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To start of, I was at a cafe just yesterday, the place had equal number of gender ratio. But I want to report that young girls from 19 to 23 were making eye contacts with me and did not give me a hibi jibi like the American girls. It was very refreshing. In my former posts I said that I would visit Far East Russia around April, but I went back to home sell all my shit and go expat for good instead. Havent decided where I would settle down yet. Im 41 this this month and it's so nice to simply talk to the opposite gender without felling like I'm some criminal.
This is my day 2 here, I will be in the area of about a month. Not much to report as the weathers been shitty and I haven't done much yet. but I wanted to post some journal I was writing down from my last trip this Jan/Feb. So here it is
The ship finally docked around 1530 in Vladivostok. After talking to one of the ships hand, he told me the ships manifest were around 350. I was told that in Vladivostok the Russians get to disembark first, I was told by a South Korean passenger that they only allow 30 people at a time to disembark because the entry area can only handle that many people at a time and the scanner they use can take up to 5min per person. I now remember reading about this in a online forum.
I waited with a group of other Koreans till the end considering 90% of the passengers were Russians. We decide to go last to help this elder Korean gentleman with pushing baggageâ€™s. And he had a lot for his church.
From the outside the building is huge, but only small segment is allocated to immigration and customs. Once I got off the ship walking down the ramp, I saw baggageâ€™s laid out on the left side of the entrance. People grabbing their bags and 3 Russians guards were checking the tags and receipts. Nice to know they were making sure everyone only claimed what was theirs. Upon entering the building from the freezing ass cold you walk down a small stair and up 2 stairs in a dinky corridor and Walla, you are at the Infamous immigration booth. Think back to the 60's and the 70's. I traveled back into time. Nice! It was cool to travel back in time and see what it was like. So Spartan.
But low and behold I was surprise to see a very very fat late 20 Russian woman with a crack sniffer dog patrolling the baggageâ€™s for them highly chemically induced entertaining illegal goods. It was a very frightful sight. I'll let guess what was more frighten, the dog or the fat lady.
Waited and waited some more at the line then behold, it's my turn. And what a surprise, the custom officer was a women, and a blond. And pretty hot by western stander (but average in Russia). I wanted to take picture of her but I was told I'm not allowed. I looked around the small area and they didn't even have cameras, damn. When in Russia follow Russian law, don't need to be having a nasty chat with Russian police because I wanted a picture of smokinhotkova. Well regardless I didnâ€™t mind the wait at this point.
After my entry stamp on my passport I put my back pack and luggage through a prehistoric x-ray machine so 3 men can stare in the screen. No idea what all three were looking for. Maybe they were making up for the age of the x-ray machine.
The whole process was very simple; it was just scanner time that was taking up so much of the time. 3-5 min per person with only 6 immigration booths and 350 bodies to move out.
Think God I had 7 hours to catch my train, because I had burned over 4 hours waiting for the passport control. But to my surprise the train station was right next the port entry. I simply walked up on the overhead walking bridge and took me all 4 min to get to the train station.
Didn't speak a word of Russian but I was able to purchase dinner at the station. It was kind of exciting and fun. Using hand gestures and calculators for the number. Ended up getting some pasta with sausages and carbonated water.
While at the Vladivostok train station, I meet a Russian girl who just happened to be working in Jeju island, South Korea as a tour guide, and she spoke decent English. Funny she was on the same cruise boat I was in, but I never saw her on it. Either way we talked to pass the time, and she said she was from a small town north of Vladivostok and going home for vacation. Two thing that stood from our conversation was that she "finds Russia scary and she's Russian" and all the young men in her town are drunks. I'm sure not all are drunk, just shit load of them are.
Regardless, she thought I was crazy for coming to Russia with no knowledge of the language and no friends in Russia to guide me. But during our friendly chat, she realized I was an adrelerane junky.
That night my cabin mate was man in uniform. I have no idea what uniform it was, but he was very polite. But man he snored like a storm and he had sleep apnea, and would wake up gasping for air when he stopped snoring. He left in the middle of the night in another stop.
Today, woman with her daughter came in when I was at the dinner cart getting breakfast, and on the same stop an older lady(grandmother) came in with tons of baggageâ€™s. I could tell from body language the older lady was asking the other woman who was siting where, when she realized she had the upper bunk I saw the distraught look in her eyes. With using hand gestures and lots of pointing, we were able to communicate and I would get the upper bunk. I just couldn't imagine a elderly lady trying to climb on to the top bunk on a moving train that constantly rocking back and forth.
Before I forget, the coffee on the train was epic. So much coffee grinds at the bottom of the cup. Brought memories in the army of them muddy water coffee to keep your ass awake during them long ass missions that last for days and weeks.
So far I have found anyone I try to talk to be very polite and friendly in most part, and some even helpful. And some time I get lucky and find someone who can speak English. Like the teenage girl next cabin over. She was able to give me direction, like why the restroom was locked when my bladder was screaming bloody murder. Apparently,( obviously not to me) the bathroom gets locked up within city zone and they reopen it again usually 30min after leaving the city zone. A lot different from riding Amtrak.
Right now, my only regret is not spending at least a day in Vladivostok. When I pre-purchased my train ticket I didn't think too much of the city as I understood that historically its primary purpose was military in nature. I was able to take a few pictures on the cruise of the Russian pacific fleet, but nothing more.
Yesterday I found out the train does not take dollar, and I burned up what little rubble i had on my prior meal. On several forums I read, it said they did. Well the damn forum was wrong, not all Siberian train takes dollar. If it wasn't for the nice lady with her daughter who shared some tea and bread this morning, I'd be eating more beef jerky. Thank God I at least was smart enough to bring snacks or I'd be starving as I'm left with 80 rubble since yesterday.
Your wonder 'why the hell didn't I change some of my dollars to rubble', well I did, but I had it in 5000 rubble bills and this old Korean dude told me its hard to spend, that's like half of months pay in single note. Not to many place that can take the bill. So he was doing me a favor by trading it back to US bill, which only left me with few hundred rubbles. Only problem was when I finally got through customs/immigration at the port it was already past 7pm. But I was confident the forum was right and I could use dollar to pay for my meals. And that nice dude who changed currency with me was wrong too.
So I'm stuck with beef jerky, hot water, and 3 apple juice for the next 4 and a half day. I was pretty pissed and panicky, that's why no entry from yesterday. Not like I had anything I needed to write about except being hungry. Errr wait I was very busy being totally pissed and panicky and thinking to myself that some prediction do come true. Yup, I even told my friend and family in jokingly I'm gonna lose some weight because I don't know Russian food so I wouldnâ€™t know what to eat. Well shit, this is worst. I got more dollars in my pocket then most Russian make in a half a year and Iâ€™m starving because my money is no good.
There is a lesson to this I'm sure of it. You can have all the money in the world, but you can't convert them to food if they have no value... Something like that.
Well I'm done writing for today. Going back to fasting.
I should have made these entries last night, but I was to pissed off and feeling a bit sorry for myself... So I'll make them now.
During my fasting and generally upset at my set back, a light bulb went up on my head. That's right, starvation is very good for the brain. Few times a day the train stops for 25 or 30 min. There was a schedule on the hall way, and if youâ€™re wondering why I didn't see for the last 2 days. Well, I was busy enjoying the scenery and starving and I donâ€™t read Russian. Any ways, local time it was 1511 and I has about 2 hours for that 30 min stop the train makes.
Fast forward, at the stop, just as the train was slowing down I got into my cold weather gear in a speed of light. I burst out of the train and start looking for any major door that had lots of traffic which would indicate an ATM presence. Well I must say I was very encouraged as I saw rolls of kiosk selling food my belly craved for. After the encouraging sight and not wanting to attract undue attention I got my coolness under control and slowly enjoyed the walk and enter the building. And Walla ATM. I heard the Angles sing. But wait as I got closer I saw a paper stuck to it with something written on the ATM. Yup, you guessed it right. As I got closes enough to read the screen...in Englishâ€ out of order". You know, just then, I had to wonder just how many foreigners actually come use this machine for it to say "out of order". I felt like such looser, faith just gave me a big ass middle finger.
Prior to this I had used my iPad and hand gestures to communicate with the cabin attendance about possible ATM on this stop and she know I didn't have enough rubble. Her and my cabin mate were standing by the train getting some fresh air, as approached I could only shake my head with mission failure.
Not ten seconds later, there was a little group meeting on how to get me rubbles. This was stupid on my part I know. But I really had to laugh about it. Hell even the Russians were laughing because here is a dumb foreigner with cash to burn, but in the wrong currency and starving.
Needless to say, the next 25 min stop was in 7 hours, almost 1am local time. Yes I waited and mission failure again. I won't get into detail as its to irritating to write about. I simply thought screw it and went to sleep. And hoped I get lucky on the next stop in 9 hours.
Local time around 1000, I hit the mother load. They had 6 ATM . Why the hell you need so many ATM in one location? Wish the Russians had put more than one in the broken ass ATM station.
Short story, I went ramen shopping at their kiosk and went to the food cart. Got picture of the soup but forgot to take the picture of the pork and veggies. Hey, I was hungry; you can't expect me to think straight on empty stomach. The Small bowl of soup with three sliced cube of salmon cost $10 and the pork and veggie about $11, I also got cup of tea for the total of $25. It was worth every bit I paid. I need to starve myself more often. Food tastes 10000% better when starving. Yummy!
During my lunch we finally hit Lake Baikal. I tried to take some good picture, but most did not come out so well, so much white snow and ice, the cameras had difficulty in auto focus, every shot come out blurry.
My thought so far about Siberia; it's a very majestic place with its special magic. I believe it's an unforgiving place for does that are unprepared.
The sun is slowly rising and I'm only few hours away from my first official stop. I wonder what I will find out here.
*End of this report. If you want to know more, you can check my past entries. Or better yet, make the trip yourself brothers.*
Trans-Siberia train ride rule and visiting Russia. Some insights during my down time while traveling.
#1 when in railroad toilet, hold on to anything with at least one hand. There should be at least one hand rail to do so. Or face falling on your ass and pissing all over yourself. Lucky for me, my youthful dexterity saved my ass.
#2 when taking a dump on the train, use both hands to hold onto something. Remember, this is Siberia. I understand they made upgrades, but the upgrades they made were based on old infrastructures before some of your grandmothers were born. At some parts of the journey, it's a wild ride. Aim straight and concentrate.
Love this Trans-Siberian Rail ride(This ride gave me some time I badly needed to detox from back home). It's the wild wild west, but on the Northern Asia this time. It's soooo cool. West is to sanitized and no risk for fear of lawsuit, yet plenty of people still get(s killed from human violence.
#3 when stoping at any cities, use some common sense and little bit of streetwise. Don't stay out at night alone unless you have a guide. Don't travel in dark areas. You see a bunch of male teenagers walking in packs(try to measure up the group), cross the street and quickly get the hell out of sight Understand that Russia is going through growing pain like most developed nations had to. Or be prepared to get your ass whooped.
#4 Take some goodies, like something sweet and foreign to Russia to share during the long ass ride. It's a great ice breaker and great way to make friends even if you can't speak Russian.
#5 don't rely on iPad wi-fi based translator unless youâ€™re willing to pay for the iPhone data plane international. Bring a translator dictionary.
I should have made this update while back, but I have been contemplating leaving the site as I believe it's not going in the positive direction. I had thought this site was made to help young men gain freedom from the Feminutzy Government. But lately it has not been very informitive nor inspiring. To much drama, when we are suppose to be grown ass men.
Good Luck to you all. Hope you all find your freedom and live your life as a man should.
My Last Entry.
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Wow, awesome trip report. Have you seen many of those Russian girls who look Asian but speak Russian? They're awesome. Often they come from Kazakhstan. This country is getting rich and now the oil rich execs are sending their daughters to study in the UK.
I flew over Vladivostok on the way to Japan. ^_^ there's nothing there. Nothing at all!
Are Russian train toilets the same as Chinese train toilets (i.e. a hole in the floor)? China now has better toilets in the HexiHao bullet trains but in Japan the Shinkansen had a urinal for men (and maybe ladies of the type you see in certain movies).
Oh, and sorry for the stupid shit in this post lol.
They are not Russian, they are Kazakhs. They do speak Russian as their main language just like in Latin America people speak Spanish or in Hawaii people speak English. Russian is a colonial language spoken by at least 300,000 people half of whom are not Russian.
These are not Englishwomen ( they speaks English among themselves)
These are not Russians.
Kazakhs are Muslim, Mongolian- stock people. Not Russian by any stretch of imagination.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Ladislav: there is no Asian presence in Vladivostok. I saw only 5 asian face during my week here. That is if you dont count the North Korean Restuarant I went to outside of the center. But I hear Nakhodka and Ussuriysk has many asian there. About 2 hours East and North of Vladivostok respectively. I plan to stop by for few days in Ussuriysk on the way up to Khabarovsk. I'll report my finding then.
Xiongmao: I only meet few, but I did see many on the Ferry from Dong Hae South Korea to Vladivostok, but that was only on the cruiser. Also, the Russian train toilet is a toilet, but no seats. instead it has a place to set your foot while your ass hang over the toilet. but the newer trains do have proper toilet seats, and they dont lock them when in city zone.
Jacare: the train ride from vladivostok is 9 days none stop, but I took my time to visit 5 different cities in 26 days.
Also, Russia is a mans world. I didnt notice this on my last trip as I had a guide who got me into any clubs and bars i wanted to go. But I dont have any guide this time around. The men get to go in to clubs in casual cloths as long as you don't have T-shirt or something tasteless. If your a foriegn tourist man, you get to go in with less then required of Russians. Their logic is you got money and your there to spend. LoL. The girls have to get past the Face Controller (it doesn't translate in to English). Girls have to be in dress code, and be good enough in looks. if you go earlier the code is more relaxed, but around 10pm it's a different story.
Met 2 UK girls, Not that attractive compare to Russian girls. they had some pouch, they were only 20 years old. anyways they both got turn away so me and this french dude left the club( we had been there for about 3 hours so we didn't mind) to keep them company. I don't hang around western women.... But you know, after being treated like second class citizen in the west, it was very entertaining listening to their difficulties. It somehow braught a smile to my face.
I love Russia. The tables are flipped the other way here. But this doesn't mean all Russian men are assholes. I've seen plunty of good Russian man taking care of business.. ie.. their family.
My OP was ment to be my last entry on HA forum. But to respect those men who are searching and working hard to Expat, I will continue to make entry of my finding in Far East Russia and any question until this trip in Vladivostok to Khabarovsk is over. Then I'm done with HA as I believe it is not going in the positive direction. I'm gonna focus on my own life living Happier Expating.
Those Kazakhs don't look like the ones over here in the UK. I'm assuming only the ones with rich daddies come here. Whatever, they're very hot.
Yeah, China is also a man's world. In fact Japan also seemed to be a man's world, although women did have freedoms to go shopping and travelling while the salarymen were in the office until 10pm.
As to China, my friend had an import/export business and went to visit some of his suppliers in Shenzhen. There they showed him how much of a man's world China is.
Thank you for the report. But however, you were so novice on the rubbles thing. I think you got scammed by the Korean dude when you flipped back into USD, but I'm digressing. LOL
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Come on now E, give me some credit here. It's only multiplication and division. It's not like rocket science, on currency exchange.
Also to note, their has been much investment in to the Far East Russia lately. They are building a new university here in Vladivostok on russkie island. It's the place of the next APEC meeting this September. Lots of building up of infrastructure. The new university is damn city. Supposed to house 55k student body. Some thing of that number. Translation wasn't very clear to me. Either way I took some pics, but got water in my camera and it died few days ago.
Hey come on now CheezeRaider. We are your brothers here. We need to support each other. You are stronger with a network of like-minded people than you are alone. If you don't like some of the topics here or think they are not positive, then just avoid them. That's the rational thing to do. But don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.
HA is not positive or negative. It is a mixed bag of truthful experiences, insight, and venting. It is all those things. Don't lump it all as positive or negative. It's not that black and white.
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
Internet connection in Khabarovsk sucked ass.
I must resend my earlier report about not seeing Asians in Vladivostok. On the morning of my departure from Vladivostok, The young taxi driver, about 23 years in age was a 3rd gen Korean. Jin was his family name. This guy looks sure as hell like Russian to me. Hell, he didn't look single bit like Korean at all, but he said his grandfather was Korea. So, during my trip to Khabarovsk I kept my eye open with different perspective. But I didnâ€™t have to do that in Khabarovsk. Asians are very visible, but I saw lots of them there. And lot more mixed type.
Also to note, I saw many Asians in Ussuriysk, only 2 1/2 hours north of Vladivostok.
It's a very beautiful city unlike other Russian cities I have been. The City is very expensive, I personally think as much as Moscow. In recent years, many Native English speakers have taken up teaching spots in Khabarovsk. This time of the year is very hot. I was in shorts and very thin button shirt and the sun was kicking my ass. Many almost naked Russian girls in Amur River bank/beach getting some rays.
I can say with my life on the line that there is no racism in Far East Russia. It's really a nationalist thing. But even that is something very distant. Unless, if you have a Chinese passport. There is a provision in Far East Russia that all Chinese passport holders are not able to open up and start business here. It's to prevent massive flood from Chinese into this part of the Russia. Russian will never give up this territory whatever other thinks. The 3rd gen Korean even told me he loves Russia and never plans to leave. Even as I told him he could get into South Korean and get a second passport there to work, live, and own property and business because he can trace his blood line to his Korean grandfather.
The feeling I get so far is that multi ethnic is different in Russia, unlike USA. Even if they are different ethnic group in Russia, many generations have passed since their assimilations and even the Russian accepts them as Russians. I think the only exception may be for blacks, just because they are so rare in Russia and not very visible. So the Russian just haven't gotten used to their presences yet. Something only time can fix.
I was talking to several 21 years old university girls and conversation come up. They think I should get married to Russian girl. Ha-ha. They said I would do very well even if I'm 41 years old. They said Russian girls think very highly of American Men. I did ask them why in the world they would think that... I'm not gonna write it here because My fellow Americans will end up getting a very fat head and start to think too highly of themself. If you want to know, make that trip and ask them yourself.
I've also did some preliminary research on social economics and I'll share a few with you. The middle class here start at around $3000 take home income, and you are considered rich if you take home $10,000 a month generally speaking. Cars cost 2x then in the USA, food cost the same or up to 20% more. One of the reason you donâ€™t see to many fat Russian, the portions of servings are always small. Most men make about $800 to $1000 a month, but you need about $1000 per family member to live as middle income. So if a Russian girl want to have a family with wife, husband, and at least 1 child; will need about $3000, but many survive on about 45.000 Roubles (about $1300 to $1500) per month. Key word, "survive". But for those who own their own flats, do much better as their housing expense isn't part of their monthly budget.
I was talking to a Russian civil engineer, he told me when he was working for Shell gas, and they paid him $3000 per month. But the American that worked with him got paid $30.000 a month. He also told me if the foreign companies tried to pay them more, the Russian elites (Rich) will give them shit. These New Russians really are assholes.
Bottom line is... You do not want to live in Russia with local income. Life would really suck ass if you did. I know good numbers of forum members arenâ€™t doing so well financially. You should at least take home about $2000 per month and most Russian girls donâ€™t mind working to help out the family so she can make up some of the monthly finance requirement. Finding a girl willing to cook at home is where you save a lot of money. I sometimes pay $40 to $50 per meal and sometimes $10. I have no idea what I'll pay when I walk into a Russian Restaurants. Unless it's an obvious fast food chain. I'm sure some of you are thinking I'm an idiot for paying so much. But for me I donâ€™t really care as I'm looking for Russian experience, and I take home around $4000 after I pay out to Uncle Sam. And please understand that I'm not bragging either. I'm just using this opportunity to experiment and learn. In return, sharing what I learn with you all.
Another thing I'm beginning to understand is that if these girls believe in you as a man, your current financial situation means nothing to them. Especially if they are in love with you, they'll follow you to hell. Even for me it's very hard for me to believe after growing up in the West. But that's what I am seeing as I learn more about the women of this culture.
But, you still need to be careful as I believe about less than 15% of the women in Russia damaged goods. They might have had good intention to find a good man, but went from one bad rich boy to another and are very jaded. So they are very calculative. I am going to take a guess and say that's probably what Winston mostly met during his trip here. He probably come off as a Rich American, if you think of the years when he made those trips into Russia, Russia was in a very bad economic shit hole. Think about that. But I think he did let slip a few good ones.
Winston: you allow your forum member to insult, call names and use shaming languages. Thatâ€™s what Feminutzies children do. Nothing good comes out of that except for division and conflict. Remember the oldest strategey in the text book "divide and conquer". Many of the new posters come here to look for answers and I'm betting after following some of the more hostile threads, they are either scared off or turned off. I believed this forum was to explore, gain knowledge, find the truth, and share. But itâ€™s not possible when a good topic turns in to a flame wars. If they were opinionated statements, it would be fine. When language deteriates, that's sign when the intelligence, wisdom, and knowledge no longer applies. It's your forum, but it seems you did finally do something about it as enough of your member started to give you heat over it.
Last edited by CheezeRaider on June 20th, 2012, 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.