mmm, at times I have a tendency to spend what I have rather than think to the future, but really I tend to be lucky and when I need it something also seems to work out of me. Sometimes I don’t know if I’m a lucky idiot or just an idiot who’s lucky.
Sergo said:
Oh, that could be said of nearly all the "Limited" things, I think...
Never a truer word spoken Sergo, never a truer word spoken…
Sergo said:
Yes, but it isn't the Golden Ring. It is really the Garden Ring, as it originally consisted of boulevards with trees in the middle.
Yes Garden Ring, my mistake; golden ring was something else wasn’t it?
Sergo said:
The Golden Ring is a ring of our ancient cities not far from Moscow - these we visited last May: Suzdal, Vladimir, Pereyaslavl Zalessky, Yuriev Polski, Sergiev Posad etc.
Yeah, that’s it.
Segro said:
I imagine that you could see your own house on it, as I have seen mine in Moscow...
No, not enough detail on the map of my town, I think there is a British site with Photos of Britain that go to that detail but I can’t remember where.
 

Sergo

New Member
Kenny Shovel said:
Fortunately pointing at things and making rude and/or suggestive gestures is fairly universal (this is the British approach to communicating in a forging land).
Err... That's exactly what some people I knew were used to do...
Kenny Shovel said:
If it makes you feel anymore special ’Zdravstvuitye’ really is the most ridiculously complicated mouthful of a way to say hello in any language. I’m sure that one word, surely the first that anyone tries to learn in Russian, must put more people off than anything else. It took me ages to be able to say that without it sounding like I was trying to chase a mouse round my mouth with my tongue. Strangely, now I can say it properly, it’s my favourite Russian word; that and ‘peevo’ obviously.
Ha... I do not remember if Adams had used it somewhere... It would have fitted smoothly in some far-away planet's language...
And how "vzbzdnoot'" grabs you? It is one of the words we use for "to fart".
Kenny Shovel said:
I wonder if the same is true of Chinese? I seem to remember they have a ridiculously large number of characters in their alphabet.
I think yes. You know, I had a friend from the KGB school once. He was being prepared for working in China. He told me they have at least 4 diferent tones to pronaunce a single word, so that word took 4 different meanings... I wonder if I have liked reading if I'd been a Chinese...
Kenny Shovel said:
One of my ex-girlfriends was from Nigeria; she had a similar effect on me…
I knew you would say something like that, that was too obvious... :D
Too bad I always liked my women to be slim...
Kenny Shovel said:
No liability insurance over there then?
That's a long song, how we call it... Yes, we have insurance. But for such cases one has to pay 2% of the total value of the goods to insure them against all possible risks, including rightful confiscation by govt authorities. On a truck with, say, $1,5M worth it is $30K. And I very rarely make a sum near that in a month. But sometimes I load 5 - 6 trucks a week... Of course not all of them cost $1,5M, but I think you get a general idea that I cannot afford insuring these trucks out of my own pocket, and my customers will surely not be doing it on they own in 99% cases.
And there is another problem... Our insuring companies used to think up reasons why they would not pay back insurance money if something happens with a really expensive thing: their lawers could always find some explanation why the contract could not be considered as valid. Of course it is not the case with, say, Gazprom or Weembldan (our juices & milk products large company), but minor customers are aware of that and rarely use insurance.
Really, I do not like insurance people too much. My grandfather and grandmother, when they turned 70, decided to insure their lives, so it would be easier to manage burial expenses when one of them would die. OK, they invited an agent, he checked all the documents, asked for medical checks, and when everything had been in order, they signed a contract and paid money. They kept paying for more then 15 years when my grandmother instantly died when she nearly turned 85. We had money enough for burials then, so granfather remembered about their insurance several month after that. But when he tried to get his money, he was told that the contract had been invalid from the beginning: it was illegal to insure life for people older than 60... So he was returned only his own money, that he had been paying to the insurance company over the years... And with all that inflation that was hardly enough for several bottles of good vodka then.
Kenny Shovel said:
Mmm, at times I have a tendency to spend what I have rather than think to the future, but really I tend to be lucky and when I need it something also seems to work out of me. Sometimes I don’t know if I’m a lucky idiot or just an idiot who’s lucky.
That's magnificent - you are the second person to say that. The first was me: it seems He looks after me and gives me means to earn for a living, as in every case that something I used to get my living off ceased to function properly, something else had always turned smoothly, so I was even better off then before... I cannot see any substantial effort that I have done for that, or any special abilities that I have - so that looks very queer to me...
So now all the savings I have are not the result of my trying to save, but just the result of our inability to spend what we earn... (It seems we are not the people for expensive interests...)
Kenny Shovel said:
No, not enough detail on the map of my town, I think there is a British site with Photos of Britain that go to that detail but I can’t remember where.

I do not know why, I have always liked maps. In my childhood I could have spent hours looking at them. In schooltime I had a big map of Finland on the wall over my desk (please do not ask why Finland - I imagine it had been the only map suitable for hanging on the wall in my posession then). So now, when Finland is the country I have the most important business relations with, that's another reason for me feeling queer...
 
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