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mrzuzzo
20-01-2011, 20:01
'sup expat.ru, I've been traveling quite a bit recently.

Was in Paris last week, then came to Ottawa.. decided to take some time off and drive to Detroit, MI to go to the North American Auto Show. Drove for 12 hours straight in $#@%ty Canadian weather on summer tires in a huge Chevy Impala. Whatever, made it safely.

The auto show was crappy but wow is Detroit a @$%&hole!! I've heard people in Russia talk about how much better life in the USA is and bitch at me for not going back home. Honestly, I've never been in a bigger $#@%hole than Detroit! How can people even compare USA to Russia and more specifically, Moscow?

Went to get a footlong sandwich at the subway there and wow.. the place had bulletproof glass and a thing for sliding money/sandwiches to/from the desk.. kinda like in a money exchange.

Oh, and 75% is abandoned buildings. While it is somewhat "romantic" it's also quite scary and very dirty. Boarded up windows everywhere, for sale signs, etc etc. People on the streets are really weird, most look like gangsters. I thought we were going to get mugged considering we were in a new car with Canadian plates but either way I had a 9mm handy for that exact reason. Ok well maybe not, but we had a carload of 4 guys.

Most of the white people are gone from Detroit. I guess the ones that are left simply don't have anywhere else to go.

Oh yeah here is a pic from the auto show. If anyone is thinking of going, don't bother. It was crappy. Obviously, I'm on the right. I've got more pics may or may not post 'em up later.

Either way, Russia > America. Yeah that's right, I said it. Off to Calgary to get some skiing done in the Rocky Mountains tomorrow. :)

Will be back in Moscow in 2 weeks, can't wait.

http://cs4368.vk.com/u52154131/-5/z_307fd0da.jpg

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 20:21
'sup expat.ru, I've been traveling quite a bit recently.

Was in Paris last week, then came to Ottawa.. decided to take some time off and drive to Detroit, MI to go to the North American Auto Show. Drove for 12 hours straight in @#$%ty Canadian weather on summer tires in a huge Chevy Impala. Whatever, made it safely.

The auto show was crappy but wow is Detroit a @$%&hole!! I've heard people in Russia talk about how much better life in the USA is and bitch at me for not going back home. Honestly, I've never been in a bigger @#$%hole than Detroit! How can people even compare USA to Russia and more specifically, Moscow?

Went to get a footlong sandwich at the subway there and wow.. the place had bulletproof glass and a thing for sliding money/sandwiches to/from the desk.. kinda like in a money exchange.

Oh, and 75% is abandoned buildings. While it is somewhat "romantic" it's also quite scary and very dirty. Boarded up windows everywhere, for sale signs, etc etc. People on the streets are really weird, most look like gangsters. I thought we were going to get mugged considering we were in a new car with Canadian plates but either way I had a 9mm handy for that exact reason. Ok well maybe not, but we had a carload of 4 guys.

Most of the white people are gone from Detroit. I guess the ones that are left simply don't have anywhere else to go.

Oh yeah here is a pic from the auto show. If anyone is thinking of going, don't bother. It was crappy. Obviously, I'm on the right. I've got more pics may or may not post 'em up later.

Either way, Russia > America. Yeah that's right, I said it. Off to Calgary to get some skiing done in the Rocky Mountains tomorrow. :)

Will be back in Moscow in 2 weeks, can't wait.

http://cs4368.vk.com/u52154131/-5/z_307fd0da.jpg


I love it, you visit ONE American city and probably one of the worst ones, and you judge the entire country based on that.
your ignorance is bliss, I can do the same about Russia, go visit one @#$%ty a@# city and go RUSSIA IS HORRIBLE OMG IT WAS TERRIBLE THE CITY WAS SOO DIRTY!! wait that's Moscow?

Get a clue.

America has WAY better cities then Russia, I can list 9032840928340923 of them, that are in a different league then Moscow.
but once again, what is better or worst is different to each.
Moscow is a dirty dirty city compared to 90%+ of American cities

Go visit Boston, LA, San Fran, Atlanta, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Denver, Philly, Charleston, St Louis, Miami, Orlando, I can go on and on and on, but why bother?

mrzuzzo
20-01-2011, 20:37
I love it, you visit ONE American city and probably one of the worst ones, and you judge the entire country based on that.
your ignorance is bliss, I can do the same about Russia, go visit one @#$%ty @$$ city and go RUSSIA IS HORRIBLE OMG IT WAS TERRIBLE THE CITY WAS SOO DIRTY!! wait that's Moscow?

Get a clue.

America has WAY better cities then Russia, I can list 9032840928340923 of them, that are in a different league then Moscow.
but once again, what is better or worst is different to each.
Moscow is a dirty dirty city compared to 90%+ of American cities

Go visit Boston, LA, San Fran, Atlanta, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Denver, Philly, Charleston, St Louis, Miami, Orlando, I can go on and on and on, but why bother?

I've been to most of those cities so no I'm not ignorant. I just wanted to vent, that's all. Oh, and most of the cities you listed.. except for maybe San Antonio and Dallas have neighborhoods that are worse than any Russian city or town.

I just don't understand how so many people are so incredibly poor in the wealthiest country in the world!

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 20:46
I've been to most of those cities so no I'm not ignorant. I just wanted to vent, that's all. Oh, and most of the cities you listed.. except for maybe San Antonio and Dallas have neighborhoods that are worse than any Russian city or town.

I just don't understand how so many people are so incredibly poor in the wealthiest country in the world!

Boston, LA, San Fran, Atlanta, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Denver, Philly, Charleston, St Louis, Miami, Orlando

uh no they don't
Boston? nope
La? Maybe
San Fran? nope
Austin? eh not really
Denver? not really.
Charleston? eh not really
Miami? lol nope
Orlando? nope
Philly, maybe, but not as bad as some of the @$%& I've seen in Moscow

We don't have rallies in the center of major cities, having people from other races being beaten and killed, and Cops standing by and watching, or people getting killed, then the killer caught with blood all over them, then released the same day.
You want to talk about worst? Sorry, Russia doesn't compare to the states in this situation.

All cities have there good and bad, no city is complete bliss.

Poor people? of course there are poor people, name a country that doesn't have poor people?
Why are they poor? no chance? race? neighborhood?
this isn't Russia.
It's all bull$@%#, Any citizen of America, can become what they want, it's up to THEM to decide how bad they want it, frankly, we have lazy people, who have zero drive to do anything, and want everything handed to them, that's why we have poor people.
No drive=no life.
Once again, your ignorance shows.

and also, unlike Russia, well, Moscow.
People in America, don't live in cities, they live in suburbs outside of the city

Remington
20-01-2011, 20:47
I have to agree with BrandonL. You can't just say Detriot is the same as the rest of American cities. That is like saying Gronzy is the same as the rest of Russian cities.

Most American cities are like Ottawa or Toronto. Same quality of life.

Shame on you for being so prejudice and naive.

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 20:52
I have to agree with BrandonL. You can't just say Detriot is the same as the rest of American cities. That is like saying Gronzy is the same as the rest of Russian cities.

Most American cities are like Ottawa or Toronto. Same quality of life.

Shame on you for being so prejudice and naive.

I agree, Detroit is a @#$%hole, it really is, Motor city got destroyed by the recession.
Detroit is an exception, most America cities are rather beautiful and quite nice, of course we have some bad areas, nothing can be done, every city has that.
but the vast majority of America cities are very very nice.

mrzuzzo
20-01-2011, 20:53
What is true about USA is that there are more opportunities than in Russia, and of course the salaries are much higher. Yet the unemployment rate in USA is higher, so it's a double-edged sword.

I don't know, I was just disappointed that the government let an iconic city like Detroit go to $#@%.

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 20:57
What is true about USA is that there are more opportunities than in Russia, and of course the salaries are much higher. Yet the unemployment rate in USA is higher, so it's a double-edged sword.

I don't know, I was just disappointed that the government let an iconic city like Detroit go to $#@%.


Higher unemployment?
compared to who?
once again, that goes back to lazy people
I knew a few people, who lived off of welfare, why? they just didn't want to work, they got their foodstamps, and lived off that $#@%, they didn't want to do anything, and have everything handed to them
they were more then capable of working, they just didn't want to, and that's the sad thing.


Think about the population of America, and the amount of outsourcing we do.
we have higher salaries, but we also have to pay for more things, then the average Moscovite.
Detroit to be honest, was never an iconic city, it was always a $#@% hole))))
Maybe is was an iconic $#@% hole city?)

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 20:59
I'll add this
I've probably been to more, cities, and more countries then anyone else on this forum board, and to some of the places I've been, and lived, people in America, live like kings, even the poor people.

Remington
20-01-2011, 21:04
What is true about USA is that there are more opportunities than in Russia, and of course the salaries are much higher. Yet the unemployment rate in USA is higher, so it's a double-edged sword.

I don't know, I was just disappointed that the government let an iconic city like Detroit go to $#@%.

Indeed Detroit is a crappy city but its also very very cheap place to live. :D

I wouldn't want to live or visit Detroit.

Unemployment is a worldwide problem and its just not USA alone.

Government can't save all cities. If there are no viable businesses to keep the city alive then it'll collapse or fall into ruins. It's a fact of life.

ThePhenom
20-01-2011, 21:37
US cities are generally considerably nicer than any place in Russia, including Moscow. Saying otherwise is either completely ignorant or looking through extremely rose-colored Kremlin-issued glasses.

Moscow is a fun place, but for the most part a complete @#$%hole. And it is considered the better part of Russia.

Let's just say Russians deserve better living conditions. I am sure they will someday if the economy continues to improve and the quality of construction and infrastructure improves correspondingly.

As for Detroit.. nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

mrzuzzo
20-01-2011, 21:42
Higher unemployment?
compared to who?
once again, that goes back to lazy people
I knew a few people, who lived off of welfare, why? they just didn't want to work, they got their foodstamps, and lived off that $%$#, they didn't want to do anything, and have everything handed to them
they were more then capable of working, they just didn't want to, and that's the sad thing.

Statistically the unemployment rate in USA is higher than in Russia.

Well there will be lazy people everywhere, but the way the system works in Russia is that if you don't have a job you're absolutely screwed. Not the same deal in USA or Canada.




Detroit to be honest, was never an iconic city, it was always a $#@% hole))))
Maybe is was an iconic @#$%hole city?)

To me it's an iconic city, the birthplace of the modern automobile. An industrial giant that has crumbled under its own weight.


I'll add this
I've probably been to more, cities, and more countries then anyone else on this forum board, and to some of the places I've been, and lived, people in America, live like kings, even the poor people.

Yeah, that's called "balling on credit". Americans seem to have mastered that skill quite well. :)

I've been to lots of countries and cities as well, I think ~20% of the countries in the world I have traveled to. At least that's what Facebook told me.

Either way this is a useless conversation, as we are comparing apples and oranges here.

FatAndy
20-01-2011, 21:51
Some rough words were replaced. Guys, pls, replace them with symbols yourself ;)

xSnoofovich
20-01-2011, 21:53
Uh, ok. What about the race riots in Seattle or LA a few years back? What about the WTO protests a few years back? Crap man, LA burned in the early 90s, course, you are prob too young to remember that. ;b

If you want to talk about killers getting caught with blood, and then * not * being released the same day, that is because it takes more than 24 hours to process someone in and out in the major cities jails, but hey, if someone has money, then the lawyer be a hookin it all up for ya.



We don't have rallies in the center of major cities, having people from other races being beaten and killed, and Cops standing by and watching, or people getting killed, then the killer caught with blood all over them, then released the same day.



Wouldn't some say it has been going downhill since the riots in the 60's?


Motor city got destroyed by the recession..

xSnoofovich
20-01-2011, 21:56
the place had bulletproof glass and a thing for sliding money/sandwiches to/from the desk..



Strangely enough, I have seen this in Siberia as well.

I guess when you are in a place where the police either don't care, or are slow to respond, you have to fend for yourself, and make do with what you have.

Course, in those places in Siberia, places of several hundred thousand people, mind you, they would have random street lights that worked sporadically, if at all. Huge holes in the sidewalk, if there was a sidewalk at all, and garbage strewn about everywhere. Plus the usual young city folk getting drunk and causing fights. Good times !

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 21:56
Statistically the unemployment rate in USA is higher than in Russia.


Do you think Russia, honestly knows how high the unemployment rate is?

Your statistics are flawed, Unemployment rate is based on companies reporting, people who file for unemployment, and so forth
Do you think Russian gov't has a firm grasp of these details?
I don't think so, I'm 100% positive Russia has a giant unreported unemployment count.
I don't think they take count of all the small cities all over Russia and Siberia.
America has a high unemployment rate, because when you are unemployed, you apply for welfare, unemployment benefits and so forth, and companies in the states report all firings hirings and so forth, which is not the case in Russia.

I believe Russia has a GIANT unemployment community, probably larger then America based on a percentage of working/non working and not population

350m in America, 9% or 10% unemployed?
Russia 140m. I'm pretty positive Russia has a higher unemployment rate then in America
The problem is, Russia doesn't have an exact figure on the employment count, while America has atleast a somewhat accurate record.

xSnoofovich
20-01-2011, 22:01
Statistically speaking, there are more than 2x the number of people in the USA as well.

...the way the system works in Russia is that if you dont have a job, you live at home with mom and dad and suck off their teet for as long as possible.


Statistically the unemployment rate in USA is higher than in Russia.

but the way the system works in Russia is that if you don't have a job

FatAndy
20-01-2011, 22:02
Wrong example, xSnoofovich, in the sense that you don't need to cross Ural mountains to see it. 60 km from Moscow is enough to find the same.


Course, in those places in Siberia, places of several hundred thousand people, mind you, they would have random street lights that worked sporadically, if at all. Huge holes in the sidewalk, if there was a sidewalk at all, and garbage strewn about everywhere. Plus the usual young city folk getting drunk and causing fights. Good times !

xSnoofovich
20-01-2011, 22:03
According to some stats, America currently has an unemployment rate of nearly 23-25%.




350m in America, 9% or 10% unemployed?
Russia 140m. I'm pretty positive Russia has a higher unemployment rate then in America
The problem is, Russia doesn't have an exact figure on the employment count, while America has atleast a somewhat accurate record.

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 22:05
According to some stats, America currently has an unemployment rate of nearly 23-25%.

Yeah I understand that going by the last country why unemployment figures, but I also figured it has improved greatly based on the reports i'm hearing from back home.

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 22:06
Statistically speaking, there are more than 2x the number of people in the USA as well.

...the way the system works in Russia is that if you dont have a job, you live at home with mom and dad and suck off their teet for as long as possible.

that's why I said based on working/non working, not population, which even then, makes it hard to judge

FatAndy
20-01-2011, 22:07
Yes, it happens frequently... does it absolutely absent in USA? :)
In other countries?


...the way the system works in Russia is that if you dont have a job, you live at home with mom and dad and suck off their teet for as long as possible.

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 22:09
Yes, it happens frequently... does it absolutely absent in USA? :)
In other countries?


Not as common as it is here.

FatAndy
20-01-2011, 22:12
Then the question comes, what digits you compare? :) Is there again any statistical data or it is like "feelings-based"?


Not as common as it is here.

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 22:15
Then the question comes, what digits you compare? :) Is there again any statistical data or it is like "feelings-based"?


I never compared anything)

All I said was, the unemployment rate in Russia, is probably A LOT higher then what is reported.

America is a much more transparent country, then Russia.
Information about employment and so forth is much easier to attain, and more open, then in Russia.

I believe the Russian Gov't would lie about unemployment data to show the world, that Russia isn't as affected as other countries blah blah
it's easier to hide things in Russia, then in America.

xSnoofovich
20-01-2011, 22:15
I think it happens way more in the US than it used to. There is a social stigma about living at home with the parents once someone (guy or girl) hit 18 and/or graduate from High School. And someone living at home in their 30's? Jeez, insert single guy living in basement jokes here.....

Other countries? I am pretty sure it happens in many many other countries. There is fundamentally nothing wrong with it, with the whole strong family bonds thing, etc. The only major difference is that here in Russia, or I should say, in the ex-Soviet countries, the parents got their apartments for free or with minimal taxes in the 90s. So all of their income is now disposable income, which then allows them to become and play the enabler in the disfunctional relationship. Although, to be fair, I am only speaking about the children in their 20's or 30's or even 40's that live at home with their parents, and do not have gainful employment.



Yes, it happens frequently... does it absolutely absent in USA? :)
In other countries?

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 22:17
I think it happens way more in the US than it used to. There is a social stigma about living at home with the parents once someone (guy or girl) hit 18 and/or graduate from High School. And someone living at home in their 30's? Jeez, insert single guy living in basement jokes here.....

Other countries? I am pretty sure it happens in many many other countries. There is fundamentally nothing wrong with it, with the whole strong family bonds thing, etc. The only major difference is that here in Russia, or I should say, in the ex-Soviet countries, the parents got their apartments for free or with minimal taxes in the 90s. So all of their income is now disposable income, which then allows them to become and play the enabler in the disfunctional relationship. Although, to be fair, I am only speaking about the children in their 20's or 30's or even 40's that live at home with their parents, and do not have gainful employment.

I concur, families with multiple apartments just rent some out, and don't need to work at all.
Hence the reason their children don't either.
Disposal income is the life in Russia.
I'm pondering myself to buy a couple of flats here, and rent them out.

FatAndy
20-01-2011, 22:18
I mean not the unemployment rate, but the behaviour of the person who has lost the job and sucks off his/her parents.

I agree that America, MAYBE ;), is more transparent.


I never compared anything)

All I said was, the unemployment rate in Russia, is probably A LOT higher then what is reported.

America is a much more transparent country, then Russia.
Information about employment and so forth is much easier to attain, and more open, then in Russia.

I believe the Russian Gov't would lie about unemployment data to show the world, that Russia isn't as affected as other countries blah blah
it's easier to hide things in Russia, then in America.

xSnoofovich
20-01-2011, 22:20
I wouldn't go that far to say that the Rus Gov is flat out lying, but heck, I seriously doubt there is anyone going door-to-door in the villages asking people if they are working. I mean, some guys could live their entire lives in the villages, and not hold down a paying job.

I remember one time, I was in deep Siberia, and we were out fishing, and came upon a shack on a lake. Turns out it was a fisherman's house, and lo and behold, he had a wife and a kid. Everyday he was out there fishing on that lake with nets n whatnot, and taking the fish to sell. If he gets hurt, or can't fish, would he be classified as un-employed?




All I said was, the unemployment rate in Russia, is probably A LOT higher then what is reported.

Information about employment and so forth is much easier to attain, and more open, then in Russia.

I believe the Russian Gov't would lie about unemployment data

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 22:21
I mean not the unemployment rate, but the behaviour of the person who has lost the job and sucks off his/her parents.

I agree that America, MAYBE ;), is more transparent.


That's easy, it's more socially acceptable here, to leech off family here, then in America, MUCH more socially acceptable.

You have to remember, In America, if you lose your job, you don't lose your income, you have many ways to keep getting money, welfare, unemployment checks, liquidate 401k, and so forth, living off credit cards(not the best example, but it's one)))))

That's the difference really, I'm sure there's more I'm just to lazy to really look it up.

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 22:24
I remember one time, I was in deep Siberia, and we were out fishing, and came upon a shack on a lake. Turns out it was a fisherman's house, and lo and behold, he had a wife and a kid. Everyday he was out there fishing on that lake with nets n whatnot, and taking the fish to sell. If he gets hurt, or can't fish, would he be classified as un-employed?

wouldn't technically he be self employed?

well, that boils down to, what exactly is employment? is it just working? I could pick up a piece of paper, from the streets, and say, yup, I did something today, I worked?

Employment is exactly what is it, you have a job, that brings some type of income. That's why housewives aren't considered employed.

Of course America doesn't go door to door either, they use information, from companies, and people who file for certain unemployed benefits, to determine the unemployed rate, while, I don't think there is anything quite like that in Russia, as once again, companies and the Gov't aren't as transparent as in the states.


Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. In a commercial setting, the employer conceives of a productive activity, generally with the intention of creating profits, and the employee contributes labour to the enterprise, usually in return for payment of wages.

Employment also exists in the public, nonprofit and household sectors.

In the United States, the "standard" employment contract is considered to be at-will meaning that the employer and employee are both free to terminate the employment at any time and for any cause, or for no cause at all.

To the extent that employment or the economic equivalent is not universal, unemployment exists.

Employment is almost universal in capitalist societies. Opponents of capitalism such as Marxists oppose the capitalist employment system, considering it to be unfair that the people who contribute the majority of work to an organization do not receive a proportionate share of the profit. However, the surrealist movement is one of the few groups to actually oppose work, and during the partially surrealist-influenced events of May 1968 the walls of the Sorbonne were covered with anti-work graffiti.

Labourers often talk of "getting a job", or "having a job". This conceptual metaphor of a "job" as a possession has led to its use in slogans such as "money for jobs, not bombs". Similar conceptions are that of "land" as a possession (real estate) or intellectual rights as a possession (intellectual property)

FatAndy
20-01-2011, 22:25
Well, it's too late to make a good bargain here... I've bought my flat at 1999 for ~$500/sq.m. ;)


I'm pondering myself to buy a couple of flats here, and rent them out.

xSnoofovich
20-01-2011, 22:28
You ever spend a few hours with a toddler? or with a few of em?

Being a mother is not only a full time job, it is one of the hardest jobs ever !








Employment is exactly what is it, you have a job, that brings some type of income. That's why housewives aren't considered employed.

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 22:30
You ever spend a few hours with a toddler? or with a few of em?

Being a mother is not only a full time job, it is one of the hardest jobs ever !


Don't get me wrong, I agree with you) I have a mother, and she tells me everyday what hell it was!)

I've babysat many children, and it's a tough job.
once again, it boils down to what exactly is "employment"
and I'm pretty sure, being a housewife isn't considered employment.

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 22:31
You ever spend a few hours with a toddler? or with a few of em?

Being a mother is not only a full time job, it is one of the hardest jobs ever !


oh yeah, and one more thing, having a job, and being employed, aren't technically the same thing)

My job is as a teenager is to do good in school, and go to college to have a career
I'm not employed to go to school, and college.

xSnoofovich
20-01-2011, 22:35
USA Labor stats-
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.toc.htm



vs.

http://www.shadowstats.com/


http://www.shadowstats.com/imgs/sgs-emp.gif?hl=ad&t=1294410099

xSnoofovich
20-01-2011, 22:36
To be fair, being a housewife doesn't equal being a stay-at-home mom either ! :)



oh yeah, and one more thing, having a job, and being employed, aren't technically the same thing)

My job is as a teenager is to do good in school, and go to college to have a career
I'm not employed to go to school, and college.

sweetfart
20-01-2011, 22:41
I think it happens way more in the US than it used to. There is a social stigma about living at home with the parents once someone (guy or girl) hit 18 and/or graduate from High School. And someone living at home in their 30's? Jeez, insert single guy living in basement jokes here.....

Ugghh eeek...I would either kill myself or my parents if I was forced to live with them past the age of 18. I was already on the verge of a heart attack living with them as a teenager and so were they. They gladly paid my deposit and first few months of rent on a new apartment the day I graduated high school because they wanted me OUT. We get along just great when we don't have to be in the same room. :)

I honestly don't know how young Muscovites do it. Living in those cramped up apartments with a nagging parent. And sometimes even a crabby babushka. Hellz naw, wouldn't be me. Wouldn't be me.

FatAndy
20-01-2011, 23:18
Thanks, I've understood everything besides liquidate 401k. What is it?


if you lose your job, you don't lose your income, you have many ways to keep getting money, welfare, unemployment checks, liquidate 401k, and so forth, living off credit cards(not the best example, but it's one)))))

mrzuzzo
20-01-2011, 23:20
Thanks, I've understood everything besides liquidate 401k. What is it?

401k is like a retirement fund.. I've got something similar in Canada.

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 23:21
Thanks, I've understood everything besides liquidate 401k. What is it?

401(k) is a type of savings account in the United States, which takes its name from the section in the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 401(k). Employers can help their employee save for retirement while reducing taxable income under this provision, and workers can choose to deposit part of their earnings into a 401(k) account and not pay income tax on it until the money is later withdrawn in retirement. Interest earned on money in a 401(k) account is never taxed before funds are withdrawn. Employers may choose to, and often do, match contributions that workers make. The 401(k) account is typically administered by the employer, while in the usual "participant-directed" plan, the employee may select from different kinds of investment options. Employees choose where their savings will be invested, usually, between a selection of mutual funds that emphasize stocks, bonds, money market investments, or some mix of the above. Many companies' 401(k) plans also offer the option to purchase the company's stock. The employee can generally re-allocate money among these investment choices at any time. In the less common trustee-directed 401(k) plans, the employer appoints trustees who decide how the plan's assets will be invested.

BrandonL
20-01-2011, 23:24
Uh, ok. What about the race riots in Seattle or LA a few years back? What about the WTO protests a few years back? Crap man, LA burned in the early 90s, course, you are prob too young to remember that. ;b


Wouldn't some say it has been going downhill since the riots in the 60's?


Also, I lived rather close to LA during the 92 riots, I remember them quite well actually)

sweetfart
21-01-2011, 00:44
Also, I lived rather close to LA during the 92 riots, I remember them quite well actually)

Didn't you say you're a teenager, in an earlier post? You would be too young to remember the LA Riots in that case. :question:

BrandonL
21-01-2011, 00:49
Didn't you say you're a teenager, in an earlier post? You would be too young to remember the LA Riots in that case. :question:

I never said I'm a teenager now, I probably said, when I was a teenager,

Sir, I'm almost 30)

sweetfart
21-01-2011, 01:30
I never said I'm a teenager now, I probably said, when I was a teenager,

Sir, I'm almost 30)

Ma'am

Okay, I see.

xSnoofovich
21-01-2011, 10:15
Now that is just seriously freaking hilarious on so many levels.

Aren't you the "anti-immigrant I'm a proud Moscow for only Muscovites" guy?


401k is like a retirement fund.. I've got something similar in Canada.

yakspeare
21-01-2011, 10:47
Detroit is probably the worst example in all of America.

Australians having been buying property there for (yes) $1.00 plus back taxes(back taxes can be a lot though). A great deal of the homes are completely unliveable without major work...but a home for $1...shouldn't take too long to pay off.

Mind you most prices are a bit higher...not for the faint hearted:

http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/08/real_estate/thousand_dollar_homes/index.htm

http://finance.ninemsn.com.au/blog.aspx?blogentryid=626465&showcomments=true

dan.mit
21-01-2011, 12:41
Russia > America.

I think what you meant was Moscow>Detroit and, considering that the homes in that city were being given away two years ago because of the economic collapse, I don't think many people are going to argue with that.


I love this country and I'm not going to say anything bad about it but Moscow and a couple of other cities are a lot different than the rest of the country.

Anyway, I also think you sound ignorant.

mrzuzzo
21-01-2011, 22:08
Now that is just seriously freaking hilarious on so many levels.

Aren't you the "anti-immigrant I'm a proud Moscow for only Muscovites" guy?

What does that have to do with me having retirement savings?

I work in Moscow for a Canadian company. I'm still a Canadian tax resident, I'm a Canadian citizen, and I get paid in Canadian dollars on my Canadian bank card.

I wouldn't want to retire in Moscow, or any part of Russia for that matter.



I love this country and I'm not going to say anything bad about it but Moscow and a couple of other cities are a lot different than the rest of the country.

Anyway, I also think you sound ignorant.

I agree, it was an ignorant statement. I've been all over the USA. Places in Jersey, some spots in Cali are amazing... but it's still incredible how in the next state over people live in utter sh*t.

I think in the USA as long as you're white and hardworking then you have quite good chances at a decent lifestyle.

BrandonL
21-01-2011, 22:13
but it's still incredible how in the next state over people live in utter sh*t.


I can say that about any country.

yes, America is one GIANT country, I think of it more as many countries, that are binded together.

Once again don't generalize states

Michigan, has some wonderful places to live, Detroit just happens to be a shit hole

But once again, I can say this about any country.



I think in the USA as long as you're white and hardworking then you have quite good chances at a decent lifestyle.

My mom, is not white, she's full Korean, grew up in Korea, has a Korean education.
and she's the best pattern designer in the world. (no, I'm not being sarcastic)

Don't make general statements like this, it shows you are uneducated, intolerant, and ignorant.

mrzuzzo
21-01-2011, 22:22
My mom, is not white, she's full Korean, grew up in Korea, has a Korean education.
and she's the best pattern designer in the world. (no, I'm not being sarcastic)

Don't make general statements like this, it shows you are uneducated, intolerant, and ignorant.

Asians I think are a different story since they are generally hardworking but look at who lives in all the ghettos in the USA. From what it looks like, all the poor people are black. I mean, yeah you still have your white trash and whatnot but it's hard to deny that visible minorities in the USA are much worse off than Caucasians.

smchilds
21-01-2011, 22:47
I'm not going to read this whole thread but the statement that Detroit is a sh!thole and therefore Russia is better than the USA is one of the most ludicrous things I have read in, um, my entire life. No exaggeration. I don't know if you've traveled much in Russia but there are plenty of bombed out places and most Russian people will attest to this, which is why everyone wants to live in Moscow. Go to any Russian university (especially MGU, where I have experience) and tell me you've seen such terrible facilities anywhere in the US, from state schools up to the "top tier" they are all in better condition, better organized, etc., and education is a big deal. The same thing can be said about hospitals (yeah, I think that situation is improving *in Moscow* but I highly doubt you find top level medical clinic like the Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, etc., in random Russian towns).
I am not a giant patriot and I like Moscow, but I am not delusional enough to believe that the standard of living in Moscow/Russia is in any way better than in the US. Part of the appeal that Russia has to foreigners is the "wild west" vibe where anything goes, you can pay your way out of any situation, everything is under the table, etc. etc. Pretty much all Russian people I know who've been to the US are in love with the US. Also, the quality of life in small-town America is a million times better than in small-town Russia. All of my family/friends living in my hometown (population 31,000) have a very comfortable lifestyle - plenty of places to go out (cinemas, clean public parks, ski resorts, restaurants), the opportunity to travel every year, etc. Can you say the same for residents of, say, Buturlinovka? (I have never been there, but it has about the same size population.)

martpark
21-01-2011, 22:58
Asians I think are a different story since they are generally hardworking but look at who lives in all the ghettos in the USA. From what it looks like, all the poor people are black. I mean, yeah you still have your white trash and whatnot but it's hard to deny that visible minorities in the USA are much worse off than Caucasians.

You've made some 'bold' statements and we've been tolerant. Please show some respect to other people and avoid these types of generalisations. They lead nowhere.

smchilds
21-01-2011, 23:09
And you don't have to be white and hardworking to have a good job in the US. You just have to be hardworking. Everyone knows that Chinese, Korean, Indian, Arab people are often very successful (especially doctors/dentists) in the US. There are even plenty of successful black people, it depends on the circumstances they grow up in, how they're brought up (if someone bothers to teach them to read...schools can't really manage to do that, of course they do reading homework but it requires individual attention to teach a kid how to read. I worked before at a school in West Philadelphia, mostly black kids, 10 years old, and most of them really didn't know how to read.)
One of the things I like the most about the USA is mobility. Of course, there's great infrastructure for travel in the US. (Take a car to Irkutsk and tell me how it goes.) There's also always the option to move from one city to the next, which is in some ways a problem (most of my friends/relatives are scattered all across the country) but gives the feeling of endless opportunity.

smchilds
21-01-2011, 23:22
Anyway, according to wikipedia (the great source of info, but whatever) -
Regarding poverty in the US:
Among married families: 5.8% lived in poverty.
This number varied by ethnicity with
5.4% of white persons,
8.3% of black persons, and
14.9% of Hispanic persons (of any nationality) living in poverty.

Among single parent families: 26.6% lived in poverty.
This number varied by ethnicity with
30% of white persons,
40% of black persons, and
30% of Hispanic persons (of any nationality) living in poverty.

Among unrelated individuals living alone: 19.1% lived in poverty.
This number varied by ethnicity with
18% of white persons
27.9% of black persons and
27% of Hispanic persons (of any nationality) living in poverty.

So, there's not a HUGE difference between the number of white or black people living in poverty.

sweetfart
21-01-2011, 23:27
There is really no need to argue. Anyone with half a brain knows the USA is overall superior to Russia in terms of quality of life. To suggest otherwise, especially using the the dump of all dumps Detroit, is an utter joke.

Nevertheless, Russia is still a great and fascinating country. There are a few things here and there that may be better in Russia, including the fact that gun crime is lower there than in the US (not lower in murder rates, though). But still, quality of life is always better on average for an American who is not super wealthy, especially for a female. For every American expat that moves to Russia, there are 10x more Russian immigrants moving to the USA and using our individual state welfare and food assistance program services.

Nothing to argue about here. A more progressive discussion would be of how much Russia has improved over the past 20 years and if this has negatively or positively affected traditional culture in Russia. Globalization and economic development, in my opinion, has raped Russian culture.

smchilds
21-01-2011, 23:41
Well, that is more a discussion for Russian people. It is hard to feel that change as a foreigner. Yes, since I came to Moscow there are more shopping malls, people have gotten more materialistic, people are working more (I know so many people who don't get home till after 10pm on a daily basis), and this has pushed people away from self-reflection (which seems to be a big part of that so-called "Russian soul"--people sitting around a kitchen discussing the meaning of life...I doubt people have time for that anymore). But it's interesting if the culture has been lost in small towns, and what that "culture" even is. I know Muscovites who complain that Moscow has gotten too crowded, there are too many foreigners, there are too many new modern buildings and foreign companies, and that has detracted from the "culture" or "Russian roots." But what is that culture? The culture must be something more than semi-empty streets and old buildings and kiosks and markets and the way that the economy used to work.
Today I was talking to one (Russian) girl who told me her idea that Russia has taken everything bad from the US, which might in some way be true. As you see, there is nothing interesting on Russian television (shows are pathetic copies of foreign shows), there are very very few interesting Russian films, and there isn't that "deep" quality to Russian cultural production that there was in the 19th century and even the Soviet Union (has a film like Moskva Slezam ne Verit been made in the past 10 years?)

sweetfart
22-01-2011, 00:28
Well, that is more a discussion for Russian people. It is hard to feel that change as a foreigner. Yes, since I came to Moscow there are more shopping malls, people have gotten more materialistic, people are working more (I know so many people who don't get home till after 10pm on a daily basis), and this has pushed people away from self-reflection (which seems to be a big part of that so-called "Russian soul"--people sitting around a kitchen discussing the meaning of life...I doubt people have time for that anymore). But it's interesting if the culture has been lost in small towns, and what that "culture" even is. I know Muscovites who complain that Moscow has gotten too crowded, there are too many foreigners, there are too many new modern buildings and foreign companies, and that has detracted from the "culture" or "Russian roots." But what is that culture? The culture must be something more than semi-empty streets and old buildings and kiosks and markets and the way that the economy used to work.
Today I was talking to one (Russian) girl who told me her idea that Russia has taken everything bad from the US, which might in some way be true. As you see, there is nothing interesting on Russian television (shows are pathetic copies of foreign shows), there are very very few interesting Russian films, and there isn't that "deep" quality to Russian cultural production that there was in the 19th century and even the Soviet Union (has a film like Moskva Slezam ne Verit been made in the past 10 years?)

I don't know whether to label it the Russian culture or the Russian production, but they've lost their unique identity in some way. Clothing is all American or western European made now. Even small personal care items are all French or German. I remember walking into a store looking for Russian made shampoo, or at least shampoo with Russian labels on it, and I didn't find anything out of a whole wall of shampoos. It seemed hard for me to find Russian restaurants with Russian food. Along with that I think the younger generation is becoming more "mainstream" on the globe. I don't know how to describe it. Moscow certainly didn't feel Russian and I think even the smaller towns are creeping up on this as well. Russian music is dying, Russian films are scarce compared to all the American films being watched in translation. It's just taking away from the "Russian feeling."

robertmf
22-01-2011, 00:46
... Even small personal care items are all French or German. I remember walking into a store looking for Russian made shampoo, or at least shampoo with Russian labels on it, and I didn't find anything out of a whole wall of shampoos ...

This is good. :11513: Ever use Russian toilet paper or toothpaste ?

tvadim133
22-01-2011, 01:14
Nothing to argue about here. A more progressive discussion would be of how much Russia has improved over the past 20 years and if this has negatively or positively affected traditional culture in Russia. Globalization and economic development, in my opinion, has raped Russian culture.

No yet, not yet.

Russians have not become consumers yet, from the pont of view of mentality but in such kind of cities like Moscow, we become more and more.

In regions life is a bit slower, work, driving do not take ages and people still meet and talk in their kitchens (though, they more and more prefer coffee shops for that), because they have time and energy for that.

Culture is not dead, though there must be a period when people must "over-eat" all these commercial tv shows, concerts, music.

But if you ask people, if they like this commercial TV, the answer will be NO in 9 cases from 10 (10 yeas ago it was 50Х50).

So the situation is changing for better and I hope that needs in smth deep and soulfull of russians will never be killed!

As for art production (I would not like to talk about local brands in this thread):

There are more and more movies, novels, paintings appear, which are not mass market, if it is possible to say.

and they are very "Russian".

One of the example: the movie "The island" (I would call it to be a real masterpiece).

Those who are interested in such kind of art, can easy find them and do that.

The problem is that they are not very visible on all these commercial TV channels (well, many good russian new movies are shown late at night (at leats they are shown now).

Besides, TV channels and promoters still think, that the mass audience is the same as they were in the begining of 2000, when just entertainment was in need.

tvadim133
22-01-2011, 01:27
Clothing is all American or western European made now. Even small personal care items are all French or German. I remember walking into a store looking for Russian made shampoo, or at least shampoo with Russian labels on it

Splat - toothpaste;
Chistaya Linia - cosmetics incl champoo
Cherny Zhemchug - cosmetics (I recommend it very much and that is not a joke)
Sela, Oggy, GloriaJeans, - clothes
Chester, Carlo Pasolini, Carnabi, Tervolina, Ralf - shoes
Vitek, Rolsen - electonics (OK Rolsen is a chinese-russian brand);
Bork, Kaizer - kitchen/home equipment (did you think, it was german?)
Greenfield, Milagro, Tess, Jardin - Coffee, Tea
Faberlic - cosmetics
Mr Ricco, Baltimore-

sweetfart
22-01-2011, 02:10
Splat - toothpaste;
Chistaya Linia - cosmetics incl champoo
Cherny Zhemchug - cosmetics (I recommend it very much and that is not a joke)
Sela, Oggy, GloriaJeans, - clothes
Chester, Carlo Pasolini, Carnabi, Tervolina, Ralf - shoes
Vitek, Rolsen - electonics (OK Rolsen is a chinese-russian brand);
Bork, Kaizer - kitchen/home equipment (did you think, it was german?)
Greenfield, Milagro, Tess, Jardin - Coffee, Tea
Faberlic - cosmetics
Mr Ricco, Baltimore-

Never saw these. Are these ultra-expensive brands only in specialty shops or are they made for average consumers and sold in supermarkets? Because from the looks of it, L'Oreal, Crest, Nike, Lipton, etc. have begun to overtake all this. And I'm not just saying this because those were the brands I recognized. I specifically set out to look for clothing made by Russian companies (for someone under 65 years old, that is) and could not find anything that was genuinely Russian made other than fur products. Went to a number of cosmetics stores and all the cosmetics they had were either American or French companies (Bourjois cosmetics especially seems to be popular with the Russian gals today). Look at the t-shirts Russian teenagers wear - they all have English phrases on them. Sometimes I wonder if those kids know what it actually means - I used to see a lot of girls wearing shirts that said "I [heart] Sluts."

sweetfart
22-01-2011, 02:21
And what are some good fine dining Russian restaurants (not Yulki Pulki or Mumu!) in Moscow? I mean, ones with authentic Russian food.

sweetfart
22-01-2011, 02:33
This is good. :11513: Ever use Russian toilet paper or toothpaste ?

No, but I've certainly used Russian toilets. I must say, this little shelf thing that sticks out definitely makes you ashamed of yourself. Instead of sinking down in the hole, all of your "business" stays on that shelf for you to see true and clear before you flush. It's like the Russian toilets are saying "look what you did!" :shame:

This is what I'm talking about, see the little shelf thing:

http://www.2600.com/travel/data/2005-08-09/IMG_7932.JPG

robertmf
22-01-2011, 03:14
This is what I'm talking about, see the little shelf thing:



:watching::watching: ... the little shelf thingie is an improvement over using the nearest alley wall ...

:tgif: :drink:

tvadim133
22-01-2011, 03:34
Never saw these. Are these ultra-expensive brands only in specialty shops or are they made for average consumers and sold in supermarkets? Because from the looks of it, L'Oreal, Crest, Nike, Lipton, etc. have begun to overtake all this. And I'm not just saying this because those were the brands I recognized. I specifically set out to look for clothing made by Russian companies (for someone under 65 years old, that is) and could not find anything that was genuinely Russian made other than fur products. Went to a number of cosmetics stores and all the cosmetics they had were either American or French companies (Bourjois cosmetics especially seems to be popular with the Russian gals today). Look at the t-shirts Russian teenagers wear - they all have English phrases on them. Sometimes I wonder if those kids know what it actually means - I used to see a lot of girls wearing shirts that said "I [heart] Sluts."

Cherny Zhemchug, Chirtya Liniaб Green Mama (another russian brand) are on shelves of major retail chains, for sure.

Faberlic's strategy is to be only in cosmetic/perfume stores (Like Douglas, L'Etoile)

Splat has disspaered for a while (I do not know what the poblem is).

As for clothes, Oggi for example is a very modern (for women, mainly, thouh they have some staff fo men as well) brand.

Mainly Oggi, Tervolina and other brands do have their own shops all over Russia.

What I mean is that they do not deal with Mass Market Stores like Auchan, Metro and so on (yes, Auchan and Metro sell clothes).

I do not know if Sela, Oggi are for old people, but as for Oggy, it is very popular among ,,,not very rich "gals", who would like to look rich:

I know (heard) you are not much of fashion, but may be you can find smth affordable, when you visit these stores:

http://www.oggifashion.com/collections/womans/dress_party/

What true is that the majority of russian brands have foreign letters and words.

but It was connected with old customers perception in 90s, when these brands were founded, that import goods are better than those, which are produced localy.

I wonder if they are planning re-branding sooner or later.

tvadim133
22-01-2011, 03:43
And what are some good fine dining Russian restaurants (not Yulki Pulki or Mumu!) in Moscow? I mean, ones with authentic Russian food.

quite few indeed.

In Moscow there was a strong trend, when customers (russian, of course) wanted to try other cousine than they used to have: italian, japanese are on top still.

In regions, "including" S.Petersburg, the situation is not so bad.

Nevetherless in Moscow there are some russian restaurants or restaurant with russian cuisine together with "western":

1. Boris Godunoff - mainly for tourists, thanks for it's locations, but russian visit it as well;
2. Krasnaya Ploshchad- the same;
3. Pushkin- expensive but favourite among wealthy russians;
4. Oblomov
5. Sem' Pyatnits;
6. Zhar Ptitsa (Belorusskaya) - very affordable
7. Stary Faeton - very affordable
8. Slavyabsky Bazar - very affordable
9. Na Melnitse

These are what came to my mind, first of all and which are situated in the centre.

sweetfart
22-01-2011, 06:18
What true is that the majority of russian brands have foreign letters and words.

but It was connected with old customers perception in 90s, when these brands were founded, that import goods are better than those, which are produced localy.

I wonder if they are planning re-branding sooner or later.
Most American-made clothes, other than the very very expensive, are not high quality in comparison to Italian products (there's one downfall of America ;)) so I doubt that's why they buy them. I think it is because these younger Russians see certain styles of clothes on MTV worn by their favorite rapper or something and so they go out and buy these ridiculous t-shirts that say the stupidest, most random phrases. It's just the younger crowds I'm speaking of, though. I honestly don't know where most Russians over 30 shop for clothes. Although the гопники seem to be fond of Nike (American) and Adidas (German). :)

If you don't mind me asking, why do you know so much about cosmetics?

Swordfish90293
22-01-2011, 09:45
And you don't have to be white and hardworking to have a good job in the US. You just have to be hardworking. Everyone knows that Chinese, Korean, Indian, Arab people are often very successful (especially doctors/dentists) in the US. There are even plenty of successful black people, it depends on the circumstances they grow up in, how they're brought up (if someone bothers to teach them to read...schools can't really manage to do that, of course they do reading homework but it requires individual attention to teach a kid how to read. I worked before at a school in West Philadelphia, mostly black kids, 10 years old, and most of them really didn't know how to read.)

I disagree...being hard working is not the only criteria for success in the U.S. or elsewhere. Although a hard working individual can succeed, what's required to stack the odds more in one's favor are smarts, belonging to a favored ethnic group, a good education preferably from a top university, and your network...

yakspeare
22-01-2011, 10:18
We also have to qualify what it means "to succeed"...

If you live in poverty and desire to get out of it, it IS possible in the US in most cases...but not always easy at all. Still I think your chances are much better in America than in Russia.

I also think that Australia, New Zealand and Canada( Who have generous welfare programs and more assistance for the disadvantaged) are places where it is easier to lead a quality life. Also unemployment in these countries is lower( With Australia just over 4% unemployment and suffering a skill shortage).

Still, Russia is a land where you can make some real money. Find a product or service that isn't here( And they are many off the top of my head) and import/develop it. Mind you, many Russians also know this and using their own initiative to do the same.

for a poorer country, there are an awfully high amount of rich people here( And i am not even talking about Moscow). The land of opportunity, right now, is Russia.

sweetfart
22-01-2011, 16:51
for a poorer country, there are an awfully high amount of rich people here( And i am not even talking about Moscow). The land of opportunity, right now, is Russia.

There are an awfully high amount of millionaires next an awfully high amount of people who can hardly make ends meet. Very little in between. As with making a lot of money anywhere, being rich in Russia especially entails the who you know, not what you know rule even more so than the USA. So land of opportunity, nope.


I disagree...being hard working is not the only criteria for success in the U.S. or elsewhere. Although a hard working individual can succeed, what's required to stack the odds more in one's favor are smarts, belonging to a favored ethnic group, a good education preferably from a top university, and your network...
Well I never had the rose-tinted glasses on about success in the US. As I pointed out, it's not what what you know, it's who know (...it's not who you know, it's you blow!). This applies everywhere but to assume that it would be easier in Russia....I'm laughing already. While I'm not denying that institutional racism is certainly still a problem today unfortunately, some people are too quick to use that as an excuse for their failure. I am a minority myself and I'm fed up with people using the race card. If you're trying to suggest that a black person has a better life in Russia, I'm laughing already.

If I hated living in a certain area, I would do everything in my power to move to a place I thought was better. I see many expats have done that and so I congratulate them. My only request is that they never return. I don't want them using any services of my tax money in anyway. Nothing wrong with pointing out problems in your country, as they exist anywhere in the world. But it's the ones that excessively complain and then yak about how great life is somewhere else. Then move there. There are already too many people in this country and anyone who wants to whine about everything and talk about how much better this country or that country is needs to get out. I'm disgusted to think that there are 17 year-old kids fighting in combat and risking themselves getting blown up to protect these idiots. Get out of my country now and don't come back.

martpark
22-01-2011, 17:10
There are an awfully high amount of millionaires next an awfully high amount of people who can hardly make ends meet. Very little in between. As with making a lot of money anywhere, being rich in Russia especially entails the who you know, not what you know rule even more so than the USA. So land of opportunity, nope.


Well I never had the rose-tinted glasses on about success in the US. As I pointed out, it's not what what you know, it's who know (...it's not who you know, it's you blow!). This applies everywhere but to assume that it would be easier in Russia....I'm laughing already. While I'm not denying that institutional racism is certainly still a problem today unfortunately, some people are too quick to use that as an excuse for their failure. I am a minority myself and I'm fed up with people using the race card. If you're trying to suggest that a black person has a better life in Russia, I'm laughing already.

If I hated living in a certain area, I would do everything in my power to move to a place I thought was better. I see many expats have done that and so I congratulate them. My only request is that they never return. I don't want them using any services of my tax money in anyway.How much do you pay in taxes?
Nothing wrong with pointing out problems in your country, as they exist anywhere in the world. But it's the ones that excessively complain and then yak about how great life is somewhere else. Then move there. There are already too many people in this country and anyone who wants to whine about everything and talk about how much better this country or that country is needs to get out. I'm disgusted to think that there are 17 year-old kids fighting in combat and risking themselves getting blown up to protect these idiots. Get out of my country now and don't come back.Hmmm...freedom of speech? People can be lazy and talk freely about work or life elsewhere but they get what they get. Whether it be nothing, a big fat paycheck or that lottery win they've been waiting for.

sweetfart
22-01-2011, 17:15
I pay more than I should in taxes.

No duh we have freedom of speech. It's not the police's job to kick these idiots out, it's these individuals themselves that need to take the initiative to leave.

martpark
22-01-2011, 17:25
I pay more than I should in taxes.Everyone thinks that but your taxes were probably spent on something else. Like a missile defense system.


No duh we have freedom of speech. It's not the police's job to kick these idiots out, it's these individuals themselves that need to take the initiative to leave. 'America, love it or leave it' has been around a long time. Very popular during the Viet Nam War, ironically.

BTW, 17 yo's are not forced to go to Iraq/Afghanistan and shoot at people. It's a volunteer army.

Ruth123
22-01-2011, 18:25
Dunno, US was just fine when i was there last fall.
As everywhere else, it all depends for a visitor on where is (s)he staying, what budget (s)he has and does (s)he know some people there.
I can see how four guys driving in a car to Detroit can be a turn off - which says nothing about the US itself.

An average looking person from the West, dressed in middle range or cheaper brands, with limited budget and without mind blowing education - for some reason can get showered with attention in some countries for the mere fact of their provenience,
while in other parts of the world they are perceived more realistically and hardly make a powerful (if any) impact on their surroundings...
I can see how that can make a difference in that (hypothetical) person's view of the receiving country.

pjw
22-01-2011, 20:26
It's impossible & pointless to compare different countries, we all have different tastes & nationalistic bias. However, American expats I know consider it better to work in Moscow & Russia. I'm meeting more Russians returning from America because it's much better to work/live here.

robertmf
22-01-2011, 20:30
An average looking person from the West, dressed in middle range or cheaper brands, with limited budget and without mind blowing education - for some reason can get showered with attention in some countries for the mere fact of their provenience, while in other parts of the world they are perceived more realistically and hardly make a powerful (if any) impact on their surroundings... I can see how that can make a difference in that (hypothetical) person's view of the receiving country.

Just out of curiosity, are you a blonde, Ruth :question:

tvadim133
22-01-2011, 20:31
It's impossible & pointless to compare different countries, we all have different tastes & nationalistic bias. However, American expats I know consider it better to work in Moscow & Russia. I'm meeting more Russians returning from America because it's much better to work/live here.

Agree!

Those russians, who came back, did not rant about the conditions of life in western counties!

They rant more about spritual aspects of living there (I do not know, what they mean).

robertmf
22-01-2011, 20:40
... They rant more about spritual aspects of living there (I do not know, what they mean).

To an outsider/newbie life in an American city can be rather confusing in the sense of ..umm.. "hectic" and "chaotic" "random motion & noise" with the senses maybe overwhelmed.

People used to living here have ..umm.. mental filters :) :10518: :drink::drink: also helps. The noise is still there, but one does not care :10518:

Ruth123
22-01-2011, 20:41
edited

xSnoofovich
22-01-2011, 20:48
I'm meeting more Russians returning from America because it's much better to work/live here.

and yet, 2-3 people out of every group of 8 are learning english, at least at the advanced level, to leave mother rasha, and go to oz, or canada.

america isn't as easy to get 2, it seems.

xSnoofovich
22-01-2011, 20:50
Countries are among the most powerful brands on the global marketplace. Love it or loathe it, never has there been a bigger, stronger or, arguably, more controversial brand than the United States of America.

Amazon.com: Brand America: The Mother of All Brands (Great Brand Stories series) (9781904879022): Simon Anholt, Jeremy Hildreth: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51DSZB0W8AL.@@AMEPARAM@@51DSZB0W8AL



An average looking person from the West, dressed in middle range or cheaper brands, with limited budget and without mind blowing education - for some reason can get showered with attention in some countries for the mere fact of their provenience,
while in other parts of the world they are perceived more realistically and hardly make a powerful (if any) impact on their surroundings...

sweetfart
22-01-2011, 21:12
Everyone thinks that but your taxes were probably spent on something else. Like a missile defense system.

'America, love it or leave it' has been around a long time. Very popular during the Viet Nam War, ironically.

BTW, 17 yo's are not forced to go to Iraq/Afghanistan and shoot at people. It's a volunteer army.

So the police, the road systems, and everything else the public uses is coming out of thin air. It's all going to a missile defense system. Oh please.

I don't care how high or low I'm getting charged for tax, if a single penny is coming outta my paycheck it is my business.

Once again, you are pointing out things I never implied. Never said combat was forced. But someone had to do it and these kids volunteered to protect our asses. I don't think they volunteered to listen to a buncha losers bitch about this country and how much better life would be somewhere else.

Using the America love it or leave concept in relation to the Vietnam War is a sorta red herring. And it's not going to dissuade me from sticking to my original message. I have my own complaints about this country, but I know I have a better life here than I would anywhere else. If I thought otherwise, I would certainly move.

FlakeySnowballer
22-01-2011, 21:36
Mrzuzzo, my congratulations! You have successfully picked up a sh1T to a fan.:beerbros: Show must go on !

BTW I am very surprised how people are easily conducted. Pfff...

BTW BTW Especially one hysteric woman who wrote that she was not going to take a part in this discussion but nevertheless she did it

sweetfart
22-01-2011, 21:45
BTW BTW Especially one hysteric woman who wrote that she was not going to take a part in this discussion but nevertheless she did it

She is a hysterical flip flopping biatch indeed. I heard she sprouts bat wings at night.

Ruth123
22-01-2011, 21:46
Countries are among the most powerful brands on the global marketplace. Love it or loathe it, never has there been a bigger, stronger or, arguably, more controversial brand than the United States of America.

Amazon.com: Brand America: The Mother of All Brands (Great Brand Stories series) (9781904879022): Simon Anholt, Jeremy Hildreth: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Brand-America-Mother-Brands-Stories/dp/1904879020)

Thanks for the recommendation, it does sound like an interesting read - and nevertheless i am not sure that there weren't ' bigger, stronger or, arguably, more controversial brand (s)' ever , i must say that i personally love it.
:inlove:

martpark
22-01-2011, 22:19
So the police, the road systems, and everything else the public uses is coming out of thin air. It's all going to a missile defense system. You said your taxes. You dont pay enough for all of those or even a little of those.


I don't care how high or low I'm getting charged for tax, if a single penny is coming outta my paycheck it is my business.
This contradicts what you said before. Your pennies were spent on defense. Trust me.

Once again, you are pointing out things I never implied. Never said combat was forced. But someone had to do it and these kids volunteered to protect our asses. No one had to do it and they choose to and are paid by your taxes. Maybe that's where you pennies went. Two wars ain't cheap but I'm sure you feel safer, as we all do.


Using the America love it or leave concept in relation to the Vietnam War is a sorta red herring. And it's not going to dissuade me from sticking to my original message. I have my own complaints about this country, but I know I have a better life here than I would anywhere else. If I thought otherwise, I would certainly move.Afghanistan is the new Vietnam.

BrandonL
22-01-2011, 22:39
I don't care how high or low I'm getting charged for tax, if a single penny is coming outta my paycheck it is my business.


Actually It's not your business.
You enjoy the benefits of being an American citizen?
You want those rights, those freedoms?
Good, you have to pay for those. Deal with it
Don't like it, burn your passport, and go in front of a consulate and denounce your citizenship.
As long as you wave your American passport, what the gov't takes doesn't matter.

We all enjoy the perks of being a citizen, If I have to pay for it, I will gladly pay for it, as I wouldn't give up my US citizenship for anything.

sweetfart
22-01-2011, 23:50
lol It's my money but it's not my business? Anytime it involves your money it is your business (with the exception of programs being kept secret for security reasons, although I have my doubts about those as well). How much you actually care is your own incentive. Still love this country greatly but at the current moment one of the problems is that we pay to much in taxes. I'm not a Libertarian and of course we need them but they are being spent on needless programs like feeding crackheads, at least in my state. Nevertheless, the pros outweigh the cons for me and I'm obviously willing to endure it. There is no where else in the world I know of that would be better for me despite the problems here in the USA.

BrandonL
23-01-2011, 00:21
lol It's my money but it's not my business? Anytime it involves your money it is your business (with the exception of programs being kept secret for security reasons, although I have my doubts about those as well). How much you actually care is your own incentive. Still love this country greatly but at the current moment one of the problems is that we pay to much in taxes. I'm not a Libertarian and of course we need them but they are being spent on needless programs like feeding crackheads, at least in my state. Nevertheless, the pros outweigh the cons for me and I'm obviously willing to endure it. There is no where else in the world I know of that would be better for me despite the problems here in the USA.

It's your money?
Who supplies this money?
Who supplies for, the things that are possible for you?
yup, that's right, your taxes!
You pay to much? according to who? you? me? your neighbor?
We all want everything, to be how we want it, to bad that's not the case.
I understand your concern, but you need to look at the bigger picture.
The taxes you pay, are what makes you have the ability to do what you do, and for you to have the things that you have.
Do our taxes get misspent? Of course, but that's not our call. We put people in charge, via voting, they choose how to allocate funds.

You think you pay to much taxes?
what was the statistic 1% of America accounts for like 75+% of the taxes paid.
and you have the nerve to claim you pay to much?

It's funny, there was an article in the news, i think they have roughly 500,000 signatures of various people who made greater then 1,000,000 dollars asking for them NOT to cut taxes for them, but to increase taxes so they can help the country out of this horrible debt, and to improve the lives of all Americans.

My numbers are probably wrong, but you get the picture.

I pay taxes twice, here in Russia, and back home. I don't complain. I do it. because, I enjoy the benefits I get from America, and It's my duty as a citizen to pay these taxes, and not complain.

MickeyTong
23-01-2011, 05:05
America! Wake up and smell the coffee. You are spending trillions of dollars and giving up your freedoms to protect yourselves from the Biggest Threat To World Security - Ever! - al Qaida!

Governments like to scare their citizens. For 50 years we in the West allowed our governments to take our money and spend it on "security" (weapons) rather than health care, social services and public education.

Yes folks...the Red Menace! Communist China and the USSR hated our freedoms and wanted to destroy our way of life! They wanted to turn our little kiddies into godless, brainwashed slaves! And they had a huge, industrialised arms industry tooled up and aimed in our direction, the biggest armies the world has ever seen, ready to reduce our civilisation to their own level of bare subsistence.....

....But now we are told to believe that there is a much worse threat to our society, coming from a few dozen mediaeval tribesmen with no arms manufacturing base at all.....

Hellooooo.......Western freedom may not be dead, but it sure smells bad.

mikegulf
23-01-2011, 15:58
I better go get my guns and prepare for the terrible onslaught of the tribal hordes!!

Don't forget that during the same time the Soviet Union and Red China were spending all their money on defending against the inevitable capitalist attack.

Regarding tax money, I pay taxes from the money I earn so yes the spending of that money is my concern as it should be the concern of everybody who pays taxes, regardless of their nationality. To say otherwise is, in a word, ignorant.

Rgarding the original thread subject, I'm in agreement that every country has its individual crapheaps. I've been to more than a few countires and I've not seen utopia yet.

Oh well, that was fun, another fun filled night in the Orient!! Stay thirsty my friends!!

FlakeySnowballer
23-01-2011, 16:07
Any ideas about Alaska state and the capital of this state? I have heard that in reality the winter temperature is not too low there (about -15 degrees only).

DavidB
23-01-2011, 16:26
Regarding tax money, I pay taxes from the money I earn so yes the spending of that money is my concern as it should be the concern of everybody who pays taxes, regardless of their nationality. To say otherwise is, in a word, ignorant.

Agree very much with you, Mikegulf. Also the reverse - anyone who evades their tax shouldn't be concerned about their government and what it does for its citizens. After all, you get what you paid for! :D

sweetfart
23-01-2011, 19:01
Any ideas about Alaska state and the capital of this state? I have heard that in reality the winter temperature is not too low there (about -15 degrees only).

Juneau isn't as cold as Fairbanks but they get just as cold as Moscow. I lived in a suburb of Anchorage for almost 8 years in my child/teenage years. Beautiful state, but creepy people. Very expensive because they have to import most products and there are way too many crazy males living there (Alaska has the opposite problem from Russia with the sex ratio difference). I loved the breathtaking landscape Alaska has to offer but I'm glad I moved to the lower 48 when I did because it seemed like each year more and more weird people were moving in. Lots of Russians toward the west and north of the state, though. So you wouldn't have many cultural difficulties. Nevertheless, I would not suggest living there. If you are into outdoors and lots of beautiful scenery Colorado is the better choice.

robertmf
23-01-2011, 19:08
Juneau isn't as cold as Fairbanks but they get just as cold as Moscow. I lived in a suburb of Anchorage for almost 8 years in my child/teenage years. Beautiful state, but creepy people.

:bash: You must have met the same people I did !!-:devilish: Plenty of :drink::drink: and welfare.

sweetfart
23-01-2011, 19:13
:bash: You must have met the same people I did !!-:devilish: Plenty of :drink::drink: and welfare.



Yeah, the alcoholism is out of control and I honestly think they could a better job of regulating it. I'm all for gun ownership but I got tired of all these nutjobs who think the law doesn't apply to them bc they live out in Alaska. We had a next door neighbor who used to sit out on his porch each night drinking beer and shooting at rats with his .44 magnum, thinking he was funny. that thing was loud as hell and i couldn't sleep. i hated that guy and we never bothered calling the cops bc we knew they wouldn't do anything about it. some people in alaska are really cool and laid back but some of them are just plain retards. our other neighbor was a pedophile.

MickeyTong
23-01-2011, 19:18
Don't forget that during the same time the Soviet Union and Red China were spending all their money on defending against the inevitable capitalist attack.


"Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece?......All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in every country." (Hermann Goering)

robertmf
23-01-2011, 20:20
Yeah, the alcoholism is out of control and I honestly think they could a better job of regulating it. I'm all for gun ownership but I got tired of all these nutjobs who think the law doesn't apply to them bc they live out in Alaska. We had a next door neighbor who used to sit out on his porch each night drinking beer and shooting at rats with his .44 magnum, thinking he was funny. that thing was loud as hell and i couldn't sleep. i hated that guy and we never bothered calling the cops bc we knew they wouldn't do anything about it. some people in alaska are really cool and laid back but some of them are just plain retards. our other neighbor was a pedophile.

LOL now **that's** :fudd: the Alaska I know and luv. Mostly I was just pass-through. I was working out on Shemya, the black pearl of the Pacific :D

smchilds
24-01-2011, 15:54
There's no question that for some people, it's way easier to make money in Moscow than in the USA. I have met totally average people (Russians and Americans/Canadians) who have much better salaries here because of some MBA or whatnot at a mediocre American university, because that looks great to employers here. Maybe that makes sense, since the MBA originated in the USA and I'm not sure Russian universities know how to teach an MBA program.
Also, yes, an American (or Italian, or whatever) is somehow infinitely cooler in Moscow than he/she would be in their home country. There's no news there. I am sure that makes Moscow more appealing, at least in the beginning - getting that constant surge of attention when at home you are an average Joe.
My husband (who is not from the US or from Russia) likes to say that life is great anywhere if you have money. To some extent it is true, but you have to consider things like how you will raise your children (if you have them or plan to), public places to go (parks, etc.), pollution levels, and other quality of life factors.
Obviously, you can't say "here is better than there." Mainly, the place you love is where you grew up, where your family lives, where you made memories, regardless if that place is a little village in Africa or New York City.

On a side note, my new favorite Russian (ok, Ukrainian! - but, that's another source of argument I guess) restaurant is Korchma Taras Bulba...I went there for the first time not long ago and really liked the food. There's also a cozy little Russian cafe off Sretenka, called Abazhur, and that place gets a ton of business. I know there are others. Also, most business lunches in cafes tend to be Russian-style.

BadgerGuy
25-01-2011, 04:52
Afghanistan is the new Vietnam.

HAHAHA!! Really?? If you mean that America is involved, it's an ideological struggle, with no defined winning strategy and that it is a long war, then you are right.
Otherwise that is a poor comparison.

I ask as I can't tell in what way you think it is like Vietnam. I can't tell if you are an intelligent person, with proper insight or another aging, stoner, hippie douche that is reflecting on your "all war is wrong, bro!!"days in the 60's and you now are trying to latch onto your past by comparing Vietnam and Afghanistan.

sweetfart
25-01-2011, 05:02
On a side note, my new favorite Russian (ok, Ukrainian! - but, that's another source of argument I guess) restaurant is Korchma Taras Bulba...I went there for the first time not long ago and really liked the food. There's also a cozy little Russian cafe off Sretenka, called Abazhur, and that place gets a ton of business. I know there are others. Also, most business lunches in cafes tend to be Russian-style.
For I feel like an idiot for never finding the right Russian restaurants while I was in Moscow. If I come back to Moscow in the near future, you or tvadim needs to show me these places! I was lazy and the only place I knew that was cheap enough and easy to order from was McDonalds. :(

smchilds
25-01-2011, 10:06
Well, there are definitely better places than McDonalds :P But it also took me a few years to find good places... at first it's kind of hard to see past all of the Il Patios/Planeta Sushis/TGIFriday's/Kofe Hauses/Shokoladnitsas that are everywhere.

Remington
25-01-2011, 10:46
Well, there are definitely better places than McDonalds :P But it also took me a few years to find good places... at first it's kind of hard to see past all of the Il Patios/Planeta Sushis/TGIFriday's/Kofe Hauses/Shokoladnitsas that are everywhere.

Don't forget Burger King! :D

martpark
25-01-2011, 11:20
HAHAHA!! Really?? Really, dude.



I ask as I can't tell in what way you think it is like Vietnam. In every way. Though, if you think the Americans will do better than the Brits and Russians did, good luck.

tvadim133
25-01-2011, 15:24
For I feel like an idiot for never finding the right Russian restaurants while I was in Moscow. If I come back to Moscow in the near future, you or tvadim needs to show me these places! I was lazy and the only place I knew that was cheap enough and easy to order from was McDonalds. :(

If you come back to Moscow, I will organize a special tour for you, the tour on russian restaurants and russian cuisine (there are many stories to be told about it).

:)

sweetfart
26-01-2011, 04:57
Well, there are definitely better places than McDonalds :P But it also took me a few years to find good places... at first it's kind of hard to see past all of the Il Patios/Planeta Sushis/TGIFriday's/Kofe Hauses/Shokoladnitsas that are everywhere.
Wow, you are right. I mean, VERY right. Now I remember it clearly...Il Patio on every corner, next to a Evroset on every corner. Not to mention that all those places give you about 1/8 the portion you'd get from the same place in the USA, but for 5 times the price. Chain restaurants in Moscow were definitely the most sure way to know you're in the most expensive city in the world. (I'm not using that as a way to bitch about Moscow, I'm just pointing that out) The one thing I miss was the street shawarma, even though it wasn't Russian. Cheap as hell, tasty as heaven, with a 50/50 chance of food poisoning. But it was totally worth any parasites I may have contracted. Totally worth it. I think that's the first thing I will get if I return to Moscow. Seriously, you have no idea how empty I feel here without it. There are no Middle Eastern or Caucasian restaurants where I live. :(

Swordfish90293
26-01-2011, 09:34
Shawarma makes one fart sweet

Kraven Morehead
26-01-2011, 10:36
Shawarma makes one fart sweet

Shawarma, Hot Dogs, dildos, and tofu have in common
All real meat substitutes

You can add Taco Bell's "beef"
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2011/01/25/taco-bell-beef-lawsuit332.html?ref=rss

smchilds
26-01-2011, 18:28
I have never dared to eat shawarma, except in Arabic restaurants, where it is still pretty cheap and maybe equally questionable. I remember when I was at MGU my classmates were in love with the chicken grill sold at booths near the metro. Like, a whole grilled chicken for 100rubles or something. Until 2 of them did get food poisoning...but I don't think they stopped buying it. I used to buy those chickens from time to time but don't have such a kiosk near my apartment now.

Remington
26-01-2011, 18:32
I have never dared to eat shawarma, except in Arabic restaurants, where it is still pretty cheap and maybe equally questionable. I remember when I was at MGU my classmates were in love with the chicken grill sold at booths near the metro. Like, a whole grilled chicken for 100rubles or something. Until 2 of them did get food poisoning...but I don't think they stopped buying it. I used to buy those chickens from time to time but don't have such a kiosk near my apartment now.

I had food poisoning from my first encounter with shawarma in kiev. My colleague didn't get sick but she's Ukrainian so she's probably used to it. Never again! :D

smchilds
26-01-2011, 18:53
I wonder what's this "anti-dusting agent" used in taco bell filling....

sweetfart
26-01-2011, 19:24
I got food poisoning my last week in Moscow (what a great way to leave!) and I'm pretty sure it was from the shawarma I was eating. I don't really know how to figure out "reputable" shawarma stands or if you just have to take a chance. But I'm still going back if I return to Moscow.

As for Taco Bell, I never heard of the anti-dusting thing but I know their meat comes in a frozen packet that they usually boil. I know it's trailer trash food but I still like it. It fills you up when you're really hungry and on the road, more so than anything from McDonald's.

Meat is gross sometimes. I wouldn't want to work in the meat industry because there are so many complaints and problems that arise from meat.

Remington
26-01-2011, 19:30
I got food poisoning my last week in Moscow (what a great way to leave!) and I'm pretty sure it was from the shawarma I was eating. I don't really know how to figure out "reputable" shawarma stands or if you just have to take a chance. But I'm still going back if I return to Moscow.

50/50 chance. I wouldn't eat anywhere near the metro especially shawarma kiosks if they don't have running water. Also, they have dogs and rats running around there too so... the meat's origin is questionable. :voodoo:

smchilds
26-01-2011, 19:55
Well, there are little "restaurant-style" shawarma places that are small but have tables and (maybe) have running water.
I remember when I was in university in Philadelphia there were dozens of food trucks on campus, where you could get Chinese food or fruit cups or an egg sandwich...they were a tad dirty but usually they cooked stuff on the spot so it was at least hot and I only got slightly ill maybe 10% of the time :P Too bad people in Moscow don't seem to be that into eating on the street/eating while walking, unless it's pirozhki or a hot dog. Actually, I noticed when people buy pirozhki they don't eat them immediately like I do, for example, but carry them away, maybe to their office or car...what great will power :P

smchilds
26-01-2011, 19:56
I know this is a long running joke but does anyone really believe that these kiosks are serving dog meat?? :P I know there was at least one real case where they found dog meat at a Korean restaurant near Konkovo...

smchilds
26-01-2011, 20:00
I wonder what's worse...taco bell or "metro buffet" found inside the metro stations :P

smchilds
26-01-2011, 20:02
I've mentioned this before but you can get (I think) equally cheap shawarma at some Arabic restaurants at Druzhba narodov university...but they are sit-down (or you can get take-away) and certainly not as convenient as kiosks near the metro...anyway, I had shawarma there like 10 times with no problems :P and falafel...mm.

smchilds
26-01-2011, 20:15
Oh... I am going to try this place tomorrow:
http://www.afisha.ru/msk/restaurant/30424/reviews/
Hm, feeling food-obsessed.

Remington
26-01-2011, 21:06
I know this is a long running joke but does anyone really believe that these kiosks are serving dog meat?? :P I know there was at least one real case where they found dog meat at a Korean restaurant near Konkovo...

This is Russia so anything is possible. Even they unknowingly served human meat in other Russian city not too long ago. :vomit:

Swordfish90293
26-01-2011, 21:18
I wonder what's worse...taco bell or "metro buffet" found inside the metro stations :P

Mmmmmmm......Taco Bell

smchilds
26-01-2011, 21:19
Uh, so, how do you accidentally serve human meat? Did someone cut off their finger and it ended up in the soup? Or someone died in the freezer and began to look like a frozen pig?

smchilds
26-01-2011, 21:28
Mmmmmmm......Taco Bell

Taco Bell is worse or you are thinking "mmm I want taco bell" ? :P Actually, it's shameful to admit, but a few years ago the burritos in the metro were my survival food like twice per month, because I was running from one place to another and it was the only place where it was possible to grab a bite to eat...and nothing bad happened from it, as far as I can tell :P

Remington
26-01-2011, 21:39
Uh, so, how do you accidentally serve human meat? Did someone cut off their finger and it ended up in the soup? Or someone died in the freezer and began to look like a frozen pig?

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/06/23/sentenced-russian-case-human-meat-sold-kebab-stall/

smchilds
26-01-2011, 21:42
ugh! But, why would a kiosk buy meat from some homeless people... strange.

Kraven Morehead
26-01-2011, 22:32
ugh! But, why would a kiosk buy meat from some homeless people... strange.

Welcome to Russia!!
Where things are forbidden, but if you really want to, then it is allowed.

mrzuzzo
27-01-2011, 02:24
I just made this thread to troll.

Now I want some taco bell. Yo quiero taco bell.

I think I'm gonna go get some now. The supreme fries with the sour cream there are pretty good as well. K I'm actually leaving my house now for taco bell.

sweetfart
27-01-2011, 03:30
I know everybody disses Taco Bell as being the ultimate nasty fast food and they must put feces in the meat and blah blah but one thing about them is that the stuff they make are not really accessible for the average person to make. That's why I go there. The stuff at McDonald's like burgers and chicken you can make at home easily. But I don't have a deep fryer so I can't make chalupa bread and what not. I really just like the fried bread they have. With shawarma, I loved the spicy yogurt. That was the best part of it. I just like very seasoned food. I love Indian food.

As for the unusual meat rumors, I know cat meat has been found for sure in some of the street vendor food in Moscow. I believe a couple places were uncovered by Russian reporters in the past couple years.

lol Do you guys remember that time when that woman tried to sue the Wendy's chain for finding a finger in her chili? And then they found out it was all a hoax to get money. lmao Wendy's profits went down so much after that incident.

On that note, I think I'm gonna join on the bandwagon here and go get some Taco Bell myself. I've been eating nothing but lunch meat on white bread this whole week.

BadgerGuy
27-01-2011, 06:57
The stuff at McDonald's like burgers and chicken you can make at home easily.


What about chicken nuggets?? I can't make those at home! Mmmm compressed chicken parts with spicy mustard sauce.

smchilds
27-01-2011, 08:14
and kartoshka po derevenskii... so nice until about 15 minutes after eating them... I am planning to buy an at-home deep fryer sometime...they are not that expensive and you can just throw anything into it :P And change the oil often and pretend that it's "healthy."

yakspeare
27-01-2011, 09:46
I actually have no idea what "Shawarma" is ..

:(

Am I missing out?

Bogatyr
27-01-2011, 10:05
Boston, LA, San Fran, Atlanta, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Denver, Philly, Charleston, St Louis, Miami, Orlando

uh no they don't
Boston? nope
La? Maybe
San Fran? nope



Eh? I spent most of my life within a short driving distance from San Francisco, you don't know what you're talking about. Have you ever heard of the "Tenderloin?" The central downtown area where decent people do not dare walk even in broad daylight on a weekday for fear of being shot or stabbed? And if you're walking around in the Mission (not a great idea in general) you'd better be darn careful what colors you're wearing or you may end up dead. I believe that this phenomenon is not an exception, but rather the rule in most US cities over a particular size.

The OP has many valid points -- one of the astonishing and surprising things about US cities to Russians and other foreigners is the extreme swings in "goodness" or "safety" of neighborhoods within a US city, even a short distance apart. Consider swanky Palo Alto, California, with Stanford University, and just a short jaunt down the road is East Palo Alto, formerly the "murder capital of the USA."

Just look what so many posters are saying: "of course, there are good and bad areas in every city..." Why "of course?" Why is it OK that there are slums and places where people should never go unless they want to wake up dead? This attitude is in part responsible for the problem. "Hey, it's not in my backyard, why should I care?"

"Everyone knows" that the US is better than Russia? Who's this "everyone"? Has this "everyone" actually gone all over Russia, and all over America, and really compared? Viewed both through non-rose-colored glasses and given an honest assessment?

These extreme swings of "goodness" and "badness" are foreign to Russians, because Russian cities don't have this phenomenon like US cities do. Sure, if you're out late at night anyway after dark, even in Russia, it may not be a good idea. But in Russia it is not a life-threatening activity to walk your dog with your 13-year old daughter:

http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-11-26/bay-area/17180453_1_liquor-store-dogs-police-dispatch

In SPB you can see women walking alone at all hours, including at night. You *never* see that in big cities in the US. And if you did, you'd call them crazy.

People in the US live in fear in many ways. It's a country where when you fall, there's nobody and nothing there to pick you up. Lost your job due to corporate outsourcing? Good luck with that broken arm, the emergency room might reject you without insurance and without cash (and good luck paying $1000+/month insurance premiums without a job, and good luck with those complications from the improperly or non-treated broken arm if you get a job again, because now it's a "pre-existing condition," which the Republicans in congress are doing there best to make sure will not be covered).

I agree with the OP. In many ways, now, Russia > US. Especially now, the US seems to be on an accelerating spiral of economic, political, and spiritual decline. I think the only way out of this, if at all possible, is for the US to wake up, realize that there are many other countries in the world that do many things better than they do, to honestly self-asses and to strive to improve, and that the attitude of "we're best, everyone else sucks, there's nothing wrong with us, we'll do what we want anywhere we want" is a death-knell.

There were some really great ideas that went into the founding of the US, and for a while, it was a really great place to live. I hope Russia continues to only take the best, and to learn from the mistakes and not repeat them. And I hope the US does too :).

xSnoofovich
27-01-2011, 11:42
While I agree with many of the things you said, I disagree with this. Moscow, St Pete and maybe a few other cities would be ok. Or not ! It also depends on where you live (districts inside the city), but out the regions, this may not be such a good idea. Even still, I have heard of plenty of stories where guys in cars just pull up and grab girls off the street, have their way with them, and then throw them away when finished. The lucky ones get to go back home, and the rest just disappear.

http://exiledonline.com/feature-story-russias-sex-slave-graveyard/

The thing is, as expats, we live in a grey insulated world.

The majority of expats have the ability to switch off the Russian in their minds, if they can speak it at all. So, that person speaking quite loudly in cafe or metro doesn't make as much sense unless said expat wants it to, whereas in their own languages, it is near impossible to not to pick up on the ambient sounds floating around.

The newspapers? Filtered thru the English speaking or other language news agencies.

The radio? I guess music is music, but forget about talk radio, unless one is driving and really really wants to listen.

The TV? Most people stick to what they know and trust; BBC, CNN, whatever. Because all expats know that Russian news services can't be trusted as they are vested arms of the state propoganda machine. Plus you have to want to listen to someone speaking Russian, and really understand what they are trying to tell you.

So where does that leave us? At the whims and mercies + opinions of the people around us.

The people? Well, again since most expats don't speak the language fluently, or at all, it is difficult to be fully integrated into Russian society. Which means that most expats will find themselves surrounded by people that speak some level of English, or another language, and speaking in that language. If one are unable to satisfactorily communicate with a group of people, more than likely, one will move on to a group where one IS able to communicate, (at least at some level). So this again means that expats are further segregated to an even small group of possible acquaintances.

We can all think back to, and remember that foreign kid or co-worker in our respective home countries. Sure it was fun to get him to say something funny cuz he pronounced it in a strange way, and sure, it was fun to be around someone experiencing something the first time, or the bonus add-on-effect if the girls around were interested in say, A Frenchman speaking in that frenchy-english accent. But, after the glow wears off, the excitement goes away, (if one is not able to communicate).

So, regarding the free flow of information, there are limited avenues to for foreigners (non-Russian speaking) to live in Russia.

The expat, looking to recreate their lives in Russia, will inevitabely revert to the same things they know in their own home countries. The same living conditions, the same type of food, the same types of hobbies or ways to pass freetime. Since most expats here are employed, and not blue collar types, (I do know there are a lot of Turks in construction, or so I have been told, but I have no experiance with them here in Moscow), this leads to living a life on a completely different level than most Russians, interacting with Russians that are just a little bit different than the average Russian, and living in a bubble.

It is disingenuous to take the experiances that one has in this situation, and apply it to not only the entire city, but, to the entire country's population.




But in Russia it is not a life-threatening activity to walk your dog with your 13-year old daughter:

Ruth123
27-01-2011, 11:55
This is a brilliant analyzes, Snoofovich!

xSnoofovich
27-01-2011, 12:38
This is a brilliant analyzes, Snoofovich!

In short-

Because of the inability to freely communicate, and being recognized as an "other" or "not one of us", this leads the expat to fall outside of the usual social constructs. Add to this the historical appeal of Western countries, and we end up with a convoluted or distorted reality for the common expat.

Bogatyr
27-01-2011, 12:56
While I agree with many of the things you said, I disagree with this. Moscow, St Pete and maybe a few other cities would be ok....

BTW, I wouldn't say I'm particularly insulated -- the only Americans I know here are also couples (usually American husband and Russian wife) who have also moved to Russia to live permanently, and are not temporary high-flying execs earning Western salaries and who will leave Russia in a year or two. I spend most of my time with Russians -- teachers and administrators and other parents in our childrens' school, and people in Church, friends met through friends, the normal way people meet people. Until recently we lived in an apartment with drunks downstairs who heckled us every time we walked by them in the stairway while they were smoking, and who banged on the radiator pipes every time we took a step in our place or dared to move a chair. We've been coming to Russia since 2000 fairly regularly (all summer basically), and have gone to many small cities in the countryside around both SPB and Moscow, so that's where I'm coming from: not a native, but living with one, and living the native life. Much of what I write about Russia comes from a native's mouth (my wife's) [I write it because I also see it and agree with it], so you can't claim it's expat insular confusion.

I will tell you this: another way Russia > US. Having lived in Russia now continuously for one year, I have met more hearty, warm, open, devoted people than I have in multiple decades of living in the US. I wouldn't ever trade that for all the easy, empty smiles on the street, for "friends" who really couldn't care less, for the never-ending rat race to feed the mortgage.

I don't think you can compare the real, every day threat of random deadly violence that most Americans face deal with the realities of daily life in Russia, there's just no comparison.

My wife (dual US / Russian citizen, lived in the US 20 years, this is not an "expat" perspective!) says this and I believe it is true : One thing that America does really, really well (politicians, companies, citizens even), is to market and hype itself unceasingly to the world as the only way to be, the best way to be. With that sort of an attitude, improvement is impossible, because everyone starts to drink their own Kool-Aid. The US repeats its own marketing hype so loudly and so often that everyone in the world buys it and believes it's true (including Americans).

Your point about expat opinions I think has some truth to it -- but I am not that type of expat. And you can take my opinions about levels of personal safety and other issues about the US to the bank, since I am a US citizen and resided there for N-1 years of my life, let's just say, N > 35 :)

Ruth123
27-01-2011, 13:40
I will tell you this: another way Russia > US. Having lived in Russia now continuously for one year, I have met more hearty, warm, open, devoted people than I have in multiple decades of living in the US. I wouldn't ever trade that for all the easy, empty smiles on the street, for "friends" who really couldn't care less

I must say that as an European, who has lived, studied, worked and made friends with numerous Americans, based on my personal experience, i find this untrue.
But than, i loathe generalizations - i am very happy for everyone's personal satisfaction with their life partners, friends, Churches and what not, but to make broad comparisons that are later generally applied to whole countries, based on one's one year (or twenty years, all the same) personal experience of living somewhere is simply ridiculous.
Not to forget that Russians themselves invented marketing and advertising, only that during the times of Bolshevist Russia it was named agitpropaganda.

xSnoofovich
27-01-2011, 14:02
My post was just in general, but in response to this -


Having lived in Russia now continuously for one year, I have met more hearty, warm, open, devoted people than I have in multiple decades of living in the US.

I don't think you can compare the real, every day threat of random deadly violence that most Americans face deal with the realities of daily life in Russia, there's just no comparison.

My wife (dual US / Russian citizen, lived in the US 20 years, this is not an "expat" perspective!) says this and I believe it is true : Your point about expat opinions I think has some truth to it -- but I am not that type of expat. And you can take my opinions about levels of personal safety and other issues about the US to the bank, since I am a US citizen and resided there for N-1 years of my life, let's just say, N > 35 :)

I hate to say it, but as your wife is formerly an expat, and as such, she more than likely no longer fits in the typical Russian mindset. I would argue that it is impossible for her to fit this mold, as 20 years of living outside the natural evolution of ones society sets her apart and differentiates her. Sadly, the outcome of this journey, as many expats come to find, is that they are neither here nor there, neither Russian, nor American, but something in between. Examining it closer, c'mon. 20 years ago? She emigrated in the 90s? Good golly, Russia has changed in the short time I have been here. Although the basic framework for the most part is the same, one would just need to look at the generational differences to know that society has shifted, and not necessarily for the better.

Would people be as interested in you if you weren't an American? Would they be as warm and open-hearted? I would say no. One just needs to look at the relationships and how people interact on a societal level. People in Russia generally don't have the wide range of friends that people in the West do, although, I would argue that they have much deeper levels of friendship with those friends than in the West. Ask the typical Russian person in their 20s who their friends are. More than likely, you will find a)relatives b) classmates from school c) classmates from university d) childhood friends. e)co-workers. Of course people know and interact with others, but it seems as if the majority of people are limited to less than 5 "close" friends. + as a sidenote, how many people are happy to see you to practice their English, or to "show off" to others that they have a "Western friend". It is something of a stripe on the shoulder to have or know a foreign (western) friend here.

As to personal safety, I would agree and disagree. As a US citizen, it is very easy for you to catagorize and correctly profile a potential threat/dangerous situation, simply because of experiance and a deep undestanding of what it looks like.

However, when a person removes oneselves from this familiar environment, one could inadvertently place onesself in danger, due to the warning signs and signals not going off. Off course, through experiance and time, this awareness changes.

About America being safer than Russia. I can agree with many points and can disagree with as well. No one here is going to shoot you dead over a pair of shoes, just to go smoke some more crack. But hey, my exboss about 7 years ago was car-jacked at gunpoint, and that was in the center. Guns and gun crime do exist here, but it is either not reported, not reported as widely as it could be, or kept within those criminal circles, or simply it just does not grab the same attention here. And this is Moscow. The regions are like the wild west ! I remember one time when I was driving thru Chita. A 5 car convoy of vehicles transporting 3-4 new cars ( imported from Japan, nothing special about the cars, they were typical cars, street value aprox 20-30k usd). Out jumped the drivers, and then out jumped the guards. The guards were all packing either automatic shotguns, or machine pistols, in addition to small sidearms. I went up to one and asked what was going on, he said, Pirates ! Listening to his stories, it seems as if jacking up cars and robbing people is or was fairly common.

Visiting somewhere as a tourist is a bit different than actually living there. I mean, Acupulco is a beautiful place, and tourists are generally safe there, however, how many hundreds of dead locals have surfaced since the start of the inter-narco clan drug war there?

Let's go one even farther. If there was random violence in Moscow, or Russia, what will happen? The best case scenario is that the ambulance will come, and take you to a hospital. But hey, if we go back to the start of this post, and how society operates, and how "closed" it is, how many times have you seen the sleeping (or unconscious), injured, drunk or possibly dead people laying on the sidewalks in the parks on the benches, or in the entrances to buildings? How many people actually stop to help them? One time my boss saw this injured guy by the door to his house. He called to the ambulance and to the police to get some help. Then forgot about the guy. A few days later, the police were knocking on his door accusing him of being somehow involved with this crime, and for him to go to the station for questioning. As he tried to be honest with them, they accused him of having something to hide, and tried to dig up some dirt on him. Eventually, everything ended ok, the hurt guy was a criminal, and was doing something illegal when his ganger buddies decided to teach him a lesson. Needless to say, my boss just said now he no longer helps people, as he doesn't need to the trouble. F%*& others and their problems.

I see the same attitude out in Rublyovka. You have these super awesome expensive houses, and yet the common interlinking roads are crap. When asked why, the most common response is " hey, I don't own those roads, they aren't my problem".

Ever look inside the ambulances? Ever been to a hospital for common folk? I have personally seen two people die in the waiting room, as it was (in addition to being explained to me by others) easier to fill out the death certficate paperwork than to take care of this guy, who probably doesn't have any money anyways, and you know? He probably deserved it since he was more than likely drunk and stupid, and since he is here, he has no money.

Etc etc.

I don't mean to disparage your experiences or be condescending.

And I don't think there is an answer to the question.

I am just relating what I have observed.

Bogatyr
27-01-2011, 14:04
But than, i loathe generalizations


You mean like this one:


but to make broad comparisons that are later generally applied to whole countries, based on one's one year (or twenty years, all the same) personal experience of living somewhere is simply ridiculous.


All we have are life experiences, experiences of friends and families, strangers, observations made through living, reading, experiencing. If these experiences are not suitable for drawing conclusions, then nothing can ever be said by anybody about anything, and THAT is ridiculous.

If you're not living now and haven't been living in the US continuously for quite a while in recent years, you wouldn't have been able to observe the slow erosion of overall social, political, and economic climate, like those who have lived there. The tone has changed over time, to become bitter, angry, and fearful. It didn't used to be that way.

And meeting Americans who travel is usually an entirely different ballgame.

Americans are great people in general (if I may say so myself), on a one-on-one level, if you can find somebody who's not obsessed with consumerism. If you're a consumerist, then there are many opportunities to have awesome discussions about all your recent purchases. The problem is, consumerism is a national sickness, so those people are few and far between.

martpark
27-01-2011, 14:14
A topical article about how people are feeling in Moscow.

http://themoscownews.com/society/20110126/188366402.html

Calm in Moscow makes psychologists uneasy
by Andy Potts at 26/01/2011 12:23

In the aftermath of yet another terrorist attack Moscow is keeping calm and carrying on – but psychologists fear this stoic approach masks underlying problems for residents.
As news emerged of the deadly suicide bombing at Domodedovo airport, passengers at Paveletsky railway station were philosophical about any risks they might face as they travelled to meet their flights.
“What can I do?” asked Semyon, who was leaving Moscow on a business trip. “The same thing could happen any time. I’ve decided to go, but I’ve not heard any information about my flight.”

The passive peril
But this fatalistic attitude could be a psychological problem, according to Moscow State University’s Olga Savina.
The assistant professor of psychology told RIA Novosti: “There were almost no strong reactions or signs of panic in people watching the news on TV. Unfortunately people are beginning to react casually and detach themselves from these events.”
Her findings mirror the conclusions drawn from polls after the March 29 metro bombings, where most people again appeared to shrug off the attacks as an inconvenience of urban life.
And she fears that when a society has no sense of danger this can create mental health problems – with a particular risk of some people “snapping” suddenly after dismissing the threat for some time.

Not hardened
Evidence from the internet, and from casual conversation, suggests that Muscovites have not completely isolated themselves from unease over terrorism.
Natalya, an English teacher whose students include medics sent to the blast scene on Monday, told The Moscow News: “We were having a lesson when they were called off to the airport.
“Moscow is a scary place to live – you never know when or where a terror attack is going to happen.”
Meanwhile some of the gruesome video and photo reportage shown in the Russian media has provoked a backlash from some.
Komsomolskaya Pravda’s decision to show the severed head of the suspected bomber on the homepage of its website, and print the image in the newspaper, was just one example of the coverage which provoked unease.
And bloggers have repeatedly urged the media not to reproduce shocking images of blood and corpses.

Bogatyr
27-01-2011, 14:32
Just a quick pick on some points:


How many people actually stop to help them?

My wife and I. A number of times since we've arrived. It takes a lot of talking to get the ambulance driver to help them sometimes. And sometimes they're back on the street again right away, it's their choice ultimately, but it doesn't mean people shouldn't help.

The police here obviously needs major work and an overhaul. I never said Russia was perfect or couldn't improve. But people here I know they need to improve, and there are signs that things are improving. There are more then enough anecdotes about bureaucratic government services in the US abusing people and ruining lives and families.


Ever look inside the ambulances?

Yes. Most recently an elderly woman in Church fell ill, and the amulance looked reaonably well equipped, and the paramedics well trained and polite.


Ever been to a hospital for common folk?

Four, recently. All were staffed by caring staff, and gave great care. Some needed pain on the walls, big deal.
Yes, my son was hospitalized for an infection and was in the public hospital for a week. The ambulance drivers were professional and well-trained, the walls in the hospital needed some paint but he received excellent care, and we didn't have to pay a dime. I went with my mother in law to see a specialist about some follow up after her surgery at the public hospital [surgery was free of course]. The doctors were incredibly nice and helpful (and I was hanging back, it wasn't because there was an American in the room). Her doctor was out, but another doctor of the same specialty helped her RIGHT THERE without an appointment. Try that in America where it takes two weeks to get an appointment with your family doctor if you don't feel well. Sure, sometimes you get "we're closed, go away", but many times you don't. (They were *painting* the walls, by the way, in that hospital :). Facilities were VERY clean and sufficient, and in many cases had modern equipment.

I was in a public hospital in the 90's in St. Petersburg, and it was rather horrific. Dark, wet, dirty. Things are changing, I agree, but they seem very solidly for the better.

To contrast, my wife was in the hospital in the US for 4 nights a few years back for major surgery, and the walls were beautifully painted, and she was in terrible pain one night because we couldn't get the @$%@$ nurses to give her the right pain medication. Then we got the bill: $85,000!!!!!!

An elderly family member in Russia was very sick and couldn't be taken care of at home. He received free operations, but it was just his time to go and he eventually passed away. His nurses cried. He was in the hospital for 3 months. That would have bankrupted just about any family in the US.



I have personally seen two people die in the waiting room, as it was (in addition to being explained to me by others) easier to fill out the death certficate paperwork than to take care of this guy, who probably doesn't have any money anyways, and you know? He probably deserved it since he was more than likely drunk and stupid, and since he is here, he has no money.


My wife almost died in a US emergency waiting room while we had to fill out all the insurance paper work and wait our turn. Many people die in US emergency waiting rooms, the wait times are horrific, and the expense astronomical.



Etc etc.

I don't mean to disparage your experiences or be condescending.

And I don't think there is an answer to the question.

I am just relating what I have observed.

Quite, there are observations-a-plenty. We all can learn something I think.

Ruth123
27-01-2011, 14:38
You mean like this one:


All we have are life experiences, experiences of friends and families, strangers, observations made through living, reading, experiencing. If these experiences are not suitable for drawing conclusions, then nothing can ever be said by anybody about anything, and THAT is ridiculous.

If you're not living now and haven't been living in the US continuously for quite a while in recent years, you wouldn't have been able to observe the slow erosion of overall social, political, and economic climate, like those who have lived there. The tone has changed over time, to become bitter, angry, and fearful. It didn't used to be that way.

And meeting Americans who travel is usually an entirely different ballgame.

Americans are great people in general (if I may say so myself), on a one-on-one level, if you can find somebody who's not obsessed with consumerism. If you're a consumerist, then there are many opportunities to have awesome discussions about all your recent purchases. The problem is, consumerism is a national sickness, so those people are few and far between.

No i meant generalizations like the ones you are listing as examples - in second post too.
Mine is stated as personal experience - that's the difference.
You know, after all - alike attracts alike, i am very sorry that you met such seemingly empty people, but whom you are surrounded with says much about one's own interests and qualities.
Yes, i've heard couple of outstanding american intellectuals mentioning purchases of books or some collector's items - but not more than that, and that's in hours of conversations.
As they say - big minds speak about ideas, meidocre about events etc.
But i wanted to ask you something - have you ever spoke to a new rich Russian who has substantial buying power?
I worked with them and i've never heard such mind blowing stupidities from anyone else - nevertheless the fact that through my work i have met really rich people from all over the world.

I was protocolarly obliged to listen to a local idiot who was telling me how he paid thousands of dollars in US for a piece of cake with edible diamonds...
And you know, it hurts even more because you do know what great culture and great history Russia has.

Throughout our history, Russia was our first ally, we are historically bonded, always fought on the same side, our royal dinasties intermarried, majority of the population of both countries is CO and we speak similar languages;
as i mentioned before, my country is listed an example of rusophilia even in wiki... I can attest that its like that - or that its still like that with the older generation, but i must says that the new generations, who get to meet the new rich Russians are not as impressed, and that's to use an euphemism.
(While i witness that normal Russians are as polite and educated as they always were, for which they are held in high esteem.)

It simply seems that you had different social milleu back in US and that your wife has some really cool friends here (who accepted you as her husband), which doesn't say anything about the Americans except that for this or that reason you met the wrong ones.

Oh, and i came here from NYC some three months ago.

Bogatyr
27-01-2011, 14:41
Another point:

My post was just in general, but in response to this -
]

as a sidenote, how many people are happy to see you to practice their English, or to "show off" to others that they have a "Western friend". It is something of a stripe on the shoulder to have or know a foreign (western) friend here.


The only Russians I've met who know enough English to practice with me are the English teachers in school :). We're Orthodox Christians and the people we tend to see most are other Orthodox, not exclusively, however. I have a pretty good sense of people, and I don't get any sense of "show off," Orthodox though tend to be different. The great thing about Russia is that there are so many Orthodox so the chances of meeting and running in to them is very high :)

Ruth123
27-01-2011, 14:59
The great thing about Russia is that there are so many Orthodox so the chances of meeting and running in to them is very high :)

Oh, i see... Well, then you should have started from something else - that for some people the problem with US is that most of the folks you ran into are not of their preferred denomination;
had you expressed your preferences earlier - i presume most of us would have refrained from replying to you in the first place, as [-]discriminating on the base of religion[/-] preferences on the base of religion are not considered to be an acceptable way of making the difference between the people, at least not in democracies/secular countries and with liberal, intelligent folks.

xSnoofovich
27-01-2011, 15:10
Many people die in US emergency waiting rooms, the wait times are horrific, and the expense astronomical.


The question(s) then arise(s), is this due to willful negligence or a conscious decision ?

Or is/was the system simply overwhelmed?

martpark
27-01-2011, 15:10
Both are countries have many of the same qualities.

Large population and territory, numerous resources, high nationalism, high random acts of violence, hospital systems that favor people with money, strong military mentality who trying to 'crush' terrorism. Multicutural. High immigration. Secular governments with substantial power-seeking religious groups. Both governments think they are acting in the best interests of their neighbors when they acting in the best interests of themselves. Both talk about freedom, power and prosperity a lot. High level of consumerism. Majority of the population just wants to get along with a home and some space and peace and quiet.

Think of Detroit of a monogorod. Except they won't close down Detroit and moved it elsewhere as is planned here.

Bogatyr
27-01-2011, 15:17
Oh, i see... Well, then you should have started from something else - that for some people the problem with US is that most of the folks you ran into are not of their preferred denomination;
had you expressed your preferences earlier - i presume most of us would have refrained from replying to you in the first place, as [-]discriminating on the base of religion[/-] preferences on the base of religion are not considered to be an acceptable way of making the difference between the people, at least not in democracies/secular countries and with liberal, intelligent folks.

The thing that you don't realize, the thing that you're missing, that you will continue to miss unless you broaden your own narrow knee-jerk "all religion is stupid and all religious people are idiots" viewpoint, is a subtle point, and here it is (not a generalization, not a broad brush, but straight from personal experience): I'm not saying people are good because they're Orthodox, or bad because they're not, but that the people who I've met here (and in the US) who are Orthodox, by and large, tend to be awesome people. It was in fact the very stark difference between people "at large in society" and people "in the Church", the very way they existed and lived their lives, that brought me in to the Church to see what these people had that made them that way.

When you get a large enough sample population, with steady, consistent correlation, you can start drawing conclusions.

And by the way, none of my comments about people in Russia or in the US were in any way focused strictly on Orthodox. So you statement is entirely incorrect, and even if you can't see it, maybe others will.

Bogatyr
27-01-2011, 15:23
The question(s) then arise(s), is this due to willful negligence or a conscious decision ?

Or is/was the system simply overwhelmed?

Dead is dead. I've seen very high degrees of personal care and compassion for the patients in the Russian public hospitals and institutions.

I wonder what all the insurance bureaucrats in US insurance companies call it when they deny claims for life-saving treatments: "willful negligence"? I think they call it "good business."

martpark
27-01-2011, 15:26
And by the way, none of my comments about people in Russia or in the US were in any way focused strictly on Orthodox. So you statement is entirely incorrect, and even if you can't see it, maybe others will.
No?

The great thing about Russia is that there are so many Orthodox so the chances of meeting and running in to them is very high.

Highly subjective.

Bogatyr
27-01-2011, 15:39
No?

No. You missed the point. Ruth tried to claim that my judgements about people were coming only from my comparing their (lack of) religious denomination (Orthodox = good, non-Orthodox = bad, says Bogatyr!), and I was pointing out her mistake.

[quote]
Highly subjective.

Only computers are objective. Humans are by their nature subjective. Even when they think they're objective they're subjective. So?

xSnoofovich
27-01-2011, 15:57
Dead is dead. I've seen very high degrees of personal care and compassion for the patients in the Russian public hospitals and institutions.

I wonder what all the insurance bureaucrats in US insurance companies call it when they deny claims for life-saving treatments: "willful negligence"? I think they call it "good business."

Bitter towards America much?

If dead is dead, and we can agree there is a problem, then the question should arise, how can we solve it? Without understanding what that problem is, we more than likely would be better off throwing darts are the solution board.

If money is the underlying problem in American healthcare, then how could we solve that?

If apathy is the underlying problem in Russian healthcare, then how could we solve that?

I can take your experiance(s) and match them except backwards. So what.

I don't think that if you honestly went before a group of Russians, and asked them if they could have either have healthcare in America or Russia, that the majority would choose Russia. But then again, I haven't asked this question to a group of Russians, so I don't know.

And again, I get the sense that we really aren't talking about Russia here. We are talking about Moscow, and healthcare in Moscow.

yakspeare
27-01-2011, 16:41
I was in a russian hospital last week. Went by ambulance. I was unattended in the back, throwing up. Not fun. Food poisoning from ol' Rostiks. No toilet paper in the hospital, no buzzer to get their attention when you need to change a drip...stuck me next to a radiator which had me sweating.

Other times I have been to hosptials here, I have walked in with a sore wrist and walked out with a sore wrist and a chest infection.

AWFUL!!

However, America is a bad example to compare healthcare to. The insurance мы non insurance thing, really twists things. Just too many people in the country for the hospital system to cope, really.

Australia, Canada, New Zealand and most of Europe are miles ahead. Still, the Russian system usually means you will be seen much faster than even in our countries.

America= great if you go in the back via ambulance and have insurance.

Russia= great for cost and speed.

Both systems are broken but in very different ways.

Bogatyr
27-01-2011, 17:27
Bitter towards America much?

Why? Because I state the truth about what happens thousands of times a day in the health non-payment (not "health care", mind you) system of America? Yes it makes me very angry that some people get filthy rich by making decisions that cause others to die who thought those huge monthly payments were going to help them some day when they need it. That there are businesses with entire departments whose sole purpose is to come up with new reasons to deny coverage to customers. Doesn't that make you angry, too?



If dead is dead, and we can agree there is a problem, then the question should arise, how can we solve it? Without understanding what that problem is, we more than likely would be better off throwing darts are the solution board.

If money is the underlying problem in American healthcare, then how could we solve that?

I could say "by taking the money out of health-non-payment, and turning it in to health-care", but it might come across as bitter and flippant :). Step one: elminate insurance companies, or greatly curtail their ability to receive payments and not pay claims. Oops, tried that already, it's been repealed by the Republicans, and although the repeal may not make it through the Senate, you can rest assured that they won't stop until insurance companies again have their God-given right to deny claims at will. Because, you see, "it's socialism" otherwise.

Money is not the problem in American healthcare, money is the problem in America. The problem with America is Capitalism. Short-term, capitalism makes some people very, very rich. And these people are very, very happy. (And perhaps a large number of people comfortable, and they're reasonably content, for a while). But by its very nature, capitalism and the banking system must continue to monetize more and more resources and aspects of life until anything and everything is all tied to a payment of some kind. It's a deadly spiral.

(But the once large # of comfortable people are not so comfortable any more. The executives of the corporations have dismantled the manufacturing base of the US and moved it overseas to maximize profits. Some European companies are now setting up shop in the US because labor costs are lower there now! The US is becoming an "off-shoring" destination!)

Well that was a small diversion, but that in a nutshell is the problem in America: it's all about money, and what happens when its accumulation is all that matters.




If apathy is the underlying problem in Russian healthcare, then how could we solve that?

Is it apathy? I think it's more resources management perhaps.





I don't think that if you honestly went before a group of Russians, and asked them if they could have either have healthcare in America or Russia, that the majority would choose Russia. But then again, I haven't asked this question to a group of Russians, so I don't know.

I don't think there's any doubt, they would choose American, because they've bought in to the US propaganda and Western media stream that constantly communicates that the US and the west are perfect, and the rest of the world is miserable and needs to become like them.

What I do doubt is that the Russians would understand the dire nature of how precarious life is in the US. Medicare aside (which by the way is a form of "evil socialism" so probably will be dismantled eventually), how will they pay? Will they go from their state-granted apartments with 3K rub month communal fee to paying $3k / month rent in San Francisco? $1K/month health-non-payment "insurance", if they can get it at all? Where if you're late with the rent you're out on the street? Will they give up their basically free dachas? If you're late with communal fees the worst that will happen is that you'll get nastygrams once in a while or maybe the lights turned off.

Well this has been a long threading day, something I didn't intend to get caught up in, but oh well. Let me close by saying: I whole heartedly agree that Russians, like the OP, should visit and live in the US a while and see and compare for themselves, if they can. Then they will learn the hard way to appreciate what they have here at home, and that the west has sold them an empty promise.

p.s. let me say that I favor a mixed economic system: people should of course be allowed to engage in whatever trade they wish to, in a semi-free(*) market, for what basically comes to as "non-essentials". But it should stop at services that people need for living: infrastructure, housing, health care, energy, food production. Luxury versions of these should of course also be available in a free market. The US basically is that luxury market, but the problem is: there is ONLY the luxury market. If you can't afford the luxury, then you're in a bad, bad way there.

(*) semi-free means: build whatever product you want and sell it for whatever you want, as long as you don't hurt people or the environment in doing so.

Bogatyr
27-01-2011, 17:31
I was in a russian hospital last week. Went by ambulance. I was unattended in the back, throwing up. Not fun. Food poisoning from ol' Rostiks. No toilet paper in the hospital, no buzzer to get their attention when you need to change a drip...stuck me next to a radiator which had me sweating.

I would not want to be in a hospital anywhere in the world without a friend/family member proponent to speak up to make sure I got what I needed. That is just as true in America as anywhere else. Well, they usually have TP in America, I'll give you that.

xSnoofovich
27-01-2011, 17:39
Will they go from their state-granted apartments with 3K rub month communal fee to paying $3k / month rent in San Francisco? Where if you're late with the rent you're out on the street? Will they give up their basically free dachas? If you're late with communal fees the worst that will happen is that you'll get nastygrams once in a while or maybe the lights turned off.



Where can we sign up for these (free) state-granted apartments with 3K Rub communal fees?

Where can I sign up for these basically free dachas?

As to debt collections, I think you will find, if you start to research it enough, that the state is taking this more seriously than in the past. I have heard of black lists on zagran passports, and that is for starters. I have seen the programs on tv where the debtors try to run, but the police catch them, and literally take whatever they want out of the apartments to pay off said debt.

Ruth123
27-01-2011, 17:53
Another point:


The only Russians I've met who know enough English to practice with me are the English teachers in school :). We're Orthodox Christians and the people we tend to see most are other Orthodox, not exclusively, however. I have a pretty good sense of people, and I don't get any sense of "show off," Orthodox though tend to be different. The great thing about Russia is that there are so many Orthodox so the chances of meeting and running in to them is very high :)


No. You missed the point. Ruth tried to claim that my judgements about people were coming only from my comparing their (lack of) religious denomination (Orthodox = good, non-Orthodox = bad, says Bogatyr!), and I was pointing out her mistake.


Religious discrimination is valuing or treating a person or group differently because of what they do or do not believe.

There is no need to claim anything, it suffices to quote your posts.
Also, please, do not oversimplify my replies, because these are your words, not mine: Orthodox = good, non-Orthodox = bad, says Bogatyr!

xSnoofovich
27-01-2011, 18:09
Money is not the problem in American healthcare, money is the problem in America. The problem with America is Capitalism. Short-term, capitalism makes some people very, very rich. And these people are very, very happy. (And perhaps a large number of people comfortable, and they're reasonably content, for a while). But by its very nature, capitalism and the banking system must continue to monetize more and more resources and aspects of life until anything and everything is all tied to a payment of some kind. It's a deadly spiral.



Sorry Micahel Moore, it just doesn't work that way.

There is no utopia, and no money for nothing and sex for free.

It is always pay to play in someway.

Bogatyr
27-01-2011, 20:05
Where can we sign up for these (free) state-granted apartments with 3K Rub communal fees?

All you had to do was be a Russian living in Russia around the 80s-90's I believe is when the apartments were all privatized...?

Also, families with children are given apartments today in some cases. Good luck finding free real estate of any type at all in the US. You'd have to go back to the 1800's and the homesteading act to get some of that action.


Where can I sign up for these basically free dachas?

All you had to do was live in Russia when they were handed out.

I didn't say you could get them NOW, but your typical Russian who you wanted to ask about American health care and living in the united states today does have these things: a place to live that won't be taken away, and many have dachas. With privatization, that is pretty much over for future generations (although there are some in the government that want to give land grants to citizens I think I heard)



As to debt collections, I think you will find, if you start to research it enough, that the state is taking this more seriously than in the past. I have heard of black lists on zagran passports, and that is for starters. I have seen the programs on tv where the debtors try to run, but the police catch them, and literally take whatever they want out of the apartments to pay off said debt.

That may be, and that's pretty harsh, but in the US they will come and take any of your stuff they want, AND you will be out on the street.

Bogatyr
27-01-2011, 20:07
Religious discrimination is valuing or treating a person or group differently because of what they do or do not believe.

There is no need to claim anything, it suffices to quote your posts.
Also, please, do not oversimplify my replies, because these are your words, not mine: Orthodox = good, non-Orthodox = bad, says Bogatyr!

You would do really, really well and be right at home on Fox News. For someone who supposedly spent time in NYC, you seem astonishingly incapable of detecting sarcasm.

Bogatyr
27-01-2011, 20:11
Religious discrimination is valuing or treating a person or group differently because of what they do or do not believe.

There is no need to claim anything, it suffices to quote your posts.
Also, please, do not oversimplify my replies, because these are your words, not mine: Orthodox = good, non-Orthodox = bad, says Bogatyr!
Let me help you understand the difference between "oversimplification" and "clarification due to massive willful misunderstanding": the quote above is what YOU say that I say, NOT what I say myself.

Bogatyr
27-01-2011, 20:13
Sorry Micahel Moore, it just doesn't work that way.

What doesn't work what way? The US is living proof of the results of its own creation, just keep watching.



There is no utopia, and no money for nothing and sex for free.
It is always pay to play in someway.

"You betcha!" And the piper needs to be paid in a big, big way in the US.

BrandonL
27-01-2011, 20:35
In SPB you can see women walking alone at all hours, including at night. You *never* see that in big cities in the US. And if you did, you'd call them crazy.




Really, so women never walk alone at night in Boston? in charleston? Miami? Orlando? Austin? San Antonio? Dallas?

Because you don't know what you are talking about, as I've seen it MANY times, in most major US cities I've been too.

BrandonL
27-01-2011, 20:42
Dead is dead. I've seen very high degrees of personal care and compassion for the patients in the Russian public hospitals and institutions.



Hahahahaha, that is WAY to funny.

High degree of personal care and compassion?
You mean having to bribe the doctor so he does a good job?

You mean when you are there, and you could be throwing up and coughing up blood and no one gives a shit?

You are horribly wrong.

There is no compassion or personal care for patients in public hospitals in Russia.

My girlfriend spent a month in her hospital and cried every night cause no one cared she was in so much pain

I had surgery in a Russian hospital, and I never had a worse experience of my life, and I will NEVER go to another Russian hospital, I've been to about 6, and they are all the same.

BrandonL
27-01-2011, 20:47
All you had to do was live in Russia when they were handed out.




Handed out? hahahah

You are so blind, they weren't just "handed" out. You need a history lesson in how things were.

Also, American healthcare system is actually perfectly fine how it is.
If you weren't arrogant and actually saw how our system is suppose to work, you'll see that people don't really need insurance for most of the things that happen to you, only for serious stuff.
more then enough free clinics that can help you with minor problems in America, to bad people such as you are ignorant and don't take advantage of these things, and blame the healthcare system.

I've been to the hospital in America for countless things over my life, it's funny, I never had to pay anything, and I never used my insurance, unless it was a serious problem.
why? Because my family knows the system, and we used the system, on how it was suppose to be used.
People like you who go to the ER because your finger hurts, are the problems with society, not the healthcare system.

Ruth123
27-01-2011, 20:53
You would do really, really well and be right at home on Fox News. For someone who supposedly spent time in NYC, you seem astonishingly incapable of detecting sarcasm.

I am not convinced in your being sarcastic and not self-hating ...
But while i absolutely understand your reasons to hate yourself , i would kindly ask you to keep your negative emotions for yourself and not contaminate the forum with your hate for America - its insulting, to me as an European.
Being you, if i hated so much my country of origin, i'd simply renounce its citizenship, 'tis all.


Let me help you understand the difference between "oversimplification" and "clarification due to massive willful misunderstanding": the quote above is what YOU say that I say, NOT what I say myself.
I think you explained yourself quite clearly... :AngelPray:

My only regret is that some of our non-Russian and non-CO members might get ideas about Eastern Orthodoxy from you and couple of others here who were not brought up in this tradition and who are preaching some militant Southern Baptist-like ideas and attitudes under the disguise of CO.
Other than that, i must confess - i couldn't care less about your (non) arguments, as i find them to be fallacies.

mrzuzzo
27-01-2011, 21:08
American healthcare system is amazing. Really good doctors, facilities, etc. Just make sure you have good insurance.

Canadian healthcare system is garbage. Last time I went to a hospital i waited 12 hours in the emergency room with a bunch of other sick and dying people because no doctors were available.

BrandonL
27-01-2011, 21:10
American healthcare system is amazing. Really good doctors, facilities, etc. Just make sure you have good insurance.

Canadian healthcare system is garbage. Last time I went to a hospital i waited 12 hours in the emergency room with a bunch of other sick and dying people because no doctors were available.

You DON'T need insurance for most medical problem you have in America

There are TONS and I do mean TONS of free health clinics that people can go to, that will treat most problems people have.

if you have a major problem, then yes, you need health insurance.

dontcallme
27-01-2011, 22:19
You DON'T need insurance for most medical problem you have in America

There are TONS and I do mean TONS of free health clinics that people can go to, that will treat most problems people have.

if you have a major problem, then yes, you need health insurance.

What constitutes a major problem?

I read a story about a man in the US who lost two fingers and despite it being quite simple and cheap to fix he was told he needed to pay thouands of dollars to get the doctor to do it. He could only afford to get one done and now lives with 4 fingers on one hand.

As a foreigner I read lots of conflicting information regarding the US healthcare system.

BrandonL
27-01-2011, 22:30
What constitutes a major problem?

I read a story about a man in the US who lost two fingers and despite it being quite simple and cheap to fix he was told he needed to pay thouands of dollars to get the doctor to do it. He could only afford to get one done and now lives with 4 fingers on one hand.

As a foreigner I read lots of conflicting information regarding the US healthcare system.


Broken bones and so forth.

We have people who go to the ER because they have the flu, or they have a boil, or some random shit, and wonder why they are being charged so much.

Hospitals in the states are required to run checks for all people who come in, as a safety procedure.
which in turn cost a lot of money.

There will always be extreme cases, nothing can be done about that.

xSnoofovich
27-01-2011, 22:53
Plus you have to add in the foreigners that use the services.

Many immigrants take from the system, and do not pay into it via taxes.

BrandonL
27-01-2011, 22:56
Plus you have to add in the foreigners that use the services.

Many immigrants take from the system, and do not pay into it via taxes.



Very true as well.

Willy
27-01-2011, 23:34
What constitutes a major problem?

I read a story about a man in the US who lost two fingers and despite it being quite simple and cheap to fix he was told he needed to pay thouands of dollars to get the doctor to do it. He could only afford to get one done and now lives with 4 fingers on one hand.

As a foreigner I read lots of conflicting information regarding the US healthcare system.




Too bad it didn't happen on a Wed, I heard they have a two for one deal.




I read one time a 10 year old kid died from a gun shot wound on the sidewalk in front of a hospital because he didn't have any money.

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 00:40
Hahahahaha, that is WAY to funny.

High degree of personal care and compassion?
You mean having to bribe the doctor so he does a good job?

You mean when you are there, and you could be throwing up and coughing up blood and no one gives a shit?

You are horribly wrong.

There is no compassion or personal care for patients in public hospitals in Russia.

My girlfriend spent a month in her hospital and cried every night cause no one cared she was in so much pain

I had surgery in a Russian hospital, and I never had a worse experience of my life, and I will NEVER go to another Russian hospital, I've been to about 6, and they are all the same.

I guess we're pretty lucky in St. Petersburg then, because that is not the case here, and we have plenty of direct experience.

mrzuzzo
28-01-2011, 00:51
I don't understand how this is even being discussed. The Russian healthcare system is, generally speaking, garbage compared to the American healthcare system. I have experienced both and the two don't even compare.

tvadim133
28-01-2011, 01:01
I guess we're pretty lucky in St. Petersburg then, because that is not the case here, and we have plenty of direct experience.

Brandon has visisted 6 hospitals ............

If it is possible, BrandonL can you please give the list of them in order to avoid then.

I do not have problems with health and visited only 2 in my Life in moscow, though several times (OK, 3, one was for my father), but may be I was just lucky?

BrandonL
28-01-2011, 01:06
Brandon has visisted 6 hospitals ............

If it is possible, BrandonL can you please give the list of them in order to avoid then.

I do not have problems with health and visited only 2 in my Life in moscow, though several times (OK, 3, one was for my father), but may be I was just lucky?

I'll go through my documents and try to find the hospitals.

The one where I had surgery was horrible, blood all over the floor, people missing limbs, pus and other liquids on the floor dripping from people....I threw up there, was horrible. My girlfriend at the time, said it wasn't even the worst hospital she's seen in Moscow.
we had to pay the doctor so he'd do a good job..
f**k Russian hospitals!

martpark
28-01-2011, 01:14
I was here 8 months and ended up in the hospital for 4 days. They were carrying around paper patient files and rubber cementing pages in with a paper clip. Yak had an experience like mine. There's no comparison to US hospitals. Payment is another thing.

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 01:39
[You hate your country, and other such craziness]


Far from it, I love my country. True patriots are those who criticize and bring problems to light so they can be discussed and solved. The real haters are the ones who put their heads in the sand, say "everything's peachy!" and let the whole place go down the drain.

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 01:42
I'll go through my documents and try to find the hospitals.

The one where I had surgery was horrible, blood all over the floor, people missing limbs, pus and other liquids on the floor dripping from people....I threw up there, was horrible. My girlfriend at the time, said it wasn't even the worst hospital she's seen in Moscow.
we had to pay the doctor so he'd do a good job..
f**k Russian hospitals!

For someone who claims to have worked the American system extensively by being smart about where you get your care, it seems you've made some rather bad choices in Russian health care facilities. They are not all like what you have described, I know, I've been in them, my family members have been inpatients, and I've seen for myself. Public, not private. Maybe Moscow is really terrible, I can't say as I haven't been there.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 01:43
Two of my female Russian friends (one in Moscow, one in Astrakhan) were beaten almost to death in the entrances of their apartment buildings. So this idea that something bad can happen to you only if you're at Chistie Prudi at 2am is a bit naive.

Yeah, there are bad parts of every city because there are poor people, there are desperate people, there are people who come to work or to steal or whatever, which is hard to control. How bad the bad areas are, I don't know. I went to the University of Pennsylvania which was on the edge of "the jungle," as people in Philadelphia called it. I mean west Philadelphia. I walked through it practically every day (tall blonde girl, fairly conspicuous), with no problems. Certainly I didn't get shot. Russian friends studied at the University of Rochester, were told of places they should never go unless they wanted to get killed, they went to those places and met a bunch of black dudes who became their basketball buddies.

The thread starter has already said he was trolling, but anyway...one of the main things I think about when comparing is where I would like to grow old.
We all know that pensions here are pathetic, there are no job opportunities for older people, and no decent assisted-living places.
Today one of my Russian friends, who was laid off from her job of maybe 7 years (the company closed) was griping about how the government here doesn't do anything to help unemployed people and there are no unemployment benefits (or, the benefits require collecting a mind-numbing number of documents and they pay is almost nothing anyway). If I am not mistaken, people who are laid off for no fault of their own are given up to 26 weeks of unemployment payment in the US.

Again, of course it doesn't really make sense to say one country is better than another one. If you're 40 years old, you don't speak English, and you don't know anyone in the USA, then living in the USA is probably not the best idea. However, you can compare some objective details, like the quality of life in small towns, the average standard of living (what percentage of people is able to own their own home, car, travel and enjoy life).

There are no well-known dangerous places in Russia? This is 2.5 years old but check this:
http://talks.guns.ru/forummessage/20/335023.html
Recently one of my friends here told me about some town that is known to be criminal, where there was recently a murder of a bunch of people. I guess it was in the news a few weeks ago, but I forgot the name of the town. I know that people also consider Vladimir to be a criminal town, as well as a bunch of other places. In Russia, Moscow and St. Petersburg are probably the safest in general and obviously with the best standard of living. I don't think traveling around Russia will somehow open your eyes to the fantastic wonders, comfort, serenity, etc., of living in a Russian village.

You *never* see women walking in big cities in the US at night? I recall walking alone in Philadelphia and Boston after midnight. I don't think people considered me crazy. There is one detail that there are fewer 24-hour places in American cities than in Moscow, for sure, maybe because people like to gather at home or go to sleep by 3am, I don't know. And I can't say that I, as a woman, feel safer walking alone at night here. I am almost always approached by some drunk person, and I don't find it pleasant. I feel ok here but anyway I am not super fond of walking alone at night.

And, obviously the US is in a spiritual decline but I wouldn't say Russia is a super spiritual country...so, the Russia>the US because the US is facing spiritual, economic and political decline...and Russia is what? Booming? Most people I know who were born here and live here are totally dissatisfied.

Of course the problem with health care is a never-ending argument. People say you need money to have normal care here. Again, one of my friends wanted to buy health insurance for her mother at one clinic here, and it was incredibly expensive for her and she gave up. She thinks the public health situation sucks, that no one cares about checking on old people and you have to wait in line all day if you hope to be seen, and if you are seen the doctor doesn't care about you because he/she is exhausted, underpaid, and bitter about life. There is the problem that you get what you pay for. People go on about the great social health care in Canada but one of my relatives died of a brain tumor while he was on some 6-month list to get treated there. So this health care situation is not easily resolved. They try to make it more affordable (in the US), I guess, by sticking you with physicians' assistants instead of a doctor, because the PAs take less money, but they are all morons who will misdiagnose you 90% of the time. In some ways I agree that medicine here is better in some ways. I like getting blood tests and sonograms and etc for 700-1000 rubles, and I like being able to buy my thyroid medicine without a prescription. But at the same time, I can't say I feel 100% comfortable here if I have a real emergency. My husband attended medical school here and insists that I have all medical procedures done in the US.


Eh? I spent most of my life within a short driving distance from San Francisco, you don't know what you're talking about. Have you ever heard of the "Tenderloin?" The central downtown area where decent people do not dare walk even in broad daylight on a weekday for fear of being shot or stabbed? And if you're walking around in the Mission (not a great idea in general) you'd better be darn careful what colors you're wearing or you may end up dead. I believe that this phenomenon is not an exception, but rather the rule in most US cities over a particular size.

The OP has many valid points -- one of the astonishing and surprising things about US cities to Russians and other foreigners is the extreme swings in "goodness" or "safety" of neighborhoods within a US city, even a short distance apart. Consider swanky Palo Alto, California, with Stanford University, and just a short jaunt down the road is East Palo Alto, formerly the "murder capital of the USA."

Just look what so many posters are saying: "of course, there are good and bad areas in every city..." Why "of course?" Why is it OK that there are slums and places where people should never go unless they want to wake up dead? This attitude is in part responsible for the problem. "Hey, it's not in my backyard, why should I care?"

"Everyone knows" that the US is better than Russia? Who's this "everyone"? Has this "everyone" actually gone all over Russia, and all over America, and really compared? Viewed both through non-rose-colored glasses and given an honest assessment?

These extreme swings of "goodness" and "badness" are foreign to Russians, because Russian cities don't have this phenomenon like US cities do. Sure, if you're out late at night anyway after dark, even in Russia, it may not be a good idea. But in Russia it is not a life-threatening activity to walk your dog with your 13-year old daughter:

http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-11-26/bay-area/17180453_1_liquor-store-dogs-police-dispatch

In SPB you can see women walking alone at all hours, including at night. You *never* see that in big cities in the US. And if you did, you'd call them crazy.

People in the US live in fear in many ways. It's a country where when you fall, there's nobody and nothing there to pick you up. Lost your job due to corporate outsourcing? Good luck with that broken arm, the emergency room might reject you without insurance and without cash (and good luck paying $1000+/month insurance premiums without a job, and good luck with those complications from the improperly or non-treated broken arm if you get a job again, because now it's a "pre-existing condition," which the Republicans in congress are doing there best to make sure will not be covered).

I agree with the OP. In many ways, now, Russia > US. Especially now, the US seems to be on an accelerating spiral of economic, political, and spiritual decline. I think the only way out of this, if at all possible, is for the US to wake up, realize that there are many other countries in the world that do many things better than they do, to honestly self-asses and to strive to improve, and that the attitude of "we're best, everyone else sucks, there's nothing wrong with us, we'll do what we want anywhere we want" is a death-knell.

There were some really great ideas that went into the founding of the US, and for a while, it was a really great place to live. I hope Russia continues to only take the best, and to learn from the mistakes and not repeat them. And I hope the US does too :).

smchilds
28-01-2011, 01:51
[QUOTE=xSnoofovich;792786]
Would people be as interested in you if you weren't an American? Would they be as warm and open-hearted? I would say no.[QUOTE]


Really, it's true. I can't say I have met real friends here, even after 7 years. People are nice, friendly, they want to spend time with me - they ALWAYS want to practice English and they ALWAYS want me to answer questions about the US - usually they are hoping I'll tell them that the US sucks and Russia is better, but if I give such an impression, they'll tell me that Russia sucks and I can never understand how bad it is because I am not Russian.

On a side note, today I went out with my husband for dinner. Next to us was a Russian pair celebrating the man's birthday. They started to talk to us, the usual "where are you from?" fare. They invited us to drink with them because it was the guy's birthday. Then they invited us to sit with them. They wanted to ask questions about our home countries and etc., and basically wouldn't let us be. After a couple of hours of that (I was ready to shoot myself) my husband and the guy were drunk and hugging and exchanging phone numbers. Yes, that is all very cute and likely wouldn't happen if I were in the US but that is ONLY because I am foreign here and people want to meet me (well, us, my husband is also foreign). In the US people don't have that shallow impulse to meet other American people, but I do consider that I have real friends in the US who are not using me for language exchange or to buy them stuff on ebay.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 02:08
[QUOTE=xSnoofovich;792868]
I don't think that if you honestly went before a group of Russians, and asked them if they could have either have healthcare in America or Russia, that the majority would choose Russia. But then again, I haven't asked this question to a group of Russians, so I don't know. [QUOTE]
I have asked this to a group of Russians. Well, during my time here I have discussed this question with almost every person I have met, and all have said that they would prefer healthcare in the US. I am currently pregnant, and everyone I know here (Russians) have told me that I should have the baby in the US. When I told them that I considered having it here their eyes always nearly popped out of their heads. Of course, this is a grass-is-greener situation because they don't really know what's going on there and perhaps they are prejudiced against the situation here, but they are certainly not thrilled about medicine in Moscow. One of my (Russian) friends had a baby last year and paid $10,000 only for the delivery+2 days in hospital. That is about the same as paying in the US out of pocket. It seems that everyone avoids free medicine here if they can.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 02:26
Another point:


The only Russians I've met who know enough English to practice with me are the English teachers in school :). We're Orthodox Christians and the people we tend to see most are other Orthodox, not exclusively, however. I have a pretty good sense of people, and I don't get any sense of "show off," Orthodox though tend to be different. The great thing about Russia is that there are so many Orthodox so the chances of meeting and running in to them is very high :)


It seems that you came to Russia and found your niche and enjoy it, and that's great. But that doesn't in any way reflect the real quality of life here. Do you know Russian couples who don't have an American(foreign) spouse? Do you speak Russian? I think that you meet a lot of Orthodox people here because you are going to church. In Moscow I have encountered one, that I can remember, vocally religious person who called herself Orthodox. Everyone else is some kind of atheist/agnostic. I don't think that's entirely relevant anyway, but in the idea that spiritual is better than non-spiritual, I don't feel that Moscow is a spiritual place. And about consumerism - Moscow is fantastically consumeristic. In my home town (in the US) I don't think a new retail shop has opened in the past 10 years, but shopping malls are growing like mushrooms in Moscow. I ask my students (children) what their dream is, and they tell me it's to have an iphone (!!!) Russians fly off to Europe or (especially) America to go shopping, rarely to engage in cultural activities. Numerous Russian people have told me something along the lines of "no offence, but I see the United States as a giant shopping mall." That is depressing, given all of the great cultural and natural places there (I mean, Niagara Falls, Grand Canyon, Broadway, whatever). I know that when I speak to my American friends they almost never mention what they want to buy. When I talk to my Russian friends they ALWAYS talk about what they want to buy. I mean, really, *always.* In fact, I feel that Moscow has pushed me into being much more materialistic than I used to be, in this pressure to keep up with the Ivanovs.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 03:03
People under 35 do not have any kind of free housing. If they are "lucky" they are an only child, their parents died and left them their apartment (ok, that's a tad dark but true). If their parents are still alive then they either live with their parents or they rent a flat. No one in my age group (let's say, 25-35) got an apartment from the government, all are either living with parents, paying 50%+ of their salary for rent, or trying to pay off a huge mortgage. Also, if they do have a mortgage, it is for a shabby 1-room apartment somewhere in Mitishi or Troitsk, which cost them an arm or a leg. Nowadays land for dachas is incredibly expensive and then building the dacha is also incredibly expensive, unless you plan to build it yourself. People I know who have bought dachas/land in the last few years have bought them something like 300km from Moscow, because any closer is too expensive.

To get the free apartment you didn't have to be a Russian living in Russia. You had to be an adult living in Russia. And they didn't give you extra apartments for extra kids, or something. My ex (Russian) grew up with 6 people in one apartment. He has 2 brothers. When his parents and grandma die, then the three kids can share the apartment. (They can sell the apartment, but you can't buy a new apartment with a 1/3 share of the selling price of that one.) They are all living there now, and in their 30s. I don't know when one of them will actually afford to get his own place.

Are families with children actually "given" apartments? My husband is a Russian citizen and I am having a kid this year, so please, give me details. As far as I know, they are only given lower mortgage rates or something, but they are not just handed apartments for free.

Yeah, in the US they don't hand out houses but you can buy a house in a small town for something like $50,000 (totally affordable, even for most young families), and you can find a job in that small town. I can say that everyone I know in the US who is married with children owns a home. I cannot say the same for people in Moscow. Usually people here tell me it's their dream to buy their own apartment sometime in their 40s. In the meantime they will live with their parents, grandma, brother and baby in a 3-room apartment.


All you had to do was be a Russian living in Russia around the 80s-90's I believe is when the apartments were all privatized...?

Also, families with children are given apartments today in some cases. Good luck finding free real estate of any type at all in the US. You'd have to go back to the 1800's and the homesteading act to get some of that action.

All you had to do was live in Russia when they were handed out.

I didn't say you could get them NOW, but your typical Russian who you wanted to ask about American health care and living in the united states today does have these things: a place to live that won't be taken away, and many have dachas. With privatization, that is pretty much over for future generations (although there are some in the government that want to give land grants to citizens I think I heard)



That may be, and that's pretty harsh, but in the US they will come and take any of your stuff they want, AND you will be out on the street.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 03:38
For me it's a little bit funny because - I have a university degree in Russian. I devoted all of my academic career to Russian studies. I even wanted to get a PhD and be a professor of Russian studies, but I came to Moscow and couldn't pull myself away to continue with my studies. I married a Russian guy (we divorced, oh well) and since coming to Russia 7 years ago, I have not gotten to know any other expats in Moscow. All of my interaction is with Russian people. They even start to call me Russian, because I know so many strange details about Russian culture which they often don't know. At least twice a week people tell me "Oh, you're not really American anymore...you've become Russian already." In the beginning I lived a totally "Russian" life in Ochakovo. Even Muscovites cringe when I tell them about that. Truly, I like Moscow. Whenever I leave I want to come back. When I stand outside the Russian consulate in NYC, amidst the mob of people who don't know how to stand in line, people who seem to smell "Russian" somehow (maybe it's dill, or beets, or sour cream :P) I'm overwhelmed with nostalgia. When my relatives or other people I know ask me with a confused face why I came to Russia, how I could choose to live anywhere other than in the wonderful USA, I feel somehow superior that I understand that the US is not that great and I managed to move away from my home town and see the world and etc. etc. Of course I don't feel that the only good life is in the US. However, when push comes to shove, I would rather live there than in Russia (maybe because I am female - I think that Russia is harder for female expats than for male expats...as sexist as that may sound). I don't believe that America is some giant empty promise and a dying country. I know people who very recently won green cards in the lottery, moved to NYC, and are now pursuing their dreams in ways they felt they couldn't here. Obviously, if you just show up there with no desire to work, no goals, no knowledge or skills, then you are not going to manage to make anything of yourself. But the same for people coming here. Of course, Moscow has a built-in market for expats (especially English teachers) which doesn't exist in the US. Here expats sort of float above society as special members, and there are no such opportunities in the US (no matter what country you are from, when you first show up in the US you are at the bottom, not the top). But there is something too easy and kind of unsatisfying about being "special" in Moscow just for being American (or British, or Canadian...). Like, Russian people tell me how they envy me, how my situation is so great because people just pay me to talk to them and I am living better than all of my students, etc. And all I am really doing is using my native language and basic personal skills. I will never find such an easy and well-paying job in the US, that is true. But at the same time, I kind of look forward to going back to the US and having to rely on something other than being American to compete and make a career for myself.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 04:04
I actually have no idea what "Shawarma" is ..

:(

Am I missing out?

It is tasty. I would advise you to go to a Middle Eastern (Arabic) restaurant to try it. Safer (I think, maybe not) than a street vendor. I had it a few times at Beirut at Belyaevo. Of course it's bad to go there if you don't like smoke, because everyone smokes kalyan there. It's good to go in the summer because they have a great outdoor veranda.
I never bought shawarma from a street vendor but all of this talk has made me really tempted...

mrzuzzo
28-01-2011, 05:29
I'd quote smchilds but I'm on my iPad. I 100% agree. Russians are becoming a very materialistic bunch and that is because Russians are generally "hungry" people. They haven't had anything for so long that now it's their dream to own as much crap as they can. A Russian will also spend all his money to the very last penny to show off to others. It's quite sad actually.

Also, it's quite cheap to purchase real estate in Russia anywhere outside of moscow so you shouldn't be generalizing like that. Rent is also comparable to other big cities. In fact, I pay about the same in Moscow (a bit under 30k) for rent a month as I would back home in Canada. Generally, i think Russia and Moscow in particular has more opportunities yet life in canada or the USA is much more calm and stable.

yakspeare
28-01-2011, 06:56
Great posts smcilds...i agree 100%

Kraven Morehead
28-01-2011, 09:27
Handed out? hahahah

You are so blind, they weren't just "handed" out. You need a history lesson in how things were.

Also, American healthcare system is actually perfectly fine how it is.
If you weren't arrogant and actually saw how our system is suppose to work, you'll see that people don't really need insurance for most of the things that happen to you, only for serious stuff.
more then enough free clinics that can help you with minor problems in America, to bad people such as you are ignorant and don't take advantage of these things, and blame the healthcare system.

I've been to the hospital in America for countless things over my life, it's funny, I never had to pay anything, and I never used my insurance, unless it was a serious problem.
why? Because my family knows the system, and we used the system, on how it was suppose to be used.
People like you who go to the ER because your finger hurts, are the problems with society, not the healthcare system.

YOu have to be joking
The USA is an administration nightmare in which its healthcare costs double than anywhere else in the world. It has bloated bureaucracy (administration costs is double Canada's) and high cost insurance to cover malpractice from the ambulance chasing laywers. Even if you take what the USA spent on public medicare (which only helps 30% of the people), per capita, it could have paid for both public and private healthcare.

Two parties fought over whether public or private funded, but the issue is that the American healthcare system is bloated and cost inefficient. Even when GWB tried to reduce the costs by limiting the friviously lawsuits, the Senate (majority of lawyers -probably ambulance chasers) defeated the bill.

Kraven Morehead
28-01-2011, 09:37
[QUOTE=xSnoofovich;792786]
Would people be as interested in you if you weren't an American? Would they be as warm and open-hearted? I would say no.[QUOTE]


Really, it's true. I can't say I have met real friends here, even after 7 years. People are nice, friendly, they want to spend time with me - they ALWAYS want to practice English and they ALWAYS want me to answer questions about the US - usually they are hoping I'll tell them that the US sucks and Russia is better, but if I give such an impression, they'll tell me that Russia sucks and I can never understand how bad it is because I am not Russian.

On a side note, today I went out with my husband for dinner. Next to us was a Russian pair celebrating the man's birthday. They started to talk to us, the usual "where are you from?" fare. They invited us to drink with them because it was the guy's birthday. Then they invited us to sit with them. They wanted to ask questions about our home countries and etc., and basically wouldn't let us be. After a couple of hours of that (I was ready to shoot myself) my husband and the guy were drunk and hugging and exchanging phone numbers. Yes, that is all very cute and likely wouldn't happen if I were in the US but that is ONLY because I am foreign here and people want to meet me (well, us, my husband is also foreign). In the US people don't have that shallow impulse to meet other American people, but I do consider that I have real friends in the US who are not using me for language exchange or to buy them stuff on ebay.

Awesome post

But in my travels, I met many Russians and Ukrainians. Most think that it is an opportunity to earn business or language, but the ones who I have developed great friendship, I consider them better friends and more reliable than the ones I have here in general.
I find there is two types friendship in Russia. One that is given which they approach you and do the usual pretentious carp. It is not worth an once of turd. THen there is the friendship that you earn. It is done by being a good person and earn trust. It is gthe best.

Kraven Morehead
28-01-2011, 09:43
I'd quote smchilds but I'm on my iPad. I 100% agree. Russians are becoming a very materialistic bunch and that is because Russians are generally "hungry" people. They haven't had anything for so long that now it's their dream to own as much crap as they can. A Russian will also spend all his money to the very last penny to show off to others. It's quite sad actually.

Also, it's quite cheap to purchase real estate in Russia anywhere outside of moscow so you shouldn't be generalizing like that. Rent is also comparable to other big cities. In fact, I pay about the same in Moscow (a bit under 30k) for rent a month as I would back home in Canada. Generally, i think Russia and Moscow in particular has more opportunities yet life in canada or the USA is much more calm and stable.

For who?
The issue of mine about Russia is that it is nationalistic republic and generally foreigners can have only so much opportunity before they are limited. If you look at the top 100 Russian wealthiest people, very few will be foreigners from the west or any other non CIS place. Canada , 40% of the wealthiest Canadians were born in other places.
When you get a Russian Nationalist P-rick, as a foreigner you cannot win, rules change, you have to repeat same task over and over again, you are called a cheat, until the twit wins.

I played Rugby for 22 years and know the rules quite well. I tried to teach some big 22 year kid how to bind properly in a scrum. He would not listen, because I am not Russian. So I demostrated by chickenwinged him and lifting the 130kg SOB up in the scrum. (it feels like crucification but more painful). I was accused of cheating and told to play in the backs. (scored two tries from there)

Went to a bar and minding my own business. This Russian guy comes up to me and challenges me to arm wrestling. I beat him handily, then I got challenged by one Russian after then next. At first it was fun where I would press them half way, take a shot of vodka and then defeat them. But after 35 arm wrestling match, I was tired and drunk. They were finally happy to win.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 10:10
I'd quote smchilds but I'm on my iPad. I 100% agree. Russians are becoming a very materialistic bunch and that is because Russians are generally "hungry" people. They haven't had anything for so long that now it's their dream to own as much crap as they can. A Russian will also spend all his money to the very last penny to show off to others. It's quite sad actually.

Also, it's quite cheap to purchase real estate in Russia anywhere outside of moscow so you shouldn't be generalizing like that. Rent is also comparable to other big cities. In fact, I pay about the same in Moscow (a bit under 30k) for rent a month as I would back home in Canada. Generally, i think Russia and Moscow in particular has more opportunities yet life in canada or the USA is much more calm and stable.

Yeah, it is cheap to buy real estate outside of Moscow. That is why I said people buy flats in Troitsk and Mitishi. At least there, they still have the opportunity to commute, though spend 4 hours a day in that commute. I know people who own flats in Tula but STILL work in Moscow because there are no jobs in Tula. Yeah, in a small town a few hours from Moscow you can find cheap real estate but there are NO jobs.
Yes, rent is comparable to big cities (if we compare living inside the MKAD to living within the main city, not in a suburb) and the price of buying an apartment is also comparable. Yet, average salaries are much less. However, there is a problem that what you are getting for that rent money is considerably worse. I think if you pay $1000+/month to live in a city in the US you can expect that it is semi clean, doesn't smell like pee, doesn't have wall paper peeling off the wall, and probably has a washing machine available somewhere.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 10:13
Yes, Russia and Moscow have more opportunities for western expats. Western expats can make a bundle just by showing up. That is not true for the USA. I do not believe that there are more opportunities in Moscow for the average Russian than there are in the USA for the average American. It doesn't even make sense to say so, as all opportunities in Russia are in Moscow (with a few in St. Pete) whereas there are many opportunities all over the US in a huge variety of cities.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 10:31
I will tell you this: another way Russia > US. Having lived in Russia now continuously for one year, I have met more hearty, warm, open, devoted people than I have in multiple decades of living in the US. I wouldn't ever trade that for all the easy, empty smiles on the street, for "friends" who really couldn't care less, for the never-ending rat race to feed the mortgage.

This sounds so much like a Russian talking. At least about the "empty smiles" in the American streets. So, you'd rather approach a totally pissed off person with emotionless eyes everywhere you go? To be honest, I am sometimes nervous to approach people in places like Kofein and etc., because even though they see me buy coffee there like 5 times a week they still give me the pissed-off face. As did the people at my gym, when I used to go there. And the people at my local super market. I remember once when one lady working behind the cake counter was SO upset when I asked her to stop reading her tabloid, stand up, and hand me a cake. To be honest, I already kind of miss the fake smile and "how are you?" of America. And it's not totally fair to say it's completely fake anyway. Certainly people are actually happy to meet you sometimes, and American people, just like anyone, are looking for social interaction and friendship.

When I came to Russia I thought, oh my, Russians are SO hospitable! I was always invited to people's flats and given a plate of grechka with sausages and tea. How nice! Americans are SO unhospitable in comparison. Then I told Russians about it and they were confused, and said they thought that making friends in Moscow was next to impossible, that they have friends only from the institute/their job, but nowhere else. I told them that in the US people are not hospitable but then they went to the US and told me I was wrong, that the people are SO hospitable there. I was surprised because when I went to the US with my Russian friend, I saw through his eyes that really Americans can be quite friendly and hospitable. We encountered it daily. And I felt I had been too critical of people there. Last time I was in the USA I was with my husband, and while we were driving we were stopped by the police. Afterwards, my husband said it was so pleasant being stopped by the police there, that the policeman was so friendly and civil!

smchilds
28-01-2011, 10:47
Well, this raises a philosphical question about friendship - what is friendship? How many friends can a person have? Like, in Russia, we have the word 'priyatel'' and the word 'drug'. I very rarely hear the word 'drug' but often here the word priyatel (which is like, a kind of friend, but not really). Russian people tell me that they reserve the word drug for only one or two people. It's the same as anywhere. You can't have so many near and dear friends. My dear friends are all in the US. When I am upset I call people in the US, not in Moscow. Maybe it is personal. Maybe if I take the trans-siberian railway to Vladivostok or wherever it goes, and drink vodka the whole time, I will find my new best friend and soul mate. But it hasn't happened yet. The friends I did make spent time with me for a while, did language exchange, then basically disappeared. The ones who keep me around I feel do so because they think they can benefit from the friendship somehow. I am not totally cynical, I just understand it works that way. To an extent I also do it, because as business-minded people with a desire to succeed in life, we keep people around if we think they can be helpful to us in some way.

You know, I can say, I like Russian people (in Moscow). To me, Russian people in the USA are a totally different story. I knew a bunch of Russians in North Philadelphia and in Brookline (suburb of Boston) - which are like Russian villages - and they were so isolated, they spent all of their time with other Russians, it was almost impossible (much more so than here) to break into their social group. But here, yeah, people are nice, they tell me they like me, they invite me to their birthdays and to travel with them, but I haven't felt that the friendship has ever really reached a deep and meaningful level, not like with my best friend in the US. Maybe that is my fault. Maybe my Russian isn't good enough or I should drink more.



[quote=smchilds;793169][QUOTE=xSnoofovich;792786]
Would people be as interested in you if you weren't an American? Would they be as warm and open-hearted? I I find there is two types friendship in Russia. One that is given which they approach you and do the usual pretentious carp. It is not worth an once of turd. THen there is the friendship that you earn. It is done by being a good person and earn trust. It is gthe best.

BrandonL
28-01-2011, 11:17
Well, this raises a philosphical question about friendship - what is friendship? How many friends can a person have? Like, in Russia, we have the word 'priyatel'' and the word 'drug'. I very rarely hear the word 'drug' but often here the word priyatel (which is like, a kind of friend, but not really). Russian people tell me that they reserve the word drug for only one or two people. It's the same as anywhere. You can't have so many near and dear friends. My dear friends are all in the US. When I am upset I call people in the US, not in Moscow. Maybe it is personal. Maybe if I take the trans-siberian railway to Vladivostok or wherever it goes, and drink vodka the whole time, I will find my new best friend and soul mate. But it hasn't happened yet. The friends I did make spent time with me for a while, did language exchange, then basically disappeared. The ones who keep me around I feel do so because they think they can benefit from the friendship somehow. I am not totally cynical, I just understand it works that way. To an extent I also do it, because as business-minded people with a desire to succeed in life, we keep people around if we think they can be helpful to us in some way.

You know, I can say, I like Russian people (in Moscow). To me, Russian people in the USA are a totally different story. I knew a bunch of Russians in North Philadelphia and in Brookline (suburb of Boston) - which are like Russian villages - and they were so isolated, they spent all of their time with other Russians, it was almost impossible (much more so than here) to break into their social group. But here, yeah, people are nice, they tell me they like me, they invite me to their birthdays and to travel with them, but I haven't felt that the friendship has ever really reached a deep and meaningful level, not like with my best friend in the US. Maybe that is my fault. Maybe my Russian isn't good enough or I should drink more.


[quote=Kraven Morehead;793259][quote=smchilds;793169]


I have a group of friends out here, that I feel closer too, then anyone in America. I've known them since I arrived here. I don't feel the we are friends for some type of reason, I feel we are good friends, because of just that, we are good friends, we rely on each other, spend time together, we help each other. They don't disappear either.
I have a deep and meaningful relationship with them, I enjoy their company. they enjoy mine.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 11:30
Handed out? hahahah

You are so blind, they weren't just "handed" out. You need a history lesson in how things were.the system, and we used the system, on how it was suppose to be used.


Yes, in general people did have a place to live, however, MANY people were not given apartments, but rooms in apartments. I personally know people who live in 2-3 room apartments in their own little room (like, they stick a microwave in their room and the room becomes like their studio apartment) and they share the apartment with other familes. I am not talking about flatmates or renting shared apartments, but OWNING shared apartments, and cohabitating forever with other families. And then there is a hierarchy to use the kitchen and bathroom (one person I know living in such an apartment - one room with his wife and kid - feels nervous about using the kitchen because the other family living in the apartment has been there longer, and have "claimed" the kitchen as theirs). I just can't even imagine the awkwardness of such a living arrangement. Another woman I know is 47, and until 3 years ago she owned "a room" in a shared apartment, until, at the age of 44, she had enough money to make a down-payment on her own flat, which is 2 hours (without traffic) from the center of Moscow. And she has a very good job by Moscow standards.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 11:33
[quote=BrandonL;793313I
I have a group of friends out here, that I feel closer too, then anyone in America. I've known them since I arrived here. I don't feel the we are friends for some type of reason, I feel we are good friends, because of just that, we are good friends, we rely on each other, spend time together, we help each other. They don't disappear either.
I have a deep and meaningful relationship with them, I enjoy their company. they enjoy mine.[/quote]


That's nice but this is all so personal and anecdotal that I find it kind of irrelevant. The question of quality of life is not "where can I find friends?" as far as I know. American people are not moving abroad "to find friends." Russians are not going to the US to "find friends." I am sure people are nice and you can find decent people in any country. The fact is I just really don't buy this idea that Russians are real friends whereas Americans are back-stabbing phonies.

Swordfish90293
28-01-2011, 11:45
For who?
The issue of mine about Russia is that it is nationalistic republic and generally foreigners can have only so much opportunity before they are limited. If you look at the top 100 Russian wealthiest people, very few will be foreigners from the west or any other non CIS place. Canada , 40% of the wealthiest Canadians were born in other places.
When you get a Russian Nationalist P-rick, as a foreigner you cannot win, rules change, you have to repeat same task over and over again, you are called a cheat, until the twit wins.

I played Rugby for 22 years and know the rules quite well. I tried to teach some big 22 year kid how to bind properly in a scrum. He would not listen, because I am not Russian. So I demostrated by chickenwinged him and lifting the 130kg SOB up in the scrum. (it feels like crucification but more painful). I was accused of cheating and told to play in the backs. (scored two tries from there)

Went to a bar and minding my own business. This Russian guy comes up to me and challenges me to arm wrestling. I beat him handily, then I got challenged by one Russian after then next. At first it was fun where I would press them half way, take a shot of vodka and then defeat them. But after 35 arm wrestling match, I was tired and drunk. They were finally happy to win.

I'm finding exactly this to be an obstacle when trying to do business. It seems incredulous sometimes to domestic management that a foreigner can be talented, let alone capable, and therefore worthy of being given credit for accomplishments.

However, defending this attitude, the situation may be due to the hangover from the Communist system that dictates that a man's work as not his own, but belongs to the community. Attitudes towards copyright and trademark reflect this as well.

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 11:48
It seems that you came to Russia and found your niche and enjoy it, and that's great. But that doesn't in any way reflect the real quality of life here. Do you know Russian couples who don't have an American(foreign) spouse? Do you speak Russian? I think that you meet a lot of Orthodox people here because you are going to church.

In the last year I've met with English speaking people on 3 occasions, all the rest are Russian/Russian families. I speak and understand Russian on a passably informal social level. Yes, of course church is where one meets most Orthodox, but that's not it. Many people we meet on the street are also Orthodox. The chance of meeting an Orthodox on the street in the US is about 0%, but in Russia it is much, much higher.


I feel that Moscow has pushed me into being much more materialistic than I used to be, in this pressure to keep up with the Ivanovs.

Certainly, the crowd one runs in influences the type of people you will meet. Bars and clubs one type; Churches, classical concerts and monastery pilgrimages another entirely. This whole notion that "your experience is not the reality" I think is not true in this respect -- one thing I note is that basically nobody here is writing from the perspective of the Orthodox life, so you don't even know what that is for those Russians who live it. If you're not inside that mode of existence and spending time with those people who are, then yes, you will encounter an entirely different population and set of behavior and circumstances. The beautiful thing about Russia, from my perspective, is that you can choose to be in that life if you wish. In the US it's all but impossible due to the small population and the unceasing bombardment of the "consume! consume!" message from all directions. Sure, that's here in Russia too if you want to listen to it, but there are way more options here to escape/avoid it than there are in the US.

xSnoofovich
28-01-2011, 12:00
The beautiful thing about Russia, from my perspective, is that you can choose to be in that life if you wish. In the US it's all but impossible due to the small population and the unceasing bombardment of the "consume! consume!" message from all directions. .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portlandia_(TV_series)

"The Dream of the 90s is Alive in Portland" -- a hymn to one of America's greatest towns, where zines, slacking, good coffee, social consciousness, public transit and all the other sweet fantasies of the 90s are still alive.

Portland is where 20-something slackers can go to retire !!!

smchilds
28-01-2011, 12:07
The chance of meeting an Orthodox on the street in the US is about 0%, but in Russia it is much, much higher.

Well, Orthodox is basically a Russian/Greek religion. So, the Orthodox you meet in the US have Greek or Russian origins. I have met Orthodox Christians in the US. They were usually of Russian heritage. Not sure I get what the big deal about Orthodox is, though. My parents are protestants, go to church every week, and their friends are largely protestants. Is this somehow inferior to Orthodox? They (and the people in their church) are spiritual people, they talk about God, and they are not obsessed with owning stuff. I know that people from Europe (especially the UK) who come to the USA are often surprised by how religious the US seems, and how there really is a large number of people who go to church on a regular basis.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 12:19
The beautiful thing about Russia, from my perspective, is that you can choose to be in that life if you wish. In the US it's all but impossible due to the small population and the unceasing bombardment of the "consume! consume!" message from all directions. Sure, that's here in Russia too if you want to listen to it, but there are way more options here to escape/avoid it than there are in the US.

Ugh. Give me a break. There are certainly many many ways in the US to avoid consumerism if you so wish. Many people follow academic (not profitable, more intellectual) paths or spiritual paths. While in university in the US I attended Christian Fellowship, church and Bible study. All American cities (big and small) have mosques, synagogues, many many churches, even for Mormons or Scientologists (if you call their place a church, whatever). I don't feel that spiritual outlets lack in the US, and many people take advantage of them. Jews in the US very often go to synagogue. Jews here usually don't want to let anyone know they're Jewish (another problem entirely...I just don't think that Orthodox people are the only spiritual people with meaning in their lives). Anyway, as a protestant, I have not found a spiritual outlet in Moscow.

The "materialistic" people I meet are hard-working people with education whom I have met through work. I have not met anyone at a bar or club. Your concept of life here is rather simple and idealistic. And maybe life is peachy in St. Petersburg but the consume, consume vibe in Moscow is stronger than in any other place I have ever been.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 12:41
About 65% of ethnic Russians in Russia call themselves Orthodox. About 1% of those people actively participate in the religion and consider that their lives are affected by Orthodox teachings. That equals less than 1million people (of the ~142million people in Russia). (According to wikipedia)

xSnoofovich
28-01-2011, 12:45
Where do Old Believers fall into those stats?






About 65% of ethnic Russians in Russia call themselves Orthodox. About 1% of those people actively participate in the religion and consider that their lives are affected by Orthodox teachings. That equals less than 1million people (of the ~142million people in Russia). (According to wikipedia)

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 12:48
[QUOTE=xSnoofovich;792786]
Would people be as interested in you if you weren't an American? Would they be as warm and open-hearted? I would say no.



Really, it's true. I can't say I have met real friends here, even after 7 years. People are nice, friendly, they want to spend time with me - they ALWAYS want to practice English and they ALWAYS want me to answer questions about the US - usually they are hoping I'll tell them that the US sucks and Russia is better, but if I give such an impression, they'll tell me that Russia sucks and I can never understand how bad it is because I am not Russian.

It might be true for you....if you have nothing else to offer. If you only associate with people who are materialistic, then sure, the people you meet are going to be pining for the US in a big way, it's the materialism capital of the world. If after 7 years you're not making any friends in Russia, then shouldn't you perhaps evaluate very honestly the types of people you're choosing to associate with and the places you choose to spend your time? And what you personally can bring to the table in a friendship? I think the results you state are pretty conclusive that something needs a change...

Do you play a musical instrument? Do you sing, dance, recite / write poetry? With your Russian language training do you read and discuss literature? Do you search out opportunities to do so?

I play a fairly uncommon classical musical instrument and so always have an ice breaker and am right at home in any (musical, spiritual) crowd here. We associate with people who play and appreciate music, the fine arts, and the spiritual life -- and it is easy to find them here in Russia. I feel entirely secure in making the generalization that Russians love classical music, love art and poetry and literature, on a far deeper and more personal level than Americans do. Americans by and large think poetry is for pansies, and that emotional and musical (especially classical) expression in a group (unless it's hard rock) is "dorky." Whenever anybody learns of my musical abilities here in Russia, the immediate response is "come over! Bring your instrument!", and I do, and a grand time is had by all. The only people who EVER asked me to bring my instrument over for a social gathering in the US are my parents. Appreciation of musical (classical) and artistic expression in personal relationships is very, very rare in the US, and very, very common here, at least in the right group of people. The point being it's very easy to find that group in Russia, and basically impossible in the US -- people in the US just don't socialize that way and don't hold the same things valuable.

We were at a dinner party with a large family here in Russia, and I brought my instrument and played a bit. It turns out that family had their own orchestra! They whipped out their instruments and we were soon belting out Russian classic tunes in a group. The grandfather was a virtuoso banyan player, and he played with us as well. That was an entirely Russian moment, something never in a million years would I dream of that happening in the US. And not once did someone ask to practice their English with me, nor once did questions about "What's it like in the US?" come up. For people who really pursue and value the intellectual, artistic, and spiritual life, they do not pine for living in the US, they treasure the concerts, multitudes of churches and monasteries dotted all over the land here.

In addition to being a musician I also play chess seriously (I'm an intermediate player, I stopped playing tournaments with about a USCF 1600 rating after 9 months of club play, which was on a steady rise, I beat 1800-rated players on several occasions), I've coached my children, and generally have studied chess teaching and learning techniques. Guess what -- Russians LOVE CHESS. Everyone has a board, everyone plays -- another instant bonding activity. I've been at gatherings and asked the men "Вы играете в шахмахты?" and a big smile spreads over their faces, thinking they're going to put the American in his place. Sometimes they do, but never without a serious struggle, and sometimes they get creamed :).

One key to making friends and to having enjoyable social interactions is to have something yourself to offer beyond just "being American." Learn about how the people you want to spend time with spend their time, what they find valuable, and work to make yourself compatible.

So in many ways, my existence here DOES accurately reflect the Russian people's reality -- the realities of what they find truly valuable and meaningful in life, which materialism can never fill.

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 12:53
Well, Orthodox is basically a Russian/Greek religion. So, the Orthodox you meet in the US have Greek or Russian origins. I have met Orthodox Christians in the US. They were usually of Russian heritage. Not sure I get what the big deal about Orthodox is, though. My parents are protestants, go to church every week, and their friends are largely protestants. Is this somehow inferior to Orthodox? They (and the people in their church) are spiritual people, they talk about God, and they are not obsessed with owning stuff. I know that people from Europe (especially the UK) who come to the USA are often surprised by how religious the US seems, and how there really is a large number of people who go to church on a regular basis.

There is a lot of material available on the Orthodox Church, if you're interested. Google will show it to you. If you're strong in Russian then go to the Russian Orthodox Church site. There's OCA site for American/English readers as well.

yakspeare
28-01-2011, 12:55
America a land of consumers? You have to be kidding! Even with 70% of GDP tied in with the consumer, America is now the amateur. RUSSIA is the land of consumerism, absolutelely! I mean how many Iphones does tha average russian teenager need? " Oh this is my iphone 4, i have also an iphone 3 and iphone os(with mirrored face)"...

Russians are consumer mad...Russian business is far more capitalistic " Dog eat Dog" than in America(Where legislation and general rule of law limits this).

smchilds
28-01-2011, 12:56
Yeah, I go to the gym, play volleyball, used to go camping often, attended church here. I studied in the Philology Fakultet at MGU as a directly enrolled student. I attended some book discussion groups but found them lame.

I am not saying that the people I meet here are terrible people. That is not the point. Not everyone is totally shallow. Not everyone is begging me to carry them back home with me in my suitcase. I just think the degree of shallowness is not less here than in the US. And it's hard to be integrated as a foreigner, with people always stressing my inherent difference as an American.

xSnoofovich
28-01-2011, 12:58
[quote=smchilds;793169]


So in many ways, my existence here DOES accurately reflect the Russian people's reality --

I guess it is easy to ride the gravy train when you have an open credit line to the federal bank of wifey's parents.

For those of us that have to work for a living, it is a different story.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 13:00
There is a lot of material available on the Orthodox Church, if you're interested. Google will show it to you. If you're strong in Russian then go to the Russian Orthodox Church site. There's OCA site for American/English readers as well.

I actually know a lot about Russian Orthodox church. I do not have anything against it. But the majority of people here are not practicing. And I don't believe that Orthodox people are superior to and more spiritual than people of other religions, that's my point.

You like Russia because you have found Orthodox people here. The fact is that's not what most people are looking for when they are choosing where to live, you're kind of in the minority.

Kraven Morehead
28-01-2011, 13:01
America a land of consumers? You have to be kidding! Even with 70% of GDP tied in with the consumer, America is now the amateur. RUSSIA is the land of consumerism, absolutelely! I mean how many Iphones does tha average russian teenager need? " Oh this is my iphone 4, i have also an iphone 3 and iphone os(with mirrored face)"...

Russians are consumer mad...Russian business is far more capitalistic " Dog eat Dog" than in America(Where legislation and general rule of law limits this).

russia all about status. americans buy junk to own it, russians buy stuff to be seen with it.

american will have 20 pair of generic jeans from walmart.
russian must have name brand jeans even though they are knock off they bought from turkey.

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 13:09
[quote=Bogatyr;793350]

I guess it is easy to ride the gravy train when you have an open credit line to the federal bank of wifey's parents.

For those of us that have to work for a living, it is a different story.

What are you smoking? Did I ever tell you anything about my wife's parents, or about what my or my wife's employment or income situation is? No? Then why do you make things up?

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 13:21
I actually know a lot about Russian Orthodox church. I do not have anything against it. But the majority of people here are not practicing. And I don't believe that Orthodox people are superior to and more spiritual than people of other religions, that's my point.

You like Russia because you have found Orthodox people here.

It seems to me that you really don't know much about Orthodoxy, what the Church holds True and how the people strive to live their lives.


The fact is that's not what most people are looking for when they are choosing where to live, you're kind of in the minority.

What "most people do" is not a yardstick I use to determine how or where to live. If I did what "most people do" I'd have kept my soul-crushing cubicle job in America and never have joined the Church. So that's a pretty uninteresting and irrelevant "fact."

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 13:27
Yes, in general people did have a place to live, however, MANY people were not given apartments, but rooms in apartments. I personally know people who live in 2-3 room apartments in their own little room (like, they stick a microwave in their room and the room becomes like their studio apartment) and they share the apartment with other familes. I am not talking about flatmates or renting shared apartments, but OWNING shared apartments, and cohabitating forever with other families. And then there is a hierarchy to use the kitchen and bathroom (one person I know living in such an apartment - one room with his wife and kid - feels nervous about using the kitchen because the other family living in the apartment has been there longer, and have "claimed" the kitchen as theirs). I just can't even imagine the awkwardness of such a living arrangement. Another woman I know is 47, and until 3 years ago she owned "a room" in a shared apartment, until, at the age of 44, she had enough money to make a down-payment on her own flat, which is 2 hours (without traffic) from the center of Moscow. And she has a very good job by Moscow standards.

Do you somehow think people in the US don't commute very long distances every day in order to afford to buy a home? Very, very large numbers of people who work in San Francisco and the Bay Area commute from the Central Valley, a 2+ hours one way drive (very little public transportation available in the US of course once the car manufacturers dismantled it).

Sure, a room in a shared flat can have its disadvantages. But do you think your friends would rather be on the street, homeless, living under an overpass or tent in a field, waiting in line all day just to get a cot at one of the very few shelters in the US?

smchilds
28-01-2011, 13:31
Obviously, what this all boils down to is that the best place for an individual to live is super case-specific. If your aim is to find Russian Orthodox people to go on pilgrimage with, and people who will admire you when you play the piccolo at dinner parties, maybe the place for you is Russia. If you want to go on extreme nature adventures (like biking through Baikal or Russian forests) maybe the place is Russia. If you want to teach English abroad, work for Coca-Cola, be a Russian translator, or constantly feel like you are in the homeland of Dostoevsky and Pushkin then the place is Russia.

If you want decent ecological conditions, organic food, cheap and good Chinese food, clean parks for your kids, good university education, retirement benefits, etc., the place for you is not Russia. If your favorite hobby is cycling, water-skiing, or downhill skiing, the place for you is probably not Russia. If you want to be a doctor, teacher (other than ESL), lawyer, work in a museum or in some other cultural place, the place for you is probably not Russia. If you want to feel that, if something bad happens to you, the law *might* actually protect you, the place for you is not Russia.

I have plenty of hobbies and plenty of intellectual conversations with Russian people. I don't feel that everyone is totally vapid here. But people are also in the rat race, also trying to pay off their mortgage and save up money to retire in Italy. Honestly, when I go to the US I feel much more able to relax, contemplate life and discuss philosphical questions, read a book in a park while drinking iced tea (without being harassed by a bomzh), than I do in Moscow.

xSnoofovich
28-01-2011, 13:31
[quote=xSnoofovich;793357]

What are you smoking? Did I ever tell you anything about my wife's parents, or about what my or my wife's employment or income situation is? No? Then why do you make things up?

Just reading thru the lines in your posts. My mistake !

smchilds
28-01-2011, 13:32
Do you somehow think people in the US don't commute very long distances every day in order to afford to buy a home? Very, very large numbers of people who work in San Francisco and the Bay Area commute from the Central Valley, a 2+ hours one way drive (very little public transportation available in the US of course once the car manufacturers dismantled it).

Sure, a room in a shared flat can have its disadvantages. But do you think your friends would rather be on the street, homeless, living under an overpass or tent in a field, waiting in line all day just to get a cot at one of the very few shelters in the US?

Sorry, I forgot that there are no homeless people in Russia. And I have definitely noticed the over-abundance of homeless shelters and soup kitchens in Moscow. In my town in the US there might be 2 homeless people but anyway they have a soup kitchen.

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 13:35
America a land of consumers? You have to be kidding! Even with 70% of GDP tied in with the consumer, America is now the amateur. RUSSIA is the land of consumerism, absolutelely! I mean how many Iphones does tha average russian teenager need? " Oh this is my iphone 4, i have also an iphone 3 and iphone os(with mirrored face)"...

Russians are consumer mad...Russian business is far more capitalistic " Dog eat Dog" than in America(Where legislation and general rule of law limits this).

Oh, I never said that Russia was not Capitalistic or consumeristic, but that there is a very serious and viable option to not live that life. In the US, it surrounds and engulfs you, there's no way to avoid it. If you only move in "that crowd," in Russia, though, you wouldn't see it.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 13:36
It seems to me that you really don't know much about Orthodoxy, what the Church holds True and how the people strive to live their lives.


What "most people do" is not a yardstick I use to determine how or where to live. If I did what "most people do" I'd have kept my soul-crushing cubicle job in America and never have joined the Church. So that's a pretty uninteresting and irrelevant "fact."

The point of this thread is where is it better to live. That is talking about for the majority, not some ultra small minority. So, yes, when talking about where to live, most people want to have good living standards, a good home, good education for their children, a good job. Usually the opportunity to discuss poetry kind of comes in second to those things. Not that I believe that poetry is dead in America. I was a published poet in America and participated in many, many poetry readings.

And how do I not know anything about Orthodoxy and what it teaches? All I am saying is that most people who call themselves Orthodox are not practicing. My ex-husband is Orthodox atheist, as are all people in his family. "It seems to me that you really don't know much about Orthodoxy, what the Church holds True and how the people strive to live their lives." That has absolutely no relationship to anything I said and I feel like I am talking to someone who can't make a reasonable argument, which is frustrating.

xSnoofovich
28-01-2011, 13:37
If you only move in "that crowd," in Russia, though, you wouldn't see it.

Welcome home !

http://www.guidebooks.com.au/Russia%20Mongolia%20Overland/picture%20gallery%20006%20Kazak/NtB%20village.JPG

http://www.guidebooks.com.au/Russia%20Mongolia%20Overland/picture%20gallery%20011%20East%20Russia/FER11b%20russian%20village.JPG

http://englishrussia.com/index.php/2010/11/18/meanwhile-in-russian-villages/

http://englishrussia.com/index.php/2008/05/13/life-at-russian-village/

xSnoofovich
28-01-2011, 13:42
the opportunity to discuss poetry kind of comes in second .

Rap is the new poetry and is widely being discussed on many street corners across America by enterprising young men.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 13:48
Do you somehow think people in the US don't commute very long distances every day in order to afford to buy a home? Very, very large numbers of people who work in San Francisco and the Bay Area commute from the Central Valley, a 2+ hours one way drive (very little public transportation available in the US of course once the car manufacturers dismantled it).

Sure, a room in a shared flat can have its disadvantages. But do you think your friends would rather be on the street, homeless, living under an overpass or tent in a field, waiting in line all day just to get a cot at one of the very few shelters in the US?

Yeah, people commute from NJ or PA to NYC, people commute to Buffalo, NY from Hamburg, NY, plenty of people commute, there is no question about that. Often people buy a home and then their workplace changes, or they want to live away from the city. But very often people in the US commute because they want to, not because they have to. (The people who commute because they *have* to are often people on the lower side of society, perhaps below poverty level, whereas the people who commute to Moscow because they *have* to are, well, everyone who doesn't have a flat in the center...that means rich and middle class as well.) Also, many more Americans can afford cars than here, the road conditions are better, and traffic is not quite as suicide-inducing as it is in Moscow. Even driving in NYC, Boston and Philly many times, I never encountered the traffic that I face every day in Moscow.

Ruth123
28-01-2011, 13:51
russia all about status. americans buy junk to own it, russians buy stuff to be seen with it.

american will have 20 pair of generic jeans from walmart.
russian must have name brand jeans even though they are knock off they bought from turkey.

Our folks are like that too - obsessed with brands, and if you can't afford that Armani jeans you borrow money or something but you get them at the end.
I was surprised when i moved to Montenegro, how come everyone is dressed as if they were doing a photo sessions for a fashion magazine, but its just the way it is.
Many of my friends who live abroad say they feel real pressure when they visit back home - because you have to be perfect, slim and very nicely dressed, for woman - hair, nails done, make up; for men -shoes, watch etc. because that's by what everyone is judging you.
If you gain weight - everyone, even people you know just by face, will comment on it; they'll also give compliments ... and its not considered harassment, just the way it is. :p
It used to bother me immensely, but with time i got used to it.

Couple of days ago i went with a friend who is also a member here for a dinner to a nice trattoria downtown, we had couple of drank guys "showering us with attention" - she is Russian and my accent when i speak is not immediately heard; basically we wanted to be left alone but its not that we had a chance to get rid of them and the stuff didn't do anything to help us.
They weren't aggressive, just pushy and boring and we didn't want their company.
At some point of time they started showing us (literally) how much money they had with them and saying its melochy, they had more etc.
I couldn't believe my eyes.
They insisted on buying us drinks, i don't want strangers buying me drinks and at the end my friend and i sat at the table for two and they were standing around us.
Than they realized i was a foreigner, my friend said where i was from - and i got a lecture on hour history and how big "they" were to "us" , and how "we" were ungrateful and that "they" won't support "us" anymore and what not...
Well, i said - i am certain our Embassy is more than interested in hearing your views, why don't you write them an official letter?
But, my friend and i had to leave the restaurant because otherwise they wouldn't leave us alone.
Btw, the guys were like in their late twenties/early thirties* ... i mean, poor things, one has to be really messed up to behave like that, but that's not what i want to deal with when i go out (and pay outrageous prices for lousy food, but that's another topic.) Rant over. ;)


*eta: what i mean is, i'd understand such behavior from a teenager maybe, but like this i totally don't get it

xSnoofovich
28-01-2011, 13:55
because you have to be perfect, slim and very nicely dressed, for woman - hair, nails done, make up; for men -shoes, watch etc. because that's by what everyone is judging you.
If you gain weight - everyone, even people you know just by face, will comment on it;

Darn straight, as it should be !

Whoever heard of plus size barbie?

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 14:07
The point of this thread is where is it better to live.

I could go on point by point but I won't, some I'd score for the US, some for Russia.

But when it comes right down to it, we (expats) vote with our feet. Why are you here? If you are so much happier in the US than here, why aren't you in the US? Why don't you enumerate your reasons for being in Russia, instead of arguing with mine? My reasons work for me, and I voted with my feet and here I am.

The point of the thread is more accurately this: "Hey, I've heard all my life that the US is a shining jewel on a hill, the be-all and end-all of existence, the place where everyone wants to be, ... I just visited the US, and guess what, it turns out it isn't." Then people started arguing with that. I'm supporting that statement, and giving reasons why Russia is, (or "can be" if you like, depending on who you are) a superior place to live.

There are reasons to live in the US, and there are reasons not to live there. And likewise for Russia, as you've pointed out. For the vast majority of people who don't care about the reasons for living here, sure, it may not be the best place for them.

If you step back and take a long, hard look at many factors, I believe you will conclude that the US is on a decline and that Russia is on an incline. Time will tell.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 14:18
Most people participating in this thread are English speaking, from the US or Canada it seems. Not people who heard that the US is a jewel on a hill.

I am here now because my husband has business here. I also like Russian culture, and other things which I have already mentioned. I don't rant about how much I hate Moscow. I just don't think that Russia is some kind of spiritual haven where you can escape consumerism.

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 14:19
But very often people in the US commute because they want to, not because they have to.
Now that's funny. Where did you live? Teachers, police officers, firemen, even professional engineers, cannot afford to own or even sometimes rent near the main job centers on the West Coast.

Also, many more Americans can afford cars than here

It seems to me that many, many, many people here in SPB have cars. It seems like everybody. Cars line all the streets of all the business centers and all the sidewalk of all the living regions, all the way out to the city boundary. Maybe it's just a Lada (in fact there are TONS of foreign cars), regular people, not just the rich. I prefer to take the Metro when I can. I'm glad I live in a city with usable public transportation. Unlike just about anywhere in the US.

, the road conditions are better

Thanks to the "socialistic" public works programs in the last century.
Russian roads are bad, but are improving.



, and traffic is not quite as suicide-inducing as it is in Moscow. Even driving in NYC, Boston and Philly many times, I never encountered the traffic that I face every day in Moscow.
Why don't you come to SPB then? Traffic is bad but not like Moscow.

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 14:25
Well it's been (sort of) fun. For people who haven't been to the US, go live there a few years and see for yourself. Best of luck.

smchilds
28-01-2011, 14:39
http://www.gallup.com/poll/28504/Workers-Average-Commute-RoundTrip-Minutes-Typical-Day.aspx

Anyway, the people who do commute VERY rarely commute 2-hours one way. I have not lived in SF and I don't know the city or it's 'burbs. I do know that you can live affordably about 30 mins from the center of Philly or Boston. (I'm speaking about teachers, police officers (who, by the way, make like 10x more than teachers police officers here...I am not speaking about people who bag groceries, who can't really live affordably in any city, including Moscow).

And maybe it seems that everyone owns a car, but that's because of narrow streets and a lack of parking. Of people I know in Moscow (let's say, 100+ people) about 10% own cars. Of the people who own cars, about 50% still use public transportation to get to work.

yakspeare
28-01-2011, 15:07
Bogatyr,

I don't mind some things you are saying, but really....roads improving? Russia on an incline?

I talk to some interesting people in the legal profession....they have genuine concerns about if Russia will even exist in 50 years time....I mean it may exist in some form but there is absolutely no state funding of ANYTHING. Hospitals, schools and roads are in DECLINE in a massive way.

Russian quality of life may be improving, more opportunities and being able to purchase more goods etc. The Russian people are in better shape, in most cases. The state infrastructure doesn't even function as a country anymore. It will very much be a user pay system for what is left(schooling and medical etc).

xSnoofovich
28-01-2011, 15:12
Russian quality of life may be improving, more opportunities and being able to purchase more goods etc. .

Hand to mouth before inflation or the next crisis eats it up !!!

martpark
28-01-2011, 15:18
Well it's been (sort of) fun. For people who haven't been to the US, go live there a few years and see for yourself. Best of luck.

Like you said, look at the expats and if you did look at the Russians emigrating to the US, and vice versa, your argument would appear to have no foundation but, hey, if you're happy, more power to you.

Ruth123
28-01-2011, 15:28
Darn straight, as it should be !

Whoever heard of plus size barbie?

My thoughts exactly! I mean, a man without a S-class Mercedes, Rolex, a blackberri, Paciotti shoes and at least one (regular-sized) Barbie on his arm - is not a man...
As if anyone cared what he eventually had to say - given that he even didn't manage to get himself a decent car and a decent 'gal...

If seriously, i like people taking care of their appearance, i respect someone being groomed - because its nice, but we get to content/form "controversy"...
I don't care whether some monk who looks like caveman, is unwashed and basically just scares me with his looks - has spent 12h in prayer - go get a life, i am very curious if you can be so spiritual when living life and interacting with real people;
i've been to various spiritual retreats, its easy to be "all spiritual" when you do nothing else but pray , meditate - don't have any distractions, don't get your spirituality challenged by real life, but live in some ephemeral utopia...
But i digress. ;)
As Chekhov says in Uncle Vanya -
In the human being should be all fine : and his face and clothes, and soul and mind.
(В человеке должно быть все прекрасно: и лицо, и одежда, и душа, и мысли.)
Of course, if one has spent 3h doing many/ pedi , waxing, bleaching etc., not that much time left for the rest - and vice versa...
Don't know, guess it all comes down to prioritizing and aiming at some healthy balance, to the best of one's abilities, no? ;)

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 15:34
Bogatyr,

I don't mind some things you are saying, but really....roads improving? Russia on an incline?

The road out to the dacha used to be abominable now it is quite pleasant, with even several kilometers of "super-freeway" (2 lanes each way, with physical barrier) leading out of the city. There are many big in-the-city road reconstruction projects going on right now, I've seen *huge* improvements in streets in the last year. Haven't been deep in the countryside, so can't say for sure. I've had some bumpy adventures, I'll agree.


Russian quality of life may be improving, more opportunities and being able to purchase more goods etc. The Russian people are in better shape, in most cases.

Wouldn't you call that an "incline"?


The state infrastructure doesn't even function as a country anymore. It will very much be a user pay system for what is left(schooling and medical etc).
I have hope it will improve. We'll see. At least nobody is blowing sunshine up each others, uh, noses, about how great the place is, like in other countries. Checked out US schools recently, and the drug use rate in US high schools?

BrandonL
28-01-2011, 15:52
The road out to the dacha used to be abominable now it is quite pleasant, with even several kilometers of "super-freeway" (2 lanes each way, with physical barrier) leading out of the city. There are many big in-the-city road reconstruction projects going on right now, I've seen *huge* improvements in streets in the last year. Haven't been deep in the countryside, so can't say for sure. I've had some bumpy adventures, I'll agree.

Wouldn't you call that an "incline"?


I have hope it will improve. We'll see. At least nobody is blowing sunshine up each others, uh, noses, about how great the place is, like in other countries. Checked out US schools recently, and the drug use rate in US high schools?

What I love the most, is...you've been here for 1 year, and all of a sudden, you know everything about Russia, and how much of a better country it is..
we should all bow down to the all knowing!

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 16:14
What I love the most, is...you've been here for 1 year, and all of a sudden, you know everything about Russia, and how much of a better country it is..
we should all bow down to the all knowing!

Where's the part where you missed I've been married to a Russian for 20 years (who has kept very close to Russia in that time), have been visiting regularly for long periods of time over the last 11 years?

Do you feel that people who disagree with you need you to bow down to them? Yes, I feel there are many aspects to Russia and life in Russia that are better, and yes I lived most of my life in the US and feel qualified to comment on it. You can take it or leave it. Online forums sure breed some strange comments (can't wait to see what is made of that....bring it on).

xSnoofovich
28-01-2011, 16:38
Checked out US schools recently, and the drug use rate in US high schools?

Ever hung out in the morning by a kiosk down the street from a school? How those kids buying the cigs or the high-energy alco drinks you think are going to that school?

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 17:16
Ever hung out in the morning by a kiosk down the street from a school? How those kids buying the cigs or the high-energy alco drinks you think are going to that school?

Yes that's not great. But it's not: crystal meth, ecstasy, etc. And I get the impression that teachers are more in tune with the students and what's going on with them personally here. Small population sample, your experience may differ. There, enough qualification so you don't think I need you to bow down?

xSnoofovich
28-01-2011, 18:13
uh, bow down? I think that was a different poster.

Anyways, maybe the school system is different in SpB, but, as I have heard it, the public school system here in Moscow is hit or miss, and when you do get a hit, the schools are good, whereas the majority are miss. I guess the private schools are pretty good though.

As to crystal meth, sure, it isn't as widespread here as back home. But you do hear about a bust 1 -2x a year at the universities when the chem majors are cooking up dope.

I guess heroin is more widely used than cocaine or meth, and pot is fairly common as well. However, alcohol trumps all hands down.


Yes that's not great. But it's not: crystal meth, ecstasy, etc. And I get the impression that teachers are more in tune with the students and what's going on with them personally here. Small population sample, your experience may differ. There, enough qualification so you don't think I need you to bow down?

Kraven Morehead
28-01-2011, 19:05
Now that's funny. Where did you live? Teachers, police officers, firemen, even professional engineers, cannot afford to own or even sometimes rent near the main job centers on the West Coast.

It seems to me that many, many, many people here in SPB have cars. It seems like everybody. Cars line all the streets of all the business centers and all the sidewalk of all the living regions, all the way out to the city boundary. Maybe it's just a Lada (in fact there are TONS of foreign cars), regular people, not just the rich. I prefer to take the Metro when I can. I'm glad I live in a city with usable public transportation. Unlike just about anywhere in the US.

Thanks to the "socialistic" public works programs in the last century.
Russian roads are bad, but are improving.


Why don't you come to SPB then? Traffic is bad but not like Moscow.

They can afford condos, but they cannot afford the American dream of a home.

Cars cost more in Russia than the USA. Americans still earn way more than Russians. Cars are a part of the American culture.


Roads are poor, because Russia has not spent any money on infrastructure. But American roads are also joining this route. Also you can keep good roads in warmer climates than colder ones. Also add the fact there is twice the number of people in 1/2 the land.

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 19:06
uh, bow down? I think that was a different poster.

Oh, yeah. Sorry. Never mind.

Kraven Morehead
28-01-2011, 19:11
Yes that's not great. But it's not: crystal meth, ecstasy, etc. And I get the impression that teachers are more in tune with the students and what's going on with them personally here. Small population sample, your experience may differ. There, enough qualification so you don't think I need you to bow down?

Schools have not changed much in the USA except kids are more lazy. Same can be said about the kids in Russia.

yakspeare
28-01-2011, 19:16
I know drug rates in the Russian Army are terrible awful(mind you it is widespread in other armies too).

Thing is, America is a country where everything is exposed. With the state media in Russia, you never really know what is going on(Unless they want you to).

Rates of child abandonment, missing children etc are staggering.

30000 children go missing every year in Russia.

St Petersburg(depending on stats) has between 16000 and 20000 streetkids. Moscow is SIGNIFICANTLY higher.

100,000 children are abandoned by their parents each year.

Sexual exploitation, even slavery, happens in Russia. This is not to say other countries are immune(India has 45000 children go missing each year but who wants to compare to them?).

Russia is not an easy place, those with money or can find opportunities and work darn hard can prosper. There is no safety net. The American system is somewhat broken, but it is still far superior in almost every way.

There is no independant Judiciary in Russia and 25% of GDP goes in corruption. So much needs to be fixed. I don't care if you are a Medput lover or hater, I just hope this incredible country unshackles itself, so it can shine.

(Oh and if you see a shiny new road it is probably because some person of influence had a Dacha nearby, or someone special was awarded the construction contract- there seems little other reason for anything else to be built).

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 19:21
They can afford condos, but they cannot afford the American dream of a home.

Or is it they can't afford a home near Moscow or SPB? Same thing in the US: all those $50,000 houses in little towns mentioned earlier. Sure, but those little towns have no economy to support even the lesser salary to afford them because the manufacturing infrastructure was gutted and moved overseas. There are many places far away from big centers where homes are cheap in the US, but who wants to live there? They're cheap for a reason! Same thing in Russia: land in the middle of nowhere is not that expensive, and pre-fab homes are pretty reasonable, probably less than a condo in Moscow. So, they probably could, but....they don't want to because they'd need to take a train for a day or two just to get to work.

If you're not already rich or unless you're an engineer who got lucky with stock options, you can't buy a home in just about any city the San Francisco Bay Area. And we're not talking mansions, but 3 bedroom 2 bath ranch style homes in modest areas. Cupertino, California, smallish pretty quiet city in the center of Silicon Valley, home of Apple computer: average 3-2 ranch style home: $1,000,000. A bit less in some cities, a bit more in others, but really, who can afford to buy new at those prices? That's why people commute 2+ hours one way on the West Coast in California.

Bogatyr
28-01-2011, 19:34
There is no independant Judiciary in Russia and 25% of GDP goes in corruption. So much needs to be fixed. I don't care if you are a Medput lover or hater, I just hope this incredible country unshackles itself, so it can shine.

Absolutely, I'm glad it is not a phenomenon that the party in a court dispute in the US could sway the result with throwing money at it and acquiring the right set of lawyers, glad to hear that. What good is an impartial judiciary if the quality of the data and argument they're presented is the result of who can pay the most?

Corruption in the US is just hidden behind corporate boardroom walls, or out in the open and called pretty names like "lobbying." Everything runs according to money in the US, everything. You pay you money, you get your laws to benefit your business. Why isn't that called "corruption" is beyond me.



(Oh and if you see a shiny new road it is probably because some person of influence had a Dacha nearby, or someone special was awarded the construction contract- there seems little other reason for anything else to be built).

Yes, and the United States Congress is 100% pork-and-special-interest free, eh?

Well then all we have to do is give the bigwigs dachas in the areas of the worst roads, problem solved.

I agree about shackles and shining, no argument there. I believe it will, that's why I'm here.

Kraven Morehead
28-01-2011, 19:41
Or is it they can't afford a home near Moscow or SPB? Same thing in the US: all those $50,000 houses in little towns mentioned earlier. Sure, but those little towns have no economy to support even the lesser salary to afford them because the manufacturing infrastructure was gutted and moved overseas. There are many places far away from big centers where homes are cheap in the US, but who wants to live there? They're cheap for a reason! Same thing in Russia: land in the middle of nowhere is not that expensive, and pre-fab homes are pretty reasonable, probably less than a condo in Moscow. So, they probably could, but....they don't want to because they'd need to take a train for a day or two just to get to work.

If you're not already rich or unless you're an engineer who got lucky with stock options, you can't buy a home in just about any city the San Francisco Bay Area. And we're not talking mansions, but 3 bedroom 2 bath ranch style homes in modest areas. Cupertino, California, smallish pretty quiet city in the center of Silicon Valley, home of Apple computer: average 3-2 ranch style home: $1,000,000. A bit less in some cities, a bit more in others, but really, who can afford to buy new at those prices? That's why people commute 2+ hours one way on the West Coast in California.

Again, Russians are more used in living in Flats and Americans want the house with the white picket fence.

yakspeare
28-01-2011, 19:56
Russians in MOSCOW might be used to flats but here in Krasnodar they are scarce indeed. In Volgograd(rebuilt after the war) 95% of my students lived in flats....here in Krasnodar maybe 10% max do so. Some of the houses are darn impressive too.

BrandonL
28-01-2011, 20:02
Where's the part where you missed I've been married to a Russian for 20 years (who has kept very close to Russia in that time), have been visiting regularly for long periods of time over the last 11 years?

Do you feel that people who disagree with you need you to bow down to them? Yes, I feel there are many aspects to Russia and life in Russia that are better, and yes I lived most of my life in the US and feel qualified to comment on it. You can take it or leave it. Online forums sure breed some strange comments (can't wait to see what is made of that....bring it on).


I guess being raised in a Korean family, with constant and long trips to South Korea, over 30 years, makes me an expert on Korea! :)

Visiting here, living here are two different things.

sixfootwo
28-01-2011, 21:53
I know drug rates in the Russian Army are terrible awful(mind you it is widespread in other armies too).

Thing is, America is a country where everything is exposed. With the state media in Russia, you never really know what is going on(Unless they want you to).

Rates of child abandonment, missing children etc are staggering.

30000 children go missing every year in Russia.

St Petersburg(depending on stats) has between 16000 and 20000 streetkids. Moscow is SIGNIFICANTLY higher.

100,000 children are abandoned by their parents each year.

Sexual exploitation, even slavery, happens in Russia. This is not to say other countries are immune(India has 45000 children go missing each year but who wants to compare to them?).

Russia is not an easy place, those with money or can find opportunities and work darn hard can prosper. There is no safety net. The American system is somewhat broken, but it is still far superior in almost every way.

There is no independant Judiciary in Russia and 25% of GDP goes in corruption. So much needs to be fixed. I don't care if you are a Medput lover or hater, I just hope this incredible country unshackles itself, so it can shine.

(Oh and if you see a shiny new road it is probably because some person of influence had a Dacha nearby, or someone special was awarded the construction contract- there seems little other reason for anything else to be built).

Sitting here in my middle class house, with my middle class car outside, with my middle class wife, and my middle class bank account...I want to cry when I read such terrible stats about such cruelty and hopelessness.

We need more focus on these issues in the press so we can get more votes to kick out the t*ssers called todays politicians, and get people in power who will tackle poverty, oppression, cruelty etc etc instead of focussing on minority issues such as cyclists, parking tickets, political correctness, etc etc.

I feel so helpless...but I do give to charity every month.