Former Soviet Union Expat Thread

Coja Petrus Uscan

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
The hysteria fronted by Klaus Schwab permitting, I will be in Russia in a number of days.

I'm am starting this thread as a commitment to engaging in interesting activities, documenting them on here with words and photos.

If anyone has any suggestions of places to visit. Post them below.
 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
Starting with a short write-up on a previous micro-visit to Moldova and Prednestrovie (a break-away region of Moldova).


Moldova is a very messy country. Drab buildings. Streets falling apart. There are beggars - probably gypsies. I saw one who had his lower arms removed, probably by his parents. As they do in India, to earn more money. I do not understand, but somehow this man had a cigarette attached to where his arm was removed and was smoking. It appeared to be floating by an invisible string. Another woman looked like she had been beaten up to earn more money. Her dimmed wailing hoped to stagger passers-by into a guilt-sticken furtle through their pockets. But most have probably seen her a-hundred times. So her small pot remained meager. Her patrons likely consist of the odd tourist.

I entered the city by taxi at night. Welcoming you is the sight of Las Vegas meets Chernobyl - two expansive apartment blocks parting before a sea of grey trees. Those who constructed them likely thought that this was the beginning or a bright new future, in which village people would swap the rustic for the manufactured.

161005160848-sm-28-city-gates-development-of-the-entrance-to-the-capital-from-the-airport-sidechisinau-moldovabuilt-in-80-sarchitects-yu-skvortsova-a-markovich-and-a-spasov-photo-stefan-rusu-bacu.jpg


In the center it looks like a normal Russian city, but once you leave the center there is a lot of litter. Even outside expensive apartments. Here you can see the hallmarks of modernity written on the faces of the young. These are the children of those who drive expensive black cars. Appearance suggests they are mostly Russian or Ukrainian, rather than Moldovan. They are taken by passion and experience. Thus, there is a lack reflection on one's behaviour. The girls move in a way I remember from school. In a way that is immersed in themselves. While the boys are much less masculine than those who live in Soviet apartment blocks.

In Moldova you can see many expensive cars, with flashy designs. It seems to be the case in such poor countries that those who are rich like to show it by buying such cars. It is the same in Ukraine and Albania. I have read Ukraine is considered the most materialistic place in Europe. But in Prednestrovie there are no such cars.

I stayed a few nights in a very large apartment with good furnishings. In other countries in Eastern European capitals I would expect to be paying $60 / night, but this was sub-$30. Unlike apartments in Russia and Ukraine, where the common stairs and corridors are never cleaned, these are cleaned. Next door was a luxury swimming pool, of the type I could imagine Bill Gates stewing in. It was $20 a pop. Yet to the rear there was a jumble of assorted odd houses and to the left a ghetto of slums that looked to be old laborers' cottages. To the front was a park, somewhat maintained, but with the abominable fog and industrial stacks in the background it only spoke of depression.

The cracked roads and fumbling pavements are generally not equipped with the underpasses you see in Russia and Ukraine. Thus, seeing people quickly making a dash across six lanes of fast-moving traffic is not uncommon. They may otherwise need to walk a mile or so to a stop-light. Unlike Moscow the underpasses are in bad condition. I walked each night at around 11-12 to a convenience store. This would take me past one of the few jewels in Chișinău's grey, the Ciuflea Monastery. Passing it I descended into one of the underpasses, sour with the smell of today's urine deposits. It was pitch-black, but for an interruption of light from one of the entrances. It was usually traversed by loud men, or women quickly sprinting through via the light of their Facebook interface.

Manastire-Ciuflea-Monastery-Chisinau.jpg


The people of the Soviet apartment blocks are different to those in the center. All young boys seem to look and act the same - somewhat aggressive. They are more like Romanians. The men seem to be more practical and physically capable. In Northern Europe most men cannot do practical things like change a plug. But here it is all they know. So they are more masculine, whereas Northern European are more feminine. Even in Moscow men are more feminine.

...
 
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Thirdworlder

Robin
Non-Christian
Visit arbat street in Moscow, the street has been in existence since the 15th century, it is also a kind of artists street..., the red square is also a tourist delight.
 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
It has been nigh on a year since I last knew the feeling of not being bridled. It has been so long that I don't remember if it was just outdoors or indoors. For the past six month I have been shuffling through the streets in up to 46 degrees Celsius, a mandatory textile bib shielding me from nothing, before I may take it off in an enclosed space to eat. All this in a country with one of the lowest COVID death counts.

As I awoke to my first day, it dawned, "Those people weren't wearing masks." I looked out of my window to survey a car park. The mask ratio was at about 1%. The previous night I had walked the streets without realising I was the only person wearing a mask.

Pensively I went out into the streets unbibbed and observed there were no masks in sight. I was told that Moscow and St. Petersburg were beginning to gear up, with QR code passports required to enter many places. The man from the hotel said otherwise. An occasional bib wearer could be sighted, but often elderly. As I descended into the bustling Okhotny Ryad shopping center, I masked, though did not see a requirement to on the door. Quickly I realised that virtually no one was wearing a mask. Some had masks over their lips only, others below their chin, but mostly nothing. To preserve dignity, I quietly adjusted myself to the normal state out of sight.

It seems some shops require masks and others not. A few times caught myself masked out in the open, so second-nature wearing a mask has become. But it is fairly apparent, if the secular authorities are not engaged in COVID hysteria, people will not care less.

Breathing freely in public again was going well, until a raving homosexual blew a soap bubble in my face. Sometimes those things come in handy.
 

ScannerLIV

Woodpecker
It has been nigh on a year since I last knew the feeling of not being bridled. It has been so long that I don't remember if it was just outdoors or indoors. For the past six month I have been shuffling through the streets in up to 46 degrees Celsius, a mandatory textile bib shielding me from nothing, before I may take it off in an enclosed space to eat. All this in a country with one of the lowest COVID death counts.

As I awoke to my first day, it dawned, "Those people weren't wearing masks." I looked out of my window to survey a car park. The mask ratio was at about 1%. The previous night I had walked the streets without realising I was the only person wearing a mask.

Pensively I went out into the streets unbibbed and observed there were no masks in sight. I was told that Moscow and St. Petersburg were beginning to gear up, with QR code passports required to enter many places. The man from the hotel said otherwise. An occasional bib wearer could be sighted, but often elderly. As I descended into the bustling Okhotny Ryad shopping center, I masked, though did not see a requirement to on the door. Quickly I realised that virtually no one was wearing a mask. Some had masks over their lips only, others below their chin, but mostly nothing. To preserve dignity, I quietly adjusted myself to the normal state out of sight.

It seems some shops require masks and others not. A few times caught myself masked out in the open, so second-nature wearing a mask has become. But it is fairly apparent, if the secular authorities are not engaged in COVID hysteria, people will not care less.

Breathing freely in public again was going well, until a raving homosexual blew a soap bubble in my face. Sometimes those things come in handy.
This post made me laugh.

I wish you the best of luck on your novel writing endeavors.
 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
I didn't really post anything here last year. Maybe this year will be different.

I just arrived in Russia. Most of the people on the flight were Russians. It seems all/most people who were from non-friendly countries were taken aside for interrogation. Bar one family and myself, it was all POCs taken aside. None of the interrogators spoke English. I could understand most of what mine was asking. I've had this before. They just ask and ask, until out of the blue they let you go. It went fairly normal until he asked to look at the photos and messages in my phone. This is where the fun began. I have two people on Telegram who are pro-Ukraine, so I deleted those chats. He became interested in some of my memes, but obviously did not understand them.

GgezHvvQvl2L.jpeg


The first one he singled in on was a Tweet from Libs of Tik Tok showing some degenerate promoting inappropriate topics and adorned with regime regalia of BLM + the sext-colour-flag. He continued, occasionally taking copies of various memes. One of them was this.

image_proxy


By the way he looked at it, it was obvious he did not understand what was going on.

But he noticed a total of about seven memes and photos including the Ukrainian flag, three of which were sent by a Ukrainian refugee who was holding the Ukrainian flag with other refugees. At that point I thought I would be deported. Others were various mockery memes of the current thing, including this:

IMG_20220508_153458.jpg

I waited for a bit. Then he took me to some guy who could speak English. Others were going in for questioning. When it came to me just my interrogator went in. I heard some laughter. The interrogator came out and seemed to tell me to follow him. But I wasn't sure, so I looked at the English-speaking one who performed a standing to attention movement and said "Добро пожоловать в России." (Welcome to Russia). I followed the first guy, expecting more interrogation. So far it had been about two hours. I was sent to one of the customs control booths and they began stamping through another guy in front of me. I looked back at my interrogator with a look of confusion, as it seemed they should have more questions. He just gave me a nod and I was stamped through.

As I entered the baggage collection there were some tables where I had to provide a coronavirus test last year. I asked if they wanted one, but they just looked whimsical as if it didn't matter and waved me on. It seems to be mask and vax pass free.

On money, it's best to bring dollars. Some banks are charging huge commission, e.g. I think on yen you'd loose 50% to convert to rubles. Some are charging 20% on dollars. But there are some that are buying dollars for about 60 rubles.

So, if anyone is heading to Russia, stock your phone's image gallery with RVF memes before you go.
 
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IM3000

Pelican
How did you buy your flight? I'm in Western Europe currently and Russia has apparently been canceled by Skyscanner et al.
 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
How did you buy your flight? I'm in Western Europe currently and Russia has apparently been canceled by Skyscanner et al.

The state airlines in UAE are still flying to Russia, though they have halted any other flights to Russia. I was also thinking about going through Armenia, as you can also pick up ArCa-MIR debit cards there, which work in Russia. My guess is you could get one within a week (need to open a bank account first). I will also try and open one here. Going to Armenia will be about the same price as UAE airlines are not cheap.

UAE would be a fairly good place for a connecting flight, as it would be a good place to try and get some rubles without paying any exchange fees. I guess you can easily get rubles in Armenia too.

I went to the Dubai Marina Mall on the night before my flight. This is a main area for Russians. I just listened for people speaking Russian and then asked them if they wanted to exchange money. They all did, as UAE have banned ruble exchange and its generally difficult to move money around. However, most did not have rubles on hand. If you posted in the Russians in Dubai Telegram, you'd probably be able to arrange something in advance.

There's lots of ways to exchange BTC in Russia, but seems most require a Russian bank or card. Will look for a cash outlet.
 

Stoyan

 
Banned
Orthodox
Very interesting! Please keep us updated. What can you say about your initial impressions of Russia so far? Are there any kovid restrictions there? Is the police presence very noticeable?

What about the people? Are they mostly looking poor? You wrote that boys are generally more masculine. Do you get the impression that people are tougher and more competitive there? Is the pace of life faster? What can you say about the women that you saw? Do you see many religious (Orthodox) people on Sundays? Have you encountered any Central Asians in Russia?

It would be interesting to go to rural areas too.

It went fairly normal until he asked to look at the photos and messages in my phone. This is where the fun began. I have two people on Telegram who are pro-Ukraine, so I deleted those chats. He became interested in some of my memes, but obviously did not understand them.

The first one he singled in on was a Tweet from Libs of Tik Tok showing some degenerate promoting inappropriate topics and adorned with regime regalia of BLM + the sext-colour-flag. He continued, occasionally taking copies of various memes. One of them was this.

By the way he looked at it, it was obvious he did not understand what was going on.

But he noticed a total of about seven memes and photos including the Ukrainian flag, three of which were sent by a Ukrainian refugee who was holding the Ukrainian flag with other refugees. At that point I thought I would be deported. Others were various mockery memes of the current thing, including this:

So, if anyone is heading to Russia, stock your phone's image gallery with RVF memes before you go.

It seems that the moral of the story here is that you should not have any memes or messages on your phone, because they will want to check them, and you could get in trouble. Although you wrote that last sentence in sarcasm, it seems obvious that one should have a clean image gallery on the phone. Do they check computers too, by the way?
 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
Very interesting! Please keep us updated. What can you say about your initial impressions of Russia so far? Are there any kovid restrictions there? Is the police presence very noticeable?

I have been in FSU countries for about 1 year, so it's nothing new. But I can say my main impressions. The main one is that, rather than being some traditional wonderland, Russia (at least tier 1 cities) are America in the 1980s. They are about 40 years behind on various aspects of degradation. Many young people are mainly consumed with being cool, in a way that Marty McFly or Tiffany may have been, i.e. more clean cut, but life still largely revolves around pleasure.

I haven't seen one person wearing a mask. There is no noticeable police presence or any difference from before the military operation in Ukraine.

What about the people? Are they mostly looking poor?

No. As mentioned people in Moscow tend to look like 80s Americas, with a more denim thing, obviously more attractive and thinner than modern Americans. But there are also some more goth and degenerate types creeping in, which you will find in most countries. At least in tier one cities and in the centre. Outside of that it gets more provincial or working-class or blue-collar. These areas are poorer, but I would not describe most people as living in poor conditions I prefer the more provincial areas, as these are where you will find something closer to the authentic Russian nature. These are people who don't know much about pop music or Instagram. If they are not afflicted with resentment they tend to have few concerns and their life revolves more around food, friends and family, i.e. natural culture, not Madison Avenue manifestations.

You wrote that boys are generally more masculine. Do you get the impression that people are tougher and more competitive there? Is the pace of life faster? What can you say about the women that you saw?

I think the more masculine was in reference to Moldovans, who you wouldn't want to pick a fight with. But yes, Russian males are very noticeably more masculine and competitive. As with the 80s nature, people are trying to get ahead. At least in my limited experience people are not much given to socialism and grievances. But there is definitely and encroachment of soi boys in Moscow and probably other trendy centres. Someone sent me a video of some Muscovites Instagram, and literally every single photo was him making soy-face. Every. Single. Time.

You also see people who are, in my opinion, much more rootless than many Westeners. On a similar level to antifa. I remember looking at photos in museums from the Russian Empire, and they really don't seem like the same people as modern Russians. They look interchangeable with Victorians.

IMG-20210909-122804.jpg
IMG-20210909-122810.jpg

IMG-20210909-122905.jpg


[it should be possible to enlarge these]

The women are obviously more attractive and typically thinner, sometimes more then 6 feet tall. They were most attractive in Kazan, that I have been to. Their nature is more that of an 80s woman, that is she is modern, but still generally has the embedded culture to promote marriage. Most Russian women want to get married quite young and it's very common that their parents (mainly mother) will ask them when are they getting married etc. So far as I can tell their interest in men is also much more like the 80s, where I feel women wouldn't have much criteria about getting to know you. If there was one spark that interested them, they'd want to know more. Whereas it seems that Western women are jaded, disinterested and have little to no direction. I think most women seem to feel then need to say they are Christian, but for the most part it's not that important to them.


Do you see many religious (Orthodox) people on Sundays? Have you encountered any Central Asians in Russia?

You do see quite a lot of women wearing head-dress going to church, but there is little visibility of religion beyond the churches and cathedrals. These women are mostly 40+. Whereas compared to somewhere like Spain, where you will see quite a lot of Catholic iconography hanging from homes, or Serbia and Romania where most taxi drivers will have a cross hanging in the front-window.

The church attendance is about 6-7%, which is less than America's 20% and UKs 2-3%, but of course, these are real churches that expound spirituality and not just feeling good or bad.

With that said beyond some priests it seems quite apparent to me that the best understanding of what is going on in the world is in America. They, of course, are protected from some strains of degeneracy here, while in America, you are subjected to all of the worst and thus can have a better understanding. I found religious Russians to be far more complacent with allowing their children to be exposed to degeneracy, while in Western-traditional circles you will find people are moving more towards banning all degeneracy, arranged marriages etc. Also, the underlying traditional American culture is still far more potent and visible. While it's hard to see where it's particularly visible in Russia.

Though, it does appear Russia could be a much more feasible place for a return to tradition. There wouldn't be as much opposition to it as would emanate from Democratic slums.

There are a lot of central Asians in Moscow. Not many elsewhere that I've seen. They seem to be quite Russianised, though most Russians don't want to have anything to do with them and want the immigration to end.

Do they check computers too, by the way?

I didn't seeing them checking any computers. My experiences with Russian/Belarussian customs is they may subject you to an inquisition, in which they fish, seemingly without satisfaction to any of your answers; then all of a sudden they let you go.
 

antonius_03

Pigeon
Orthodox
I didn't really post anything here last year. Maybe this year will be different.

I just arrived in Russia. Most of the people on the flight were Russians. It seems all/most people who were from non-friendly countries were taken aside for interrogation. Bar one family and myself, it was all POCs taken aside. None of the interrogators spoke English. I could understand most of what mine was asking. I've had this before. They just ask and ask, until out of the blue they let you go. It went fairly normal until he asked to look at the photos and messages in my phone. This is where the fun began. I have two people on Telegram who are pro-Ukraine, so I deleted those chats. He became interested in some of my memes, but obviously did not understand them.

GgezHvvQvl2L.jpeg


The first one he singled in on was a Tweet from Libs of Tik Tok showing some degenerate promoting inappropriate topics and adorned with regime regalia of BLM + the sext-colour-flag. He continued, occasionally taking copies of various memes. One of them was this.

image_proxy


By the way he looked at it, it was obvious he did not understand what was going on.

But he noticed a total of about seven memes and photos including the Ukrainian flag, three of which were sent by a Ukrainian refugee who was holding the Ukrainian flag with other refugees. At that point I thought I would be deported. Others were various mockery memes of the current thing, including this:

View attachment 41834

I waited for a bit. Then he took me to some guy who could speak English. Others were going in for questioning. When it came to me just my interrogator went in. I heard some laughter. The interrogator came out and seemed to tell me to follow him. But I wasn't sure, so I looked at the English-speaking one who performed a standing to attention movement and said "Добро пожоловать в России." (Welcome to Russia). I followed the first guy, expecting more interrogation. So far it had been about two hours. I was sent to one of the customs control booths and they began stamping through another guy in front of me. I looked back at my interrogator with a look of confusion, as it seemed they should have more questions. He just gave me a nod and I was stamped through.

As I entered the baggage collection there were some tables where I had to provide a coronavirus test last year. I asked if they wanted one, but they just looked whimsical as if it didn't matter and waved me on. It seems to be mask and vax pass free.

On money, it's best to bring dollars. Some banks are charging huge commission, e.g. I think on yen you'd loose 50% to convert to rubles. Some are charging 20% on dollars. But there are some that are buying dollars for about 60 rubles.

So, if anyone is heading to Russia, stock your phone's image gallery with RVF memes before you go.
Would you still recommend taking dollars with you now? If so, can they just be exchanged at any bank in Russia? I ask as I plan on going over there to visit someone and need some cash on me to get around once I'm there
 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
Would you still recommend taking dollars with you now? If so, can they just be exchanged at any bank in Russia? I ask as I plan on going over there to visit someone and need some cash on me to get around once I'm there

I would take dollars. It's best to find real people to exchange with via Telegram. Search for Обмен валют + city. This is the one for Moscow:


You'll find people offering a few percent over the market price, but I just offered them the market price. Much better than paying up to 20% at businesses.

I think it's also worth taking crypto, in case you loose your money.

You can also use the site: https://city.travel/ to book hotels or planes by card.
 

antonius_03

Pigeon
Orthodox
I would take dollars. It's best to find real people to exchange with via Telegram. Search for Обмен валют + city. This is the one for Moscow:


You'll find people offering a few percent over the market price, but I just offered them the market price. Much better than paying up to 20% at businesses.

I think it's also worth taking crypto, in case you loose your money.

You can also use the site: https://city.travel/ to book hotels or planes by card.
Thank you very much for the advice!
 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
I was recently at the "main" cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

It's a very well kept church, on which construction began in 2004, if I remember correctly. Surrounded by typically Georgia areas, where buildings are thrown up, and then nothing done to maintain them.

IMG-20220826-172830.jpg



This was the first church I went to on my own, in 2018. At this time I did not believe in God. I went to it again, I think four years to the day, this year.

I seem to remember the first time I went there it had some effect on me.

Both times there was a woman at the door who had a girl in a pram. The girl cannot walk, talk or really do anything. Yet whoever the old woman is who is with her (I suspect her grandmother) still believes in God.

There is a lot of anti-Russia and pro-Ukraine graffiti.

IMG-20220826-163906.jpg


IMG-20220826-174820.jpg


IMG-20220826-175406.jpg


Note the numberplate:

IMG-20220826-175850.jpg


photo-2022-09-22-01-55-36.jpg


p1.jpg


photo-2022-08-26-18-25-08.jpg


p2.png



IMG-20220826-180852.jpg


IMG-20220826-180121.jpg

IMG-20220826-210256.jpg


The are a huge amount of people speaking Russian in Georgia. Most are probably from Ukraine, but have to speak Russian, as Georgians can't speak Ukrainian. I read that only about 35% of Georgians can speak Russian, but it seemed like 100% to me.

The main museum refers to the period of the Soviet Union as the "Russian occupation".
 
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Thomas More

Crow
Protestant
I was recently at the "main" cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

It's a very well kept church, on which construction began in 2004, if I remember correctly. Surrounded by typically Georgia areas, where buildings are thrown up, and then nothing done to maintain them.

IMG-20220826-172830.jpg



This was the first church I went to on my own, in 2018. At this time I did not believe in God. I went to it again, I think four years to the day, this year.

I seem to remember the first time I went there it had some effect on me.

Both times there was a woman at the door who had a girl in a pram. The girl cannot walk, talk or really do anything. Yet whoever the old woman is who is with her (I suspect her grandmother) still believes in God.

There is a lot of anti-Russia and pro-Ukraine graffiti.

IMG-20220826-163906.jpg


IMG-20220826-174820.jpg


IMG-20220826-175406.jpg


Note the numberplate:

IMG-20220826-175850.jpg


photo-2022-09-22-01-55-36.jpg


p1.jpg


photo-2022-08-26-18-25-08.jpg


p2.png



IMG-20220826-180852.jpg


IMG-20220826-180121.jpg

IMG-20220826-210256.jpg


The are a huge amount of people speaking Russian in Georgia. Most are probably from Ukraine, but have to speak Russian, as Georgians can't speak Ukrainian. I read that only about 35% of Georgians can speak Russian, but it seemed like 100% to me.

The main museum refers to the period of the Soviet Union as the "Russian occupation".
Seems like a lot of the graffiti is in English, like it's targeted for Westerners seeing it in pictures, rather than the local people that see it vandalizing their churches, homes, parks, and businesses.
 
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