My Journal writings on Russian hypocrisy, greed, and stinginess
Russian mentality, stinginess, scarcity, basic math
Just a quick comment this morning. Actually I just felt like venting. But I just cannot believe the mentality of some Russians here. It's like they have no understanding of basic math or scarcity. The concepts are so elementary that I can't believe it. Why did their high level schools never teach them such basic concepts that are usually taught to children?
Here is what I am talking about. I have found that the Russian mentality here is that one ought to spend all the money they have in their pocket and bank account, otherwise they are a stingy person. This is true especially if you're a foreigner, whom they feel has a bottomless supply of cash so that scarcity is not a factor. It's a totally fucking moronic view and mentality, and is stupider and more dangerous than that of a dog! Excuse me for the language, but it's so preposterous that I cannot describe it in any other way. Here is an example of what I am talking about.
Yesterday when my friend Vika and I were picking up my
photos from the shop, we saw some cameras for sale. And I joked that I would
buy her one as a present, to see if she would really accept it. She said if I
wanted to buy her one, to get her the 200 dollar one. I said ok and asked if
she would really take it if I bought it for her. She said of course she would.
Russians accept all presents, even if it completely drains the giver of all his
resources so that he has no way to eat or live. I said that was ridiculous
because in the
Vika said that in Russia, there is no shame or guilt in taking things. Of course, she knew I was joking all along about buying a camera to her. But for me it was a test to see how far they would go. Although we were joking, I felt that it reflected a mentality on her part that was wrong, dangerous, and ignorant of the basic laws of math and scarcity. She even had the gall to say "I know you wouldn't buy the 200 dollar camera as a present for me because you are too stingy." (there was no occasion or love involved either, we were talking about getting it as a present for the heck of it.)
I replied that it had nothing to do with stinginess, but about common sense. If I spent 200 dollars like it was nothing, I would soon have zero money to live or eat. No one that cared about me would want that of me. So how can she and many Russians not understand something so basic and elementary and common sense? It defies all logic and reality. Fuck! I didn't know If you think that's bad, here's another example.
The day before yesterday, we were talking about how much
I had in my bank account. When I told her I had about 9000 now after all that I
Why are some Russians so ignorant of that? How can they not understand such elementary concepts? They don't understand that when you subtract from a balance, it brings it closer and closer to zero, even if you're rich. They behave as if a balance will never reach zero, especially for a foreigner. It makes us foreigners feel like they are so rude, inconsiderate, and conscienceless. It's scary, but they actually think like that!
Last night, I wrote my friend this letter below. Almost
I could not find the words to explain this to you before, and I may not be able to later, since my mind is often clouded, so I will do it now since I remember it.
I just want you to understand that I am NOT stingy. At least not the way you think. You have a very wrong understanding of that word. The truth is, if I lose all my money, then I cannot eat or live anywhere, and I cannot stay in Russia either. Is that what you want? For me to not be able to eat and live? If you really cared about me like you said, you would respect and consider my welfare. Saying that I'm stingy is useless.
Also, a basic lesson in math. No matter what number you take, if you subtract from it, you get closer to 0. For example, if you take 5000 and subtract 5, you get 4995. That brings you closer to 0. Eventually, you hit 0. I am trying hard not to get close to hitting 0. If I do, I cannot eat or live and I will have to live on the street outside like a homeless person. Is that what you want? That is why I have to calculate ways to stop that from happening. This is reality, and the basic law of mathematics. I don't understand why some Russian people are ignorant of it. You act like if I have money, I should spend all of it until I have zero, and then go home. Why should I do that? What for? I know you joke around a lot, but you seem to have the mentality that it is ok for a foreigner to spend all his money. If you really cared about the foreigner though, you would not want him or her to lose all their money. That would not be good for his or her welfare or life.
You said I can afford to give you 2000 dollars, because I have enough to do so. I know you were kidding, but look at your mentality here. If I gave several people 2000 dollars, I would have no money left, and I am already in heavy credit card debt. You said you are special and that you are not everyone else. Well guess what? EVERYONE else who wants money from me will tell me that they are special too, and that I can give everything to them but not others. These games are silly and childish. That is a very wrong mentality. It is not just about culture too, but basic math, which everyone understands. Therefore, forget culture, and think about math, and you will understand that I am right.
Then this was her reply this morning. My next reply follows below her letter. Tell me who you think is right here.
?Winston, that's so strange to write letters each others when you're here in
Just for me your behaviour is real wildness. I have never met a men behaving
like you. Our men (Latvian and Russian) would never buy an ice-cream or
milk-shake in McDonalds for themselves (like you did) and let their friend
to walk near and smack her lips. If you don't want to buy an ice-cream for
your female friend, then you shouldn't buy it for yourself. It's our custom!
And it's very unbeautiful. Never do that any more when you're in Russia. May
be you didn't know about it, but now I told you and you know.
Second, I don't ask you to buy me something. Everything I said was a joke.
:)))) You understand that. But if we go outside, a man always has to pay
for a girl. Even if they are not in relations! It's also such a rule and
etiquette. But you don't know it at all! Our men usually feel themselves
insulted and are offended if a girl pays for herself. But it seems it's OK
for you. Olga also said you're very stingy. She saw it and everybody sees
it. That's why you can't get success in Russia. If you want to win a girl's
heart, you have to hide your stinginess. You can save money on yourself (not
to buy an ice-cream for yourself), but not on your girlfriend (to buy an
ice-cream for herself).
And third, as I said nobody here and in Russia believes you don't have
money. If you didn't have money, you wouldn't travel 4 months in Russia.
That's why don't pretend to be poor.
And you are not just a stingy, you're very petty and small-minded. You save
money on such small and cheap things that it's even in a disgusting way. I
You are right about the math, but if you like to count money so much you had
to stay at home, but not to travel.?
Here was my reply this morning. I can't believe I have to explain these things. It seems that no matter how generous you are, if you ever say no or not pay for something, then you are stingy and rude. It's a double standard too, because if they don't pay for you or buy things for you, then they are never stingy. Convenient, and wrong too.
I told you the reason I wrote
the letter to you even though I'm in
I can guarantee you that almost everyone in America would agree with what I wrote.
I know that you were joking about me buying you things. I said that yesterday. But that is not the point. The point is that even your jokes reflect a certain mentality on your part, that I strongly believe is very wrong and very dangerous. If I thought like you, and behaved like my money was unlimited and would never reach zero, then I would lose all my money and be unable to eat or live. I could not stay in Russia for long either. Is that what you want to happen to me?
Second, you are using a double standard here. You do not buy me things or pay for me either, but should I say that you are stingy too? No I don't. So it is not right for you to call me stingy either. And I do not believe I am stingy. By the standards of my country, I have already been more than generous. I have paid things for you before and bought you food and meals. That is already good and nice. Just because I don't do it 100 percent of the time doesn't mean I am stingy. It is very bad etiquette to only remember when I don't pay for you and forget when I do pay for you. When I do pay for you, you don't even say thank you.
The girl Gulechka in Kazan, and the St. Petersburg Katya both paid for me sometimes. They bought me meals and snacks occasionally, even though I told them not to. So they were generous to me too sometimes. You didn't do that. So I could compare you to them and say you are stingy. But I don't, because I don't like to take things from other people, or use other people. It's not right, and it's dishonorable.
Other than Julia and Katya, no one has called me stingy in Russia. I don't think it has anything to do with my success in Russia. Most girls I know never ask me to buy them things, and they usually say no when I offer them something. They don't like to take, and since they didn't ask, I never had to say no to anything they wanted, so there was no opportunity for them to see any of my stinginess. Not all Russians agree with you, I don't think.
About saving money on small things, again you need to learn basic math. I have wasted money on small things before. When I did that, and I saw my bank statement with a list of all the things I paid for with my ATM card, I was usually surprised because the little things that I thought were cheap added up to a very big amount. For example, a ten dollar charge is usually not very much. But when I see it 20 times on my bank statement, that means I lost 200 dollars. This has happened many times before and I learned this lesson long ago. How can you not understand it? Therefore, it is not about saving on little things, but about HABITS! HABITS is the key word! Bad habits lead to bad consequences. You are an educated girl. You know this.
Also, I don't understand your black and white thinking here. Why do you think that my only two choices are to either travel and spend ALL my money, or stay home and not travel so I don't have to spend money? Rational normal people (at least in my country) have a BUDGET. It means we travel and decide how much we are going to spend and save. Every business in the world plans things in this manner, so why can't I plan things in this manner too? It's common sense. I planned to spend 3000 dollars on this trip. I have already spent over 5000. That means I am over budget. Someone who cared about me would respect that and not expect me to waste money unnecessarily.
Finally, you said my stinginess is disgusting. But it is also disgusting to me when people have no shame in taking my money or making me spend it. It is so disgusting to me sometimes that I feel like throwing up or vomiting. Sorry, but I have to be honest about that too.
In addition, you know that my money is my property and your money is your property. No one has the right to force or culturally pressure another person to lose or spend their money. That is an insult to freedom. And it is also disrespectful because it makes the other person feel like you own their finances. That is a very big insult and threat to me.
You said you might want to live in America or western Europe someday. If you do, then you will have to get used to the kind of thinking that I described to you.
And speaking of stinginess, can you tell me this? Are Russians stingy when they charge me for every little thing, from sugar, to ketchup, to butter? And how about those taxi drivers who try to charge me more than the agreed upon price by making excuses for any little thing? Is that not stinginess or greediness too?
If not, tell me this. Why is it stingy or greedy if I don't give everyone all my money, but it's not stingy or greedy when Russian customer service people make excuses to take as much money from me as they can? That is 100 percent hypocrisy, and in your heart you know it. Agreed?
Takers, givers, and extreme measures?
I will send you the description of my first day in
first I wanted to address something I?ve realized lately.
First, although it is still true that Russian women are perhaps the
friendliest in the world, it comes with a price because they are like a
double-edged sword. The friendliest women in the world also seem to
have the biggest ?taker mentality? in the world. I say this because
over time, I?ve come to recognize that at least half the women here,
including the nice normal ones, ACTUALLY feel NO SHAME or OBLIGATION at
all about taking things from men, whether it?s in the form of money
spent on them or gifts received. It?s very despicable, and I really
despise it, but it seems to be a strong pattern among females here.
In the whole world, I?ve never seen women who take as shamelessly as
they do here. Women aren?t like that in
no obligation at all to give or do anything back to the man. It?s
the most unbalanced and one-sided mentality and system I?ve ever seen.
And as you might expect, it?s ripe to be taken advantage of by
users and abusers. It starts with the Russian traditional custom that
says that in any social outing between men and women, even if it?s just
friendship, the women never pay for anything and the men pay for
everything. Abuse of such a one-sided system is rampant and easy, as you
might expect, for the women will use this custom as an excuse to take as
much as they can from a man, without shame or guilt, becoming lazy in
the process. Some will even drag a man somewhere to make him pay for
This custom also propagates the mentality that women are natural born
takers and men are natural born givers, hence the shamelessness of
taking without obligation or debt. This pattern is further amplified when
it comes to a foreign man, who is seen as having a lot more resources,
and so ought to be a bigger ?giver? and plus, he draws the
attention of the bigger ?takers? among women. So the unbalanced situation
is made even worse with foreign men. It?s no wonder that Russian
women have an international reputation of being takers and users.
Here?s where it gets even worse. Not only do most women here take
shamelessly, but they will do so from a man they are not even interested
in. They have no qualms about making a man they aren?t interested
in spend lots of money on them, or receive gifts from him. In most
other countries, women would not let a man they aren?t interested in
spend money on them or receive things from him. They know that is wrong
and unfair. But many women in
Therefore, one needs to understand that the willingness of a Russian woman
to take says nothing about her level of interest in you.
Anyway, the point is that this Russian custom of a man paying for
everything is not only one-sided, unfair, unbalanced, unjust, and a
disproportionate karma, but it is too easy for women to abuse as well. There
are simply no safeguards against it. Therefore, I?ve come up with
an extreme measure to counteract it, and I was wondering what you all
thought of it.
A few days ago, I met this guy from
an extremely handsome man who looks a bit like Pierce Brosnan, has been
to over 100 countries, is 37, and has been traveling for 4 years
non-stop after saving up a ton of money. Because of his looks and
confidence, he gets girls easily and has probably been laid many times without
much problem. In fact, he started having romantic relations and
chemistry with my beautiful blonde friend here, Anna, who the day before
rejected me and told me she only liked me has a friend. I left them alone
a few days ago, before he had to leave the next day to
Anyway, I was talking to this New Zealand guy about the custom in Russia about
the man paying for everything. And he responded by saying that he
never pays for women he?s out with unless she is his girlfriend, yet he
still gets girls easily. He said that even if it was the custom in
the country he was in, it?s still not his custom so he doesn?t follow
it since he owes them nothing. (I did see him buy a few drinks for
Anyway, he suggested that I do the same and refuse to pay for these
Russian women, claiming that it is not my custom so I won?t follow it.
We both realized that it might actually be a good idea. It would put
me in hot water, but it would immediately weed out those who didn?t
care about me. You see, those who truly care for me or liked me would
forgive me for violating the custom, while those who didn?t care
about me or wanted to use me would get offended and not see me again.
Therefore, not only does it immediately rule out those who aren?t
interested in me and just want to waste my money and time, but it would help
me save a lot of money too. What do you all think? Is that a good
idea? Is it worth it to lose so much money just to keep a "custom"?
which is inherently imbalanced and unfair to begin with? Would such a
risk pay off in the long run? After all, it is not written in stone
that one must obey every custom in a foreign country, only some. What
do you all think? Is such an extreme strategy worth it?
I really can?t afford to keep spending 500 roubles for every meal or
movie or whatever. It?s a lot and eats up cash fast, throwing me
back to the ATM machine again. Now, I don?t mind buying a drink if it
is my idea to go get one, but meals in restaurants, gifts, movies, etc.
come on now. The
owe them anything and one should not pay for someone else unless there
is some meaning behind it (rather than just custom). Especially
since most of the time, paying for someone doesn?t get you anywhere
or anything because there is no obligation for her to give or do
anything back to you. You simply lose a lot more money than you would
otherwise, and she has no obligation for being paid for.
I know that I may get flamed for saying all this, but no one can deny
that this Russian custom where the man is a pure giver and the woman is
a pure taker without obligation is completely unfair, imbalanced,
one-sided, illogical, causes an imbalance in karma, invites abuse, and
serves no purpose. What do you all think? Should I enact this idea?
And if so, to what degree? Would such a tactic really weed out the
users and takers, while keeping the girls who truly like you and care about
The real reason Russians think Westerners are greedy?
This past week while doing my usual pondering and reflecting throughout
the day, I came to some conclusions about a puzzling aspect of Russian
mentality toward Americans and Westerners.
As many of us know, they commonly think we Americans are
?greedy? and that we count our money. These same people may also try to
claim that Russians are more ?generous? than we are. They have even
accused this of Europeans as well. One guy here said that when he lived
I was always perplexed by this, because first of all our concept of a greedy person is of one who is a taker, while their concept is of a withholder. And second, to call a person greedy just because he wishes to keep what is already his is technically false and illogical. Therefore, this never made any sense to me. However, when I look at the big picture here and analyze it from different angles, I?ve come to some conclusions that might explain their attitude toward us.
First though, it is important to state as background evidence, that for Russians to claim that Americans ?count their money? is complete HYPOCRISY of astronomical proportions. Not only do Russians count their money even more strictly, but are far less generous than Americans and are stingy in ways I?ve never seen before. I can give many specific examples.
For instance, if you break a glass or dish in a Russian bar
or cafe, they will make you pay for it. But in
Also, here I have had cashiers run out of change before and short change me in their favor. One time, after buying popcorn at a theater, the cashier girl told me that they were out of change and shrugged, implying that I should forget the 20 roubles they owed me and walk away. It was quite insulting, and I had never encountered such rudeness and stinginess before.
After giving them a stern look about it, the girl finally went into the back room where more cash was being held, and got me the rest of my change. What a lazy moron! Did she really expect me to say ?Oh, you don?t have my 20 roubles for me? No problem. Keep it.? And walk away?! Rather than go and get the rest of my change like a normal person, she expected me to forget it and walk away. What a real dumbass, to put it kindly.
In addition, as mentioned before, Russians are far less open and more reserved about opening their homes to people and friends than people in other countries. And of course, in letting guests and friends stay over. They have even confessed this. It is something in their mentality and behavior that is very noticeable and obvious. I?ve never seen that in other countries before.
In fact, there is a propensity among Russians to invite a guest from afar to visit them (especially a foreigner) who could even be a prospective partner, just to put them in a hotel, making them pay for it while themselves losing nothing. In other countries, that would be considered rude and unheard of. And in fact, that is how someone would treat a stranger, rather than a warm guest.
There are many more examples I could give of ways in which Russians are far less generous and far more stingy than Westerners, but you get the idea. I have not seen any true examples of how mainstream Russians are more generous or less stingy than Americans. Americans give away far more things for free than Russians do, for example.
I have seen Russian businesses count money so carefully as to imply that losing ten roubles meant death for them! It was like the smallest loss would totally upset the balance of things for them! They certainly have an extremely stingy attitude toward counting money alright. It?s dominant in their behavior. Now, they may have good reasons to be stingy, but that?s not the point. The point is that it?s total hypocrisy for them to be claiming that Americans count their money and that Russians are more generous, when all the little facts speak extremely the opposite!
It?s completely ludicrous and illogical. And technically false as well, since wanting to keep what belongs to you is technically not an act of ?greed?. Furthermore, the one trying to take or asking for something is much closer to being ?greedy? since he/she is the one trying to take.
Well recently, I think I?ve discovered the explanation for these bizarre claims. First though, I?ve come to realize that Russians see being ?greedy? as more of an ATTITUDE someone has toward money rather than how much or how little they?ve spent or given. For example, you can spend a lot of money and still be called greedy if you show the slightest resentment about it. You may think after spending so much, that you are generous, but if you resent having spent it, then you are by their terms ?greedy?. It?s strange, but that?s what I have to conclude based on my observations on how they use this word.
Now, here?s what I think is going on here. Deep down, they know that the mentality of mainstream Americans is not ?greedy?. But they probably feel a lot of JEALOUSLY and RESENTMENT toward foreigners because they think that foreign people have a lot more money than them. It probably gives them an inferiority complex that they have to make up for. Therefore, they wish to see foreigners spend more than they need, to help balance out this unfairness they see.
One way of making up for this inferiority complex is by claiming superior morals or values by calling Russians ?generous? and shaming Westerners by calling them ?greedy? anytime they have an excuse to do so. Usually, a Russian person is not so easily called greedy when they wish to keep their money or refuse to buy something. But a foreigner is much more quickly called ?greedy? due to the inner resentment toward them for being perceived as having more. Therefore, it?s more of an emotional claim than a logical one.
It?s similar to the situation of how the skinny small guy consoles himself that he is smarter and more intellectual than the big brawny guy, to make up for his inferiority complex. However, the difference is that if the skinny small guy truly has cerebral talents and interests, he is at least able to demonstrate his claims. On the other hand, Russians who call Americans greedy do not usually have any credible facts to back it up other than their own emotional resentment.
Another reason they like to accuse Westerners of being greedy is as a manipulation tactic to get them to comply with something. They hope to ?shame? them into complying with their wishes. And of course, it is likely that those who use these shame tactics have a need to control others as well, hence they could be ?control freaks?.
Anyway, I think my theory provides a sensible explanation for the discrepancy between the facts and the claims. If anyone disagrees or has any alternate explanations, I?d love to hear them (without any personal insults!). But for now, this seems the most likely explanation for a mentality and claim which contradicts all the facts which in fact point to the exact opposite of their claims.
Claims about Russian generosity vs. Reality
My friend Conrad from
First of all, he admits he has never been to
1. One time, after having lunch in a street cafe, as I
was about to pay, the people running it suddenly said to me "You know,
you're a nice guy, and we admire you for being a vegetarian at a young age, so
don't pay for it. It's on us." I was surprised at given a free
meal by total strangers like that. Do you think that would happen in
2. One time while waiting at a bus stop for a long
time, not knowing that the bus service was closed that day, a van stopped and
the drivers said that I had been waiting there so long that they wanted to give
me a ride into town. The van had utilities and equipment in it, and
looked like it was a work vehicle. Skeptical, I asked them about their occupation.
They said they installed cable TV and DSL internet access. Seeing their
sales brochures and equipment which confirmed that, I felt it was ok to ride
with them. When they got me to where I needed to go in town, I thanked
them and offered a little payment, but they refused and said not to worry about
it. Do you think that will ever happen in
3. One time, while I was riding on my friend's
motorcycle (a white guy friend) into town to work, the engine failed and we
slowed to a stop. I thought we had no choice now but to take a taxi the
rest of the way. But from the restaurant we stopped in front of, a guy
walked out and seeing what happened to our bike, offered to let us borrow his
if we left ours there, so that we could come back and exchange it later.
The bike he let us borrow wasn't the best, but it worked enough to get us the
rest of the way to work. Do you think something like that would happen in
On the whole, Taiwanese people love to give and hate to
take. There is a big shame with them in taking. That is their
mentality and culture. In fact, when I was there, I could not even give
away an American quarter (25 cents) to them as a souvenir. Most of them
would not take it, because to take even a little thing like that from someone
is a shame to them. Contrast this with the mentality in
In fact, Taiwanese people love to give so much that when I am there, I am constantly offered food, snacks, lunch boxes, etc. so much so that I have to start refusing most of it because I am already carrying too much food around or too full to eat any of it. They love to stuff you there, asking for nothing in return. Whoever said there's no free lunch, has obviously never been there.
Do you think Russians love giving away stuff for free?
Do you think you can get anything in
And get this, many cafes and eatery chains there also have this rule where they fill up drinks in a cup to a certain exact line, rather than filling it up to a full glass! When filled up to the marker in the cup, the cup is often left only 60 or 70 percent full! I've tried telling them to give me a full cup instead, but they told me that those were the exact rules they had to follow. What does that tell you? Is that what a generous giving society does????!!!!!!! Well????? And what does it tell you when you consider that in almost no other major country in the world, is there such a rule?????
And please don't use the excuse that
Speaking of giving away things for free, in
So, you can't even get a free Bible in a church here, and you say Russians are the most generous people in the world????? Say what??????
Let's see, what can I get for free here in
In spite of all this, the odd thing is that if you call Russians on their stinginess, greed, taker mentality, or their use of deceit in taking things, they'll get enraged, call foul, put all the blame on you, etc. even if they know you're right. These things described above are obvious and indisputable, yet even nice honest Russian people will not admit to them out of pride. There is a deep seated mentality in them that they have the "right" to be stingy and take from others, even using deceit or violence to accomplish this.
The real true reason is that Russian mentality is to take as
much as you can, give as little as you can, and use lies and deceit if
necessary to accomplish this or cover it up. It's a total survivalist
mentality, as someone on my list said. There is no room for morals,
conscience, right/wrong, consideration, empathy, virtue, honor, etc. You
can see it in their eyes too, especially in the eyes of young Russian
guys. There is often a depraved scary vulgar look in them. In fact,
even HONESTY itself is not a real virtue in
For example, one of the common lies and propaganda they use to cover up their taker mentality behavior is to spout that "Americans are greedy and only care about money and only live for money. Russians don't care about money so much." In fact, a girl I met here on Nevsky Prospect earlier said this to me too. I shook my head because she didn't know how wrong she was, and I was afraid to tell her that because she was so cute.
The fact is, if Americans only care about money and Russians don't, then how come ONLY Russians are trying to steal from me, lie to me, pressure me, threatening me with violence, etc. to get money out of me? Americans don't do that to me. Americans with me never give me the lying line that "I have no money. Please pay for me." Also, the other day, a staff girl in this internet cafe told me that that lying line about being broke to make others pay for you was a new universal trend, and assumed that it was a new trend in America as well, to which I almost laughed my face off!
This propaganda that "Americans are greedy and Russians are generous" is a simple lie designed to cover up the true facts which would give them international shame, attempting to put the shame on the other side instead. The fact is that Russians call other people "greedy" if they don't let them take advantage of them, use them, or steal from them. That's like me shooting someone with a gun, killing him, and then calling him a killer. It makes no sense, but it's a lie designed to cover up the truth.
And the problem is, you aren't allowed to call them on it. And if you try to, even normally nice honest Russians will begin to lie out of national pride, to save face and cover up this reality. An example is the recent article by Ann in Mosnews.com in response to my question (http://www.mosnews.com/feature/2004/10/15/greedy.shtml)
where she attempts to justify Russian taking and stealing of money by claiming that they are trying to remove "filth" from you for your own good. Um, yeah right.
It's just another example of a Russian lying to justify the unjustifiable. If they were really taking money from others to remove filth from them, then why don't Russian people give me their money when I ask for it? Why don' t they give me their "filth"? In fact, why doesn't this Ann character of Mosnews.com give me some of her money "filth" too? Why do they look shocked when I insinuate that money be passed from Russians to foreigners?????? We all know why.
They are allowed to be as greedy and stingy to you as they want, but you can never call them on it or complain about it. If you do, they will call you "greedy", spout out some lie, deny it, or unite against you. You have to accept it because to them, you are a giver and they are a taker, and you better not challenge that.
Russians are very expressive people, great actors, etc. They are very fun and exciting to be with. Very lively and spontaneous too sometimes. Among them, there are some good people, and a few diamonds. But a very high percentage of them fit the above description I gave. In fact, when you really know and understand them, and look behind their expressive outward behavior and words, into their soul, what you actually see is more like the soul of a "gremlin" than of a human being, I hate to say. That's just what I see and feel in them when gazing into their souls and minds.
But whether they do have a "gremlin" soul or not,
it can't be denied that they do have a different soul, mentality, and
behavior. They are warm and open in ways that we aren't, but cold in the
way that we are warm. For example, here in
Anyway, I challenge Conrad and those who agree with him to answer or respond to the majority of my questions and points above. No pride or bias here, just straight facts.
Intellectual Asian comments on Russian morality and Winston's experiences
A few days ago, I got this response below from an Asian guy who calls himself "D" and wishes to remain anonymous. He was interested in having his comments forwarded to my list to see what reactions might result. While I wholeheartedly agree with him in his assessments on Russian morality and racism, I don't agree with his claim that I am not handsome by anyone's standards. Many people have described me as good looking, cute, handsome, or attractive, and out of those people, SOME of them did mean it!
I will also post this in the talk lounge message boards of www.waytorussia.net in the folder called "Russian People" so if you want to read comments or comment on this post publicly, you can do so there as well.
I don't know if you remember me but we traded some
e-mails quite awhile back. I am the asian guy who
e-mailed you under a verizon account I used to have.
Being that I have travelled in
remember arguing with you about how you were being
overly optimistic about the russian people in general.
I hate to say it..but I told you so. One only has to
know that they have some serious cultural character
flaws. Just as a comparison from my observations,
while asian countries may be repressed, cynical, and
materialistic deep down they still have a sense of
honor and morality that's based on confucianistic
values. Modern anglo and western european societies
also possess some rudimentary sense of morality and
social mores in regards to "right" or "wrong"
behavior. Russians DO NOT have the same type of
morality in their society. I'm not afraid to make this
very controversial point because you see how they can
take greed, malice, and exploitation to a whole new
level in their individual dealings. I can meet someone
count on them not backstabbing me with a smiling face
days later. Of course you have your share of scumbags
so two-faced that you can't trust anyone in basic
everyday functions. I'm afraid in
trust a great deal of people, the most nice and well
meaning (or ones that act that way) WILL fuck you over
if given the chance especially if you're a foreigner.
It's almost a given in their culture because they
don't have the same notions of respect or integrity.
This is a nation that murders/jails political
opponents and kills journalists. Don't forget what
lengths the average Russian will go to even against
There's also another aspect of your experience in
racist people, possibly on par with some Nazis. Even
the average racist in the
meritorious respect. They may despise people of your
ethnicity but as long as you are successful or
"different" they will give you somewhat of a benefit
of the doubt. In contrast, Russians may be
"multicultural" to a degree but their tolerance of
foreign people is very limited and broad in its
prejudice. Once again a person only has to look at
history to see how they have persecuted racial
minorities and have had thousands of Jews sent to
ghettos and gulags. One only has to
heavy handed dealings with its surrounding minority
this isn't the most open minded or compromising
To some extent Winston I understand what you are you
doing but I believe you have some deep personality
issues that need to be resolved. Not everyone dates a
cover girl and for the type of relationship you are
looking for it's not likely you'll find one that's
very open minded or accepting. The fact is beauty is a
premium most of the time and valued through
materialism and shallow means. You may find a
millionaire with a model under each arm but there's a
cost to him as well since he's giving the girl de
facto status and wealth. A handsome young stud might
be able to have his pick of the litter but it's
usually a temporary sexual romp instead of a real
relationship. The problem is Winston you want the best
of both worlds. You want a model type girl that will
love you for who you are but yet you aren't giving
much in return in this cynical trade off.
You aren't really handsome by anyone's standards and
you certainly aren't wealthy. You have an interesting
but very neurotic and some would say "immature"
personality that most women would find hard to bear.
In a society like
and a loveable personality to go very far. I talked
with you about this a long long time ago but you chose
to ignore everything I said. Please do some deep soul
searching before continuing to waste your life away in
pursuit of a shallow goal. Hey, if you just wanted to
sleep with beautiful girls there are other
alternatives. If that's all you wanted on your trip
then may advice for you would have been real simple.
P.S. - You can put this on your mailing list if you
wish but please keep aspects of my e-mail address
anonymous. In fact I encourage you to circulate this
as i'm interested as to what others would say about it
Real life examples of Russian rudeness and madness
those of you who are still doubtful about my claims about Russian rudeness,
wondering if I?m the source of the problem, here are some real life examples
that have occurred back in
One time, in the Time Online internet caf? under the Red Square, as I was going to the bathroom, a janitor lady mopping the floor told me to go to the women?s restroom as the men?s one was closed for cleaning now. At first, I couldn?t understand, but when I did, I went to the restroom doors to try to see which one was the women?s. As I stood there for 2 or 3 seconds trying to see the marking on the door, suddenly the janitor lady blew up at me and yelled in a fiery voice in Russian ?I told you to go to the women?s restroom you stupid! Get out of here! The restrooms are closed for you!? Taken aback, I quickly went into the women?s restroom while I still could, trying to feel pity for the lady rather than anger, since she obviously must be a very unhappy person to do that. But sheesh, come on, how would it make you feel to be in a place where you don?t even have the freedom to stand for 2 or 3 seconds to look at the sign on the door?! That is beyond rudeness. It?s petty insanity of the most dysfunctional kind. Can you imagine how annoying it is to put up with sh** like that on a regular basis?
Another time, near metro Chistie Prudy, I went into a casino cash exchange booth, and told the teller that I wanted to change a 50 dollar bill into two 20?s and a 10, but not into roubles. She told me to put the cash into the window pocket, but I wanted to make sure she understood so I asked her in Russian if she understood. When I did, she blew up at me and yelled in an angry voice ?Just put the cash in, you stupid!? I was stunned and couldn?t believe that she would blow up like that over my simple clarification to her! What kind of madness is that? No one can blame me or say that I am at fault for these kind of things, which would never happen in the Western World I?m from.
recently here in
regarding the old lady beggar in
From my dad:
The reason that old lady approached you for money is because from her experiences Asians are more likely to give her money. She might also saw the soft side of you and thought that you would give her some money. You should see that as a compliment rather than insult. Her instint is to approaching anyone who would give her money. You should have given her some.
If our happiness has to depend on other condition, such as Christ, then that happiness is conditioned. When someday, the faith faded, the happiness will vanished. Like Dalai lama said once that we don't need any reason to be happy. Happiness is the state of mind. We can be happy anytime when we can accept the whatever condition we are in.
Good luck. I will try to find out when your NY aunt's schedule. Have a smooth fly. Love,
The stingiest experience I?ve ever had!
following definitely takes the cake as the STINGIEST experience I?ve ever had
I could not believe this! And I couldn?t wait to write about this
either! What an embarrassment to
thing that gets me is that these people have a common perception here that
foreigners, especially Westerners, are greedy and like to count their
money. That is the most hypocritical charge in the world, as Russian
businesses count the money during transactions to the maximum extreme, as in
the above example. Therefore, how could they possibly say that, in light
of these examples? They must be either blind, deluded, or in denial.
Anyone in the
Cash exchange booth scam and rude mobile store
came back to
At first, she was hesitant to answer, and told me to just put the cash in and she?ll tell me or something. I didn?t want to do that yet, until she confirmed the rate. Eventually, she said 27.90 in Russian. So I put in my 41 dollars cash to exchange for roubles. However, she gave me less than what I should have gotten, so I pointed this out to her. She showed me on her calculator that it was correct for a 27.30 exchange rate. I looked at her like she was dumb and told her that she was supposed to enter 27.90. Then she pointed to a small sign above the window (barely even noticeable) that said 27.30 in a small paragraph. I didn?t understand what the paragraph said, but I assumed that it was saying something about this being the actual rate after a service fee was deducted.
as this had never happened to me when I exchanged money before, I looked at her
in disgust. How could a cash exchange booth commit such an obvious clear
cut scam, I wondered? This was not even subtle. It was a simple
bald-faced scam. The teller lady had proven herself to be a liar by
verbally quoting me 27.90 upon direct inquiry. There was no excuse for
any misunderstanding here. She was a clear bald faced liar and thief.
(Not even you cynics on expat.ru who defend all sorts of monstrous behavior in
Mad, I reminded her that she told me 27.90 and that it said that outside on the big sign too. But all she did was keep pointing to the small print in the white card above the window. I scolded her, called her a liar and a very bad person, but she simply turned away and ignored me. What a shameless bitch with no conscience! (Today, my missionary friend and pastor told me that he?s seen that scam before too, and disapproves of it as well.)
That same day, I also went to a mobile phone store to get a new 5 dollar prepaid card to add more minutes to my Megafon service. When I got the card, I took out a coin and started scratching off the grey bar to reveal the pincode. However, it smeared so badly that two of the numbers in the pin code were scratched out at the root! That had never happened before with my Beeline cards (which have higher rates). Frantic, I went up to the service desk to get help, but a guy there said that the damage to the card was irreparable and that he ought to just throw it away.
Shocked, I became panicky and angry, saying, ?What? I?m just going to lose 150 roubles on that card for nothing, and you?re not going to do anything about it? You can?t be serious! No one would do that.? But he said there was nothing he could do, and they were not willing to give me a new card or compensate me in any way. I gave him a mad stare and told him it was his responsibility to do something about and remedy the problem. How could he lack a complete sense of basic service and fairness? But he didn?t want to do shit.
I scolded him with ?You sold me a defective card! Now do something about it! I?m not paying 150 roubles for nothing! I need mobile service on my phone! Don?t you dare!? When I asked what the problem with the lame ass card was, he simply pointed to me and said ?It?s YOUR problem!? and that I scratched the card too hard or the wrong way, which he repeated several times. What the damn f***ing hell?!?!?!? How dare he point to a customer and say such a thing like, ?It?s YOUR problem!??
the US, he would be canned faster than light speed! And if we were in the
With my adrenaline running, I sat at a table and tried to make out the two missing numbers in the pin code. I could see parts of it, so I tried numbers which matched those shapes. After a lot of trial and error, I finally found the right code, and was relieved. I showed the new balance to the guy at the service guy I was pissed at, and asked him if I got the correct code. He gave a grin and nodded.
I can?t believe it. Even in a poor country in
Even my missionary friend Dale, who?s lived here for 11 years, said this morning at church that customer service in Russia is an oxymoron, because it doesn?t really exist.
2 Rude requests for presents and money today!
won?t believe this, but tonight when I was out having pizza with this girl in
also explained to her that a hundred dollars was not ?little money? to me as
she claimed, but a lot right now. She understood and accepted my
explanation, but still I was shocked at the request. Do people like her
really think that I am just going to give away a hundred bucks with no strings
attached for nothing, to someone who is just an acquaintance?
Sheesh! What do they think I am. I?ve explained before that I?m not
Santa Claus and I didn?t come here to be Santa Claus. I didn?t come to
Sheesh, the last time someone asked if they could borrow a hundred dollars from me was when Vadim did it months ago, right after he pulled the quadruple-crime scam on me! When I refused him, he got mad and acted like I let him down, as if I was obligated to give him a hundred dollars for nothing as a free gift, especially after all the crimes he committed in extorting 300 dollars from me.
But anyway, the worst part came later. After we had pizza, drinks and dessert, we were walking toward metro station Kievskaya, when she asked if I could buy her a pack of cigarettes. Not wanting to be rude, I stood firm and said no because 1) they were bad for her health, and 2) complying and giving in to girls who ask for presents has NEVER resulted in anything good in the past. Nothing good EVER came out of that. I won?t be controlled or bossed around like that against my will with no respect from such shameless behavior. Plus, once you comply with a small gift request, the requests become larger and larger and don?t stop.
However, unlike the hundred dollar loan request, this one irritated her. She acted like I was behaving wrongly and badly at not complying with a small request. She even used my own words against me, saying that since I said she was my princess earlier, I ought to buy a small thing for her. I reminded her that being a princess and being my ruler are not the same thing, but she still believed that I was obligated to comply. When I stood steadfast and refused, she became moody and looked offended.
told her to quit her behavior, as she was acting like my ex Katya, who also
became moody when I wouldn?t comply with her demands, as if I had no choice in
the matter. I told her that like Katya, she was also forgetting the other
things I just bought her, such as the nice pizza and dessert, while focusing on
the pack of cigarettes I refused her. I proudly told her that I like
optimists, not pessimists, and she was being a pessimist right now for focusing
on the cigarettes rather than the nice meal I just paid for! Sheesh,
people like this sure forget things you do for them fast, focusing only on what
you won?t do. I told her that that?s exactly what Katya did two years ago
When we reached the metro entrance, she parted with me to go to her bus stop, saying in Russian something which sounded like, ?I don?t want to see you again.? Whatever, I said.
I?ve said this to Brad?s list many times and I?ll say it again, I HAVE NEVER INCREASED LOVE OR ATTRACTION FROM A WOMAN WHO WASN?T ATTRACTED TO ME IN THE FIRST PLACE, BY BUYING PRESENTS FOR HER OR BEING GENEROUS, AND I HAVE NEVER DECREASED ATTRACTION OR LOST A WOMAN WHO REALLY LIKED ME BY NOT BUYING SOMETHING FOR HER. Therefore, in the big picture, I know what I am doing.
Believe it or not folks, but there are some girls in Russia who actually think or believe that the measure of a good man is his ability to give gifts and money to a woman freely without expecting anything in return, with no strings attached, even with no relationship going on between them. Oh yeah, what an unselfish altruistic standard. Uh huh!
Anyway, let?s continue on. Before tonight, something similar happened earlier that was also of a shameless nature. This afternoon, when I went to my office at the business gazette to pick up my last salary, the Russian colleague that I work for starting demanding that I use some of it to buy him an expensive bottle of gin. He had done things like this before, but this time he was very crass and vulgar about it, since he didn?t expect to see me again.
When I said that it was too expensive for me, and offered to get him some vodka and juice instead, he got even more rude and even called me greedy. I don?t understand how I could be greedy when he was the one asking for a gift, not me! When I said I?d go down to the supermarket to check out the gin, he told me to just leave and f*** off out of there. Another thing I don?t get is if he doesn?t even like me, why does he expect me to bring him gifts? It makes no sense. Doesn?t he think it?s wrong to use someone like that?
Incidentally, I?ve never revealed this before, but this Russian male colleague is actually a fan of the infamous Dave Fuller, my biggest critic! He has a similar personality to Dave Fuller, shares his extreme cynical hatred against me, his pessimistic seeing-the-worst-in-everything attitude, and his style of rude crass vulgar remarks. Therefore, whenever he sees Fuller?s rants against me, he gets a big kick out of it, not surprisingly since such rants tickle his funny bone.
Another foreign colleague I work with there, who I?m closer to and have more in common with, told me that he?s worked with him for 6 years already and that?s the way he is and will never change.
Frankly, I?ve never been anything but kind, friendly, helpful, and supportive to this guy, so I have no idea what the basis of his hatred toward me is. Perhaps like most bullies, he?s just unhappy, angry, insecure, and needs a target to vent his energy at. And like some, he sees me as an easy target for whatever reason. Nevertheless, his behavior was not only rude and vulgar, but totally inappropriate, out of line, and hypocritical. He doesn?t buy me presents, so why is he constantly asking me to? What justifies such behavior? And is Dave Fuller proud that such people like this are his fans?
Anyway, I wrote this crass Russian colleague the following email below, which contains four good honest questions, though I doubted he would answer them.
I don't you don't give a fuck about me, but I have a
few serious questions for you, if you don't mind.
Please at least try to answer some of them, with the
1. What is the basis of your hatred and scorn toward
me? I never did you any wrong. I never lied to you,
cheated you, stole from you, badmouthed you, etc. I
never did anything immoral to you. I've always been
very friendly to you, and open. I've always tried my
best to help you in whatever way I can. I have been
nice and kind to you. So your hatred toward me is
illogical, since I did you no wrong. Please explain.
Are you so unhappy and angry with your life that you
need someone to hate, like me? Do you see me as an
easy target for you, because I'm small, strange,
weak-looking, and a foreigner? If so, then you have a
mentality that is no better than a school bully. That
is very unhealthy. Happy people do not do such
2. Why do you feel that it is ok for you to use me to
pay for things? If you don't even like me, then why
use me? Don't you think that is wrong and immoral?
Why do you insist and expect me to buy things for you,
when you never buy presents for me either? Aren't you
3. Why do you say that I am "greedy" if I refuse to
buy you what you want? Aren't you "greedy" for asking
me to buy you things? I do not ask you to buy me
presents, so technically I have not behaved in a
"greedy" manner. Perhaps you need to look in the
dictionary for the meaning of the word "greedy". Here
is the definition of it from the American Heritage
Dictionary online. Look at the definition below.
Does that fit me, or you?
greed?y (grd) KEY
greed?i?er , greed?i?est
- Excessively desirous of acquiring or possessing,
especially wishing to possess more than what one needs
- Wanting to eat or drink more than one can reasonably
- Extremely eager or desirous: greedy for the
opportunity to prove their ability.
4. Slava, you seem to have a morbid desire to see me
spend large amounts of money. You have consistently
displayed such a pattern of behavior. Why? Do you
get enjoyment out of seeing someone lose all their
money? Do you have a subconscious desire to see those
whom you consider to be "rich foreigners" driven down
into poverty? Or is it something personal against me?
I told you that I am not rich. You don't even know
how much money I have. I may even have less money
than you do. Please explain.
Slava, please try to answer these questions honestly,
so that I can try to understand you and those here who
are like you. Don't just answer with "Fuck you" or
"Go away". Give me something more truthful and
I have always been very kind, nice and friendly toward
you, so your hatred toward me seems unjustified and
illogical. Please explain. Or should I ask "Dave
Here was his response:
?Fuck you once again, Wu!!!!
I have no hatred for you but I only despise you. I am
not judging you. You are a worthless piece of shit. You are despicable.
You are a beggar. You asked me to let you stay in our office which I did not
let you do. You are a scum. You asked Nitesh to let you stay in his
apartment and we never asked you about such things. We were very honest with
you and paid every cent that you were supposed to receive.
I completely agree with what Dave
Fuller writes about you. My life is not a 100% the way I wanted it to
be. You constantly change your mind about everything. You are
inconsistent. You can't get girls from
becaise you look like a bum, and in
parents help you, a fucking cocksucker financially while you instead of renting a room to live in, spend endless nigths for USD3 per night in internet
I am lucky I won't see you anymore
and congratulate you with your Engagement with your childish girl, who is 19
years old, from the
Poor girl. I don't envy
her. I guess it would be best for her to come to the
I really do not give a shit about you. You are both a mistake of nature and an abortion victim.
Bye, Wu, a dirty worthless piece of shit and stupid
I wish all the best in all your beginings and, please,
do not distrub me anymore. Dave Fuller's e-mails are always welcome.
Russian girl commits act of treason against American fiancee
Some of you may remember the dispute I had over an American
owned agency in
This example yet demonstrates again how so many in
To: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]
Subject: Re: Answers to the narcisistic little Wu cretin
That's horrid Brad. Absolute horrid. I know who Galina is. I talked to her on the phone before, and she sounded nice. This just goes to prove that these RW are master liars and actors without guilt, shame, conscience, or fear of God.
So why did Galina do this? Doesn't she love Jack? Were there any warning signs of this coming?
And why didn't the wise experienced Brad Sharp warn Jack about it? You've met her before right?
So what is Jack going to do now? Tell him that he has my sympathies.
Also Brad, is there a full story version of this that you posted to your list? If so, can you send me a copy of it?
From: Bradley W. Sharp <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Answers to the narcisistic little Wu cretin
Her name is
His partner was a 21 year old
Russian girl who was supposed
to be his fiancee.
There is a lesson for you to learn
there Winston. Please learn it
before disaster strikes.
----- Original Message -----
From: <[email protected]>
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Answers to the narcisistic little Wu cretin
> Brad, that's awful. Why didn't Jack choose a partner that he could trust?
Who is this partner? Have I met her? This isn't that tall young guy that
worked with him before?
> So what is Jack going to do now?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bradley W. Sharp <[email protected]>
> To: [email protected]
> Subject: Fwd: Re: Answers to the narcisistic little Wu cretin
> --- In [email protected], "Bradley W. Sharp" <[email protected]..> wrote:
> --- In [email protected], [email protected].. wrote:
> > > <<<
5. Are you sure Jack's agency in
> > > out of business? If
> > > so, why is their site still up? Who told you this?
> > > I'm sure Brad would
> > > deny it. >>>
> > >
> > > Brad told RWL-Open this. Ask him, he will confirm
> > > it.
> > W: Brad, are you listening? Well?
> A Love In Russia Agency went out of business
> in November. While Jack
was back in the
> taking care of affairs and arranging for another
> business visa, Jack's partner stole all his
> equipment and records and opened up a new
> business in a different location. When Jack
> tried to take steps to recover his property,
> Jack's partner was able to convince the police
> that she was the owner of the business and the
> property was hers. Remember that all the
> business license and tax documents were in her
> The site has been down since mid-January.
Update: 2 professional robberies I experienced in
Before I tell you about the dramatic events in Yoshkar-Ola before I left, let me first tell you about two highly skilled professional robberies I experienced in Moscow during the few days I was there before I left, one of which I was the victim of.
The mystery of my stolen mobile phone
After I returned to
I found her to be sincere, intelligent, likable, personable,
and fluent in English. After we walked around doing a few errands
together, we exchanged contact info and parted. Since then, she kept in
touch by text messaging my mobile occassionally while I was in
After I picked up the next portion of my paycheck from the
When it got close to ,
we started to head back to the metro. She was going to the train station
to catch her train back to Yaroslav, while I was going to the all night
internet cafe underneath the
The next morning, I headed toward Galina's Flat (a hostel in a flat I stayed at for 10 dollars a night, for 20 days back in December when I worked in Moscow, before I was kicked out during the "residency mayhem" I described in my update) to stay for a few days while I wait for the rest of my money from American Language Center, so that I could get out of Russia finally and head to Europe.
(Note: By the way, if any of you on a budget are
looking for a cheap place to stay in
When I arrived, I slept a few hours first to make up for
staying up all night. Then I got up in the afternoon and took a
shower. While getting dressed afterward, I needed to look up a phone
number stored in my old backup mobile that I bought two years ago in
(After I recently got a marvelous new phone with so many incredible functions (Siemens c65), I put the old mobile in the side pocket of my jacket designed for mobiles, and hung my new phone around my neck for security. I would use the old phone as backup in case the battery on my new one ran out (color screen phones tend to drain the battery faster cause of the power needed to light the color screen). Plus, not all the phone numbers stored on that phone (hundreds of Russian girl phone numbers) could be saved on the SIM to import to the new phone, so some numbers were only on the old mobile.)
When I went to my jacket hanging up on the rack in the
hallway to get my other mobile, I was shocked to find that IT WAS GONE!
The pocket it was usually in was empty! No way! At first, I was in
denial and laughed. No way could it just simply vanish. I've
carried it there for months and it's always been there. Yet I could find
it nowhere in any of my stuff. Oh well, I thought. It was only a
backup mobile. But still, I bought it cause it was a world phone
(tri-band GSM) that would work in
When I brought this up to Galina, she first exclaimed,
"Winston, nothing has ever been stolen in my hostel before. Why do
these strange events always seem to happen when you show up!" Then
she said that the other guests in the hostel couldn't have stolen it, because
the two Asian guys across in the other room were from Singapore, which was not
a poor country by any means, and also known to be virtually crime-free (due to
their extreme punishment laws for misdemeanors). The other two guests, a
Canadian guy and a French guy, also couldn't have stolen my mobile. The
Canadian guy, whom I met, was an older skinny guy with glasses who was very
mellow, easy-going, and open, totally incapable of theft. And the French
guy, Galina said, was a serious person and came here to watch the figure
skating championship in
Her explanation made sense, and none of these guys seemed likely culprits either, especially since they still stuck around (thieves usually leave after they've robbed you, not stick around to be accused and searched). Still, I wanted to do something rather than nothing, and thought of confronting the two Asian guys to search them thoroughly, but my intuition told me it would be fruitless, and plus they weren't around much and came from a rich crime-free country, Singapore, anyway.
But still, my mobile was gone and there had to be a culprit, for it couldn't have just walked away by itself. I was simply baffled by who could have done it and how, since I never get things stolen from me before, as I always exercise common sense and know who to trust (before I came to Russia that is). Galina suggested that it probably happened in the all night internet cafe; while I napped there or was on the computer, someone probably pickpocketed it out of my jacket. However, I didn't think that was possible, cause I had the jacket hanging on my chair the whole night and never left it. Plus, it was in a deep small pocket designed for mobiles, which I even had trouble getting it out of, as you had to pry your fingers deep in the pocket and yank it out of the small space. Therefore, I didn't think it was possible to pickpocket it unnoticed.
The only other possible suspect was Janna. While we were in the vegetarian cafe, I did get up to use the restroom for a few minutes while she watched my jacket. So during those few minutes I was in the restroom, she did have an opportunity to take my mobile from that jacket. Plus, I had shown it to her earlier so she had knowledge of its location in my jacket. That made her a strong suspect. However, several strong factors would seem to rule her out as well.
1. First, she is an honest sincere person, and does not seem like the type at all who would steal. And she doesn't seem greedy or a taker either; she even preferred to pay for herself at the vegetarian cafe and at McDonald's too.
2. Second, she had a mobile that was much more new and expensive than the one I lost, so why would she need it? And she didn't seem so poor that she would need to sell stolen goods for cash either.
3. Third, since she worked for an orphanage collecting donations from sponsors before, she seemed to be a person with a good heart, rather than a conniving thief.
4. Fourth and most importantly, if she had stolen my mobile while I was in the restroom for a few minutes, then why would she continue hanging around me for two more hours afterward? Though I didn't, I could have checked for my old mobile during those three hours and found it missing. Surely she wouldn't have stuck around for three hours and risk that happening if she had robbed the phone from me.
In spite of the 4 reasons above why it couldn't have been Janna, the strange thing is that she refused to answer my text messages to her phone about it afterward. I sent her many smses to both her mobile numbers, asking if she saw anyone touch my jacket while I was in the restroom. But she didn't answer me at all, though she usually answers my messages promptly. I don't know why and haven't heard from her since. You would think that if she were the culprit, she would at least just lie about it and say she knew nothing. But her silence is a bit odd. I wonder if it's a bad sign or not. She still hasn't answered my email about it either.
Therefore, I found this mystery quite baffling. But as much as I liked mysteries, I didn't come here to play Sherlock Holmes. Suddenly, I remembered something. During my all-night stay in the internet cafe, there was this guy who sat behind me facing the opposite way, for several hours. We were in an upper section of the internet cafe that was more secluded, away from the main section. I often sit there to get more privacy so I can concentrate without distractions of people walking behind me.
During the several hours he sat behind me on a higher stool, he had his coat hung around the stool. Twice, he tapped me to have me watch his jacket while he left for about one minute. At the time, it seemed a bit odd that he needed me to watch his coat for only a minute while he went away. I thought he was going to the bathroom on the other side of the food court, but he wasn't gone long enough to have gone there. So I didn't get what needed to be watched for a minute? Was he afraid someone was going to steal his coat? Sheesh. It's not like anyone lacks one here. But I didn't think much of it until now, when I was looking for suspects. But now that I think of it, it does seem a bit suspicious. However, I didn't see how he could have taken it from my deep side pocket.
I brought this up to Galina, and she indicated that that guy
was the probable suspect. She said that in
Later, another guest arrived to our hostel named Jeff, an American ex-marine/ex-cop. When I told him about the circumstances of my stolen mobile, he also agreed that the guy at the internet cafe was a likely suspect. When I asked Jeff why that young guy asked me twice to watch his stuff while he went away for a minute, he surmised that it was a misdirection tactic to set me at ease, make me feel like he and I were a team on the same side, to quell any suspicion that I might have toward him.
Then he told me that during his police career, during training they sometimes brought in former professional thieves to teach them their tricks. He said that during a demonstration, they watched an ex-pro remove a necktie and belt from a man he was having a conversation with, completely unnoticed, surprising the man afterward by showing him the necktie and belt he had just removed from him! He did the impossible, with lots of misdirection and skill. Therefore, Jeff said, removing my mobile from the deep side pocket of my jacket noticed, was possible.
To this day, I still am not sure who or how my mobile was stolen. I assume the guy at the internet cafe is the most likely suspect, but I'm not completely sure. And Janna still won't answer my smses or emails. Therefore, I can't prove one way or another who did it, and probably never will either. I guess it will go down as an eternal mystery, but perhaps like many unexplained paranormal phenomena, that's the beauty of it.
What do you all think? Any ideas or explanation on the solution to this mystery?
(If you think that was interesting, wait til you read what's next!)
American ex-marine/cop drugged and robbed by female Russian opportunist!
If you think my stolen mobile story was interesting, wait til you read what happened next!
The next day, I came back to Galina's Flat to rest and turn in for the night. There, I met Jeff again and we began having a conversation about everything, including Russian women. During the conversation, I could tell he was a bragging type who liked to embellish things, based on his tone (I recognize the bragging tone). He even said he was 6 ft 1 when in reality as he stood up in front of me, I knew he couldn't be more than 5 ft 9 or 10.
Soon we were talking about night clubs and bars in the area that I knew of. I told him we could go to Doug and Marty's Boarhouse, about a ten minute walk away, but the girls there though perfect looking, hot, and sexy, were extremely snobby and unfriendly. Or we could go to Papa John's near Chistie Prudy, which was a more normal disco with more normal upscale people. After thinking about it further, we decided to head to Papa John's first.
When we arrived there, it was a Friday night so there was a cover charge of 200 roubles each. I didn't want to pay that price just to go and check it out, so I was about to head back, when Jeff offered to pay half my entrance fee. I graciously accepted, and we went down.
It was a cool disco, with lots of shows, strip dancing, etc. I met some hot girls, flirted with them, did what I could, etc. but they only tolerated me and played around with me. Later, as it approached , I told Jeff I wanted to head back soon. After I parted with two gorgeous girls I was sitting and having a drink with, I looked for Jeff, and found him getting fresh with this petite brunette Russian girl in red. She wasn't the best looking girl there, but she was petite, cute, and very "do-able". However, she was a bit skanky looking both in her face and voice. I couldn't put my finger on it, but something about her was pretentious. And she was looking at Jeff with flirty eyes of desire, even beckoning him toward her on the dance floor with her finger.
He told me that I could leave first if I wanted, since he found someone to party with at last. Soon they were at the bar making out; french kissing, her hand in his pants down his crotch, and his hand down her pants down her butt. It became a very provocative scene. And I felt jealous that I hadn't been able to do the same with the many hotties here. I thought, "If only I weren't Asian, then I'd have much more experiences like that :("
At one point, Jeff seemed so drunk that he seemed to lose his marbles and consciousness. He even pointed to his new fling, named Alena, and told me I could put my hand down her ass. The moment seemed right, so I actually did so. I felt her tight butt in jeans while she was sitting facing away from me, and then put my hand down her pants and felt and rubbed her ass. Owwwwww it felt good. And surprisingly, she let me do it too. However, when she felt my second hand on her ass too, she turned around and looked at me in shock. Apparently, she must have thought the hand feeling her ass was Jeff's, not mine! She looked at me angrily, swore at me in Russian and pushed me away.
When it got close to , I asked some people if it was light out outside. They said it was starting to, so I decided to head back since I wouldn't be walking alone in the dark now (I'm still afraid to do so due to trauma from the Cherepovets beating back in October!).
When I got back to the hostel flat, I slept about an hour before being woken up bby Jeff coming back in the room, followed by Alena from the disco. Jeff immediately retired into his bed, and soon Alena came in and joined him. Jeff told me briefly that Alena had just given him an incredible blow job in the cab, and that she even paid for the fare! Wow, I thought, she must really like him a lot! What a lucky guy. I wish I met women who did things like that for me?
As they were making out, she kept telling him to go to sleep and that at she would take him to her flat when her parents would be gone, so they could have sex. He kept mumbling something I couldn't understand, but she just kept telling him to go to sleep until . Oddly, it seems as though he didn't understand her, and kept mumbling something over and over, while she repeated her same words over and over as well. After about 20-30 times of this, one other Austrian guy trying to sleep in the room got agitated and said, "Look, she's not going to fuck you with all of us here in this room. So just wait until when she'll take you to her place. That's what she's saying. Don't you get it?" The French guy was also in the room, but he seemed to not notice what was going on.
I lay in my bed, unable to sleep during this scene, thinking, "Man. I am such a loser. Every white westerner brings home girls from clubs easily here, it seems, except for me. If only I weren't Asian...... If only....."
A few times, Alena got up and went into the kitchen to chat with the flat owner Galina a bit. Each time, I followed her out to make sure she didn't steal anything from my jacket in the hall. I tried to befriend Alena, but she kept telling me off in Russian.
After a while, when Jeff finally dozed off, Alena got up
from his bed and starting organizing the items on the table. I thought
she was bored, couldn't sleep, and had nothing better to do. I tried to
talk to her, but she didn't want to talk. Then she took Jeff's jeans and
shirts sloppily laid on a chair, folded them and moved them to another
chair. Gee, I thought. She must really care about him (the Alina
cared for me in
Then Alena sat down in the chair with Jeff's folded jeans hung over it, looked over a copy of the Moscow Times paper for a bit, then proceeded to put on some makeup. I thought it was strange that she looked as if she was preparing to leave already, while Jeff was still asleep and it was still about an hour til 10. But I figured she must just be bored.
She then seemed to be fidgeting with something with her hands a lot, but I didn't think much of it. Instead, I stared at her tight ass in jeans, and fantasized them, wishing I could feel them and "do" her there. Most of the time, she had her back turned toward me, so I constantly had a great view of her ass. So much so that I even took out my new mobile and snapped a lot of photos of her behind. Each time, I did she told me to "fuck off" in Russian ("pajole nawhee").
Finally, she wrapped herself with a long thin gray scarf, sat down and appeared to be putting on her boots/shoes. It looked like she was preparing to go somewhere. Suddenly, she turned to me and asked if I had a pen. I thought she was going to write her phone number down for Jeff or something, which I found odd since their plan was to go together to her flat at , still an hour away. But being the nice polite guy that I am, I said sure and reached for my shoulder bag. Then she said in Russian, "Oh nevermind. I found one." and took one off the table. Next, I thought I heard her mumble something about needing paper to write on, and then she went out the door. I waited for her to come back, expecting her to return with paper to write on, but she never did.
After some time elapsed, I got up and went into the hallway to see where she was. She wasn't anywhere in the hall or kitchen, so I guess she must have left the flat. "That's odd," I thought. Where did she go and why? I thought she was going to wait to bring her new lover Jeff to her place at so they could do it in the privacy of her home?
The shocking unbelievable discovery!
Not knowing what else to do, I went back to bed, but I couldn't fall back to sleep. Jeff was still totally out of it, and even when he woke up, he seemed disoriented like he didn't even know what was going on. It was peculiar. When he finally rose up a little, I told him about what had happened, but he seemed oblivious to it all. He even said he had no idea what happened last time, how he got home from the disco, or even what Alena looked like? What? Was he joking? Surely, even if drunk, his memory couldn't be that bad!
But he was serious. All he could remember was that Alena took him in a taxi back, and gave him an incredible blow job in the taxi, while it was circling around looking for the address, which the driver found from Jeff's pocket map. He also remembered that Alena paid the cab fair too, but that was it. Somehow, everything around that seemed to blank. "How is it you remember the cab ride and blow job then?" I asked. "Well," he gleefully began "you can't forget something like that...."
As we sat there discussing what just happened, recalling the
events of last night too, I suddenly saw a wallet sitting on the chair where
Alena was sitting for a while. Pointing to it, I asked Jeff, "Is
that your wallet?" He didn't see it at first, until I kept pointing
at it. When he got up and saw it, he quickly grabbed it, looked inside
it, and blurted, "Oh shit. She stole about 600 dollars."
WHAT?! I was stunned in disbelief!
I guess my ranting about being Asian were unfounded, at least in this case. Still, I couldn't believe what had happened. I was stunned in several ways. First, how could she have taken the wallet out of his pants, and extracted 6 one hundred dollar bills from it, unnoticed with me awake and watching her? No one could do that under my watch, and no one ever has! And second, where does she get the guts to commit such robbery in the middle of a room with four guys, three of them asleep, but one of them (me) awake and watching her?
Even if she had the greatest pickpocketing skills in the world, that's still gutsy to do it in a room with four other people, one of them watching her, while the others could wake up at any moment and catch her? Those are some guts and nerves of steel she must have! I couldn't have done it, even if I was an excellent thief. The anxiety would have been too much. And finally, how could I have not forseen it all and let her get away with this? I thought I was an expert on Russian scams by now, with what I've been through, and virtually scam-proof.
As we all sat there in shock, I suggested going to the police or reporting this to the security staff at the Papa John's nightclub, but Jeff didn't think that would be fruitful, as she probably wouldn't return there again tonight, but go to a different place every night to find a new victim. When the Austrian guy overheard all this, he made a cracking joke about it, which offended Jeff so that he threatened him, but I tried to calm Jeff down and said that he was just kidding.
Pondering how this could have all happened, I began to recollect all the events, and postulated the following. While Jeff was sleeping, and Alena got up, she might have taken out his wallet while folding and moving his jeans from one chair to another. Then, with her back toward me, she looked like she was fidgeting with something in her hands, which might have been his wallet (I have a shot of that with my phone camera, in fact). Or, while she sat down and read the newspaper and put on makeup, she might have done those things as a sort of misdirection with one hand, while with the other, she snatched out his wallet from his pants behind her.
Then, while she reached down to put on her boots/shoes, which took a while, her hands at that moment were out of my view as a backpack and clothes were blocking that view. During that time, she also could have opened the wallet and taken out the cash before setting it on the chair. Either way, she was good, obviously experienced at doing this, and incredibly skillful, swift and smooth as well. No one in my life had ever been able to pull off such a thing in front of me (that's to those of you who think I'm naturally gullible, cause I'm not).
Finally, I surmised that at the end when she asked me for a pen, found one, then went out to look for paper, it must have been a sort of misdirection to make me think that she was coming back, to hold me off a few extra seconds so she could escape. Wow, I couldn't believe her scheme was so elaborate, cunning, and swift!
Honestly, I didn't know whether to admire her skill and bravery, or be repulsed by her shameless, cold-hearted, conscienceless, criminal behavior. Either way, this incident and the one before with the guy in the internet cafe secretly pickpocketing me, made me think that if Russians are this good, this talented, and this efficient at stealing, then maybe it's because it's in their blood, genes, or instincts. Just as it's in a cat's natural inherited instincts (embedded in their genetic programming from evolution) to chase and catch mice efficiently, perhaps stealing, lying, and scamming are in Russian instincts as well. How else could you explain such exquisite efficient skill comparable to a work of art? Perhaps, as the Russian people commit such opportunistic acts over centuries, it gradually became imbedded into their genetic programming over time, or into their collective consciousness, making them "naturals". After all, where I come from people have nowhere the skill, cunning and talent at stealing or scamming the way people I've seen here do! That's for sure.
Jeff even remarked, "Well at least we know she's not American." When I asked, "What do you mean?" he replied, "Well she stole, so she must be Russian!" We had a laugh at that. Exactly my point, I thought.
In addition to all this, Jeff began to realize that perhaps he had been drugged by that girl. After all, he lost his memory, which doesn't usually happen even when he's been heavily drunk, and his head felt chemically messed up in a way that was very unnatural. Somehow, at the club, she must have slipped a drug into his drink, which explains his oblivious behavior after that until now. Still, it was quite unwise for him to be carrying around 600 dollars in cash in his wallet. (For some reason though, she left about a hundred dollars in 20 dollar bills in his wallet. Perhaps she didn't have time to take the rest of it, or she wanted to leave him some (out of sympathy? yeah right)). Traveling wisdom tells you to carry less. I usually carry around 100 to 200 dollars on me at any given time, and withdraw more as I need it. And most of my cash is put in my passport protector belt, not my wallet.
When Jeff went back to sleep and dozed off, I went to Galina and told her all about what happened. Shocked, she said that in the past, some of her guests have brought back girls from discos before, which usually turn out to be prostitute-type girls anyway, and now she's decided to ban that from her hostel from now on, after this incident.
When I mentioned that Jeff felt he was drugged, both she and her husband Sergey told me that they had seen a documentary about this before. They explained that for the past 20 years or so, Russian prostitutes have been using this special drug on men they meet to rob them later. This drug, which was designed to drastically lower one's blood pressure, when mixed with alcohol, cause effects that are quite lethal. One documented effect of this drug is that it somehow stops the brain from recording memory so that the person's memory at the time of intoxication becomes wiped out for a while, perhaps so that the victim can't identify the perpetrator to the police afterward. Another effect is that it causes the person to sleep constantly for long periods of time (which explains why Jeff still kept dozing off), perhaps so that the thief will have more time to rob their victim.
Galina explained that some Russian prostitutes or professional thieves regularly use this drug to rob men for a living, moving from place to place so that they are always a new face somewhere. They tend to target either foreigners, or rich Russian men. This explanation fit our case, since Jeff exhibited the symptoms that this drug is supposed to induce, especially with his lost memory.
I felt shock and guilty that I had led him to Papa John's last night. We should have just stayed in, like my body wanted to. But we also should have left the club when I suggested we do so as well.
Galina also added that when Alena went to the kitchen to make small talk with them, she presented herself as a stupid, naive, but simple person. Thinking about it, I realized that she must have done too as a sort of misdirection to quiet down any potential suspicion they might have for her, so that they feel comfortable enough to relax and not pay attention to her.
Shortly after ,
I got my stuff together and prepared to leave. Galina and Sergey bid me
goodbye and goodluck, for they knew I would be leaving
Later that afternoon, when I went to
Sheesh, I thought. I didn't know this was such a common phenomenon! I guess I will be trusting these Russian women, especially ones you meet in bars and nightclubs, even a lot less now. That pretty much does it for me. You really can't trust anyone around here! Now I couldn't wait to get out of here even more!
I guess I could say the MORAL OF THIS IS:
WHEN IN THE BARS AND NIGHTCLUBS OF
Addendum: On my first day back in
Warning about Aeroflot Airlines
to let you know, a friend of mine from
I mean, it's well known that Russian postal workers open and steal packages from Western countries, but AIRLINE EMPLOYEES?! You'd think that they make enough not to steal, but I guess not. Anyway, I don't know how widespread this problem is among Aeroflot, but I just thought I'd warn you all about it.
Speaking of stealing, I'm actually in a new hostel here in Vilnius, trying it out, and just a while ago in this lounge I'm in, a French traveler told me that a lot of Russian students he knew in Poland (who aren't afraid to say bad things about their country while abroad) explained to him all about Russian mentality and stealing. He said that when Russians steal, they don't consider it stealing, because "taking" is part of the culture. And that is why "stealing" is so widespread in Russia, because taking is part of the culture and mentality. Even though they understand property rights intellectually, they have no inherent respect for them. Hence they have no guilt or conscience when they steal. That all fits into what I've been saying all along.
To all my critics out there, the more people I meet, the more my conclusions about Russian behavior are confirmed. People with real life experience seem to confirm and validate what I've been saying on here, while armchair quarterbacks on the internet seem to be the only ones who disagree.
6. Correction about the aeroflot theft story - Also, in regard to my earlier post about the New York friend who had his luggage robbed when he flew Aeroflot Airlines, I have a correction to make on it. Here is his summary of it from his own words.
looks like you already used it in your journal and my comment is that the
robbery occurred in the
2 thoughts/experiences on Russian opportunistic behavior
Here is a real life experience from a list member demonstrating Russian opportunistic instinctual mentality, and below that a theory from another list member explaining the evolution of such dominant widespread behavior among Russians.
I've heard about the Aeroflot thefts before. Last year they caught a
group of people serving in the baggage department
who would break open luggage and steal valuables like perfumes and
cameras etc. Eventually they would say it got broke due to overweight
or mishandling and the contents somehow got lost etc. It got much
now though. I've flown via
through some kind of a scam where the officials tried to scam me.
1st time I was carrying some a JVC tv and music system as a present.
They were not supposed to checkout the luggage but only transfer it to
another plane without my physical involvement.
But even after looking at my transit ticket the officials transferred me
to exit instead of the transit hall, with my luggage.
At the exit door they started demanded customs duty for the electronic
item that I was forced to carry around. Also I had to
hire two people to carry it around, in and out of the halls up the
stairs etc. I said to them why should pay the duty when I am not going
to their country at all. This was not my port of final destination.
They argued for a while but since I was right and they couldn't bring
up much against, they let me go to the transit with the luggage and
check in later saying somebody made a mistake! It was annoying.
Next time, after an year and a half I was in the transit hall waiting
for 6 hours!
There is a restaurant that serves some food. I ordered some french
fries. They quoted one price from the menu.
I ordered to portions. But when they brought it, it looked like on.
Very small. I kept waiting for the second portion which never came. At
last I went up to the lady and asked where is the second one? She said
I gave you two portions in one plate!
I couldn't believe it! I asked her how much is one portion. What's the
weight? She started going around with words thatshe'lll ask the cook,
the cook is out or something. Finally she admitted that it was one
portion and that she was mistaken because she is tired in the middle of
the day and that the menu is written in a confusing manner. There were
three people in the restaurant sitting with beer and something small to
munch at. Not too much work though, I would say.
The third time again it was this transit hall. I as I entered it from
would give it to me with new stickers on before I board the next
flight. The transit was rather long. 8 good hours.
After I had waited for 7.5 hours, I approached the official myself and
he told me very plainly "do you know that your ticket to this flight is
not confirmed?" What?? I said it can't be true as I bought the round
trip ticket with a fixed date. Absolutely confirmed from the airlines
airlines resell tickets if the passengers don't show up or if there is
overbooking. He told me other airlines also do that. But then added
softly "you know you have a way out, just go in to my senior's room and
'get things settled', he is a nice guy and for a favor will settle your
ticket or get you on board!" I was furious by the time. I was also
traveling with my Russian friend. I went up to her and told the story.
She became furious and went towards this official looking kinda
aggressive! She came up to him and said "so what's wrong with our
tickets??" They said "oh nothing... they are alright." And handed them
right over to her! Lol!
Later she told me since I'm a foreigner, they hoped they can get some
extra cash off me!
travelled through Air
time. But they did it with me!
May be it was my bad luck :D Besides these, the journey and service
I hope you are doing well.
wonder many Russians seem stingy and ill-tempered, they come from a failed
Communist social experiment. Although
people worked very hard and barely got by. To make more money many did
small criminal or anti-social acts. So a doctor might collect extra money
from patients and give them extra care. Or a clerk at an airline ticket
office might steal some tickets and sell them to the local hoodlum for sale on
the black market. In business, no one had to be friendly or helpful since
the customer had no choice. For example, there might be only one plane to
observers are still worried about
Tell me what you think.?
Winston's conclusions about Russian people confirmed everywhere!
To all my critics with a Winston-blaming mentality (such as
Fuller who blames me whether I get screwed over, or even if I screw someone
else over; gee what an objective, unbiased, wise man he is; my British friend
at the hostel said about him in a British accent, "He's quite an obnoxious
fellow, isn't he?"), who thinks that my claims about the majority of
Russian people are untrue and that all my complaints are due to my fault, I
have some real life news for you. Virtually everyone I've met here in
In my hostel in Vilnius, I spent a lot of time talking to
other tourists and backpackers in the common room, telling them what I've
concluded about most Russians' opportunistic taker mentality, neverending
greed, extreme stinginess, hypocritical double-standards toward men and
foreigners, and inhuman lack of conscience, ethics, honesty, and integrity;
giving examples of each as well. In response, most of them told me that they've
heard similar things from other travelers and former residents of
Now, you gotta keep in mind that many of these are so well-traveled that they have something to say or comment about almost every country, and are able to compare/contrast them, so they know their stuff. The fact that they've confirmed what I've said from their many experiences and contact networks, demonstrates how reliable my conclusions are, and how strong the consensus is about them. That's a HUGE POINT against my armchair critics who have a Winston-blaming mentality.
One guy pointed out that all of the countries, with the
exception of maybe
Another American joked that when other countries pay
And of course, most Lithuanians I've met said that they
didn't like Russians, and that most people in their country don't either.
In fact, today when I told a girl that she looked like someone I knew in
Russia, she said, "Oh no. Don't say that. I don't like Russian
people." Her friend said that though she's never been to
On the bus on the way to
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