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Thread: Is Russsia Dangerous?

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    JB
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    Is Russsia Dangerous?

    I'm an American girl from a big city and consider myself street-wise and careful. I think Russia is dangerous for fools and those who come here unprepared (lacking language and knowledge of the culture). My husband is a Russian born and raised in Russia (has lived in both the country and big cities)and thinks Russia is dangerous for everybody, including Russians. He thinks I am naive and too trusting because I am nice to almost everyone and actually trust some people I'm not close friends with.
    What do you think? Anybody have any experiences or examples pro or con?
    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

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    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    I believe you, but it hurts to read. I left Russia twenty+ years ago, it was safe for all and well policed back then. We rarely heard of any crime.
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



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    I've never been in America but I'm sure Russia is much more safe. At least it's hardly probable to meet a psycho with the gun here.

    But this question is really hard to answer cause such things depend on various factors, including your luck.

    What about me, I often walk alone at night in solitary and unlit places and do other stupid things, but I've never got involved in really dangerous situation, though I had 4 or 5 unpleasant moments.
    Moreover I'm 28 and I never was robbed or beaten or smth else and my appartment never was thieved (maybe I'm an exception).

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    Завсегдатай kalinka_vinnie's Avatar
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    I don't agree, or at least on partially agree.

    I went to Russia 2 years ago knowing virtually nothing of the language and culture, I was just a blue eyed blonde kid. I had an extremely warm welcome and I spent a year in Petersburg without an incident. I walked alone many nights in suburbs and not once did something happen. Even the police were nice to me. But, I am of course a careful person, many of my american acquaintances got mugged or swindled, but they were begging for it.

    But, of course, I am white. I think asians and africans have it alot more dangerous.

    Oh, and I did get robbed in Vladivostok, but we will let that pass in silence

    Ok, so maybe I more than partially agree But it is worth the danger!
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

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    Wow what happend when u were robbed?
    Вот это да, я так люблю себя. И сегодня я люблю себя, ещё больше чем вчера, а завтра я буду любить себя to ещё больше чем сегодня. Тем что происходит,я вполне доволен!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    But, of course, I am white. I think asians and africans have it alot more dangerous.
    Unfortunately you're right. When you look exotic it may cause troubles. I think the best way of avoiding them is not to look glaringly and at the same time not to look a sitting duck.

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    Завсегдатай kalinka_vinnie's Avatar
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    Haven't you seen the movie I made about it yet?

    The story is, I went to the chinese market alone (my Russian friend, whom I was visiting, had to go on an unexpected business trip), bought my food and was about to leave. Then these two guys walk past me and one of them says something. Like any warm-blooded Russian I ignore him. But he is insulted (later I find out he is a whacko) and follows after me. So finally he stops me and asks me something. Now this is in low-level street Russian in overdrive and I humbly say I don't understand (in Russian). The light in his eyes lit up, right there, when he discovered I was a foreigner!

    Well he talks to me, keep asking if I have met any Russian bandits yet and whether I like Russia, bla bla, where do I live, what is the name of my friend (I "couldn't" remember the address, but only the area (lie lie lie)) etc. So eventually they walk me out and ask for "help" for their friends in jail, so he asks how much money do I have. And I say 100 roubles (I had 600). He asks "врёшь?", and I pretend to be insulted (so far things were cordial between us) so he backed off. He collected his money and wrote down a name and number to call if I ever have trouble in Vladivostok (my very own крыша). But only between 8 am and 10 am or 8 pm and 10 pm (that was weird). All this time hundreds of people were walking around us looking at me giving money to them. Thanks guys! (but I understand their predicament)

    You think it ends there? I start walking in the general direction of home, and after 5 minutes I see his friend running after me!! He quickly explains that there is another gang who saw me give money to them and are after me (oh shit), so he wants to escort me home. This would cost me another 200 roubles. So we start going (fast) and we agree only to go to the bus stop (not far from where I lived), because I didn't feel comfortable with them all the way home (I tried as hard as I could to not allow them to find out where I lived). Then the other guy (first one) comes running all excited describing the other gang, I still don't know if they were making it all up, or if it was real, but it seemed very real at the time. So they wanted their money... So I said I only have a 500... (basically I told them I lied earlier) and didn't have change. They said no problem there is a little shop right here and we can get change.

    So I buy us three beers and we sit down talking. They were very interested in my family, what does my dad do, what do I do (I am a poor student, my dad paid for my trip here as a birthday present (man I lie good)), etc. Then they teach me some русский мать, they were quite impressed with my level of Russian and swear word vocab. They also gave me a new number to call (the other one was fake) which I could call any time (at this time we were "friends")

    Now to describe the two. One was a dark haired with a big nose and a really strange look, as if he was constantly thinking: should I beat up everybody in this room? He was the one calling the shots, the other one was a much nicer one (in my mind), a blonde man (they were both in their early 20s) and with a scar on his left cheek. The blonde would calm down the dark one, but the dark one would get angry at the other one quite often. Both seemed kind of dim-witted... and of course were dressed in black leather.

    Well the dark went out to see if they were still following us, and I took the oppertunity to let the blonde one know that it was time for me to go home, and I said my goodbyes and left (the dark one is probably still pissed about it). I went in a different entrance and ran in and locked myself. Didn't leave until Ivan (my friend) got back...

    Wheew, what an experience!!! Sorry if it was boring...
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

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    What do you mean by "dangerous"? It depends. If you don't get out after 8 p.m. and have a good strong door - it's not so dangerus. I used to live in a small not-so-nice town and I never been assaulted. But ones I have successfully scared an old lady.
    Find your inner Bart!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    Haven't you seen the movie I made about it yet?
    Now this is a story worth remembering. I could tell you another one when I was in a company of friends who just happened to be military officers. Some punk tried to scare us and extort money showing in the direction of a few of his friends who were about 100 meters away. So what do you think these buddies of mine did? They took the poor bastard hostage and released him only a few kilometers away from the spot. They pretended to have a gun, which they did not. We had a good laugh after.

    I have a few other cute stories, all of them hilarious. Yeah, walking alone at night is dangerous in Russia. So is driving in Montreal any time of day.
    I've got a TV, and I'm not afraid to use it

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    If you want to say, "Russia does not suffer fools"...sure I agree.

    And you're right...having street-smarts and being careful are very important in Russia.

    But same goes for New York, L.A., Paris, etc.

    I usually feel perfectly safe in Petersburg and Moscow, except for getting hassled by Moscow militzia looking for cash. Can't say the same though about N.Y. or Chicago, or DC...DC's really bad. And I think Paris is horrible with non-violent crime.

    And in the provincial towns of Russia, I actually feel a sense of being protected and watched-over, in a pleasant way, maybe because I am a foreigner...or a curiosity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    Wheew, what an experience!!! Sorry if it was boring...
    No, it was exciting! For foreigners, such situations can be very dangerous. But you presented yourself молотком! Bydaway, howzit in English, молоток?
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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    Завсегдатай kalinka_vinnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rtyom
    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    Wheew, what an experience!!! Sorry if it was boring...
    No, it was exciting! For foreigners, such situations can be very dangerous. But you presented yourself молотком! Bydaway, howzit in English, молоток?
    Thanks In my Russian Slang book it says:

    молоток: A champion, a hero.

    I wouldn't go that far though
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

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    [quote=kalinka_vinnie]
    Quote Originally Posted by Rtyom
    Quote Originally Posted by "kalinka_vinnie":utb3zvuz
    Wheew, what an experience!!! Sorry if it was boring...
    No, it was exciting! For foreigners, such situations can be very dangerous. But you presented yourself молотком! Bydaway, howzit in English, молоток?
    Thanks In my Russian Slang book it says:

    молоток: A champion, a hero.

    I wouldn't go that far though [/quote:utb3zvuz]

    A hammer wouldn't go with it either!
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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    JB
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    What other dangers have you experienced? (yes the water is one of the biggest but as long as you filter then boil you have a small chance of survival) My biggest fear is crossing the street. I'd rather deal with Gypsies. A few winters back my husband and I were going to a renok in Moscow which was on the other side of the street from our metro stop. For some reason the street underpass was closed so everyone had to cross the 4 lane busy highway which had no signals or crosswalks. While standing on the curb and realizing that to cross and live was not possible we saw a fat little grandma standing on the highway's middle divider (not a real dirt or asphalt divider, just a painted line about 12 inches wide)hysterically crying. NOBODY stopped or slowed down to let her cross. One step in any direction would have turned her into grandma ground meat. Without thinking or any discussion we both dashed between cars and ended up on each side of her, at which point we realized WE were soon going to be hamburger. We tried to calm grandma down but she was out of control and the cars' rearview mirrors were hitting me in the butt as they raced past. As a last act of self preservation we each grabbed a big fat grandma arm and literally picked her up and ran for our lives. NOBODY EVEN SLOWED DOWN!!! At the renok side she was grateful and I was permanently mentally damaged so that now whenever we cross a street I get a fear attack and freeze at which point my husband drags me across yelling all the way!
    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

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    N
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    Yeah, we, Moscow drivers are crazy. I don't know way is that.
    Some drivers who probably have been in the other countries do stop to let pedestrians cross a street but people do not believe them. They think that there is a nasty trick in it somewhere and do not cross. I'm joking. They do not crodss because drivers on the other lanes do not follow your example and cars in the rear start to beep if you stop. So it's all in vain.

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    JB
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    My city has been installing speed bumps with big blue warning signs on both sides of the crosswalks in front of the schools. It's pretty entertaining to see the drivers expressions when they hit those speed bumps without slowing. I wonder how much all those car repairs cost?
    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

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    heh

    It took my wife and I ages to teach her mum how to cross the road in Britain. We'd all get to a zebra crossing and Mrs Scotcher and I would just walk out in front of the traffic, which would of course stop for us, but Tyosha would just stand there at the kerb eyeing the cars suspiciously until one of us went back for her.

    Mind, I don't blame her, I have trhe opposite problem when I am in Russia.

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    I used to walk home as late as 1,2,3, 4 am alone in Kazan' in Tatarstan and never had any trouble (actually I rarely even saw anyone about at that time).

    Your best bet is to only carry small amounts of money on you, because if you just give them all the money you have on your person they'll 9 times out of 10, leave it at that.

    kalinka_vinka didn't really get robbed, I'd say he got swindled. Something similar actually happened to me in London (my hometown). And how much did he loose less than 600 roubles? That's like $20. Hardly an amount to get upset about.

    Yes, your biggest danger in Russia is crossing the road in Russia. I was almost run over by a tram.
    Ingenting kan stoppa mig
    In Post-Soviet Russia internet porn downloads YOU!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lampada
    I believe you, but it hurts to read. I left Russia twenty+ years ago, it was safe for all and well policed back then. We rarely heard of any crime.
    Well, I wouldn't say Russia is a dangerous place, but you have to know and obey some unwritten rules...

    Lampada, about well policed Russia… I was beaten by a drunk policeman in front of precinct 10 or so years ago.

    About race. My wife is Asian. 10 or so years ago I walked in Moscow with her sister who was badly humiliated by crowd of very aggressive young males due to her race. I stood up for her and was beaten that hard that I couldn’t go to work for a week. It happened next to “Kuzmikni” metro station, a lot of people including police sow it, nobody cared.

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    TATY, well I don't usually carry more than 500 roubles. Just that day I took an extra 500 roubles for the market... hmpf. Typical. But yeah, I ain't complaining about the money.

    BTW, it wasn't swindle. I know swindle when it rears its ugly face, these guys you do not mess with. It might of seemed like a fun and happy event to you, but I was there. Either these guys were good actors, played a couple of movies in mosfilm, or they were bandits.
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

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