Friday, September 07, 2007

On Xenophobia

Someone asked, a few post ago, whether these recent events of hostility directed towards us specifically as foreigners were isolated incidents or a widespread trend.

I have no idea, but I know this:

I have been in Russia about exactly seven years.

Of the two dozen or so times we have been approached us in a critical or hostile way about being foreigners, 99 percent of these incidents have happened in the last two years.

Now on the one hand, there are more of us now; on the other hand, we were always a very visible group, as I used to hang around with African students and tatooed guys, etc.

I mean, I'm kind of glad that Russia has gotten its shit together and developed a sense of national pride; when I first got here all the Russians HATED Russia and were ready to flee it like rats leaving a sinking ship. (There are still a few people like that, but most of the ones I know left already. Perhaps all the people who felt like that left already.)

Regarding the park incident, I have been subsequently informed (by the guy with the 4 venereal diseases, by the way, who was there but escaped unharmed) that the attacking orcs (described as teenage boys, actually) were in fact yelling "Amerikanski! Amerikanski!" as a battle cry.

There are logical elements to this hatred of foreigners, by the way -- the city's metal plant was purchased by Alcoa Company, which put a good number of people out of work, while a huge clot of Alcoa executives are staying in the Renaissance Hotel in $300-a-night suites; $300 would be only a bit less than what the average metal plant employee makes in a month.

But of course, those guys take taxis and go to nice clubs, so they don't have to worry about getting beat up. . .


gingjok said...

Hi x: fisrt time poster here...I'm curious after 7 years how's your Russian...? Any plans to push-on to other lands, in the near future.

Anonymous said...

"Amerikanski! Amerikanski!"
What a load of Crap. It sounds good for the audience and other teachers at work but I seriously doubt if those muggers were waiting for some Amerikansi to walk in the park at that time of the morning.

I can hear their translated speech,
"Gee, Ivan... We've been here for seven hours waiting for some Amrikanski to walk through the park. The sun is getting ready to come up. I'm going to go home if some don't come along in the next 30 minutes."

English Teacher X said...

Oh yeah, moron, you're absolutely right, teenagers NEVER hang around drinking all night on Saturdays in parks in the summer in Russia. It's UNHEARD of.

And who said they were specifically waiting for Americans? They saw some, and they decided to rob them. I guess they might well have robbed any other drunk people walking through the park though, if it makes you feel better, doofus.

My Russian is terrible, but I can usually communicate and understand. As for the future . . . yeah, I'd like to leave, but I've been saying that for years.

Anonymous said...

Do you think its as big an issue in the larger cities? What are their feelings about tourists?

Gap Kid said...

I can't imagine what the locals have against you?

Aging, fat, reprobate losers flooding into their country thinking they are cool and somehow above the people.

Don't understand it myself.

Anonymous said...

is this retard still here?

Anonymous said...

They were actually yelling "Amerikosi" which is a specifically anti american slur.
Love, S