I'm just wanting a bit of advice and so on from people who have spent time in Russia. I'm probably looking at working in Moscow, and everyone I've talked to here in NZ (well most anyway) think I'm crazy, and that it's really dangerous- organised crime, corruption, etc. I think most of their concerns are based on media hype and the 'dirty commies' attitudes which are a bit ingrained in western society- the cold war in the political backdrop for most of your life means they have a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. So I'm just wondering if I'm being more crazy with this plan than I think, or if their concerns are largely unfounded. I mean I know there is a lot of corruption and all that, and obviously be more careful than in Western countries, but really that dangerous?
Thanks in advance!
Of course Russia isn't so dangerous country, as media talk and I think you should go to Russia and see russian reality by your own eyes.
What about Moscow, it's one of the most expensive city in Europe, and rent is high.
Do you speak Russian? If you don't do you have a particular skill-base to bring to the Russian party?
Sorry for throwing these in but why would Russians want to pay someone who doesn't speak the language when they have millions to choose from who do speak the language and will work cheaper than a foreigner.
Having said that, GO and have a look by all means. You may be lucky and pick up a job in an ex-pat bar as I did.
It's not a dangerous as they make out either, but Moscow like all big cities just means you behave as you would in any other big cities around the world.
You'll love the place if you do decide to go.
Ok. I wrote a short book for you, but the stupid forum logged me out and seems to have erased the whole thing. but basically, the short version is this:
Moscow is not as dangerous as New York or London.
There's lot's to see and do. The country and the people are most often beautiful and welcoming (unless you hate winter).
That being said, there are lot's of criminals. However, most criminals and con artists target their fellow Russians. Foreigners are generally left alone.
Terrorism exists, but you're much more likely to experience a car-crash than a terrorist attack.
Russians have a very different way of thinking from most Westerners. Possible conflicts: no feminism, highly authority-driven, apathetic about concepts of civic duty, growing sense of nationalism, rampant alcoholism.
Corruption is Russia's worst enemy, but will likely not effect you.
I can make more money as an English teacher in Moscow than a stock broker in California. if English is your first language, then you have the beginnings of a marketable skill.
Best of luck,
I spent 3 months in Russia and two weeks of my time was in Moscow. In short: Go!
I think you'll love Moscow. It's no more dangerous than any other city in the world. You have to have some common sense on where not to go, how to act, and what the local laws are. But really, it's an amazing place. I travelled there, also as a westerner with misconceptions, and I've returned changed. Russia is one of the greatest places I've been to; the culture, the food, the people are all enjoyable.
Also, don't limit yourself to Moscow. Russia is the largest country in the world and there is a LOT to see and do. It's a short trip north to St. Petersburg and also many other places around like Volgograd (formally Stalingrad). Also head east by train if you can. I made it to Krasnyarsk -- but that's only half way. Beyond is Lake Baikal and Vladivostok.
Thanks for the replies- so passionate!
Should have mentioned- I'm a qualified teacher, and native English speaker, so not worried about work. I'll probably do a bit of governess or nanny work- rent included
Personally I didn't think it would be a whole lot more dangerous than London or other places I'm thinking of going, there is just such a reaction whenever I tell anyone it was making me doubtful! Thanks for the info, it mostly confirms what I thought anyway- crime isn't generally targeted at foreigners etc. I'm really looking forward to going, it looks amazing!
You will be amazed how quickly you can pick up Russian, once you've mastered the alphabet. It really isn't that difficult - very similar, with just a few variations on Ukranian and Bulgarian - although the language itself is quite different to Bulgarian. I learned the Cyrillic alphabet in just over a week and was able to start reading signs etc. Within just a few weeks I could order my food, travel tickets, ask for a room and so much more.
You will find that so many people will want to help you with the language barrier, just as they will ask you to teach them a bit of your native tongue. Russia and Eastern Europe in general, are just incredibly friendly regions.
That's true about the language. After a month I could read the signs and get by in a basic way like flyingbob says above.
Awesome I should have heaps of time to learn the language then!
Thanks for the tips