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Where is the best place to live?

 
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Buck Turgidson



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2003 4:25 pm    Post subject: Where is the best place to live? Reply with quote

This is a question I see on other boards so let me put it to you Russophiles.

I think if I could live anywhere in Russia it would be Pushkin. Tsarskoe Selo is right there and it is a short train ride from St. Petersburg. But of course one needs to find work.

So what are your experiences or ideas? Particularly I am curious to know if anyone has worked in Nizhnii Novgorod. From what I read it is a pretty big city. And what does anyone know about Minsk? I know some missionaries there who love it but I don't hear much in the way of ESL.

Buck Cool
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2129
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2003 8:11 am    Post subject: Why I like Samara Reply with quote

Greetings Buck Cool

A very good question! As they say, 'different strokes for different folks.' Laughing

After many years spent in big cities like Munich, Tokyo, Manila and Istanbul ... Samara's quiet, home-town atmosphere sort of appeals to me. Others find it horribly dirty and boring.

There is a modest night-life here, with bars, pubs and discos ... and a modern entertainment complex with cinema, billiards, bowling, and various watering-holes; there's even a top-floor sushi-bar for people who pretend they like that kind of stuff. Rolling Eyes

And these days there is no shortage of modern, newly built shopping malls, although I still prefer shopping at the big outdoor 'flea-markets' where prices are much lower and haggling is an art-form.

But without a doubt, the best thing about Samara is the Volga River and its sandy white beach. In both Winter and Summer, it is the 'focal point' and gathering spot for people of all ages. In Winter, people go ice-fishing and skating. Some looney birds even cut holes in the ice and go for a dip! During the summer months, there is a 5 km paved boardwalk right along the river, which is lined with beer tents, hotdog stands and barbecue pits. People swim, sunbathe, go roller-blading, play beach-volleyball, take a ferry boat ride, or like me, just hang out and drink beer under the shade of a big umbrella.

Sorry, Buck: I don't have any first-hand experience to share with you regarding the other cities you mentioned in your post. I'm a home-boy at heart. Let's hope that a few more 'lurking' Russo-philes will jump in here with their comments and advice on the best city in Russia to live in.

Yours,
kENt


Last edited by Kent F. Kruhoeffer on Thu Apr 24, 2003 5:27 am; edited 3 times in total
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1023
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2003 6:56 am    Post subject: what's it like in various cities? Reply with quote

Concerning Minsk,I can tell you that it's a typical Soviet style city that was entirely rebuilt after world war 2. But the biggest problem is Belarus itself,one of the least popular countries in Europe due to the nasty regime and the person who rules it,who somehow thinks that Russia under Stalin was an ideal example to follow!I have a couple of good friends there who make me feel at home,but have found the place to be otherwise opressive and people in general not nearly as open and friendly as they are in Russia(including the girls,I might add!)This is probably due to the psychological effect of the conditions they have to live under.
I f you are seriously looking for an E.F.L. job there ,the only chance is possibly with International House in Minsk where you can talk to Robert Fletcher,the D.O.S.-actually,I think he's moving on later this year and his post is up for grabs too!As an ordinary teacher,you will get around 450 u.s. per month,plus your own flat-this REALLY is very good money by Belarus standards,unlike Moscow where such money is an insult nowadays!

Good luck!

Martin.
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Brooks



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1369
Location: Sagamihara

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2003 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my friend worked in Nizhni Novgorod for about a year and was going to stay another year but then the ruble collapsed. So he left Russia in 1998.
He has worked in several countries and the fact that he would do a second year there means that it must be a good place to live.

Brooks
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rogan



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 416
Location: at home, in France

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2003 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minsk is in Belorus - not Russia.
Now that's a nasty little place, highly irradiated and run by a Dictator.
The cops and border guards that I met were all corrupt and on the make - even more so than the average Russian milicia man.

Places to live in Russia?
Try Samara or Kazan or Volgograd. Saratov is OK in Summer but the roads are a real mess.
Moscow - fine if you are picking up $1500 or if you have a flat provided by your employers and don't mind up to 45 minutes riding the metro every time you want to go out.
Krasnodar is great - very little snow in winter, near Sochi and the Black Sea holiday resorts.
Anapa - wonderful weather, but a holiday centre.
Nizni - 4th best city on the Volga River

Pick your own favorite !
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Buck Turgidson



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2003 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kent,

How big is Samara? It sounds like Izhevsk Smile . By "newly built malls" do you mean they are built from the ground up or just Soviet-era office buildings converted into shopping centers?

As for night life, speaking for myself, any city bigger than about 300,000 would be adequate. I was even in a small town of about 30,000 which had a lively little disco. Wink

Maruss,

Thanks for the info Smile . I have heard of Lukashenko (I think that is his name) and his plan to make Belarus into a stalinist state. I will probably steer clear of Belarus. If I may ask where are you now?

Brooks,

Thanks. Are you teaching in Russia now? Where?

Rogan,

Does the Moscow Metro run 24 hours a day? If not it might put a crimp in my night life. I'm not really interested in the southern cities. I like cold weather. You said Nizhni is the 4th best city on the Volga. Do I take that to mean it isn't that great? Why? And where are you now? Smile

Buck
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2129
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2003 6:14 am    Post subject: reply to Buck Reply with quote

Hello Buck Cool

Samara's population is roughly 1.5 million, if you include the surrounding suburbs. There is an 'old town' in the centre of the city, but most of Samara is rather spread out over a large area and sandwiched in between the Volga and the Samara Rivers.

When I speak of modern shopping centres here, I'm talkin' brand spanking new, from the ground up. Marble floors, escalators, very fancy, even by western standards. There are at least 3 such places in Samara today where you can almost forget for a minute that you're in Russia.

Regarding your Moscow metro question: I can tell you that it does not run 24 hours a day, except on New Year's Eve. Wink I believe they make their last run at about 1am or thereabouts.

Regards,
keNt
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rogan



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 416
Location: at home, in France

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2003 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The metro in Moscow starts running at 06.00 hrs. The tunnels which cross from one line to the next at the change over stations are closed at 01.00hrs but the last trains go on to the end of their journeys.

For those people who like to 'have a good night out' most clubs start getting 'interesting' around midnight and go on all night.
Some even serve breakfast for people who leave to go home on the first metro of the day.
Otherwise it's standard just to stick your hand out and a car will stop. Then you give your destination and negotiate a price.

This is standard throughout Russia.

Now you see why some basic Russian phrases are useful.
Like "How much?" and "You're joking!" and "Do I look like a tourist?"
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Brooks



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1369
Location: Sagamihara

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2003 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

no,
I don`t work in Russia anymore.
I work in Japan. I had to get those student loans paid off you see.
But at some point I will move on because central and eastern Europe is more interesting to me than Japan is.

I couldn`t have paid of my loans in Irkutsk.
I liked working in Irkutsk and Warsaw too.
And I also heard nice things about Yaroslavl from British exchange students that studied there.
The area that Yaroslavl is in is called the Golden Ring, I think.
Nice area for older Russian architecture.

I learned Russian for five years. I was fortunate that I could study Russian in high school in New York state.

Brooks
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1023
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 7:51 am    Post subject: The Golden Ring towns in Russia(not the Golden triangle!) Reply with quote

Yaroslavl,Veliky Rostov,Sergiev Posad,Suzdal and Vladimir etc...these are historical places that would have you swooning with delight if you like traditional Russian history,onion-dome churches and monasteries etc.
But bear in mind that they also have a lot of poor inhabitants and crumbling soviet-style infrastructure and appartment blocks in residential areas of the towns-Vladimir is a good example which I visited about 3 years ago,where there is an ancient city gate and museum,some lovely churches in the old part of town-and then ugly concretre and panel blocks opposite a brick factory just a kilometre or so further along!Yaroslavl is notorious for its criminal gangs and drug trafficking,but also has some exquisite old buildings and countryside nearby......I doubt if you would get more than 400 u.s. per month working in any of these places,but then there are plenty of locals there who earn far less-and you could probably find a nice Russian girl who won't expect you to take her to expensive nightclubs in a BMW like many in Moscow seem to nowadays,and will be grateful for a walk in the forest and some chocolates or flowers,plus the fact that you have a job and don't come home paraletic after a drinking binge,smash-up the house(and maybe her as well!)and then rape her,or at least try to!Next morning you won't remember a thing and deny you did any of it,in the usual way!
Under different circumstances,and being a bit older,I would love to try living in a small town in Russia in one of those quaint wooden houses,but remember that in many of them,the w.c. is often a hole in the ground in a shed at the end of the garden and when you need a bath,you go to the communal "banya" and share vodka and the story of your life with all the neighbours who will probably be having a sauna with you!
Of course there are many decent Russian guys,so don't mis-understand what I wrote,but unfortunately because of the enormous economic and social problems which so many Russians have to endure,drinking has long been a traditional way of either forgetting them,or finding total oblivion for a while and many of those beautiful women have to endure their men when they decide to to go on an "escape trip"with a bottle or two!
Vasdoroviya!
Martin.
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M.



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 65
Location: Moskva

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2003 8:50 am    Post subject: Russian Cities Reply with quote

Buck,

I did five year in Moscow and Loved it. But it is not for everyone. When I go back to Russia I would chose Nishni, Irkutsk, Yaroslavl, or Novosibirsk. I had a great time in all of them. If you havent been to Russia, Consider that any city after Moscow feels like a small town, even St. petes. If you have trouble learning Russian, dont go to Moscow. You have to make an effort to avoid the ex-pat hell hole that is easy to fall into. And then you end up like heaps in Moscow. Lots of years under their belt and they cant even read a friken menu in Russian. Moscow is amazing, but hell on wheels if you get into the nite life. Vladimir is also a nice city and half way between Moscow and Nizshni.....

m.
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1023
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2003 10:18 am    Post subject: Vladimir Reply with quote

I would agree that the old town of Vladimir is lovely,especially the museum,chuches and the one out in the fields at Bogolyubovo-not so nice is the modern quarter with crumbling,Soviet -era appartment blocks,factories in the residential zone-and drug addicts,along with 16 year old girls who sell themselves for around 300 roubles and are beaten-up in the process!-I saw it all and felt very,very sorry for them-and what Russia has become!

M.
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