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pengwn9
01-10-2004, 06:58
After living in Moscow for nearly a year, I'm on my first trip back to the States. Comparisons are inevitable.

What I love about America:
Cheap stuff everywhere! Shoes, big bags of socks for 5 bucks--I bought an even gown for $19.99!! Stuff, stuff and more stuff. A consumer paradise provided by low wage workers in Third World countries. All made in China or India or Malaysia and all really cheap. Anything you want. And you can even touch it all on the shelves.

Bathrooms and plumbing everywhere. You can potty any time you want, any where you go, for free!

Food! Tacos, frijoles, foot long chili cheese dogs, nacho fries, milk shakes, yummy junk food galore.

What I hate:
Endless malls and strip centers devoid of life except for a few floundering half-dead landscape plants surrounded by hundreds of acres of empty sun baked parking lot.

Freeways, speed traps, super dooper gas station/convenience stores surrounded by hundreds of acres of empty sunbaked parking lots. Driving everywhere.

What I love about Russia:
People. Streets with life and cafes and beer and culture.

Culture. Symphonies by the dozen. String quartets and opera singers in Metro stations. Museums. Arts. Music.

Lack of lawyers ready to file suit for any kind of stupid idiotic whim.

Meds without a prescription or an expensive doctor visit every time you need something.

Practicality and personal responsibility. You're on your own in Russia. If you spill hot coffee in your lap you're a fool. If you make good pickles you can sell them on the street without a permit or license or an inspection or city council approval. If you die from eating street pickles--oh well. You pays your money and takes your chances.

Conclusion: Russia wins. I'd much rather be in Russia.

yankee@moscow
01-10-2004, 08:03
I've got a love/hate relationship with Russia. The things that I love about her, I really love, but the things that I hate about her, I really hate. I can't say that my feelings are that extreme about America. However, as you will find out upon your first trip home after living here, you really don't realize how much you miss the good old USA until you go back. I remember my first trip back after 6 months of living in Russia. I met my buddies at the "Carwash" bar in Arlington, Va just outside of DC. I felt like I was on Mars! It was almost overwhelming. You probably don't understand now, but you will. What's funny though is that after 2 weeks away from Moscow, I'm always ready to come back. I feel myself at home here. Hell.....it is my home now!:)

Dr. Bukakke
01-10-2004, 08:20
I love everything in Russia except having to pay for plastic bags. That bag mafia just can't let their racket go. Same with their taxi counterparts.

Polia Ivanova
01-10-2004, 12:53
Originally posted by Dr. Bukakke
I love everything in Russia except having to pay for plastic bags. That bag mafia just can't let their racket go. Same with their taxi counterparts.

When I just came into the Uk I saw a plastic bag on every tree. I think in Ireland they introdused tax on plastic bags which improved ecology. In the UK some supermarkets or cash and carries either do not give them at all (cash and carries) or ask you to pay for it (Lidl, Kwik Save etc). Sainsburies give you a penny back if you use your own bags for shopping.

I think Russia wins here too.

gothamcity
01-10-2004, 13:48
McDonald's has already been sued here for hot coffee spill. I believe in Samara. I didnt hear the outcome though...

Not so sure uncertified street food is a big plus. I just think back to my first and last street burrito in Matamoros Mexico and,,,well, Id rather not remember keeling over in a dark alley way turning purple from food poisioning...

And zealous lawyers/litigation? Would you rather have special safety markers on the roads at night or open manholes? I remember leaving dinner with friends one night. In a few minutes, we noticed one of the girls was not with us...she had fallen down a unmakred open manhole and completely twisted and nicked up her leg. The worst part about it was when we got her out, we found a shoe in the bottom...that was not hers!

Summary: Give me cheap socks and tacos anytime. America is still the best damn country in the word!!

kot begemot
01-10-2004, 14:14
Pengwyn,

You took the words right out of my mouth. Great post and good observations! I agree: Russia wins. America's great for a short trip, but after a couple weeks, get me the hell outta there and ship me back to cold, dark, dirty Moscow. I love it here!

rmo6767
01-10-2004, 14:22
Been working and living over seas for so long now, not sre I even recall what the USa is really like hehe.

My first time over I after six months got hit with culture shock hard and I was not in Moscow but a more less populate area in one of the satalite countries,. Went back to the states and was great, was there for about 3 weeks,. came back and 6 months later in Moscow, LOVE it. Left there after a few years for one year in the states. Could not wait to get back to Moscow. Can't say I ever really missed the USA. Missed a few things there, but found it to be boring after a few weeks.

Now am between Moscow and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sort of found myself going back and forth to both the last year or so and will be back in Moscow November for the next few years (I think).

Harder cultures are the more fun I think. after all no matter how bad things can get, you can always leave, go on vacation, or move back to your home country. So nothing really ever gets me down.

But that iis just my take on it all.

DPG
01-10-2004, 14:52
Originally posted by pengwn9
Streets with life and cafes and beer and culture.

Peng - you really must visit Paris...

Ghost
01-10-2004, 14:53
There are many things I like about both countries. But every time I go home, I "recharge" and am ready to return to Moscow - noting that had I not recharged, I would not be ready to deal with anything here.

I enjoy my time here, but I look forward to the days when I can build my own home, raise a few pups and live in - what I agree with Gotham is - the best damn country in the world.

-Ghost

Smurfette
01-10-2004, 15:09
Originally posted by DPG
Peng - you really must visit Paris...

Or even any city in France, Italy or Spain

sfjohns67
01-10-2004, 15:10
Can you pee in the stairwells with impunity there the way you can here in Moscow?

DPG
01-10-2004, 15:11
No, and I for one see that as a positive thing...

kak
01-10-2004, 15:19
question: America? or Russia?
answer: none of the above
:D

yankee@moscow
01-10-2004, 15:55
Originally posted by kakrout
question: America? or Russia?
answer: none of the above
:D

There's plenty of year round lillypads in Florida you know!

kak
01-10-2004, 16:12
Originally posted by yankee@moscow
There's plenty of year round lillypads in Florida you know!

Nice one, yankee ! :agree: :D

kak
01-10-2004, 16:16
Nicer than my playground? ;)

Fa-Q!
01-10-2004, 16:40
I like Russia. Seems like I wouldn't feel right in traffic not hearing "kuda ty nahui lezesh blya!" or catching a cab for $3 and piling about 10 people in. I know for sure you don't get the continuous female eye candy anywere like you get here.

On the other hand, I like used book stores, clean beaches, service with a smile, the open highway, Vegas, Denver, Atlanta, Tampa, Moab, Jackson, WY, Spearfish, SD, Nashville, golf, southern mannerisms, mexican food, budweiser tall boys, Gainseville green, Reverend Horton Heat, extended cab pickups, free refills, the Lions game on Thanksgiving, SEC Football!, Saturday Night Live, catching Grouper in the Gulf of Mexico, Zig Zags, Colorado's "Make My Day" law, Tom Brokaw, Rum Runners, gators, oysters on a cracker w/hot sauce, moss in the trees, Hemingway, Jimmy Buffet, hearing a NC redneck and a new york Jew taking the piss out of each other...Tennessee sour mash, sunday brunch, culdisacs...I could think of some more if i had the time.

I'll build my career here, then take it to the house!

kak
01-10-2004, 16:45
yeah...well here comes a true question to all expat people here: Do you see yourself in your old days here in Russia?? because i have met a lot of people telling me yes I really like/love Russia, but i will never retire here!

Fa-Q!
01-10-2004, 16:48
Hell....Kak, I'm gonna be growin' weed and smacking golf balls all day somewhere outside of Orlando when I retire.

85StonePolarBear
01-10-2004, 16:52
Originally posted by kakrout
yeah...well here comes a true question to all expat people here: Do you see yourself in your old days here in Russia?? because i have met a lot of people telling me yes I really like/love Russia, but i will never retire here!

Depends on whether I can put up with the cold, and how long I want to work in my present sphere of activity. As you may have seen from another thread, I'm the sort who will never have a family and will probably stay alone, so that I will work almost until they carry me out of my place of business. I always say that "old" for me will be when I run out of ideas; when that happens I will sell out, move to some warm place, probably in Europe, and open a hardware store or something of the like to keep myself busy. Then again, I may never get "old" mentally; in that case, so long as I can take the temperatures and lack of light in the winter, I will remain here.

kak
01-10-2004, 16:53
yep exaclty Fa-q...noone* ("expats") seems to plan to live here forever....there must be some good reasons to that

* except the Polar Bear ;)

Maine Surfer
01-10-2004, 17:45
I'm all messed up. There are things I love about America, and there are things I love about Russia. As a matter of fact I like most things you all have mentioned above about both the States and Russia.

Life here is more interesting and challenging, and in the States it's more relaxing and easy. I love living here while I'm young, but retire in the States or some place warm with goog surfing opportunity.

So I don't know, I vote for both countries. There both are wonderfull in their own ways.

Fa-Q!
01-10-2004, 17:57
Fence-sitter!:D

lyndsay
01-10-2004, 18:41
no plans for baby world.. etc.. expect will be alone forever, but not single.... just on my tod.

Why? Cos, Russia made me realise I was alive again... temporary things do that... permamence grinds you down.. but remaining temporaray has a cost, right?

I don't care for America... or UK...

I expect a little bar on a beach somewhere like Sochi would be a nice end.... I know it's the 'well, you say that now scenario,' but when all is said and done... if you've got your health... why retire yourself to an OAP home in Florida or have the best medicine available pumping life into you when you're already dead?

I don't choose Russia ... I choose Eastern Europe...


:D

P.I.M.P.
01-10-2004, 18:44
I think Russia and Moscow :) aren't yet up to Western retirement standards. People treat old folks like crap here. It was a lot better in Soviet times.

It would be great to make a retirement "zone" in the Sochi/Krasnodar area -- much like most of Florida, but pensioners with their 1800 ruble/month payments won't get too far. It's going to take the present ~30-40 year-olds to age into their 60's in order to get something going like proper retirement communities.

I heard about a former US military vet who decided to retire in Rostov on his $1600/month retirement pay. Every time he went to the local rinok or left town for a few days, the neighbors would rob and ransack the entire house, including the bushes he planted in his garden. After 2 years, he gave up and moved to the Philippines.

kak
01-10-2004, 18:47
Originally posted by lyndsay

I expect a little bar on a beach somewhere like Sochi would be a nice end

:D

:D Already been to Sochi???
I think there is nothing like "beach" there unless you meant one without sand :D

am4rw
01-10-2004, 18:54
Originally posted by kakrout
yeah...well here comes a true question to all expat people here: Do you see yourself in your old days here in Russia?? because i have met a lot of people telling me yes I really like/love Russia, but i will never retire here!

I plan to retire in Russia. If I stay in the US, I'll work until I die. I may end up doing that in Russia, but it'll be more on my terms, not the mortgage company's.

HandsoMan
01-10-2004, 20:28
It sounds like most of you are comparing USA to Moscow, not Russia as a whole. Moscow is probably a great, exciting city to live in, and is very different than the suburbs or smaller cities in America. Wouldn't you have to compare living in Moscow to living in NYC or LA?

Question - so you compare apples-to-apples (if there is such a comparison between Russia and USA) - would you want to live in a rural area in Russia versus a rural area in USA?

am4rw
01-10-2004, 20:38
Depends on what you call a rural area. Moscow is a great place to visit, but would have to live there awhile to decide if that is where we'd make it permanent. Russians both in and out of Moscow say that Moscow is not Russia.

We have a flat and my wife's propiska in Volgograd. St. Pete is a fun town. Nizhny Novgorod is probably my favorite city of those I've been. Really want to spend some time in Sochi. I ski, and Moscow is sooooo flat!

But to live truly rural? I have a tender tush and prefer indoor plumbing at -20C.

HandsoMan
01-10-2004, 20:42
Even in USA - living in a truly rural area is completely different. Not talking about living in bum**** Arkansas. On a farm. With sheep, goats, Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie and other mammals of desire.

It just sounds like most of the expats are comparing Moscow with so many different places in USA. Is it a fair comparison?

am4rw
01-10-2004, 21:03
The only place in the US that you can really compare Moscow to is NYC. But I think the only place you can compare it to in Britain is London, etc. There are what, about 20 great cities in the world? Apples to apples, Volgograd and Kansas City are very similar.

stefania2003
01-10-2004, 22:25
After being stupid enough to waste many years in Russia, I'd rather eat glass than go back there and yes, Smurfette is right Peng..you SHOULD try one of the great European cities! Being an EEC citizen, I'm lucky enough to be able to settle in one of the European countries and I've picked the best one - la bella Italia! And as for preferring Russia to the US - jeez...surely America can't be THAT bad?????

Zephyr
03-10-2004, 00:36
Originally posted by HandsoMan
It sounds like most of you are comparing USA to Moscow, not Russia as a whole. Moscow is probably a great, exciting city to live in, and is very different than the suburbs or smaller cities in America. Wouldn't you have to compare living in Moscow to living in NYC or LA?

Question - so you compare apples-to-apples (if there is such a comparison between Russia and USA) - would you want to live in a rural area in Russia versus a rural area in USA?
exactly!!! the Russian countryside hands down.

Fa-Q!
04-10-2004, 10:00
Apples to apples, Volgograd and Kansas City are very similar.
==========================================
Rubbish. In Kansas, you can get in your comfy car and drive comfortably on a smooth road to the nearest Walmart, Home Depot, restaurant, etc... In Russian provincial towns, access to essentials is still decades behind even the most backward american small town.

Maine Surfer
04-10-2004, 10:04
Originally posted by stefania2003
After being stupid enough to waste many years in Russia, I'd rather eat glass than go back there and yes, Smurfette is right Peng..you SHOULD try one of the great European cities! Being an EEC citizen, I'm lucky enough to be able to settle in one of the European countries and I've picked the best one - la bella Italia! And as for preferring Russia to the US - jeez...surely America can't be THAT bad?????

Wow, pretty bitter post. Did something bad happened to you here?

America is not bad, it's great! So is Russia. Haven't been to Rome but tyhe US and Russia beat all places I've been to.

veejay
04-10-2004, 10:32
I'm not entirely certain how long Moscow will be my home -- I just know that right now, I'm not ready to leave here. At the same time, I'm not sure that I could ever return to the US. It is my 'home' in the sense that I was born there, lived there my entire life until coming here, have travelled from coast-to-coast several times, and enjoy all the comforts it possesses. However, the only place now that I feel at home there is Manhattan. But, even there I find something lacking in terms of feeling alive.

As to retiring here, I think somewhere warm and tropical will prevail. Here, winter seems to get longer with each passing year, and summer gets shorter...

At the end of the day, whenever I leave Moscow, I long to return, and literally kiss the ground as soon as I land! (well...not entirely literally! The streets here are less than sterile!). Moscow is home...and I love my life here!!!

Blaked
04-10-2004, 18:46
Everything is about money. I'd rather be rich in Russia than poor in America. As was mentioned in the first post, everything that is great about America can be put under the heading 'commodities' (ie 5 pairs of socks for 5 bucks, being able to drive to Wal Mart in St. Louis) except maybe the weather. Attitudes here are definitely different - a 19 year old junkie sat in my bedroom this weekend, shot up (getting blood all over my fitted sheet) and told me how much she hated negros, due to the fact that they provide no value to society. People in Russia aren't as susceptible to conditioning, but they are a lot more provincial and superstitious.

If offered the same sum of cash here and in the US, I'd pick Moscow any day - life is a lot more interesting here than it ever was back in New Joysie. As for the Russian countryside - it's worth a looksie - Feedme666 moved there for the 500 r whores - but I'd probably have to go to cooking school before I made a commitment. I predict that once they have mortgage lending and manufactured housing, it will be much more like, for example, Western Pennsylvania.

Ned Kelly
04-10-2004, 18:48
Did she wash your fitted sheet?

Blaked
04-10-2004, 18:50
She should have. She was on enough speed. In fact, she washed the entire kitchen and I washed the sheet. She didn't know that blood only comes out in cold. I was pretty wired too, although I'd snorted my dose. No needles for me. Add 'can buy clean needles at an Apteka' to your Russia list if you are in to that sorta thang.

am4rw
04-10-2004, 20:10
Originally posted by Fa-Q!
Apples to apples, Volgograd and Kansas City are very similar.
==========================================
Rubbish. In Kansas, you can get in your comfy car and drive comfortably on a smooth road to the nearest Walmart, Home Depot, restaurant, etc... In Russian provincial towns, access to essentials is still decades behind even the most backward american small town.

And you've spent how much time lately in "Russian provincial towns"?

Fa-Q!
05-10-2004, 10:04
I'm quite qualified to speak on the subject, believe me.

quincy
05-10-2004, 11:49
Originally posted by Blaked
Everything is about money. I'd rather be rich in Russia than poor in America. As was mentioned in the first post, everything that is great about America can be put under the heading 'commodities' (ie 5 pairs of socks for 5 bucks, being able to drive to Wal Mart in St. Louis) ........
If offered the same sum of cash here and in the US, I'd pick Moscow any day - life is a lot more interesting here than it ever was back in New Joysie.

Hey Blaked! Couldn't have said it better myself!
:agree:

Fa-Q!
05-10-2004, 11:54
I disagree on behalf of Southern Culture. My love for my home has nothing to do with the cost of anything. Don't get me wrong, I like it here, too.

Fa-Q!
05-10-2004, 11:56
...and your point illustrates perfectly just why Southerners aren't so fond of Joisy.

Fa-Q!
05-10-2004, 11:59
...and whichever moderator that replaced the word "bullshit" in my post with the word "rubbish" is cruisin' for a bruisin'. If you want to use these ****, that's fine with me. But "rubbish"?

november
05-10-2004, 17:26
Originally posted by Dr. Bukakke
I love everything in Russia except having to pay for plastic bags. That bag mafia just can't let their racket go. Same with their taxi counterparts.

november
05-10-2004, 17:59
I suffocate in the US

Maine Surfer
05-10-2004, 18:23
Originally posted by november
I suffocate in the US

november, if you suffocate in the US then get out of there. The US is a great country, and its one of greatest freedoms is ability to stay or go as you wish. if you don't like it there then go somewhere else. Do something about it.

(not to november but in general) Most of all I can't stand Russian immigrants who live in the US and bitch and bitch and bitch about it.

pengwn9
05-10-2004, 23:21
This sign was posted in the shuttle van I rode from the Seattle airport:

"It is unsafe for passengers to open door. Please wait for the driver to open the door."

What? Now most Americans can't be trusted to safely open a van door and exit the vehicle without professional assistance and possible litigation?

The country has run amok with liabilities and legal foolishness. All the fun has been squeezed out of America in the name of the law. If they repealed half of the stupid laws in this country we'd all be better off.

Can't wait to get back to Moscow.

november
06-10-2004, 09:19
Originally posted by Maine Surfer
november, if you suffocate in the US then get out of there. The US is a great country, and its one of greatest freedoms is ability to stay or go as you wish. if you don't like it there then go somewhere else. Do something about it.

(not to november but in general) Most of all I can't stand Russian immigrants who live in the US and bitch and bitch and bitch about it. that's why I live in moscow! hehe

kot begemot
06-10-2004, 12:21
Only in Russia...

___________
12:08 / Москва
В Хабаровске пенсионер убил ворвавшегося в его квартиру мужчину кабачком


В Хабаровске 62-летний пенсионер убил ворвавшегося в его квартиру пьяного мужчину кабачком, выращенным на даче.

В пресс-службе УВД Хабаровского края "Интерфаксу" сообщили во вторник, что дебошир взломал двери и проник в квартиру пенсионера.. Тогда пенсионер схватил оказавшийся под рукой крупный кабачок, выращенный им на даче, и
ударил им мужчину по голове. От удара мужчина скончался на месте. В настоящее время по данному факту проводится проверка.
____________

God I love this country! :D

Maine Surfer
07-10-2004, 09:42
Originally posted by november
that's why I live in moscow! hehe

Cheers :)

Big Bugga
07-10-2004, 09:59
blood also can be gotten out if you boil the item in salt water, just an fyi if yo happen to get it on an article of clothing you happen to like...any whoooo...Other than that cant comment but for the fact that I look foward to being able to in the comming months after my move.

take care

Bugga'

Maine Surfer
07-10-2004, 10:09
I love everything in Russia except having to pay for plastic bags. That bag mafia just can't let their racket go. Same with their taxi counterparts.

If you don't like to pay for bags, wash em and dry em on your battareya.

M-C
07-10-2004, 10:44
If you don't like to pay for bags, wash em and dry em on your battareya.

No, no Maine Surfer! You peg them on your wahing line, on the balcony, just over the plastic bottles you've just rinsed out ;)

Maine Surfer
07-10-2004, 11:21
Originally posted by M-C
No, no Maine Surfer! You peg them on your wahing line, on the balcony, just over the plastic bottles you've just rinsed out ;)

No way. I am informing you of the official Soviet way of dealing with plastic bags shortages. The authentic way is to use you batareya. And screw plastic bottles, go for glass ones. :rolleyes:

M-C
07-10-2004, 11:29
Ahhhhhhhhhh! Now I know that a non-authentic babushka has taken up residence in the opposite building, research will have to be conducted with more traditional material, thanks Maine Surfer!

Maine Surfer
07-10-2004, 11:37
Originally posted by M-C
Ahhhhhhhhhh! Now I know that a non-authentic babushka has taken up residence in the opposite building, research will have to be conducted with more traditional material, thanks Maine Surfer!

That's probably not babushka but alcoholic dedushka. My method goes way back, to the society not yet corrupted by capitalists :)

M-C
07-10-2004, 12:02
The fog is lifting, hmmmmm, there seems to be a ratty shirt flapping in the breeze next to the bags.... I'd better go and get a pair of binoculars, although, it seems that your situation analysis is the right one Maine Surfer:agree:

november
07-10-2004, 14:40
Dont forget the kefir packages for birdy houses too..

M-C
07-10-2004, 15:21
Nor the milk Tetra Packs for bird seed!

november
07-10-2004, 16:10
ura!! for old russian comrades and their strange ways!!