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Thread: work for americans in Russia - prestigious-->humble

  1. #21
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77 View Post
    I still stand that average renting price in Moscow for a decent 3-rooms flat would be no less than $1700 a month. A friend of mine inherited 2-rooms flat in Kuzminki from his grandmother (it's an ordinary flat in a panel house buit in early 80s) and he leases it for 50 000 roubles (about $ 1600) a month. He says there isn't a problem at all to find a customer for such a price.
    Thanks for your super-informative posts!

    This would be an absolutely acceptable rent for me, on my current London salary. No problem, I could be more.
    However, I doubt I'd get the salary I'm getting now, if I was a Russian person doing this job in Moscow! So it's not really comparable. Probably, I'd get about half and then I that rent would be a stretch.

    What is included? Heating, Water, electricity, gas? Any taxes for just living?

    I took a 1 bedroom flat after returning to London. I really don't like this building, and the plumbing is terrible. There is a mobile phone mast on the roof, very bad for health.
    But I'm saving money and at least I am in one of the best areas of town. It sounds like Moscow is worse than London, but probably not by much.

    I often compare with Sweden, and Sweden has the same Wild West situation with rental flats that Moscow seems to have. People get/got rental contracts from the state but there isn't enough supply so the system is corrupt.

    The housing styles in Sweden are much more similar to Russia than the UK, but the equivalent of "Khrustevska" are a bit better quality, I think. Not much though. They had a plan to build 1 million flats in 5 years, and the result is quantity over quality. Only immigrants and very poor people live there now.

    I stayed in a flat of the post war Stalin era when I visited Minsk. 2 rooms, good sized and high ceilings, facing the street. It wasn't a grand building, but it was very nice indeed. If I could live like that in London I'd absolutely love it. I probably could afford a mortgage for a similar type of flat in Stockholm, but never in London. Very good location too, next to the Peace monument. Definitely no noise from the neighbours and it had been fully renovated to an excellent standard. I think it had original parquet floor. No fireplaces. The plumbing was good too.

    You entered the house from a nice yard behind the building, with a little park, playground etc. But for such a nice building it had an very ugly front door (painted steel) and the stairs were spartan and quite ugly. Not vandalised, just ugly. I have no idea how the owner got hold of the flat, and I am pretty sure he charged me at least double the real rent for staying there. The other inhabitants were locals, but at least half the cars parked outside had German or Russian license plates. No idea what the deal was with that.

    I have a positive view of Russia as a place to live - if you have money! And also Belarus and to a lesser degree Ukraine (saw a lot of poverty there). However, these are terrible places to be poor! What if something happened....
    I think it would be really scary to live somewhere that has literally NO social security and people are totally dependent on friends and family if something happens. I don't know what the exact healthcare situation is.
    Moscow property prices will probably continue to go up, up, up!

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77 View Post
    The question was about "clean and renovated" flat with 2 beedrooms and a livingtoom. The closest analog I can think of is трёшка в доме бизнесс-класса с хорошим ремонтом и мебелью. So I posted the prices for such type of flat. The flats you described are usually located in very ugly houses wich halls and elevators are covered with graffity and piss, garbage near house's front doors etc. Flats for rent in such houses usually has very ugly if any furniture, very dirty and with cocroaches.


    Something should be done. People who have to live in buildings like that may end up being depressed or becoming alcoholics. It's disgusting. It's anti-social behaviour. I am all in favour for really hard punishments for people who vandalize public property.

    As for me, if I ever lived in Russia, it probably wouldn't be in Moscow -- it just doesn't really attract me.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Something should be done. People who have to live in buildings like that may end up being depressed or becoming alcoholics. It's disgusting. It's anti-social behaviour. I am all in favour for really hard punishments for people who vandalize public property.
    Majority(at least half) of Russian population lives in places like that. It is really favorable for philosophical thoughts, maybe that's what's called "Russian soul"

    You hit bullseye about depression and alcoholism. I just remembered a joke from Soviet time about alcoholism

    Наш папа - трансформатор
    220 получает, 127 отдает,
    А на остальное гудит!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    As for me, if I ever lived in Russia, it probably wouldn't be in Moscow -- it just doesn't really attract me.
    Moscow is the only place in Russia where you can get somewhat acceptable living conditions
    In other places people survive, not live: buying new clothes is considered a big deal, a car is a luxury object, you need to retrench everything for a year to afford somewhat decent vacation, most people cannot afford to buy a house, to buy a flat you need two persons working full time (salary of one person is not enough to cover mortgage), etc.


    If I'm not mistaken average salary of a well educated person working in Moscow is around $2000 per month(after taxes), however if you go away from Moscow to other regions, the salary will drop to $300-$1200, depending on the place. Food and clothes cost about the same as in Moscow, the only difference is real estate prices
    Marriage is often a way to survive (because both people work)
    You can do the math

    Most Russians don't give a damn about "free will", "human rights", "spying government" and other stuff like that, their minds occupied by more down-to-earth problems like what to eat today, how to pay your bills, how to make lives of your kids a little easier and brighter
    I don't think you'll like to live there, Hanna, you are from another planet called "European civilization". China would probably understand Russia better than Europe.

    PS:
    In other thread I said that you should move to Russia because they don't care about your fingerprints and I see you considering it. That was a joke, Hanna.
    To give you a straight answer on this: Hell no f-ing way you should move to Russia or even consider it. Count your blessings and thank Christ, Buddha, Allah and Ganesha that you don't live in Russia this time.

    PPS:
    I really hope that Russia will be better in time, because I really miss Russian culture, language and my friends but that probably won't happen in my lifetime, sorry for the sorrow post
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer View Post
    Majority(at least half) of Russian population lives in places like that. It is really favorable for philosophical thoughts, maybe that's what's called "Russian soul"

    Moscow is the only place in Russia where you can get somewhat acceptable living conditions
    In other places people survive, not live: buying new clothes is considered a big deal, a car is a luxury object, you need to retrench everything for a year to afford somewhat decent vacation, most people cannot afford to buy a house, to buy a flat you need two persons working full time (salary of one person is not enough to cover mortgage), etc.


    If I'm not mistaken average salary of a well educated person working in Moscow is around $2000 per month(after taxes), however if you go away from Moscow to other regions, the salary will drop to $300-$1200, depending on the place. Food and clothes cost about the same as in Moscow, the only difference is real estate prices
    Marriage is often a way to survive (because both people work)
    You can do the math

    Most Russians don't give a damn about "free will", "human rights", "spying government" and other stuff like that, their minds occupied by more down-to-earth problems like what to eat today, how to pay your bills, how to make lives of your kids a little easier and brighter
    I don't think you'll like to live there, Hanna, you are from another planet called "European civilization". China would probably understand Russia better than Europe.
    You're right man, leftists can understand what sh*tty life feels like for others, but not for themselves.

  4. #24
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer View Post
    I don't think you'll like to live there, Hanna, you are from another planet called "European civilization". China would probably understand Russia better than Europe.

    PS:
    In other thread I said that you should move to Russia because they don't care about your fingerprints and I see you considering it. That was a joke, Hanna.
    To give you a straight answer on this: Hell no f-ing way you should move to Russia or even consider it. Count your blessings and thank Christ, Buddha, Allah and Ganesha that you don't live in Russia this time.

    PPS:
    I really hope that Russia will be better in time, because I really miss Russian culture, language and my friends but that probably won't happen in my lifetime, sorry for the sorrow post

    I take your point on this Doomer. Yeah, I certainly would not want to live in Russia on a teacher's salary, or a some average administrators salary. I realise Western Europe is better off in this respect. I don't necessarily want to live there at all, but I wouldn 't rule it out either. It's got some qualities that I like; climate, nature, people (well, some..), and cool with such a big country. St Petersburg is less than an hour by plane from where I grew up, but like 5 times bigger or something like that.

    I have no idea what to make of the current government in Russia. How democratic they are, or aren't... and whether this matters a lot or not. How corrupt they are or aren't (seems to me, probably "a lot) and what their vision for the future is.

    Here is why I think there might be hope for the future though:
    Russia is very rich in natural assets and has a well educated population. If people can be convinced to stay in the country, if corruption can be reduced and if foreign companies are not allowed to exploit natural assets without re-investing locally (as happens in Africa etc) then the prognosis should be good. Another 10-15 years maybe.
    Also, Russia isn't living above its means in the same way as Western Europe is. The debt could backfire on us any time. There are more potential Greeces, and they are in a worse shape than Russia right now.

    Since Putin will probably stay in office for another 8 years, I hope he uses that time to really clamp down on corruption and stop anti-social behaviour.
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  5. #25
    Властелин maxmixiv's Avatar
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    Since Putin will probably stay in office for another 8 years, I hope he uses that time to really clamp down on corruption and stop anti-social behaviour.
    I am afraid these things are not in his plans. Too small problems for such big person. Worse of all is the people are getting used to the fact, their cities, entrances, nature are doomed to be dirt, stinky and inconvenient. Almost got used.
    Though we are renovating our flats and dachas vigorously
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    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

  6. #26
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    Ханна, но мы не такие уж несчастные. В России тоже много своих возможностей.
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  7. #27
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxmixiv View Post
    I am afraid these things are not in his plans. Too small problems for such big person. Worse of all is the people are getting used to the fact, their cities, entrances, nature are doomed to be dirt, stinky and inconvenient. Almost got used.
    Though we are renovating our flats and dachas vigorously
    Well I actually haven't been to Russia in modern times (I was meaning to, in 2011, but I got stuck with visa problems lol - so I ended up staying in Belarus instead — at least they speak Russian...)
    I was in Ukraine and Belarus and I lenjoyed both, for different reasons. I realise Russia is quite different. Of course, I am not blind to the problems I saw in Ukraine and Belarus either. Ukraine so big and so much renovation needed. Belarus; how long can they keep their system going the wind of the rest of Europe?

    I think all three countries will go their different ways; they have embarked on quite different routes and the people are just not the same (I used to think so, but there is a big difference).

    It's sad to hear that there are such big differences between the big towns in Russia, and the countryside.
    It's hard to relate to what the difficulties are for people in their everyday lives - I simply can't imagine it because I just don't have enough experience. I see on TV people living in houses that look like you'd freeze to death in the winter and scraping by on $500 /month. I can't even imagine how they manage.

    If I lived in Russia I would probably be reasonably comfortable since I have a good job in IT. But who knows what kind of a person I'd be if I'd been through everything that happened in the ex-USSR in the 1990s. I probably wouldn't have had the same opportunities. People who survived those hard times and managed to create a good life one way or another really have my respect.

    I'm just very fascinated by the Russian speaking culture, the language and the people. Really can't explain it - it's a bit like people say they are "anglophiles" or "francophile". Well I guess I am a "russophile", lol!

    However I am not naive enough to think that it would be a good idea to move to Russia without a very good plan, budget and a solid job offer, and even under such circumstances I'd think twice. There'd have to be a good reason, not just because it seemed cool. It's not for the faint-hearted, I think!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    If I lived in Russia I would probably be reasonably comfortable since I have a good job in IT.
    Are you saying that you would have a good job in IT if you'd move to Russia?
    Also what does "good" mean here? Well payed or something else?

    I think it would be harder to find a job for foreigner than for native in any country
    There are many smart IT guys in Russia but it doesn't mean that they make good money, it all depends on location, all roads lead to Rome, I mean to Moscow

  9. #29
    Почтенный гражданин 14Russian's Avatar
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    What is your interest in Russia, Hanna? You don't seem to know much about it.

    How is Ukraine and Belarus different? Isn't Ukraine more like Western Europe nowadays? The EU is pumping money into the other countries so while the cartel benefits, many of these countries are in financial trouble. They have different systems but similar problems.

  10. #30
    Почтенный гражданин 14Russian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxmixiv View Post
    I am afraid these things are not in his plans. Too small problems for such big person. Worse of all is the people are getting used to the fact, their cities, entrances, nature are doomed to be dirt, stinky and inconvenient. Almost got used.
    Though we are renovating our flats and dachas vigorously
    I was talking to a Russian about the loss of hot water for extended periods in the summer. That might happen the odd day in some countries. So, when will Putin sell off some of his assets so that you can afford hot water some days?

  11. #31
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer View Post
    Are you saying that you would have a good job in IT if you'd move to Russia?
    Also what does "good" mean here? Well payed or something else?

    I think it would be harder to find a job for foreigner than for native in any country
    There are many smart IT guys in Russia but it doesn't mean that they make good money, it all depends on location, all roads lead to Rome, I mean to Moscow
    I am not moving to Russia, don't worry about it. Just speculating

    Quote Originally Posted by 14Russian View Post
    What is your interest in Russia, Hanna? You don't seem to know much about it.
    No, right you are, I don't know a thing about it. So what is the real story about Russia and what do you base your insights on?

  12. #32
    Властелин maxmixiv's Avatar
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    Hanna, if you decide to come to Omsk some day...

    http://www.gorod55.ru/board/rabota/v...iod=0&userId=0
    hint: 10000р = $300

    when will Putin sell off some of his assets so that you can afford hot water some days
    Putin might be Tsar, but he is not a magician.
    Nothing can be done about it.
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  13. #33
    Hanna
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    To clarify what I said earlier on this: I have no particular plans to move to Russia although I wouldn't rule it out, if something good came along.

    One of the reasons I picked up Russian back in 2009 was that everybody in IT in Scandinavia seemed to have dealings with Russia/Ukraine. I read several articles about senior figures in the IT world in Scandinavia saying they wished they had studied Russian because it would have come in handy, it's a sought after skill etc. Cool, I thought. I know the basics, why not?! I thought it would be useful and interesting, I kind of liked Russian in school, despite finding it incredibly hard. I was inspired to pick it up. I had some vague notion that it would be useful in my career, but in reality this seems doubtful to me today.

    However at that time 2008 or 2009, I was not up to date on the situation in Russia whatsoever, so it was interesting to inform myself and find out the real story behind the headlines.

    So sure, with regards to moving there, you should never say never!
    But in reality, due to my poor language skills, I could not compete with locals on equal terms (I have a management job). The only realistic way I could get a good job in Russia would be in some kind of expat arrangement whereby I would come in as a representative for a foreign company, and again, I struggle to see why I would be offered such a job. Anyone with solid business level skills in Russian would be better qualified, plus, it's a job for someone with thicker skin than me...

    And as Doomer points out; it's not like there aren't talented people in Russia with the same skills that I have! Only if a company wanted to implement some methodology or way of working that's new to Russia (Read: American/British/European methodology...) would I have an advantage! And I personally have never liked situations where senior people from abroad come in and tell local people how to work. I wouldn't be good at doing it myself!. So the whole idea of me working in Russia is basically a non-starter; moving to Russia is not comparable to relocating to another EU country like France or Luxembourg. I mean; the visa issue to start with!

    Basically such a move would be complicated on many different levels and I just don't have enough incentive. Things may change in the future, but right now it does not seem realistic.
    Also; the housing situation and traffic in Moscow is quite offputting.
    But again, never say never!

    And on the money front: Living on a very low salary?! Are people in IT management jobs doing that in Russia? It's one thing to keep a budget, to save and use the savings later. It's quite another to live on a tight budget simply because it's the only way you can survive. Obviously I would not swap my current situation for something highly economically disadvantagous, as a single woman. That would just be irresponsible and stupid.

  14. #34
    Властелин maxmixiv's Avatar
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    Are people in IT management jobs doing that in Russia?
    Some companies offer 10x salaries than the others. But if you want really "good money" you HAVE to pass to Moscow first. Or, become "big local boss" of some big enterprise.
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    And on the money front: Living on a very low salary?! Are people in IT management jobs doing that in Russia? It's one thing to keep a budget, to save and use the savings later. It's quite another to live on a tight budget simply because it's the only way you can survive. Obviously I would not swap my current situation for something highly economically disadvantagous, as a single woman. That would just be irresponsible and stupid.
    Yes, people are
    Again, all roads lead to Moscow but even Moscow is not panacea. And if you move to Moscow you need to be able to digest Moscow's lifestyle that is not suitable for every person.
    Moscow is New York of Russia, if you know what I mean.

  16. #36
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer View Post
    Yes, people are
    Again, all roads lead to Moscow but even Moscow is not panacea. And if you move to Moscow you need to be able to digest Moscow's lifestyle that is not suitable for every person.
    Moscow is New York of Russia, if you know what I mean.
    Yes, I don't think Moscow would appeal that much to me, as a place to live. Too big and too crowded & hectic. London is too much for me really, and I understand Moscow is even bigger.

    I have visited St Petersburg (really liked it!) but it was a very long time ago, and a lot of things have probably changed beyond recognition. I have heard it's got lots of nice wine bars, nice cafes and quite good shopping. Also that part of town was fixed up (it was quite noticeably run-down when I was there - definitely no winebars or chic cafes). I'll definitely go there sometime soon.

    I also visited Kiev (cool, funky bustling, historical city - but I didn't see enough of it!) and Minsk (elegant, clean, safe and lots of parks/green areas).

    Some places in Russia I want to see: Samara, Kazan, Viborg, Novosibirsk, Omsk.... spa towns on the Black Sea. Plenty more actually. It's just like the USA: So much variation, so many cool places.

  17. #37
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    In Moscow IT specialists make good money, I think.

  18. #38
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    In Moscow IT specialists make good money, I think.
    Yeah, but you know, I'd probably not be thick skinned enough for it anyway!
    The business / office climate in Russia is quite tough, isn't it?

  19. #39
    Hanna
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    I have another comment on quality of life in Russia:

    Ok, as I've said -- I've never been in Moscow, and last time I was Russia, it was a different country - not comparable with now.
    So all I have to judge on is TV, media and what people are saying here - so there is a possibility that I got the wrong end of the stick:

    However -- Looking at TV from Moscow, it certainly doesn't seem like most people are poor.
    On the street scenes from Moscow that I am seeing on TV, people are wearing nice clothes: There are cafés, shops, department stores etc. It doesn't seem different from the rest of Europe - in fact a lot of people are better dressed. I've seen interviews from regular people's homes and they have nice kitchens, modern furniture, living rooms filled with tech stuff, including large TVs - kids with computers in their rooms, people have specialist sports equipment and sometimes even a dacha. Same living standards as Western Europe, but minus the consumer debt that a lot of people have.

    People here are talking about holidays abroad and technical gadgets they are buying.
    All this seems to suggest that middle class and upper class people now have a perfectly acceptable lifestyle and that this came about very fast (comparing with the miserable scenes from the 1990s).

    I realise that Moscow is quite different from smaller cities, and that people have higher incomes.

    It definitely seems like the majority of people are reasonably off. Also, I think Russian households have less consumer debt, and Russia as a country has almost no foreign debt at all. Also my impression is that there is an underclass in Russia - immigrants, retired people and low skilled workers who are quite poor and struggle from paycheck to paycheck. Also - my impression is that outside of the biggest cities, incomes are lower and people don't necessarily have the lifestyle I described above - but still eating, heating their houses and paying rent comfortably.

  20. #40
    Почтенный гражданин dtrq's Avatar
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    Strong belief in Russia being one of the poorest countries is one of traits of Russian mentality
    Plus, being middle class citizen here doesn't mean you are not living in typical "хрущобы"-commieblock с зассаным подъездом.
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