View Full Version : Expat's opinion about Moscow and Russia life in general

03-03-2010, 13:53
Hi, everyone!

I need expert opinion of you, guys!

Actually, I need to know, what difficulties in Russia you ran into when you start living here, and what you can't stand even now, having lived here for some time.

Difficulties - in service, in finding information, in business, recreation, apartment rent or something else.

Would be happy to have a cup of coffee with you or communicate via Skype. Waiting for your commens here or in PMs. Thank you in advance.

03-03-2010, 15:38
Hi, is it to help you with a research project?

03-03-2010, 18:05
Russia is very cold. And it is covered in snow. And people drink a lot of vodka. Then they get drunk.
Nuff said. Let's talk about Europe now.

03-03-2010, 20:03
Russia is very cold. And it is covered in snow. And people drink a lot of vodka. Then they get drunk.
Nuff said. Let's talk about Europe now.

Russia is very cold, (in Russia it is cold), I guess you have never been in summer, spring and autumn and russia for you is somewhere in Siberia.

In Russia, It can be hot (+35C), even in Siberia.

It is coverd with snow (?).

People drink vodka.....? I would say they drink besides beer, wine, pepsi, juce, milk, water (in Prague, they definetely drink just beer, and never drunk).

"Nuff said" (I guess, it mean "Nothing to be said"). Agree.

Let's talk about expats from Russia in Europe?

03-03-2010, 23:33
Russia is very cold. And it is covered in snow. And people drink a lot of vodka. Then they get drunk.
Nuff said. Let's talk about Europe now.

OK, let's talk about Europe now. What would you like to begin with?

03-03-2010, 23:58
I have been to Russia: there are no bears...

04-03-2010, 00:00
I have been to Russia: there are no bears...

Come on! It is not true! If you have not seen them, it does not mean, there is none.

ZOOs, Circuses, some forests in Siberia, Ural, Far East....

Oh, you meant, on streets... just wolves...

04-03-2010, 08:12
I went through phases of, being initially holiday-like, then seeing the downsides, then up again. This happened a couple of times. I would say that I accept the place and people for what they are. The critical thing for any expat - not just here - is to not judge. Something is different, not better or worse, just different. It may in reality be worse, but you will not change it so go with it and don't waste energy getting angry about it. Easier said than done though. As an example a few weeks back I had an experience at 36.6 of really really good customer service and ended up asking "how much of the bad customer service that is complained about is the result of us looking for it?" You find what you seek. Look for good service and you will find it. Look for kindness and you will find it. But that's just life - not isolated to being an expat.

I think expats group together as an initial protection mechanism. The city is strange, people from a similar background will have experience that can help. Most develop friendships away from exclusively expats in my experience.

I am an expat even when I am home, and have been one for a very large part of my life. I'd say it is easier than being in the UK. Being lost? Good, some of the best places I've found, and friendships made have come from being lost - both literally and spiritually. As far as the mundane things like food are concerned - differences in those are part of the attraction.

I remain convinced that people are pretty much the same everywhere I've been. There is something here that keeps strangers at a distance - and looking at history you can understand why. There is nowhere I have been that has such a disparity between how you are treated as a stranger and as a friend. It appears almost as hatred of you as a stranger, but as soon as you become "one of them" Russians are some of the kindest most generous people I have met anywhere.

People exercise the power they have - and if all that is is the power to say "No," then they will do so. Russians exercise that in spades until you get to know them

However if it is within someone's power to help you - they will, and will do so gladly, because that is part of being human. We have all (I hope) experienced the joy of helping someone. It enriches us. And russians in my experience are as willing to help as anywhere else.

Regarding enriching or degrading the spirit: so much of that is internal, and is driven by how you as an individual approach life. If your reaction to a negative experience is always negative then it will be so here - and there will be no shortage of opportunities for you to experience it. But if your philosophy says that setbacks are learning experiences and you refuse to give in and decide to make the situation positive then that will apply here too.

Put crudely - and a psychologist put it to me this way - you view life as a game of rugby. You go a score down. Do you give up? Or work out how to get from there to a win?

04-03-2010, 09:44
I enjoy Russia very much. I love going to parties and finding people talking about something other than sports, money or fashion; talking about literature, art, music, etc. I love that I can be pretty much anywhere in Europe in just several hours. I love traveling inside Russia; Irkutsk and Baikal, Ekaterinburg, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, Murmansk, etc.

I like that I have been here long enough that when tourists ask me for directions, I know how to get there. I like taking my family to the dacha for the summer. I love the banya, especially in winter with the leap into the snow. Are there some downsides? Sure, but I prefer not to dwell on them. There are downsides to everywhere I have lived in the world.

Provided Russia will have me, I'll die here a happy man with good friends, a great wife and a lovely daughter.

04-03-2010, 12:44
I am in Moscow till 22nd would be happy to meet up for coffee/ beer with you and help you with your research. Usually available weekday daytimes till about 7pm if this suits. Preferbaly in center area I am based near Chisty Prudey metro


04-03-2010, 14:31
I have been to Russia: there are no bears...

What I meant to say was:

06-03-2010, 18:48
Not sure if it's just the St.P climate, but I tend to find March/April very depressing cos I long to see green grass and am so tired of snow.

1 obvious thing to find difficult is the level of bureaucracy, not just visas, but things like when I lived in teachers halls and if I'd forgotten my pass the dejurnaya wouldn't let me in even though she knew very well that i lived there.
Also, any time you have to show your passport for anything. Some people will just ask the most ridiculous questions, e.g. at the post office collecting a parcel I was asked if my UK passport was Ukrainian, at bank often asked if the account is my own when showing the card (with my name on) and my passport (with my name on).:rules: