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Thread: What good and bad things you can say about living in Moscow?

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    What good and bad things you can say about living in Moscow?

    Hi, I'm curious what good/bad things you can say about living in Moscow and Russian people? I'm particularly interested in opinion of foreigners who have moved there and have been living for a while. But anyone (including Russians) is welcome to share his/her thoughts on it
    Thanks!

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    Good:
    - Always something fun/interesting/amazing to do.
    - Changes of seasons.... might be silly from someone who came from a country with actual defined seasons but where I'm from we only have two seasons: rain and no rain.
    - I find Russians well-read and generally smart so it's easy to have interesting conversations with them.
    - It's beautiful, really.
    - Public transport is damn good.


    Bad:
    - Very, very, very crowded.
    - Polluted to a point your clothes will reek of some sort of smoke/car/whatever mixture.
    - It's very cold in winter.
    - It's very hot in summer.
    - Russians might strike some as very rude/arrogant, especially at first.
    - It's pretty expensive.
    - It seems everyone smokes.
    - Gets overwhelming.
    - Russians are very negative people.

    I love Moscow, but I can't live there constantly. I'm glad to be out of it for now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BabyFirefly View Post
    Good:

    I love Moscow, but I can't live there constantly. I'm glad to be out of it for now.
    Where are you now


    Life is tough pilgrim, it's even tougher if you're stupid


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    Back in Puerto Rico, which I despise living in, but at least I can go to the beach with ease. Max however loves it and is pushing to stay for longer

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    Quote Originally Posted by BabyFirefly View Post
    Back in Puerto Rico, which I despise living in, but at least I can go to the beach with ease. Max however loves it and is pushing to stay for longer

    Is Max the dog or the hubbie



    Life is tough pilgrim, it's even tougher if you're stupid


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    good and bad

    [QUOTE=Toto;1058494]Hi, I'm curious what good/bad things you can say about living in Moscow and Russian people?

    positive:
    I live here since 20 years and have a permanent residence permit. we own, do not pay rent. so many gripes are irrelevant for us.

    go home from work mainly late night, early morning. Never have felt unsafe, neither have i ever been attacked.

    excellent and cheap public transport, can be very crowdy during rush hours.
    while quite some rolling stock is old,including busses and trams, new ones do have air-condition in summer and good heating in winter. but it is a slow process.

    there is nothing that you can not buy in Moscow ( exception very few specialized food items).

    nightlife; there is something for everybody and every taste. fair enough,also for a price. can be very snobbish.

    we live outside of the city center, pig park, clean ( fairly...) water to have a swim in summer, make picnics and go skiing or ice skating in winter. for free.

    plenty restaurants and places to eat. can be pricey. food though tends to be
    -russified- .But so are many exotic eateries in the West as well. adapted to the taste of the locals. can't blame a restaurateur for that.

    i seem to be blessed with fairly good health. never needed serious med treatment.for that i use the local hospital with excellent results and no complaints. and here the opinions vary widely. for many foreigners a local clinic or hospital seems to be strictly a no-no.

    Moscow has plenty of culture. From theaters, museums, exhibitions, out door installations, there is something for everybody.Though -out doors- is short here in Russia.




    on the minus side:

    Since i use mainly the internet to get news and watch what i want i don't care much about TV here. mainly state controlled anyway. People in cities have cable or sat TV. But it seems to me the most important thing is the remote control.

    people tend to gripe, little english is being spoken, signs all in Cyrillic language that no one can understand. On that i do not agree. We are after all in Russia.So it is for us to learn and adapt. at least to a minimum.

    Corruption and the like? starts at low level ( traffic police...) but when i watch the news about my little Austria or the rest of the world, nothing surprises me anymore.

    prices for renting a place can be horrendous, and in no relationship what you get for it. but -everybody- wants to live in certain areas or places and that is being definitely exploited.

    English language reading material can be expensive. But when i looked- compared the price for english language books in Vienna i saw no difference.

    traffic jams are horrible and there is no sign of improvement. i have given up driving into the center and use public transport. Drivers (any, not only locals) tend to think ones they sit behind the wheel, the road is theirs. Bicycle lanes are non existent. And only now they are starting to implement special lanes for public transport, so when you use it you are not sitting in the traffic jam together with the rest.

    Taxis as in the rest of the world are something still exotic here. And to be honest,i never use them. They are far to overprices, can never find one, because there are none.. Stick out your thumb, someone will stop can be a beat up Lada or a shiny new Mercedes (though seldom but it did happen to me). But you need to know the lingo, where you want to go and how to get there... and how much to pay.

    winters can be long,gray, wet,misty and cold. if fog sets in and stays for days without sun, can drive you up the wall or make you commit suicide.

    tapwater without a filter is a fairly no in Moscow. But i personally do not trust the commercial companies either. Therefore we have a good filter system on our cold water mains.

    Many building still have centrally controlled heating. older radiators tend to have no regulators. so while you sweat like hell only solution is to open the window.

    Also hot water is being centrally supplied. Every summer hot water is being turned off for about 2 to 3 weeks for maintenance purposes. No fun shaving in cold water. So an additional small boiler is a must. Even if it is for 3 weeks a year only.

    Life in Russia with VV Putin? Russia was ruled 70 years by the communists. it will take 70 years to undo all that. so far we had 20 years democracy(?) so give it another 50 years...
    And on a personal note, i have been cheated here in Russia far more often by foreigners (salary,making loans and the like) than by locals.
    There is no greater treasure then pleasure....

  7. #7
    Lost in moscow is offline Whatever it is -- I didn't do it!
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    Oh another one of these?

    Yea ill be back after I wake up, there is just sooooo much
    I am the eggman, they are the eggmen, I am the walrus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toto View Post
    Hi, I'm curious what good/bad things you can say about living in Moscow and Russian people? I'm particularly interested in opinion of foreigners who have moved there and have been living for a while. But anyone (including Russians) is welcome to share his/her thoughts on it
    Thanks!

    I'm outside Philly now. No problem living in Russia now. At least you don't have to bring your own tooth paste and toilet paper anymore. There are cars now. Outside Moscow is better living, but sometimes less money. Depends on what your goals are. "Russians" are like people anywhere - the good the bad the ugly; except for the women who wear high heels in the icy snow.


    Life is tough pilgrim, it's even tougher if you're stupid


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    Moscow--The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

    The Good:
    Highly educated Muscovites (in general)
    Great culture/museums/architecture
    Superb public transport (I mean the Metro)
    The Bad:
    No concern for others (on the road/Metro/in line at the store)
    Personal Safety "not a high priority"
    No service culture
    Air pollution
    The Ugly:
    Heavy Government presence and concomitant pervasive corruption

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    Moscow is great and though I don't live there, it's ok when I visit it and I will cry for joy when I get there with me visa.

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    When I was a student I had an interview at the journalism school in Glasgow. I asked (as I'd done in Leicester and Cardiff) why I should come to Glasgow, and the course tutor said that it was a city with a special atmosphere; when she came home and walked out of the rail station, she could feel the energy of the place, it's unapologetic insistence that it is what it is, and it's up to you to deal with that (as opposed, by implication, to Edinburgh, which most Glaswegians will tell you is the English bit of Scotland). I chose Glasgow, and had a great time. Nobody talks about drawing energy from the streets of Leicester, and Cardiff turned me down anyway.

    Years later, I came to Moscow (for lots of reasons, including a life-long interest in Russia) and was reminded of that experience. There's something distinctive, and unapologetically Muscovite, about being here. From moving to the biggest city in Europe and being woken by a cockerel crowing on my first morning (my neighbour in Novogireevo kept them on his balcony), to stumbling across a cricket tournament played on a baseball diamond in the shadow of the Stalinist towers of MGU, there's a picturesque set of contrasts which still intrigues me today. At the same time, I know plenty of people who see the anarchy of Moscow, the unpredictability, the underlying sense of 'otherness' and find that it drives them nuts - and there are times when I strongly sympathise, especially when paperwork is involved.

    So, like most places, it turns out to be up to the individual. I came here for a year, and reached my sixth anniversary last week. In that time I've found professional opportunities I'd never have imagined, made some great friends (Russian and expat), and travelled to places I'd never have dreamed of (in Russia, and further afield). I've managed to sustain a relationship in a language I didn't really think I could speak (perhaps _because_ I can't speak Russian very well ... I'm much less interesting when I make sense) and I've learned a lot about myself. I don't think I'll stay indefinitely - Moscow doesn't feel like a city for a peaceful old age, and I don't want to look in the mirror in a few years and see a middle-aged hanger-on desperately trying to be 30 all over again - but I'm glad I took the gamble and came here back in 2006.

    That said, I've met plenty of people who've come over here and run away screaming in the space of three months. I don't think it's possible to be neutral about Moscow: you really do end up loving or hating the place, and a lot of the time the reasons are the same even if the emotions are contradictory. In the end, though, I'd say the same thing to anybody thinking of moving to a new country, and especially thinking about coming to Moscow. If you come here, don't spend your time pointing out all the things from back home that you can't find / replicate here - spend your time exploring what is on offer here. If you like it, great; if not, well, you know you tried. And good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by andymackem View Post

    Years later, I came to Moscow (for lots of reasons, including a life-long interest in Russia) and was reminded of that experience. . If you like it, great; if not, well, you know you tried. And good luck!
    It's just like NYC with the McDs now.



    Life is tough pilgrim, it's even tougher if you're stupid


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    Quote Originally Posted by robertmf View Post
    It's just like NYC with the McDs now.

    Maybe. Never been to NYC. Possibly going over in January though. Will report back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andymackem View Post
    Maybe. Never been to NYC. Possibly going over in January though. Will report back.
    Get a pastrami on rye with coleslaw. Get a sub, too. hahaha I'm around Philly if you want to run up the Rocky steps


    Life is tough pilgrim, it's even tougher if you're stupid


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    This thread pops up on expat.ru about once a month...

    Honestly, I feel like the good and bad are more or less the same across all big cities. Moscow is more or less safe, however, when compared to New York.

    Quote Originally Posted by BabyFirefly View Post
    Bad:
    - Very, very, very crowded.
    - Polluted to a point your clothes will reek of some sort of smoke/car/whatever mixture.
    - It's very cold in winter.
    - It's very hot in summer.
    - Russians might strike some as very rude/arrogant, especially at first.
    - It's pretty expensive.
    - It seems everyone smokes.
    - Gets overwhelming.
    - Russians are very negative people.
    BabyFirefly seems to have learned a lot from Russians as most of her comments on here seem to have a negative connotation recently.

    Most of the Russians that I know aren't negative people in the least bit.

    It's a big city - people are tired. That is all.

    Oh yeah, it is pretty expensive.
    This space for rent. PM for details.

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