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Setting yourself up medium/longterm in Central Europe 2nd Tier cities
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Hazaer Offline
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Setting yourself up medium/longterm in Central Europe 2nd Tier cities
There has been lots of threads on the major cities in this part of Europe eg. Prague, Budapest, Warsaw, Krakow, Zagreb etc. but not so much on the 2nd tier cities where a lot of forum members are living in or interested to move to. Language issues and foreigner status changes a lot more in these places having half a million or less in population. How can a guy get himself off to the best start?

This thread is aimed at giving ideas to guys who are decent to well off financially and have made the decision to move away from the West to put down some roots in this part of the World for more than a few months.

So, you have just arrived, bought/rented a nice apartment near the city centre or in the old town and sorted out the legalities of your stay. But yet to learn the language or just know the very basics at the moment.


My experiences: Very limited but a few points I realized after a few months.

Language - Absolutely learn the basics before coming. Start conversations with elderly people or the local guys in their language before switching to the one you are more comfortable. This will make you more friends and give credibility. There are a few language classes (mostly night classes/part time) funded by the EU and run by volunteers which you can sign up for if your stay is legal. For girls, I find opening in English is more interesting for them.

Nightlife - Go only if you want to hang out with friends/acquaintances or if you enjoy the music/vibe in the place. Going with girls as a priority will almost never work. You might get a few numbers but it will be a struggle to convert. Most girls do not go to these establishments on the regular due to their financial situations and if they do its for special occasions with friends or family.

Season - You have to adapt to living in the city in Summer if you are staying for a year or more unless you can move somewhere else for 3 months. Most cities will empty out in summer as people go to their hometowns for their vacation. A moderate amount of tourists will hit the streets in these 2nd tier areas. Most of these tourists will be guys from the West looking for cheap booze. However, there are plenty of festivals and events taking place. Feel free to check them out, they can be interesting. You might meet more of the local working population hanging out in the weekend including some of the students in the city working at these festivals.

Social circle - Join events on Meetup or language groups. You might meet like minded guys. Hitting on the girls in these events, I wouldnt advise, but is debatable by other members here. Most of these events are quite sedentary but you can start up sports events like volleyball if you are by the beach or soccer in fb or meetup etc. But be aware that some of these guys may have girlfriends or kids so their lifestyle may not be the same as yours.


So how have you guys gone about about making networks with locals or fellow expats?
For dating, what might be a good way to go about it? Is online dating the most efficient or is it better doing day or nightgame? How can you maximise your logistics to be better?

Will be great to hear from guys in a similar situation or have been in a one before.
Cheers.
08-12-2019 10:21 AM
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zatara Offline
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RE: Setting yourself up medium/longterm in Central Europe 2nd Tier cities
I've no experience of moving to a 2nd tier Central/Eastern European city but for what its worth I've moved around a lot in 1st tier cities, inside and outside of Europe, and have always found joining a rugby club by far the easiest way to make friends. The guys you meet tend to be middle class, into drinking at weekends, but also big into weightlifting/staying fit for the sport during the week. Plus playing a very physical sport tends to develop social bonds very quickly. Its always my #1 tip to any guy moving away from their home city.

If you're in a 2nd tier city in Romania or Georgia they'll definitely have rugby clubs because its a reasonably popular sport in both countries. I wouldn't be too confident in most other Central/Eastern European 2nd tier cities, though. But it might be worth a shot looking for one - you never know.
08-13-2019 02:22 PM
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Hazaer Offline
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RE: Setting yourself up medium/longterm in Central Europe 2nd Tier cities
Good idea. This might also be more applicable to guys who move to the UK, Australia, NZ etc. However I haven't seen a lot of rugby in places like Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic. Slovakia. Most of the the social groups do not have football clubs even, where this is more popular. Tried starting up something but there has been little interest from the locals and too few expats around to actually create a team.

On the dating side of things, how did you go about it? I am assuming you had a good place to stay in the right location? Did you find yourself still using the online route more?
I have found some of those events like couchsurfing almost completely useless for finding someone interesting. Good for some conversation though and then bouncing to another place with friends. A lot of girls there just seem to want attention, quite a few couples too. What has been your experience?
08-14-2019 02:36 AM
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zatara Offline
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RE: Setting yourself up medium/longterm in Central Europe 2nd Tier cities
You could try joining a fairly serious powerlifting/bodybuilding gym if you can't find a rugby club. Its not half as sociable as rugby would be, but its still somewhere you're reasonably likely to make decent male friends. I've made a few good friends from the gym in multiple countries over the years.

With rugby I've always found it fairly easy to find drinking buddies whenever I've moved country. The guys on your team are usually very good at inviting you out at the weekend once they know you're brand new in the country so don't have much going on at weekends. Given that, whenever I've moved country I've just met girls from nightlife or social circles really. I'm not a big fan of online - it just seems a huge time sink, both in terms of texting and in then going on first dates with girls you haven't already hooked up with. I'd far rather go out for beers with some mates and just hook up with a girl later on in the night.

Location wise - yeah, its always important to have a nice place to live in a decent location. But that applies everywhere, home country or abroad.
08-14-2019 06:05 AM
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Hazaer Offline
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RE: Setting yourself up medium/longterm in Central Europe 2nd Tier cities
(08-14-2019 06:05 AM)zatara Wrote:  You could try joining a fairly serious powerlifting/bodybuilding gym if you can't find a rugby club. Its not half as sociable as rugby would be, but its still somewhere you're reasonably likely to make decent male friends. I've made a few good friends from the gym in multiple countries over the years.

With rugby I've always found it fairly easy to find drinking buddies whenever I've moved country. The guys on your team are usually very good at inviting you out at the weekend once they know you're brand new in the country so don't have much going on at weekends. Given that, whenever I've moved country I've just met girls from nightlife or social circles really. I'm not a big fan of online - it just seems a huge time sink, both in terms of texting and in then going on first dates with girls you haven't already hooked up with. I'd far rather go out for beers with some mates and just hook up with a girl later on in the night.

Location wise - yeah, its always important to have a nice place to live in a decent location. But that applies everywhere, home country or abroad.

yeah team sports are the best way to go meet people, have fun and get some exercise at the same time. Not a great fan of gym but I can see how you can make friends this way.

Are your social circle made up of foreigners or locals? I am assuming the girls you met are from these rugby guys and gym.
Never had a problem finding drinking buddies but finding girls through nightlife is not the best approach I find. Maybe this is where 2nd tier differs from 1st tier. Most venues are just social circle oriented or couples having night outs. Even if you hook someone, her bf is out of town or you are stuck with numbers for a date later on. I find this trend even with guys who I can see have some game and even speak the language.
The issue is guys who have stayed long enough in a particular place tend to have a gf there and can sometimes not be the best wingmen because of the lack of motivation, for them nights out are just a way to hangout with friends and maybe grind on a few girls before going back to their steady. The local guys who are single on the other hand seem to be low value in the eyes of the locals to begin with and lack the confidence to approach in the first place so its kind of a dilemma.

I tend to avoid online but that seems to work for quite a few guys I know. Most girls online are actually using tinder etc. to get into a relationship. Which countries have you stayed in the region? My experiences have mostly been the slavic countries.

Have you stayed in the city center or oldtown area? Has it been helpful for you to justify the price tag and the smaller space?
Some ideas from your experience to maximize the logistics will be great.
(This post was last modified: 08-14-2019 03:13 PM by Hazaer.)
08-14-2019 03:09 PM
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zatara Offline
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RE: Setting yourself up medium/longterm in Central Europe 2nd Tier cities
I've been around a decent chunk of the region. Hungary, Czechia, Poland, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, Croatia, and Ukraine off the top of my head within the last 10 odd years.

Re: nightlife, unless the city is under 100k in population it should be possible to find decent venues. There have been plenty of non table orientated bars in every Central/Eastern European city I've been to - its not a particularly alien concept there. And there are lots of single girls in any city over 100k, its just a case of getting out there talking to them. I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Guys with girlfriends are rarely going to be proper wing-men for you if they're only recently made friends. You'll need to meet other single guys, but if you go the sports team route on an average sports team of 30ish guys in their 20s loads of them will be single. If you're in a capital city you can make expat friends fairly easily either if you seek them out, but in a second tier city you're going to be relying on locals. Best to pick a country where the language isn't too hard, and is ideally not completely useless (ie Hungarian, on both counts).

Its not really possible to talk about city center/"old town area" specifics when talking about a region of 150mn+ people with tens of cities. In general though in any city you just want a nice place, centrally located, within walking distance to the best nightlife. Its always worth paying more for quality, lifes too short to slum it. Its also not something I'd stress about though, the cost of living is low enough in every city in the region, particularly second tier ones.

I really wouldn't over think things too much. Your best bet is doing some research online, narrowing things down to a shortlist of 4-5 cities, then flying to each of them and spending a week in each in an AirBNB to get a feel for it. Then pick whichever you like most and get a long term rental. The region is cheap, but its still Europe - everything is relatively safe, comparatively well run, well connected transport/internet-wise, and easy.
08-15-2019 02:25 PM
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