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cchastje
08-02-2010, 14:49
Hi again everyone,
I joined the forum a little while back when I was sending the holidays outside of Moscow. A few weeks ago, I returned to the US and I am already very, very anxious to return to Russia. I've already filled my head with much information from this site (and other sources), but still trying to sort it all out.
A short re-introduction: I was born in Yugoslavia. I spent a good portion of my childhood in the states and before returning to YU. Set off for university in Austria, spending awhile there, before deciding to move back to the US where I live in a fairly remote rural area. After 10 years, I still have not adjusted to life here. While I'd like to return to my native land someday, job prospects are almost nil and life is still tumultuous. So why Russia?
A few years ago I decided to study the Russian language. Studying the language not only introduced me a very interesting country, but I found many, many acquaintances, several of whom became real friends. After a few month-long visits, I have found a certain comfort in Russia that I have not found before. So now I am seeking a path to explore this feeling further.
My big question, how might I find life in Russia? This forum is filled with comments about the difficulty of life there. Will I likely panic after a few months? The bureaucracy I get, experienced some already and understand that I will likely find it reaches a new extreme for me. What are the other biggest obstacles to acclimation?

Vadim
08-02-2010, 15:08
I don't think it will be a big challenge with Yugoslavian roots. Quite similar to your country of origin, and most likely you have already realised it :-) Good luck in Russia!

emreyildiz
08-02-2010, 15:16
dont think about bad stories you have read in the forum .. you will love Russia and especially Moscow ( and i am a yugoslavian too ) ... you will learn very fast how to survive and how to have fun :)

tvadim133
08-02-2010, 15:30
I think, when you read any forums, first you will pay attention is to negative information and positive can be just hidden:

People just want to talk more about bad experience then to share their positive stories.... it is phycology....

Do not worry much about difficulties (they are not so horrible as it seems from the first sight..

What different from other countries is that people still have some kind of soviet mentality (it is changed for better with new generations (though there are some exceptions with some russians even here in the forum).

Soviet mentality is some specific way of thinking and behaviour, which is strange, but can be understood.

It has both sides of the coin (the moon): good and not very.

cchastje
08-02-2010, 16:14
Thanks! Pschology indeed, you are most certainly right!

I already feel better a bit better about the process, now on to this work finding business.

Zdravo, emreyildiz! Veliko Vam hvala za komentar!

Mud
14-02-2010, 20:46
Hello cchastje and welcome to the Expat.ru forums!

It seems that you love the idea of moving here but are wisely cautious. That's just plain smart! Take in all which you've heard or read and filter it through your own experience and motivation. I think you'll come to a good decision.

Biggest obstacles, you ask? My list:

1. Suitable job
2. Visa
3. Personal support, (family and / or friends)
4. Language
5. Culture shock
6. Adjusting to life in a BIG city
7. Climate (not only weather but the lack of sunlight)

That's a short list. I'm sure that others might include other things such as cost of living, etc....

Interestingly enough, you seem to have tackled many of these problems already in your life (studying languages, living abroad, dealing with bureaucracy). That should encourage you. Nothing on this list is impossible to overcome!

I wish you well as you sort things out!

Enjoy the site!

All the best!
Mud :)

Lucky11117
14-02-2010, 20:51
Knowing the language and having friends here will help for sure - you will definitely survive:)

cchastje
14-02-2010, 21:16
Biggest obstacles, you ask? My list:

1. Suitable job
2. Visa
3. Personal support, (family and / or friends)
4. Language
5. Culture shock
6. Adjusting to life in a BIG city
7. Climate (not only weather but the lack of sunlight)

That's a short list. I'm sure that others might include other things such as cost of living, etc....


Thank you, Mud. You give a helpful list. Yes, I think that many of these will not be a problem for me. Numbers one, two (where's that job?) and six (outside of a a few stint near Boston, no big city experience) seem most problematic. I have lived for over ten years here on the border of Canada. Days are a tad longer in the winter, but the temperatures are completely comparable. (Although this winter we are having terribly mild weather and barely any snow, I even took a long bike ride yesterday in temps of -5C, it's crazy!!!)

It's also really great to know that there are other expats about. My last trip to Russian, I did not encounter a single one.

Mud
16-02-2010, 01:54
Thank you, Mud. You give a helpful list. Yes, I think that many of these will not be a problem for me. Numbers one, two (where's that job?) and six (outside of a a few stint near Boston, no big city experience) seem most problematic. I have lived for over ten years here on the border of Canada. Days are a tad longer in the winter, but the temperatures are completely comparable. (Although this winter we are having terribly mild weather and barely any snow, I even took a long bike ride yesterday in temps of -5C, it's crazy!!!)

It's also really great to know that there are other expats about. My last trip to Russian, I did not encounter a single one.

The job is the main thing. Jobs and visas usually (not always) go hand-in-hand. As for adjusting to life in a big city,,,, you've just got to jump in! Pros and cons,,,plusses and minuses,,,advantages and disadvantages,,, blah blah blah. You can't gain personal experience by simple analysis. Make some friends. Get a good job. Be part of a community. Those things make life better no matter where you are.

What kind of work would you be looking for? The right job is the key.

Max77
16-02-2010, 15:48
Generally speaking I think you'll be ok adapting to this different country and its many particulars, since you already have such experience (US and back to of adapting to US and back to YU).

Just try to stick up with people who have broad views and are open to friendship with expats. This will help overcome any obstacles that one inevitably bumps into in a new country!

btw cchastje - reads and sounds almost like happiness in russian, is it so?

:ok:

shurale
16-02-2010, 19:17
Is the life where you are like in this article?


"Florida family gives up on small-town North Dakota
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Delicious Digg Facebook Fark Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Technorati Twitter Yahoo! Bookmarks .Print .. AP Jeanette and Michael Tristani stand outside their home in Hazelton, N.D., on Friday, Jan. 22 , 2010. .By JAMES MacPHERSON, Associated Press Writer James Macpherson, Associated Press Writer Mon Feb 15, 7:55 pm ET
HAZELTON, N.D. A tiny North Dakota town's promise of cash and free land lured only one family from out of state. Now, Michael and Jeanette Tristani and their 12-year-old twins are trying to move from the town without a traffic light back to Miami.

Tired of crime, traffic, hurricanes and the high cost of living in Florida, the Tristanis moved four years ago to Hazelton, a dwindling town of about 240 that has attempted to attract young families to stay on the map.

Michael Tristani, 42, said at the time the 1,800-mile move was "an answer to our prayers."

"We don't have to look over our shoulder to see who's going to rob us, or jump out of the bushes to attack us," Tristani said. "Taxes are low, the cost of living is low and the kids enjoy school."

But the family also found a cliquey community that treated them like outsiders. "For my wife, it's been a culture shock," he said.

Rural communities across the Great Plains, fighting a decades-long population decline, are trying a variety of ways to attract outsiders. But the Tristanis show how the efforts can fail even at a time when many people are desperate.

"It's been quite an experience, 50-50 at best," Tristani said. "It hasn't been easy. No one really wants new people here."

The Hazelton Development Corp., formed by a determined group of citizens, began running ads in 2005 offering families up to two free lots and up to $20,000 toward home purchases. Businesses were offered free lots and up to $50,000 for setting up shop in the town.

Besides cash and free land, Hazelton had little else to offer except elbow room. Surrounded by flat farm land and livestock, the century-old town boasts three churches, a bank, a grain elevator and a bar.

Like many small towns across rural America, the once thriving farming community began shrinking as residents moved on or passed away.

Tom Weiser, one of the city leaders behind the project to lure new residents, said Hazelton had hundreds of inquiries from around the world when the community's proposal made headlines across the country. Several families from other states visited the town but only the Tristanis made the commitment to move.

"Not everybody fits in in a small town," said Weiser, who works as a baker at Wal-Mart in Bismarck, about 45 miles away.

Hay bales, a gas station and a graveyard greet visitors as they roll into Hazelton off the state highway.

Michael Tristani came from his native Florida wearing gold necklaces and a Rolex and driving a Lexus. He proved as foreign as a flamingo in a place where pickups, farm caps and flannel shirts are de rigueur.

"People thought I was a drug dealer," he said.

Tristani said he was prepared for Hazelton's bitter winters when wind chills can reach 50-degrees below zero and snow drifts are measured in feet but not the small-town drama.

"People prejudge you without getting to know you," Jeanette Tristani said.

The couple bought a house built by students at an American Indian college in Bismarck. The home was moved to town and put on two lots donated by the city. The Tristanis bought a third lot and were later given $15,000.

Tristani, a former grocery worker, and his wife, a former real estate agent, opened a bistro and coffee shop. But within weeks of moving to the city, the couple petitioned for a restraining order against the owners of another coffee shop. The Tristanis allege one of the owners drove by their house yelling obscenities and threatened to damage the family's new home.

"He appears to be out of control," The Tristanis wrote in court papers. "At times, it's difficult to understand the rest of the words he's using on my family due to his uproar."

Both businesses are now shuttered.

After his bistro failed, Michael Tristani said he began buying old houses in Bismarck, fixing them up and reselling them to earn money. Jeanette, 44, lost her job last year at a call center in nearby Linton when the business failed.

The Tristanis say the family enjoys spending time together and has little to do with the locals. They relish trips to a Wal-Mart in Bismarck.

The couple's home in Hazelton has been on the market since August, though the for-sale sign has been covered with snow for weeks.

School Superintendent Brandt Dick said losing the Tristani twins, a boy and a girl in the seventh grade, would be a blow to the shrinking enrollment.

Dick said there are 72 students enrolled at the local high school, and that the number is expected to fall to 31 in four years.

"We are declining in numbers and will continue to decline unless something changes," he said.

Bev Voller, a member of the nonprofit development group, said the incentives were funded largely through private money, much of it from "an anonymous donor."

But, she says, "the cash thing is over now."

Kim Preston, a spokeswoman for the rural advocacy group Center for Rural Affairs, based in Lyons, Neb., said the offer of free land to lure new residents to wilting towns is a phenomenon that started in the past decade.

But the small communities that have had success are near larger communities, she said.

"For it to work, it needs to be no more than a 30-minute commute," she said.

It's a 45-minute drive from Hazelton to Bismarck in good weather. And the weather is often bad.

Jeanette said the main reason she wants to move back to the Miami area is to care for her elderly parents. Michael said he couldn't convince his wife's parents to join them in Hazelton.

"The cold weather has them freaked," he said.""

robertmf
16-02-2010, 19:27
Thank you, Mud. You give a helpful list. Yes, I think that many of these will not be a problem for me.

Yes, our Mr. Mud is usually quite the greeter and very informative. One thing he missed, though, is how will your constitution react to copious amounts of vodka :question:

:11581: :drink: :cold: :drink:

cchastje
17-02-2010, 02:28
Generally speaking I think you'll be ok adapting to this different country and its many particulars, since you already have such experience (US and back to of adapting to US and back to YU).

Just try to stick up with people who have broad views and are open to friendship with expats. This will help overcome any obstacles that one inevitably bumps into in a new country!

btw cchastje - reads and sounds almost like happiness in russian, is it so?

:ok:

Well, yes. It's that feeling that I always get when I arrive in Russia.
;)

cchastje
17-02-2010, 02:45
Is the life where you are like in this article?


"Florida family gives up on small-town North Dakota"

Interesting article, and yes, I can relate. Not so small or small-minded here, and certainly not cheap, but yup, xenophobic for sure. Not only to non-Americans, but to anyone whose family line does not go back 3 or more generations within the immediate vicinity. I get a lot askew glances from the "real" locals.

It can really be like that, people in town know who you are, even if you've never met and everyone takes notice when you have visitors from out of town. When the guy pumping your gas asks who's been visiting at your place, you know that you live in a small town.

Although I have to admit my town in Bosnia is almost a carbon copy in this regard, probably more extreme. Got to expect that one might find the same in Russia.

cchastje
17-02-2010, 02:51
Yes, our Mr. Mud is usually quite the greeter and very informative. One thing he missed, though, is how will your constitution react to copious amounts of vodka :question:

:11581: :drink: :cold: :drink:

Well, I already completed failed this test this new year outside a podmoskovy pub. Yup, I'll need to build up the vodka tolerance, for sure! Now, rakija, there I have a fighting chance.

:11581: