by Don  

Every American college student should go to Russia. It's just such a great experience. Russian friendships are intense. The Russian countryside is gorgeous. Astonishing museums and architecture. There are beautiful churches in which to pray and contemplate what good works we might like to accomplish over the next year. Ah, such opportunities! So why is it that those American students always end up drinking obscene amounts of vodka, throwing up at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, singing “Rubber Ducky” with a German accent in the middle of Red Square at three in the morning in the company of some Russian ballet dancer they've been flirting with since eight in the evening at the Irish Bar on the Arbat? And in the morning they wake up with похмелье, a hangover.

A smarmy American might even suggest that we have a spiritual obligation to get at least one hangover in Russia since the Primary Chronicle quotes Vladimir the First as rejecting Islam because the Russians love to drink, and thus to really get into the spirit of Russian language study, you have to tie one on. Wow, a little education and we can justify just about anything.

“I have a hangover” in literary Russian is «У меня похмелье» or «Я с похмелья». Notice that с here is followed by the genitive case, not the instrumental. It is incorrect to say «Я с похмельем». You'll also hear the more conversational «Я с бодуна», which means the same thing. Here are a couple sample sentences:

Я по субботам работаю с похмелья.On Saturdays I work with a hangover.
Почему с похмелья люди сильно и много чихают?Why do people with hangovers sneeze so much and so strongly?

Actually, I doubt hangovers have anything to do with sneezing. Probably they just encountered a drunk with a cold.

You might think that people would battle hangovers with the obvious solution: sobriety. Nope. There is an incredible wealth of material out there discussing the question «Как опохмелиться наилучшим способом?» “What is the best method to cure a hangover?” More precisely, the verb опохмеляться-опохмелиться mostly means “to treat a hangover by using more alcohol,” or as some people say in English “to take a hair of the dog that bit you.”

Russians can discuss this question for hours and hours on weekends… weekends with bloodshot eyes and aching heads and the taste of dachsund fur and horseradish in their mouths. There is even a website devoted to the issue. Here is an actual answer to the question I found on the web:

Как опохмелиться наилучшим способом? What is the best method to cure a hangover?
хм....серьезную тему для обсуждения поднял товарисч....сложно даж так сразу ответить...скажу одно, что нажравшись в жопу, с дикого похмелья мало что поможет...сказки по типу выпить бутылку пива- полный бред...мне нравиццо кефиром, хотя уж не всегда помогает, я считаю лучше всего не доходить до похмелья, т.е. пить перед нажираловкой АНТИПОХМЕЛИН, 3 таблетки перед нажираловкой, и скоко ни пей будешь как огурчик... оч рекомендую, вещь реально действует (source) hm... the komrade raised a serious issue for discussion... it's hard to come up with a quick answer... i'll just say that once you've gotten drunk off your ass and have a raging hangover not much can help you... stories like “drink a bottle of beer” are complete fantasies... i like 2 use kefir, although it doesn't always help, and i think the best way is to not get all the way to the hangover, i.e. before getting down to the heavy boozing take Antipokhmelin, three tablets before saucing up, and no matter how much ya drink, you'll be fit as a fiddle... v m recommend, stuff actually works

The guy's spelling suggests he was actually writing with a hangover «он писал с похмелья». I thought he was making up the Антипохмелин, but apparently it's a real product. You can see a picture of it at the right.


Comment from: Eugene Azarenko [Visitor]

“The guy’s spelling suggests he was actually writing with a hangover «он писал с похмелья». I thought he was making up the Антипохмелин, but apparently it’s a real product". You are not quiet correct. This awkward spelling is some kind of slang (among Russian young Internet users), called “Olbanian” language (not Albanian). Popularity of this “language” is permanently decreasing though you can find it, surfing Russian sites.

12/03/09 @ 02:19
Comment from: Vladimir [Visitor]

Philosophy of a healthy lifestyle

03/09/09 @ 15:59
Comment from: Jenny [Visitor]

Philosophy of a good life? Or what is the idiom here?

10/14/08 @ 09:20
Comment from: Kyle [Visitor]

How would you translate that little slogan at the top of the box?

10/13/08 @ 11:13
Comment from: Olga [Visitor]

lol lol! omg this is great! I absolutely love learning about these funny things from other countries.. oddly enough I know we offer something like that here, called chasers i think?

10/13/08 @ 07:02

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