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Thread: Thinking about possible travel to the US - some question

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    Thinking about possible travel to the US - some question

    Hi!

    I am a Russian who thinks about possible travel to the US. But I am afraid of some things that reached me in form of rumors.
    I am concerned about sex laws in the United States. There are a lot of terrifying stories about people who traveled there and
    suffered due to some kind of anti-male prejudices of the Americans.

    One story was about a man from Russia who traveled to the US with his wife. On one occasion he helped a girl in a public pool who slided from a stair. He then was arrested on suspicion of pedophilia.
    Another man said to me that in America it was impossible in a public transport to get closer than 53 cm to a woman without being accused of sexual harassment even if there was short of place.

    Several sources also indicate that stories similar to that happened to Domenique Strauss-Kahn, the president on the IMF in the US are not an exception but happen quite often and it is very much possible to become a subject of sexual litigation from the side of the hotel personnel for anyone who seems to have above-average income.
    In connection with this I wonder if there are hotels in the US that provide male-only or at least aged personnel?

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Those sound like very silly rumors to me. If you come to America, the main thing is to just be aware of cultural differences. I have lived in both America and Russia so there are few things I could say that might help. For one, people in Russia are comfortable with much closer personal space than Americans are. Americans don't like to get too close to you physically (unless they are drunk or horny) so you should generally just be aware of that. Russians also like to be very helpful to strangers. I remember a Russian guy brushing dirt off of my coat when I was living there. In America, that would be a little strange and even intrusive. There are many more cultural differences - big ones - but for a tourist trip here, these are the main things to think about. I would not listen to silly rumors like the ones you heard. Just be respectful of people, and they will (usually) be respectful to you!
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Почтенный гражданин LXNDR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anixx View Post
    some kind of anti-male prejudices of the Americans.
    it seems that the iron curtain is still very much hanging

    but staying in a male only hotel you could fall victim to accusations in harassing men

  4. #4
    Hanna
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    Well, you are sensible to be cautious!

    Only cross the road when the red man is on, or you could get beaten up by the police!


    Consider this:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...aywalking.html
    Felipe Fernandez-Armesto said he had been the victim of "terrible, terrible violence" after he inadvertently committed the offence of "jaywalking" in Atlanta, Georgia, last week and failed to realise the man telling him to stop was an officer.
    The slight, bespectacled professor claimed that five burly officers pinned him to the ground after Kevin Leonpacher kicked his legs from under him as he hesitated to show his ID.

    He was left "traumatised and disorientated" and with a gashed forehead as he was taken to the local jail and charged with pedestrian failure to obey a police officer and physical obstruction of police.



    The academic, professor of global environmental history at Queen Mary College, University of London, and a member of Oxford University's modern history faculty, said he had been subjected to "very humiliating procedures" and even had his box of peppermints confiscated.
    A Norwegian man on holiday in th USA with his mother, was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison because he misunderstood the traffic regulations and took a wrong turn on a one-way street.
    His car was classified as a "deadly weapon" hence the long sentence. He and his mother are saying they got lost in the one-way system and people were acting hostile towards them. Listening to the interview, they are completely credible. It's completely inconceivable that this Norwegian and his elderly mother tried to kill anyone, as the police had claimed. The reason he is looking bruised is because the police beat him up when he was arrested.




    Plus, make sure you get a medical insurance before you travel or you will not get treated in a hospital if you take ill.... !!

    And finally, you will have to leave your FINGERPRINT when you enter the USA, as if you were a suspected criminal.

    There are lots of things I'd like to see in the USA, but this kind of stuff is really offputting.

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    Can you please start a new thread with the cultural differences you mentioned? I'm going to Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus for the first time in a few weeks so am very interested in hearing about the differences. I'm an American.


    Thank you,

    Scott


    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    Those sound like very silly rumors to me. If you come to America, the main thing is to just be aware of cultural differences. I have lived in both America and Russia so there are few things I could say that might help. For one, people in Russia are comfortable with much closer personal space than Americans are. Americans don't like to get too close to you physically (unless they are drunk or horny) so you should generally just be aware of that. Russians also like to be very helpful to strangers. I remember a Russian guy brushing dirt off of my coat when I was living there. In America, that would be a little strange and even intrusive. There are many more cultural differences - big ones - but for a tourist trip here, these are the main things to think about. I would not listen to silly rumors like the ones you heard. Just be respectful of people, and they will (usually) be respectful to you!

  6. #6
    Hanna
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    Scott, get this type of book. If you are travelling in these countries, perhaps you could keep a travel blog, like I did...?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Anixx View Post
    Another man said to me that in America it was impossible in a public transport to get closer than 53 cm to a woman without being accused of sexual harassment even if there was short of place.
    A tape measure is the first thing i pack when i'm going abroad,you can never be too careful

    Just to be extra safe though it may be worth learning how to do this : Derren Brown on the London Underground - YouTube

    Only joking Anixx.Have a good trip if you go.

  8. #8
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Cat View Post
    Creepy.... but I hate Derren Brown. This is why one should be cautious about talking to strangers on the tube....

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    How can you hate him Hanna?

    He's a really nice bloke and very good to watch.He treats everyone he deals with honestly and kindly.He dosent claim to be psychic or spiritual.He's just a psychology and body language expert with a bit of illusion and hypnosis thrown in.

    His live shows are fantastic.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Well, you are sensible to be cautious!

    Only cross the road when the red man is on, or you could get beaten up by the police!


    Consider this:

    Historian 'pinned to ground by US police and beaten for jaywalking' - Telegraph


    A Norwegian man on holiday in th USA with his mother, was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison because he misunderstood the traffic regulations and took a wrong turn on a one-way street.
    His car was classified as a "deadly weapon" hence the long sentence. He and his mother are saying they got lost in the one-way system and people were acting hostile towards them. Listening to the interview, they are completely credible. It's completely inconceivable that this Norwegian and his elderly mother tried to kill anyone, as the police had claimed. The reason he is looking bruised is because the police beat him up when he was arrested.




    Plus, make sure you get a medical insurance before you travel or you will not get treated in a hospital if you take ill.... !!

    And finally, you will have to leave your FINGERPRINT when you enter the USA, as if you were a suspected criminal.

    There are lots of things I'd like to see in the USA, but this kind of stuff is really offputting.
    As for that guy, what would be your comments on this one: Larsgard Innocent? No! Navajo County Attorney Brad Carlyon Tells The Real Story. - YouTube

    The whole story looks really misty to me, as it seems any coverage of that accident on youtube only sticks to the man's language and can't even be bothered to translate it. I finally found that one having the attorney speak out, so, what are your points on that? Total lies? If not, how on earth could that man ever be justified?

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    Почтенный гражданин LXNDR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortheether View Post
    Can you please start a new thread with the cultural differences you mentioned? I'm going to Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus for the first time in a few weeks so am very interested in hearing about the differences. I'm an American.


    Thank you,

    Scott
    i would not recommend traveling on a car, the road police a lot of times is acting unlawfully and will frame you up

    please do not try to bribe anyone, even if conditions allow to

    be particularly wary of extortion at the customs, it can come in many guises

    if medical workers demand money for something covered by your medical insurance don't give in, unless of course your health profoundly depends on your decision.

    keep a mobile phone to use for calls within the country you're in and a couple of numbers of the US consulate in that country
    do not hesitate to threat will a phone call to the consulate if any official is harassing you

    if you happen to have to protect your rights, basically do it as you would do so in the US

    in Ukraine police emergency number is 102, ambulance 103

    don't try to bring into Ukraine gadgets with built in video camera (except cell phone) this is prosecutable as criminal offence

    of course it's best if you have someone from the locals keeping company with you

  12. #12
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    Thank you - a lot of real good ideas!!! What about staying in a Russian home with Russians including sleeping there?


    I've never bribed anyone in my life and plan to keep it that way.

    Thank you,

    Scott




    Quote Originally Posted by LXNDR View Post
    i would not recommend traveling on a car, the road police a lot of times is acting unlawfully and will frame you up

    please do not try to bribe anyone, even if conditions allow to

    be particularly wary of extortion at the customs, it can come in many guises

    if medical workers demand money for something covered by your medical insurance don't give in, unless of course your health profoundly depends on your decision.

    keep a mobile phone to use for calls within the country you're in and a couple of numbers of the US consulate in that country
    do not hesitate to threat will a phone call to the consulate if any official is harassing you

    if you happen to have to protect your rights, basically do it as you would do so in the US

    in Ukraine police emergency number is 102, ambulance 103

    don't try to bring into Ukraine gadgets with built in video camera (except cell phone) this is prosecutable as criminal offence

    of course it's best if you have someone from the locals keeping company with you

  13. #13
    Почтенный гражданин LXNDR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortheether View Post
    Thank you - a lot of real good ideas!!! What about staying in a Russian home with Russians including sleeping there?
    are you considering this because you think it's cheaper?

    i won't speak for Russia, because I live in Ukraine, but a hotel or an apartment rented on an hourly basis could be an option to consider just because in this case you're your own master, not sharing the space with anyone else. These apartment offers can be found in local newspapers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fortheether View Post
    Can you please start a new thread with the cultural differences you mentioned? I'm going to Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus for the first time in a few weeks so am very interested in hearing about the differences. I'm an American.


    Thank you,

    Scott
    As for the safety rules in Russia, I would advise the following:
    Russia is generally a safe place for foreigners, but you have to apply some common sense:
    - Buy a local SIM-card rather than using your home one, it will help you to save your money greatly;
    - Don't take too much cash with you (there are lots of ATM machines in all big cities, many big stores also accept credit cards) - generally, a few thousand roubles would be enough, and you can always withdraw more cash when you need;
    - Always take your passport and visa, it may help if some problems (and better keep it in you pocket, not in your bag);
    - Better call a taxi by phone, rather than stopping it in the street. Or, if you stop a taxi in the street, discuss the price in advance before even getting in (otherwise a taxi driver may charge you several times more because you are a foreigner);
    - Use public transportation when possible, it is cheap and quite safe. Some big cities in Russia have an underground system - that might be the best option for you.
    - That's OK to shop in an official store. But do not shop in a market alone for the same reason: you would most likely be charged extra price for being a foreigner;
    - Do not flash your money in a crowdy place;
    - Do not buy anything from strangers in the street;
    - Do not drink with strangers;
    - Do not walk alone in a dark deserted street;
    - It would be excellent if you find some friends you can trust to;
    - Do not do anything illegal of course.

    As to the cultural differences, there are many of them. You will notice them easily. What comes to my mind first:
    - Do not expect strangers to smile to you. Russians do not smile as often as Americans do. That does not mean they do not like you. The reason is the smile in Russia is understood differently: you have to have a reason for smiling! We smile to a baby, we smile to close friends when we are really glad to see them, we smile to someone we like and know well, we smile when we are really happy or when something is really funny. In USA, a smile is a neutral sign. In Russia, no smile is a neutral sign, and a smile should be sincere.
    - Generally, Russians do not like insincerity. If asking "How are you?" (Как дела?) in Russia, be ready to hear a honest answer, not just the universal "fine" as in the US. A Russian will not usually say he is fine if he has some problems at the moment. He will tell you some story about his problems instead.
    - For the same reason as above, Russians do not like a meaningless "small talk" between strangers. That is not customary to talk to people you do not know in order just "to fill a pause": in a supermarket line, in an elevator, in a hotel corridor etc. unless you really need to ask something.
    - But Russians are usually very warm and open with their friends. If you make friends with someone, you can expect sincere heart-to-heart conversation with them.
    - Russian women are 0%-feminists. They expect signs of attention from men: a man is expected to open a door for a lady, to offer his seat in a public bus, he MUST take her heavy bag to carry, he MUST offer his hand to a lady when exiting a car, a bus or a tram (the man should exit first). He MUST pay for her in a restaurant if dating. Failing to do so is considered rude and "uncultured".
    - When invited to someone's home, ALWAYS take your shoes off before entering an appartement.

    There are of course more to come. But at least I would recommend that you follow that advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anixx View Post
    I am a Russian who thinks about possible travel to the US. But I am afraid of some things that reached me in form of rumors.
    I think many of them are true. I witnessed a case where a young lady slipped on the stairs and fell down and nobody approached her, but everybody around turned on their cell phones and called 911. So, as a simple rule, always keep to yourself.

    As to the police, my experience with the US police (Washington, DC) is that they are ok as long as you act as a friendly, smiling and obedient tourist looking your way around. They initially act very aggressively, maybe rude and take lots of precautions with you as though you're a dangerous mafia, so fight your natural instinct to get back to them with the same attitude and they'll do nothing to you. Have a nice travel!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман View Post
    As for the safety rules in Russia, I would advise the following:
    Russia is generally a safe place for foreigners, but you have to apply some common sense:
    - Buy a local SIM-card rather than using your home one, it will help you to save your money greatly;
    - Don't take too much cash with you (there are lots of ATM machines in all big cities, many big stores also accept credit cards) - generally, a few thousand roubles would be enough, and you can always withdraw more cash when you need;
    - Always take your passport and visa, it may help if some problems (and better keep it in you pocket, not in your bag);
    - Better call a taxi by phone, rather than stopping it in the street. Or, if you stop a taxi in the street, discuss the price in advance before even getting in (otherwise a taxi driver may charge you several times more because you are a foreigner);
    - Use public transportation when possible, it is cheap and quite safe. Some big cities in Russia have an underground system - that might be the best option for you.
    - That's OK to shop in an official store. But do not shop in a market alone for the same reason: you would most likely be charged extra price for being a foreigner;
    - Do not flash your money in a crowdy place;
    - Do not buy anything from strangers in the street;
    - Do not drink with strangers;
    - Do not walk alone in a dark deserted street;
    - It would be excellent if you find some friends you can trust to;
    - Do not do anything illegal of course.

    As to the cultural differences, there are many of them. You will notice them easily. What comes to my mind first:
    - Do not expect strangers to smile to you. Russians do not smile as often as Americans do. That does not mean they do not like you. The reason is the smile in Russia is understood differently: you have to have a reason for smiling! We smile to a baby, we smile to close friends when we are really glad to see them, we smile to someone we like and know well, we smile when we are really happy or when something is really funny. In USA, a smile is a neutral sign. In Russia, no smile is a neutral sign, and a smile should be sincere.
    - Generally, Russians do not like insincerity. If asking "How are you?" (Как дела?) in Russia, be ready to hear a honest answer, not just the universal "fine" as in the US. A Russian will not usually say he is fine if he has some problems at the moment. He will tell you some story about his problems instead.
    - For the same reason as above, Russians do not like a meaningless "small talk" between strangers. That is not customary to talk to people you do not know in order just "to fill a pause": in a supermarket line, in an elevator, in a hotel corridor etc. unless you really need to ask something.
    - But Russians are usually very warm and open with their friends. If you make friends with someone, you can expect sincere heart-to-heart conversation with them.
    - Russian women are 0%-feminists. They expect signs of attention from men: a man is expected to open a door for a lady, to offer his seat in a public bus, he MUST take her heavy bag to carry, he MUST offer his hand to a lady when exiting a car, a bus or a tram (the man should exit first). He MUST pay for her in a restaurant if dating. Failing to do so is considered rude and "uncultured".
    - When invited to someone's home, ALWAYS take your shoes off before entering an appartement.

    There are of course more to come. But at least I would recommend that you follow that advice.
    Excellent.A very interesting read.

  17. #17
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    Thank you - I did plan on doing a travel blog while there - first entry:

    Boy is it a pain in the butt to get a Belarus invitation.

    Scott



    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Scott, get this type of book. If you are travelling in these countries, perhaps you could keep a travel blog, like I did...?


  18. #18
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    In Moscow we are staying at our friends place.

    Scott





    Quote Originally Posted by LXNDR View Post
    are you considering this because you think it's cheaper?

    i won't speak for Russia, because I live in Ukraine, but a hotel or an apartment rented on an hourly basis could be an option to consider just because in this case you're your own master, not sharing the space with anyone else. These apartment offers can be found in local newspapers.

  19. #19
    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    I started a new thread for the purpose of discussing cultural differences - in case anyone is interested.
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

  20. #20
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    Thank you!!!! Very big help.


    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман View Post
    As for the safety rules in Russia, I would advise the following:
    Russia is generally a safe place for foreigners, but you have to apply some common sense:
    - Buy a local SIM-card rather than using your home one, it will help you to save your money greatly;
    - Don't take too much cash with you (there are lots of ATM machines in all big cities, many big stores also accept credit cards) - generally, a few thousand roubles would be enough, and you can always withdraw more cash when you need;
    - Always take your passport and visa, it may help if some problems (and better keep it in you pocket, not in your bag);
    - Better call a taxi by phone, rather than stopping it in the street. Or, if you stop a taxi in the street, discuss the price in advance before even getting in (otherwise a taxi driver may charge you several times more because you are a foreigner);
    - Use public transportation when possible, it is cheap and quite safe. Some big cities in Russia have an underground system - that might be the best option for you.
    - That's OK to shop in an official store. But do not shop in a market alone for the same reason: you would most likely be charged extra price for being a foreigner;
    - Do not flash your money in a crowdy place;
    - Do not buy anything from strangers in the street;
    - Do not drink with strangers;
    - Do not walk alone in a dark deserted street;
    - It would be excellent if you find some friends you can trust to;
    - Do not do anything illegal of course.

    As to the cultural differences, there are many of them. You will notice them easily. What comes to my mind first:
    - Do not expect strangers to smile to you. Russians do not smile as often as Americans do. That does not mean they do not like you. The reason is the smile in Russia is understood differently: you have to have a reason for smiling! We smile to a baby, we smile to close friends when we are really glad to see them, we smile to someone we like and know well, we smile when we are really happy or when something is really funny. In USA, a smile is a neutral sign. In Russia, no smile is a neutral sign, and a smile should be sincere.
    - Generally, Russians do not like insincerity. If asking "How are you?" (Как дела?) in Russia, be ready to hear a honest answer, not just the universal "fine" as in the US. A Russian will not usually say he is fine if he has some problems at the moment. He will tell you some story about his problems instead.
    - For the same reason as above, Russians do not like a meaningless "small talk" between strangers. That is not customary to talk to people you do not know in order just "to fill a pause": in a supermarket line, in an elevator, in a hotel corridor etc. unless you really need to ask something.
    - But Russians are usually very warm and open with their friends. If you make friends with someone, you can expect sincere heart-to-heart conversation with them.
    - Russian women are 0%-feminists. They expect signs of attention from men: a man is expected to open a door for a lady, to offer his seat in a public bus, he MUST take her heavy bag to carry, he MUST offer his hand to a lady when exiting a car, a bus or a tram (the man should exit first). He MUST pay for her in a restaurant if dating. Failing to do so is considered rude and "uncultured".
    - When invited to someone's home, ALWAYS take your shoes off before entering an appartement.

    There are of course more to come. But at least I would recommend that you follow that advice.

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