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Armchair_Strategist
04-06-2004, 19:25
I am considering moving to Russia with my wife and 6 year old daughter, but...

My wife is from St. Petersburg and is worried that because I am an American it will make us a target for criminals and they will extort all our money from us.

Is this a real concern or is it reasonably possible for someone from the US to move to Russia with his family and not a high risk to be targeted by criminals?

camus
04-06-2004, 20:04
Originally posted by Armchair_Strategist
I am considering moving to Russia with my wife and 6 year old daughter, but...

My wife is from St. Petersburg and is worried that because I am an American it will make us a target for criminals and they will extort all our money from us.

Is this a real concern or is it reasonably possible for someone from the US to move to Russia with his family and not a high risk to be targeted by criminals?

It is impossible for a Rich American (redundant, I know) to move to Russia without facing extortion, especially if said American wears Levi's and/or smokes Malboros. There have been whole mafia wars over Levi's, specifically (don't you read the news?) Stay in America and don't compromise your safety.

kniga
04-06-2004, 20:38
Armchair,

Camus has a well known bent sense of humor, so you can ignore him until he starts writing something seriously. Then you might well listen to him.

As to your question, you should have no problem living here in Moscow, a city of some 10 million souls, providing that you take the ordinary precautions anyone takes in a foreign land. If you live in a high style, drive an expensive car, are loud and boistrous in public, then you will find yourself the target of various elements of society from militia to mafia. However, if you are a pretty average Joe, then you shouldn't have any special problems. It depends more on your personality and ability to adapt to the very different Russian culture for which your Russian wife has only partially prepared you.

Jose L Piedra
05-06-2004, 06:43
Kniga, I`d have to take a diametrically opposite view here. If the original poster is asking totally basic questions which display an almost total lack of knowledge of Russia, the advice has to be "go and see what it`s like for yourself and decide whether or not it suits you, personally". Armchair, a question - you`re MARRIED to a Russian lady......... how come you know so little about what Russia`s like ?

polly
05-06-2004, 07:07
ok -- i have run into this kinda thing before. a lot of Russians who emigrated to America have this horror-story idea about Russia and crime. like the mafia is all out to get YOU.
that's like thinking that everyone on the street or in the restaurant is talking about YOU. they aren't.
some RUssian immigrants in America have this totally skewed vision of what Russia is like because of bad experiences during Soviet times or exaggerrated stories from relatives who experienced the Soviet regime.
three words: IT HAS CHANGED.

there are still a lot of problems. there is still a lot of corruption. so what makes you so special that every criminal in Russia is going to target you? They aren't.

It is like living in any other big city anywhere in the world. I've posted that sentence for you three times now. Please, please read it.

where do yuo live in the States? it is likely that there is organized crime and corruption in your area. Has all your money been extorted from you there? Probably not.

You have been hearin some pretty Tall Tales AND believing them.

kniga
05-06-2004, 09:58
Jose,

You are quite right about the best thing to do is to come and see for oneself. I was just trying to take a shortcut to debunking Camus' cynical/comical response because I understood from Armchair's post that he had been fed a bunch of scare stories. Polly rounded out my arguments quite nicely.

pengwn9
05-06-2004, 16:15
Kniga--I like it here and I've never had any problems, but I must say that I think that Russia certainly can be a very dangerous country.

The complete lack of legal protections and the ubitiquious corruption at all levels of government and law enforcement make Russia very different from the USA. And dangerous.

I'm here under very comfortable subsidized circumstances. But I think that if I had just wandered over here on my own and tried to make a go of things, I'd be on my way back home. This can be a very very tough place to live.

Jose L Piedra
05-06-2004, 17:03
The normal safety nets are certainly not in place in Russia. As Peng says, that`s more where the danger lies. The "Mafiya" is generally concerned with extracting bribes and protection money from large scale business - you`ll simply not be visible enough to attract attention, nor not worth their time. Some business posters on this site HAVE attracted unwelcome visitors, though. It`s highly unlikely that you`ll run into any major problems. However, Armchair, you come from a land where people have defensible rights and recourse to legal systems which guarantee those rights. That`s not one area Russia excels in.

kniga
05-06-2004, 17:07
Pengwn9,

No doubt about it, this is not a place for the fainthearted. However, knowing the rules (or in this case, lack thereof), one can live comfortably here. Every big city is dangerous to a certain extent, but I would take Moscow over any city I can name in Latin America, for instance, and I say this despite the fact that I speak Spanish as well as Russian. One must take the ordinary precautions and some rather extraordinary ones here like swiveling one's head like a fighter pilot to look in all directions before crossing a street in order to avoid the sometimes unpleasant aspects of Russian society. But, no guts, no Air Medals, as we used to say.

earl
05-06-2004, 17:14
I've been in Moscow perhaps two weeks. In that time, I've been mistaken for a Russian at least 4 times. I dress nicely (dress shirt + dress pants + black leather jacket) and I apparently blend in well enough that many people believe I'm Russian. (Or at least believe enough to be surprised when I have to apologize and tell them I don't understand russian.) So, as has been said, wear decent clothes and you certainly won't stand out. Keep your mouth shut and don't smile at people and you'll be fine.

Oh, and learn to love this phrase:
-
Ya nyeh gavaryoo pa-rooskee
I don't speak Russian.

The people, when they are not on the subway, have been uniformly nice and very patient with my abysmal Russian. Except for anyone behind a counter -- they're all grouchy (what is up with big cities having grouchy people working at all their stores? NYC is exactly the same.)

Most menus are available in English, or you can find places with pictures and just point. If it is you and your wife, you won't have the problems divvying up the bill that my friends and I constantly encounter (has Russia never heard of split checks?) Cigarettes are dirt cheap and beer costs only 30% more than water, so pick your poison.

Russian proper isn't terribly hard, although I think I read that a "fluent" person is one who has a working vocabulary of 15,000 words and a vocabulary of 25,000+, so that will take a while. Pronunciation is pretty easy except they toss groups of consonants together that are difficult for the english tongue to pronounce. However, with about 10 - 15 hours of effort, you can become good enough at sounding out words to make yourself understood at the street vendors.

The grammer is more regular but more work than English. It's similar to spanish although simpler -- fewer verb tenses, but the same conjugations matching subjects. It has cases for nouns -- basically, you tack on an ending depending on whether the noun is a subject, direct object, indirect object (following a preposition), etc. Verb conjugation, in my limited experience, tends to be pretty regular, so that's nice. There is a program in Moscow that, so far, is pretty decent at teaching foreigners to speak Russian. It isn't aimed at "survival" Russian -- it's a typical but condensed foreign language program. Check out www.ruslanguage.ru (and if you do end up going, please tell them that Earl sent you.)

Have fun.

-earl-

Moscow Wolf
05-06-2004, 17:17
I suppose that from its World-wide image, Russia is still classed as the capital of organised crime and extortion, but from a street crime point of view, Moscow fairs better than a lot of other Western cities.

However in making a comparrison between the inherent dangers and risks of living in Russia, I would say that there are other factors to be considered. A lot of Corporate companies still class Russia as a 'hard country' so what do they base this status on?

I don't have the answers, but I make the following suggestions that might well be factors that they or anyone else could take into account when identifying the risks of coming to Russia as opposed to living in the West: -


Driving - I don't know the statistics, but I would say that it more dangerous to drive here than in the USA or Western Europe. (probably not including Greece who also have a high road fatality count). Plus, if you get injured, will your insurance be as useful as a usual western insurance policy?

Pollution - I know that you are talking about St Pete, but I consider Moscow to be a very polluted city. I wouldn't risk drinking the tap water unless boiled and that leaves brown stains in my kettle. Are we subjected to more pollution here than in the West?

Ecological Disasters - We just don't know where a lot of the nuclear stuff is or other poisons and toxins that were around from Soviet times. Could another Chernobyl happen again? Is it more likey to happen here than in the West?

Disease - TB and HIV on the increase for example and (I guess), no real programme to counter them. Are these more likely to be contacted here than in the West.

Drugs - Are the chances of children being introuduced to Drugs more likely or less likely than in the West? I hear some terrible stories about drugs in Moscow schools.

Social Factors - Drink/Diet. I personally think that the diet is better here; more natural produce with less preservatives and chemicals in the production process, but this is changing too. I can contact BSE in the UK eating Beef, am I safer here eating meat? I certainly drink more alcohol here than I would at home and long term it is a risk factor.

Medical Care - If your on an Expat package you don't have too much to worry about with medical care, but if you're not then you have to take it into account. You have a Russian wife, where would she go and what level of treatment could she expect here compared to the USA?

Fire - As most of us live in high rise buildings with a reasonable chance of a fire starting in a flat somewhere, are we more at risk here than in the West? In the 10 years I have lived here, I have witnessed two fires in two separate buildings. One was a neighbour on the same floor and I wasn't at home the other, a flat 3 floors below me and at round midnight. It does bring it home when you're standing on your 9th floor balcony with your front door taped up to stop the smoke coming in and thinking, now do I get down from here.

Terrorism - Are we more at risk here of being involved in a terrorist incident than anywhere else nowadays?

Political - Is Russia now considered a stable country, could we face a coup d'etat now or at anytime in the nearest future?

I know that the factors I listed could become separate Topics in their own right, some already are, but I'm just trying to show that there might be more to the possible risk/danger of living in Russia than being mugged, beaten or extorted.

Armchair_Strategist
05-06-2004, 20:51
I think my situation is complicated.

When I have visited Russia, staying with my wifes parents, it seemed poor but pretty safe to me. We even went and spent a few days in Moscow and again, I never felt threatened.

There are many areas in the US I would feel threaten and in danger to walk down the street. Ive lived in LA County and now live just south on Buffalo in New York where the crime rate is very low. There are areas in both LA and Buffalo that I would say can be dangerous to walk in.

My wife speaks of strongly missing her parents and often missing Russia. She often talks about how she thinks such and such is no better than in Russia or the reverse, that such and such in Russia is just as bad in the US.

What has us looking to move is problems living in the US because of me.

Back in the 80s I was charged with molesting a child. The charge was that one time during a hike I took an 8 year old boy I knew on sometime on or about the summer of 1981 I had sex with him. The district attorney said if I admitted to fondling the boy Id just be charged with misdemeanor fondling but otherwise hed make sure I went to prison. I refused to admit to fondling the boy, saying I wont admit to a lie.


I was convicted and sent to prison for 3 years, though I only served 2 years. Even though the prison term ended up only being 2 years, this whole issue pretty much destroyed my life between 20 and 30 years old.

Then, after prison, I went on to rebuild my life. I went to a university and earned a degree in engineering. While I was going to the University, the State sprung a new punishment upon me, requiring I register as a sex offender. Still, there were laws that would allow me to get off the registration, after so many years I could get a rehabilitation certificate and be relieved of the required registration.

I met and married my wife. She was graduating medical school in Russia at the same time I was graduating engineering school in the US. Unfortunately, when she came to the US her degree seemed worthless and she is now working for about $6/hr at a department store.

We had a child who is healthy and smart, even though a pickle sometimes.

I succeeded at getting the certificate of rehabilitation, but during the process of getting it a new law was passed that made it so sexual offenders still had to register even if they had the certificate of rehabilitation.

Then 9/11 happened. I was shortly there after laid off, which might have been due to economics, except that the company really badly needed me to finish a couple projects and it was going to hurt them for me not to finish them. All they had to do was keep me two more months and the projects would be complete, so it cost them more to lay me off than to keep me 2 more months.

One of the last things my former employer said to me over the phone was He could believe he never did a security check on me.

After that I could not find work. After a year of not finding work, I started liquidating my assets.

I found a decent neighborhood in New York State, south of Buffalo, where I could buy a business and residence in a mixed use building and if I placed all our family assets into the building it would be paid off. Then we could collect some rent, live in it and start my own business.

Before buying the property, I spoke to the local police officer who was in charge of sex offender registration. I had a good impression from him and felt he would let us live in the area without harassing us.

So we bought the property and moved across the country. One hard move. Then we moved my handicapped mother across the country so she could live near us. Another hard move.

(continued next post)

Armchair_Strategist
05-06-2004, 20:52
(continued from previous post)

Things seemed to be going pretty well. But, the State came along and decided to establish a risk level to me because I moved. They decided to declare me the highest level risk. I we could say is Oh My God!

Mind you, we have almost no income now. Not enough to cover our living costs. So everything we cant cover with what little we make has to come out of what little we saved before my getting laid off.

We spent $7,000+ to fight the state over this new level of punishment that was never before placed upon me. We managed to lower the risk assessment to medium where the local authority can basically use there own judgment. We did this by forcing them to remove the bad points they were adding based on total lies. The court gave ZERO points for the fact that the incident occurred over 23 years ago, that prior and since that single incident there has never been any other incident, that Ive already been registering for 12 years, that I received a rehabilitation certificate which is quite hard to get or any other positive points that should have been in my favor. Had they included any such positive points I would be a low level risk and perhaps not be registering at all.

Instead, the court treated the risk assessment as if Id just been found guilty.

The final level of this to bring this to the present is that the local police, while polite about it, have chosen to send out public notice to everyone in the area I live, with my photo, name and stating I am a medium level risk convicted Child Molester.

Considering my daughter is just turning 6 and starts first grade this coming September and the fact that my hope of supporting my family rests on the business Im in the process of starting, Id say we were totally screwed.

I can not see any way to prevent the adults and kids who will be interacting with my daughter from knowing what will be publicly announced by the local police.

I dont see any way to prevent customers to the business I am trying to start from knowing what will be publicly announced by the local police.

Never before was such a public notification made. Not when I was being charged in the first place. Not during the first 3 years after I served my term in prison. Not for the 12 years since I first was required to start registering.

Makes me feel like I should never have tried to rebuild my life, that I should never have married and I should never have had a child.

The State is not only totally screwing me, they are totally screwing my wife, my daughter and my mother. This is wrecking extreme havoc upon all 4 of our lives.

Thus, I am thinking about moving to Russia, which would be the easiest country I can think of for us to move to because my wife and daughter have dual citizenship with the US and Russia.

But, when I start looking into this, my wife starts saying NO. Not Russia. It is too dangerous. It is too economically unstable. It is too corrupt and crime ridden.

In general, she now paints a very bad picture of us going to Russia to live and trying to build a future for ourselves there.

It all leaves me feeling like my family is DOOMED because of me.

Ive talked about my just going away and leaving them, but they dont want that and they also depend upon me for support and making our lives work.

Catch 22.

Damned if you do.

Damned if you dont.

Moscow Wolf
06-06-2004, 10:45
Christ almighty man, you moved the context of the thread a long way away form what it started out. Who am I to judge you. If you're innocent, I feel for you, if you are not then, carry the fine for the crime. I'm not here to judge you.

Have you checked the situation about getting a visa to come here with the record and problems you have? You could be on a 'black list' here too, have you checked?



Sorry man if I'm harsh, I don't know you from Adam, no offence intended.

kniga
06-06-2004, 11:18
Armchair,

I choose to believe your story and on that basis I offer my condolences for the state driven mess you are in. As Moscow Wolf says, if you are guilty, you will continue to suffer for the crime, but that is between you and God, not a matter for my judgement since I have neither the facts nor the right.

That being said, since you are in the position you are in, it is clear that you need to make a change to protect your family and especially your child from the harmful effects this situation threatens. The question about Russia is complex, but in a simplified response, I would suggest that you look at Russia carefully because of your wife, not in spite of her. If you are going to move somewhere for a clean start, all foreign countries present problems to the citizen of another country, so Russia is just a country where a lot of adjustments would have to be made, some harder than, say in Germany, others easier than, say, in Uganda.

A lot of expats have made a go of it here in Russia, especially in Moscow, but not without the expenditure of a great deal of blood, sweat and tears. A Russian wife should be an asset to you because she understands the language and the culture and can save you many unpleasant, time consuming, and expensive lessons along the way. I have been coming to the Soviet Union and now Russia for 15 years and now live here, and I can tell you that by living quietly, though normally, I have had no problems here. I have never once been stopped by the militia to check my papers and if the FSB (old KGB) are keeping and eye on me, as they admittedly did in the waning days of the USSR, they are doing a good and silent job of it. This is highly unlikely for two reasons: 1) no money in the budget to follow foreigners around, and 2) despite my military background, I do nothing to create any suspicion as to my motives for being here.

I have no idea why your wife is so apprehensive about living in Russia, but this is not the country it was 10, even five years ago. Russians will tell you that normal people leading normal lives have few problems with anyone here that are not mostly of their own making. One stays out of bad bars and dark alleys in every city in the world, and does likewise in Moscow. Moscow Wolf is right about checking your status as to not being blacklisted to get into the country. I don't know how to check this other than to apply for a visa and see what happens. Perhaps someone else on the expat site can help you with this.

I wish you good luck and a fresh start. You will get help in Moscow from some of the people on this site. They are a good bunch of people in the main, despite some of the silliness we all display here from time to time. Remember, no guts, no Air Medals. Go for it!

GreatArcticBear
06-06-2004, 11:51
Visa - try getting one through Vadim Rybakov - Liga Consulting 978 15 29 or Elena Terekhova who also seems to get good recommendations.

Does anyone know if you have to answer any questions about legal problems, criminal records etc when applying for a visa to Russia? I remember only questions about military background and the like. If not, then it is doubtful that your name will be on any blacklist.

Moscow Wolf
06-06-2004, 12:12
LKKL. It is not a question about what you fill out on a form anymore, it is a question about what the FSB have on their files etc. with all this Interpol and International cooperation etc.

However the truth of the fact is that the FSB are over-loaded with their own internal problems so they can't even think about checking out every Visa application etc.

Jose L Piedra
06-06-2004, 12:15
Kniga, a lot of Russian women who become expats tend to talk very badly about Russia. I`d actually considered moving there once and was told, in no uncertain terms, that if I was one kopek better off than the average, Russians would do me down out of sheer jealousy. (We`re talking "provincial Russia" here, and this is a Moscow board. Huge difference.)

I got a few offers - and when it came to the crunch, I decided not to go. I`d been an expat a few times before, and had a very good idea of how my life would develop in Russia. I was realistic - brutally so - about whether or not I could stay there long term, what my long term prospects were and I knew - only too well - about the cultural differences between me and the average Russian. There was no point - at all - of me going if I didn`t think I could integrate and stay there long term, and I was very doubtful if I could. I`m hitting middle age, Armchair may be a little more full of get up and go than I am, but I was looking for long term stability - and I`d be burning my bridges, no going back.

I can`t say I particularly like my home country, but I guess that was down to my personal makeup. You tend to take your problems with you, and I`d probably just end up hating Russia, to be honest. There is much to like about Russia - there`s also a hell of a lot to dislike about it as well. But. Different people have different agendas, likes and dislikes.

What I`d say to Armchair is - Armchair, you`re asking very, very basic questions which show a naievetie about Russia - and - if you`re married to a Russian lady and have to ask these questions, sorry, I frankly do wonder what you talk about in the evening. It`s very difficult - almost impossible - for the average first world foreigner to imagine what life is like in Russia. As I believe Polly said in a different thread, you have to experience it to understand it. I love the place - and I hate aspects of life there - but - I don`t think you can quite understand what it means to live in Russia. Younger members on this site will say, "Why not just go off and do it ? " - forgetting that as you get older, it`s more difficult to uproot yourself and start again having lost everything or thrown it away on an idea. To move to a country you have no idea about where the rules are totally different seems to me to be ......... risky in the extreme.

So my simple question for you is - why not try Europe ? An English speaking country, such as Holland, where your wife`ll have no problems with the language ? There are a great many possibilities, but I couldn`t suggest Russia to anyone who doesn`t LOVE the place - it`s not a place to "escape" to but a place to voluntarily go to. If you go for the wrong reasons, without any love of Russia, believe me, everyday life in Russia WILL wear you down. Go and see it for yourself, is my advice to you. And think very long and very hard. Nothing anyone can say to you on this board is worth five minutes of actually being there.

kniga
06-06-2004, 12:27
Jose,

Good and wise points all. Europe does offer alternatives that might be more accommodating, and learning the language is both a must and a bitch. However, I am long past middle age and I am here enjoying my life and well adjusted to the peculiarities of Russia, but then that is because I want to be here, love the language, culture, etc. I think Armchair has a lot on his plate that may well be distracting him from the decision of where to relocate to, and a visit here with his wife on a 30-day tourist visa would probably be money well spent. Different strokes for different folks and he is certainly getting different viewpoints from those of us who live here. I just hopes it helps more than it confuses the issue for him.

Jose L Piedra
06-06-2004, 12:37
Totally agree with you there, Kniga.

I also think - let`s get it out in the open - that his wife will not appreciate being taken BACK to Russia. Having left it once, she probably left it because she didn`t like it. It may not be the best decision to present her with a ticket back home to a 40m2 kvartira and ask her to be the family breadwinner whilst he adjusts to life in Russia - which may take a considerable time.

Setting up a business in Russia also requires connections and money for licenses, premises, staff - a translator`ll be needed for a start - and the money doesn`t seem to be there. You also have to understand your target market, and Armchair has no experience of that.

I can think of easier routes to take, and - for what it`s worth, my advice to Armchair is to listen to his wife very carefully because if it doesn`t go to plan, he`ll certainly end up listening to her later......... and.............. she doesn`t want to go.

uninformed
06-06-2004, 13:01
Originally posted by Armchair_Strategist
I am considering moving to Russia with my wife and 6 year old daughter, but...

If you have a JOB and are being sponsored by a large company by all means DO come here. Moscow can be wonderful. If you are thinking about moving here and THEN finding work then STAY HOME.

Jose L Piedra
06-06-2004, 13:16
................... definitely. As for starting a business here...... it`s incredibly difficult to start a business overseas, let alone make it succeed, without a detailed understanding of the local market, all the right contacts and - where Russia`s concerned, a complete understanding of how the place works with regard to paperwork and bureaucracy.

kniga
06-06-2004, 13:28
Jose,

Yeah, more good points, I agree. Well, good luck to Armchair, whatever his decision.

Jet
06-06-2004, 13:30
Jose, I would doubt that things economically are much brighter in Holland. There they will be both in a foreign country, Holland is not an english-speaking country, they have their own language. His wife will definetly have problems finding a job right now there, I don't know about him, I suspect he will too.

Jose L Piedra
06-06-2004, 14:23
True, Jet. Worked there myself, and - no Dutch, no job at the moment. Life always looks better on the other side of the fence. Rarely is, of course......... and I agree with Kniga - good luck to Armchair, whatever his decision, but - I hope he doesn`t rush into it. Russia is a LONG way from home. In more ways than one.

GreatArcticBear
06-06-2004, 17:46
Originally posted by Moscow Wolf
LKKL. It is not a question about what you fill out on a form anymore, it is a question about what the FSB have on their files etc. with all this Interpol and International cooperation etc.

However the truth of the fact is that the FSB are over-loaded with their own internal problems so they can't even think about checking out every Visa application etc.

Convicted child molesters in the US are not barred from leaving the US after they have served their sentences. Therefore, it is doubtful that the US would share that info with the FSB. If anything, US law enforcement would be glad to be rid of someone who will cost them money and effort to monitor.
Those who would be on an FSB blacklist are probably those who are suspected of terror, as well as fugitives from US justice who may have ties to Russia.

On the other hand, I am now very suspicious of the whole story, and I jumped too soon to defend Armchair against accusations of trolling that were posted on another thread.

Armchair_Strategist
07-06-2004, 08:59
For the crime I was charged and convicted of, I have always stated I was innocent of the charges.

But, even if I was guilty, I was not charged with being violent, I served my time and have tried hard to rebuild my life.

Since being released from serving 2 years, I have earned a Bachelors Degree, married, had a solid 5+ years of professional experience with high recommendations from every where I worked, had a child and earned a Certificate of Rehabilitation which is considered very hard to get.

Yet every couple years, this registrations gets worse.

They say it is not punishment, but ask my wife or my disabled mother and they will agree with me that it is a severe punishment.

Now, just because I moved, they are increasing my risk level and giving public notice to everyone in the area I live?

My single conviction did not include any act of violence, yet now they suddenly label me as violent?

I have one conviction of one act in one place at one time. No priors. Nothing since. That alleged act was 23 years ago. They claim that once a molester always a molester. If the original charge was true, why has there been no other occurrences in the 23 years since?

Because I moved, they are now crushing my family.

My daughter, who turns 6 very soon, will have to face having her teachers, her fellow students, the kids in her neighborhood and their parents being told her father is a child molester. Kids are not known for always being kind. She will likely face terrible problems over this.

My business I just started is as good as dead. Ill be lucky if I dont get attacked, vandalized and/or picketed.

Even if I were guilty of the crime I was charged with 23 years ago, this is crazy.

I have to get my family out of the US.

The question is where to go?

Where can I take my family, my wife, my daughter and my disabled mother and be able to live a normal life?

Especially of concern to us is where we can raise my daughter like we are a normal family?

Russia comes to mind because my wife is Russian and that gives us a foot in the door towards immigrating there since my wife and daughter have russian citizenship.

To go to any other country, every member of our family would be a foreigner.

Armchair_Strategist
07-06-2004, 09:11
The type of business I'd do would be writing books, magazines and comics. I'd try to get some others to help with things like illustations in return for a share of what was made.

Armchair_Strategist
07-06-2004, 21:07
My wife graduated from Medical School in St. Petersburg, Russia at the same time I grqaduated and just before moving to the US to live with me.

One of my mistake was thinking it would be easy for her to start practicing as a Doctor in the US. Just to skip to the end, my wife is working for minimum wage at a shopping mall department store right now.

I am looking at other countries, but it is hard to decide what to do.

Also, just because I ask a basic question, doesn't mean I haven't heard some partial answers before. But the more I know, the better picture I can make in my head to help me decide what to do.

Russia is easy because 2 out of 4 of my family already have Russian Citizenship.

As far as I can figure out, all English speaking countries tend to be pretty freaked out over the issue effecting me which makes them potentially a worse choice to make. Im not sure how well we could survive moving to another country to only find ourselves having to move yet again to another different country.

From before I ceased being able to earn a living in my profession 1.5 years ago, we have about $350,000 total family assets to help us make another move. Of course, the longer things stretch out with no way to earn a living, the more we use up what assets my wife, mother and myself have built up over the past many years.

Im writing these posts to give me more information and ideas to help me make my decision of what to do.

Id never have written such posts before out of fear of being publicly exposed, but now, after 12 years of quietly registering, the State is going to shortly publicly expose me anyway, so it no longer matters if I post about it and someone tracks done who I really am.

It would be so much easier for me to just disappear if I did not have to worry about the welfare of the rest of my family. If it was only me, I could easily go alone into one of the more wild countries which have a lot of corruption and make an entirely new identity for myself. But I cant do that with my whole family, it would be too hard for them to handle.

Makes me feel very strongly it was a mistake to marry and have a child, for now they are being punished. But they also can not get along without me, because no one else is there to take the place of what support I give them.

So I ask some dumb questions on boards like this and sometimes I get answers that positively add to my being able to decide what I should do.

Jose L Piedra
08-06-2004, 00:47
"One of my mistake was thinking it would be easy for her to start practicing as a Doctor in the US. Just to skip to the end, my wife is working for minimum wage at a shopping mall department store right now."

Ah yes, unfortunately true. This trips up a lot of girls who make it to the West - and husbands who think that they`re going to live off their wives` salary. :D (Not saying it`s true in your case, Armchair, I hope you married for love, but some fellas decide to bring over talented girls and, er, live off their eventual earnings. ) Doctors in particular have hard times adjusting due to the need for recertification, exam$ and - it`s hard enough for a lot of the ladies just to cope with a new culture.

My ex was CONVINCED she could just get off the plane and become a lecturer again over here. Yeah right. Try telling her otherwise, though.

"Russia is easy because 2 out of 4 of my family already have Russian Citizenship."

Easy to get to, harder to stay in - long term - for a Westerner.

"As far as I can figure out, all English speaking countries tend to be pretty freaked out over the issue effecting me which makes them potentially a worse choice to make. Im not sure how well we could survive moving to another country to only find ourselves having to move yet again to another different country."

Wouldn`t happen in Holland. Holland has strict privacy laws and it`s unlikely that the US authorities would divulage any info about you.

"It would be so much easier for me to just disappear if I did not have to worry about the welfare of the rest of my family. If it was only me, I could easily go alone into one of the more wild countries which have a lot of corruption and make an entirely new identity for myself. But I cant do that with my whole family, it would be too hard for them to handle."

Good point.

Armchair, regarding publishing. I don`t know if it`s a goer for an idea - and your idea would have to be seriously modified, no doubt. Depends on whether your market is in Russia or the US - the amount of English speakers in Russia is probably not enough to make the idea workable. Plus, you`d need capital and contacts and an idea of the market. It MAY be a better idea for you to initially teach English- it`ll guarantee you a salary - whilst looking for editing / proofreading positions - get your bearings and THEN make long term plans regarding a business. But the best advice is - honestly - go out and see Russia. Russia provokes a love/ hate relationship with expats and foreigners, there`s never any middle ground. Good luck, but DO get on the plane and go see.

Sorry for a long post, folks, it`s called "putting something in".

Armchair_Strategist
08-06-2004, 01:19
LOL

My posts tend to be long too, though you have probably already noticed that.

I have always tended to be somewhat of an intellectual and one of the things I specifically wanted when looking for a wife was someone who was also an intellectual. That was part of what attracted my to my wife when we first met.

Then there is the fact she is very pretty and has a great personality that I love.

I would have moved to Russia in the beginning if she had wanted me too, but she wanted to move here and it seemed we would most likely have a good economic future in the US. If I worked as an engineer and she worked as a Doctor, it would not take us long before we would be doing very well.

All I can say is Best laid plans of Mice and Men!

I did do quite well in engineering for awhile and was making $84,000/yr plus 15,000 stock options/yr before 9/11.

I have visited Russia 3 times, each time for about a month. I enjoyed it.

My wife has also talked about us moving to Russia many times when there have been rises in the difficulties of life, not to mention she misses her family and her home in St. Petersburg.

But, when I actually start to say for sure Lets Go To Russia, my wife says NO and then goes into a list of reasons why it is too bad and too dangerous to go, contradicting things she has said at other times.

But, if we dont go to Russia, where should we go?

Is it, for example, hard for a husband, wife, daughter and disabled elderly grandmother to immigrate to Holland?

Armchair_Strategist
08-06-2004, 01:52
Besides Russia, here are the other countries I am closely looking at in consideration to moving my family to.

Greece, Spain, Brazil or possibly Spanish speaking countries in Central and South America.

Jose L Piedra
08-06-2004, 02:04
Ahhh, Armchair, all is clear. ;-)) Yep, I had the same thing - fell in love with the person, not the job she did. Good on you. ;-)))

Now I`ll set myself up for some flak.

When I was on this site in a previous former incarnation, I tended to keep my mouth shut about certain subjects. One of them being Russian women. I was engaged and living with a Russian woman from `98 to `03, most of my friends are Russian, I`d hope that people do understand that I DO know what I`m talking about......

Russians, in general, do tend to regard Russia as a very dangerous place to live in. According to a lot of them, you`ll be shot, strangled and thrown in the pot in five minutes. :D Whilst obviously not true - it`s more the "Russian personality" (fatalistic and not very optimistic) which produces these outbursts, there`s occaisionally a grain of truth in what`s said. However, running any small business in Russia is unlikely to attract attention from unsavoury folks and demands for protection money. The problems are more likely going to be the sea of red tape you have to swim through to get things done. And, as you know, life in Russia is somewhat more difficult to adjust to for the average foreigner than life in, say, Holland.

Lived in Holland and Germany before. As a European citizen, it`s very easy for me to stay there. I honestly can`t say what hoops you`d have to jump through as a US citizen - but I certainly did meet US folks staying there long term. The problem may be getting a visa for your wife and child. They can almost certainly get Schengen visas, which allow them a months` residency at the same time, but I think it`s fair to say that you`d have a visa nightmare there, and - as you`ve probably worked out, it seems to be a case of "US or Russia".

If you have a search for "vid na zhistelstvo" in the thread titles, that`ll lead you to threads which discuss living permits for non - Russian citizens. Hope it helps. But I honestly think it may be in your interests to look at starting off by teaching English, which guarantees you a salary, however modest - and then branching out from there. Good luck, it`s a nasty situation. But I think your wife`s overreacting somewhat........... it`s normal. ;-)

Innosranets
08-06-2004, 12:16
Is it just me or does this thread win the coveted "Most F*cked-Up Thread of 2004" award ?

If this isn't a wind-up, then I'm the Pope.

Does anyone remember Mokliak ?

pengwn9
08-06-2004, 14:46
Originally posted by Jose L Piedra
Ahhh, Armchair, all is clear. ;-)) Yep, I had the same thing - fell in love with the person, not the job she did. Good on you. ;-)))

Now I`ll set myself up for some flak.

When I was on this site in a previous former incarnation,

Jose, como esta usted? Te gusta Florida? No flak aqui. Me gusta ti nuevo hairdo.

Bienviendo!

Jose L Piedra
08-06-2004, 19:21
Florida`s great, Peng. ;-) Or so I hear. ;-))) Would have been even better if the trading license hadn`t been refused due to the boss putting in a claim for RESIDENCY too. The whole lot was thrown out, possibly on the grounds of "concealed immigration" and we get to reapply again - better ask ole Jose (incidentally a brand of Cuban stogie) again in about four months. Though I`m more likely to reply from offices here in Manchester. ;-)) (Working at the mo, though. Hurrah !! ;-))))))) )

Hairdo ? The "wide centre parting", you mean ? ;-)))))

Jose L Piedra
08-06-2004, 19:22
PS No, not back. No call to be. You`d all know if I was...... ;-)))) Just popping in now and then. Hasta la vista, Peng ! :-)

Armchair_Strategist
09-06-2004, 16:04
Is there a good way to too look for flats to buy in St. Peterburg over the net?

Are there particular concerns over buying places that might cost $100,000 or $150,000?

One of the concerns expressed to me is that is we go shopping for a more expensive flat, then someone will target us because of that, knowing we have the money to buy the flat, and extort our money from us. Is this a valid concern? Even if it is, there must be ways around it, since people do buy more expensive flats.

GreatArcticBear
09-06-2004, 16:14
Have you considered Iraq? I think there are many opportunities there for someone of your demonstrated background and skills.

Armchair_Strategist
09-06-2004, 18:01
And place my wife, my child and myself in one of the areas of the World that has the greatest risk of extreme violence happening to us?

Why don't you suggest I take my family into the Palestinian Occupied Territory.

GreatArcticBear
09-06-2004, 18:10
OK - try Nigeria.

DJ Biscuit
09-06-2004, 18:50
Originally posted by Armchair_Strategist
(continued from previous post)

.... the fact that the incident occurred over 23 years ago, that prior and since that single incident there has never been any other incident,

Confused.:confused:

I thought you said it didn't happen? Now it's a fact, which hasn't repeated, and didn't occur apart from that single time. Sorry, don't understand.

IRS_Runner
09-06-2004, 19:55
Try Paraguay, assuming you really have a bag of dough the goverment doesn't care about your conviction.

GreatArcticBear
10-06-2004, 00:24
Originally posted by DJ Biscuit
Confused.:confused:

I thought you said it didn't happen? Now it's a fact, which hasn't repeated, and didn't occur apart from that single time. Sorry, don't understand.

Is there ANYTHING one can understand in this guy's story, other than the fact that he is sick, sick, sick?

exyabloko
10-06-2004, 04:39
Holly cow! What a story!
What a misfortune for Russian girl!

First, as a Russian woman who lives in USA, I am doubted that your wife be happy with your choice to move back to Russia. Even Russian life changed very much, she immigrated to USA for reasons. She is homesick and it is normal, that is what people have to deal with as immigrants or expats, however to came back and start over her life from the same place? I think she is in the deep trouble! Look at this yourself:
She was unhappily married, had a child and got divorced.
She did a big move immigrated to USA
She moved to USA with hope to fix her life for better, than got married second time and learned that her husband not quite best shot and has lot of problems, now she have to get yourself from the trouble again!

I think this move could make you both quite miserable and your marriage will not last long.
After little while, she will probably get depressed and realized that she is the Looser!

If you want to move somewhere outside of USA, why dont you try countries like Puerto Ricko, Brasilia, Ecuador, Greece? With American passport, US social security and American education and experience you probably can be ok. If you willing to learn foreign language and as I see she is quite brave and adventurous Latin America could be a good place to live.

PS. And dont forget, Russia is the worst place for elder people with disabilities!

Sorry if I said something harsh and good luck!

GreatArcticBear
10-06-2004, 09:57
;) - Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the USA last time I checked.

Jose L Piedra
10-06-2004, 18:17
Exyablocko`s got some excellent points there, unfortunately, Armchair. A lot of Russian women (sorry girls) tend to agree with everything "husbant" says, based on the assumption that he`s going to do it anyway - and then, when "husbant" does do it, you generally find that they had something else in mind which they were keeping quiet about. "Backup plan". Frankly, I think if your wife moves back to St Petersburg, to a Russian doctors` salary, you can kiss your marriage do sveedanyya. Unless your business works and you fall on your feet - to be quite honest.

In other words, they tend to say nothing and avoid arguments, but Russian girls are very good at putting up with things........... to a point. After that, all hell breaks loose.

Exyablocko is also right about the state of geriatric care in Russia - something your wife will be HIGHLY qualified to tell you about.

"Anywhere other than Russia" is looking a very tempting solution indeed.

Innosranets
13-06-2004, 20:43
Jose,

I don't want to be needlessly argumentative, as it's clear you've had your own experience, but I think you have a tendency to apply your own personal experience with a limited segment of the Russian population (i.e. your fiancee and a group that emigrated to the UK) to the whole of Russia. Having actually lived here 10 years, I take contention with your point that Russian girls stay silent or demure in deference to their husbands despite having intentions of their own. I've experienced much the opposite; knowing many women completely unabashed at being more dominant or outspoken than their husbands.

To make a generalization of this and use it as the basis that someone's marriage might fail is a pretty far-fetched conclusion.

Just as anywhere else, it depends on the individual, and only the husband himself is worthy or capable of assessing his wife's character and consequences of his decision

This is all really neither here nor there, though, since I think the original question in this thread was a bunch of horse-bunk to begin with.

Anyway, Cheers,
Inno

DJ Biscuit
16-06-2004, 22:33
Have to agree. Russian women and wives I have known, know and the one I am with too are self assuring, independant people who assert their positions and views and are on an equal (at least) with their partners.

Trigger
19-06-2004, 13:30
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Jose L Piedra
[B]Ahhh, Armchair, all is clear. ;-)) Yep, I had the same thing - fell in love with the person, not the job she did. Good on you. ;-)))

Now I`ll set myself up for some flak.

When I was on this site in a previous former incarnation, I tended to keep my mouth shut about certain subjects. One of them being Russian women. I was engaged and living with a Russian woman from `98 to `03, most of my friends are Russian, I`d hope that people do understand that I DO know what I`m talking about......



Alright Dave!?