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Just got back from Russia

Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.

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Re: Just got back from Russia

Postby momopi » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:47 am

ladislav wrote:Thanks, again, Momopi. But please tell me, how can one make a liveable income with these clubs and how much money one needs for that. Please give a feasible scenario.


I'd need more information from you about your financial status and goals. If you're interested in RE investments and need to secure a mortgage, I'd suggest asking a friend who has a company, or set up a company yourself (under your mother?) and pay yourself minimum wage as an employee. Under current conditions it's extremely difficult to secure a bank loan without a full time job here.
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Re: Just got back from Russia

Postby ladislav » Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:36 pm

momopi wrote:
ladislav wrote:Thanks, again, Momopi. But please tell me, how can one make a liveable income with these clubs and how much money one needs for that. Please give a feasible scenario.


I'd need more information from you about your financial status and goals. If you're interested in RE investments and need to secure a mortgage, I'd suggest asking a friend who has a company, or set up a company yourself (under your mother?) and pay yourself minimum wage as an employee. Under current conditions it's extremely difficult to secure a bank loan without a full time job here.


Say I want to make $1500 a month with these loan clubs. What would I need to do? How much would I need to invest? Please give me a ball park figure.

About RE loans now. Set up a company in the US? With me being in the ME and my mother being 75 y.o and barely able to walk, speak English and not being able to drive and located 8000 miles away from me, hmmmmmmmmmmm. And I would have to pay myself a salary for how long before I qualify for a loan? Another hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
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Re: Just got back from Russia

Postby momopi » Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:05 am

ladislav wrote:Say I want to make $1500 a month with these loan clubs. What would I need to do? How much would I need to invest? Please give me a ball park figure.

About RE loans now. Set up a company in the US? With me being in the ME and my mother being 75 y.o and barely able to walk, speak English and not being able to drive and located 8000 miles away from me, hmmmmmmmmmmm. And I would have to pay myself a salary for how long before I qualify for a loan? Another hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.


On Prosper.com, if you're willing to accept the medium risk category, their average rate of returns is 10% (11%-1% fees). The loans are unsecured and there are risks. On the up side, they have an automated investment-bid system, and you can bid anywhere from $25 to $25,000:
http://www.prosper.com/invest/

Since the barrier of entry is quite low, anyone with some extra cash can play. But if you're looking to make some real money, that's probably not the place.

Assuming that you need to secure a mortgage for property investment, US bank lenders will usually not lend to you without a full time job in the US. That is, if you have a "contract" job that pays $10,000/month and is willing to put 50% downpayment, they still won't give you a loan. But if you get a job at Taco Bell, they'll give you the loan after the first paycheck.

Some local banks have looser lending rules, and a few still does low-doc loans (stated income) with higher interest rate. Once you buy the investment property, you need to wait 6 months before you can refinance now. You could also look into private lending, or self-directed IRA (if you have 401k or IRA to rollover).

It's not difficult to make $1500/month pre-tax with rental income, but unless if you have the cash to buy it outright, you're stuck with the funding issues. I'm actually working on self-directed IRA stuff right now and will say that it's not for the feint of heart. If you want to dabble in that, you need a good RE agent, accountant/CPA, and lawyer/estate planner who knows how to handle self-directed IRA's. Check IRS document 5305 for some general information on this.

The US RE market is hosed and will prolly not recover for couple of years. You still have time. You can wait until you come back from ME to find some way to get proof of income from full time job in US. If you're impatient, I think it might be possible to hire someone to register a compay for you in Neveda and pay yourself a salary, I've never done this so you'll have to call those NV LLC servies and talk to them about the cost and legality.

Avoid commercial property and mobile homes. Rumor has it that RE investment in South Atlanta area is good right now.
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Postby Mr S » Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:21 am

Earlier in the year when I first met Ladislav in person, I was in between work and still jumping through hoops to secure the present well-paying job I have now. He treated me to drinks and food at some bars and I appreciate it. I think he understands when a person has sufficient funds to cover his own expenses and when he doesn't. Now I make enough to cover for myself but at that time period I had to pinch my pesos so to speak.

Everyone has different opinions on how to spend money. Unless you have legal custody over their life such as with a minor/elderly relative or spouse, we really can't give lectures to adults. They are responsible for their own fate whether it jives with our opinions about financial matters or not.

Worry about what you do and not others and you should get on fine in the world. Our society tends to focus on others actions more so than our own and this is what is causing us to slowly lose our personal freedoms. Living overseas, people generally don't give a shit about me and I'm almost entirely on my own, and that's the way I like it! 8)
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Postby momopi » Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:11 pm

p.s. a good law firm in Los Angeles is Reish & Reicher:
http://www.reish.com/

They specialize in stuff like real estate, tax/financial/estate planning, and financial services. If you want to invest in RE, you might want to consult a professional on ways to own the property and liabilities. If you're just buying something small, renter's insurance + liability insurance may be sufficient -- never know if someone might walk on your rental property, get bit by a dog and sue you.

But if you're getting into something a lot bigger, then you might not want all your investments to show up on a title search.
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Postby Jackal » Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:41 pm

ladislav wrote:The girls I helped ( except a girlfriend and she was one for 8 years) did not suck me. I did not screw them. Most were virgins. And I have been contributing to a Buddhist temple. In Japan. Also I went on a pilgrimage to India in 2007 and helped a local school.


My apologies, Ladislav. Given the nature of this forum, I had to ask. You are indeed impeccable!

Just out of curiosity, is the Japanese temple you give money to Zen, Tendai, Shingon, or some other sect?
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Postby Jackal » Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:56 pm

ladislav wrote:
Might I add that spiritual people say that if you help or donate to charity, that you should do it and not tell anyone. Cause if you tell others, you decrease the good karma you would attain from it. You get the best karma when you do good deeds in secret without letting everyone know about it.


I think if you do so in a bragging fashion to show the world how great you are, then definitely you will reduce the good karma. If you show it to others as an example of what to do and where/how, and that encourages others to do the same, then, your good karma should increase. Mother Theresa did not keep her work a secret and she inspired milions around the world to help the poor. Is she going to have her karma reduced when she made reports of her charitable works to various organizations around the world?

Also, when you are unfairly being accused of being selfish and that you never do anything for others and you say- "I beg to differ" and make a full report of the things you have done for others, heavenly gods will most probably understand your intentions and not cut your good karma indiscriminately.

And even if they do, what is the problem? Virtue is its own reward!


Well, I'm still learning about all this stuff, but yes, Ladislav, I think you have it right. All words are empty of meaning in the absolute sense. These sounds and symbols only have meaning because we associate them with actions and things.

Karma generally depends on one's intention. If you run over a squirrel on purpose and enjoy it afterwards, that's much worse than running over a squirrel by accident and feeling terrible about it afterwards. Like the saying goes, "You can fool other people, but you can't fool yourself." Karma exists because of one's own mind. There is no external deity judging you in Buddhism. All the Buddhist deities are symbols of the enlightened nature mind.

I agree that all this stuff is Ladislav's business, and that everyone needs to have fun and unwind periodically.
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Postby ladislav » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:43 am

Jackal wrote:
ladislav wrote:The girls I helped ( except a girlfriend and she was one for 8 years) did not suck me. I did not screw them. Most were virgins. And I have been contributing to a Buddhist temple. In Japan. Also I went on a pilgrimage to India in 2007 and helped a local school.


My apologies, Ladislav. Given the nature of this forum, I had to ask. You are indeed impeccable!

Just out of curiosity, is the Japanese temple you give money to Zen, Tendai, Shingon, or some other sect?


No problem. Please PM me for the name of the sect and location of the temple. Making one' religious affiliations public is never a good idea. Learned it the hard way. Was not hired once for a job, had people use it against me, etc.

Thank you guys for clarifying things for Winston. We all choose how we spend our money. And how we live our lives. Advice is always appreciated as well as "clarifications".

Also, another thing to add here: there is no such thing as "sugar-daddyiing" lesbians. An impossibility. And whoever the people are, we, as guests in their country should not be snobbish towards the natives under any circumstances. Except when they try to deceive us, but even then, we can do without snobbery. Especially towards people we do not know, while in their land.

And if anyone has no money and is going through hard times when in AC and I am in town, I will treat that person. All they have to do is ask.
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Postby Winston » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:37 pm

Hi Ladislav,
I'm not sure if you know this or not, but there is a universal unspoken rule that when friends go out to eat or drink, usually the one with more money and assets treats the one with less, not always but at least occasionally. This is especially true if one person has a hundred times more money than the other. If the friends have about the same income, then they take turns treating each other or go Dutch. It's just one of those "unspoken" things that most people follow. Since you are well traveled and have good social skills and people skills, I would be surprised if you didn't know about this.

It's one of those things, like when you are a great tennis player playing against a beginning one, you do not give them your hardest serve, but go light and try to keep a rally in play so the other person can get better. Or when playing mixed doubles, when the man serves to the woman partner on the other side, he serves it softer than to the male opponent.

I definitely treat my friends who are poorer than me as well, especially if I've known them a long time and have a good connection with them.

It would be rude and kind of low for me to ask someone to pay for my meals or drinks, so of course I would never ask for anyone to pay for me. But it's not something you usually have to ask. Richer or older people usually OFFER to treat their friends who are poorer or younger than them. They don't wait to be asked. That's how it usually goes, in both Western and Eastern countries.

Imagine this scenario though, and you'll get an idea of why it feels awkward.

Suppose Bill Gates was a good friends of yours for several years. And suppose you were on a tight budget with no "extra money". And each time you go out with him for dinner or drinks, you'd see him be super generous to everyone, throwing around thousand dollar bills to other people, some he barely knew, like it was nothing. But he never even offers to buy you a 5 dollar lunch or treat you to a drink. Now, wouldn't that be kind of awkward or bizarre? Of course he has the right to do whatever he wants with his money. But the point is, in that situation, it would just be awkward that a man who has so much cash to spare doesn't even offer to treat a friend tight on money to a meal or drink, but instead makes him pay his own way, especially if he invited him out.

Put yourself in that place. Do you see what I mean about it looking awkward?

Of course you would not ask your rich friend "How come you are generous to everyone else but not to me?" for that would be an awkward and immature question to ask. Instead, you would just sit there and think it to be strange.

I'm not saying you are Bill Gates, but you do have at least 10 times the wealth and assets that I do, if not more. Not even my rich Taiwanese relatives would drop 24,000 dollars like that on a vacation. No way. And like I said, usually the older and wealthier friend treats the younger poorer one, at least occasionally.

Now I don't know where you got the idea that I was well off. Not at all. I've made it very clear many times on this forum that I'm on a tight budget. A lot of my money is borrowed or comes from assistance. My expenses still exceed my income. So technically I do not have "extra cash" and so everything I spend is done so with a feeling of guilt.

Yeah my parents are financially independent, but I don't like to see their money as mine. If I use their money, I see it as being "out on a limb". Technically, since my expenses exceed my actual earned income, I don't have spare cash in my mind, even though I always find a way to make ends meet.

In person you saw that I was counting my money carefully and being very frugal in transportation costs. By such actions, you should have easily concluded that I was on a tight budget. I don't understand why you didn't see the obvious from my actions. After all, actions speak louder than words.

Plus, when we were barhopping a few times, I told you that I could not keep hopping around to a different bar every few minutes like you and wasting money on drinks with no result, just for the hell of it. That should have told you that spending 80p every 10 minutes throughout the night was too expensive and wasteful for me, which was what I was trying to tell you. How could you not see that I was on a budget from such a statement? Usually you have good people skills and good communication skills, so I don't understand how you could not get that I was too poor to go around with you. Or maybe you did get it, but you just didn't care? If so, then you are just different from my other friends.

Most of my friends in that situation would have said, "Don't worry I'll buy you a few drinks then" but you never once offered, even though the multiple drinks were nothing to your pockets at all. Instead you just shrugged and said "Oh well". It's like your generosity toward males is zero, while your generosity toward females is a million percent. Most people do treat their friends when they have extra cash, so I don't know why you were very religious about not doing so. I've gone out with many friends and all the ones that have spare cash usually treat. I never ask, they just offer.

Another key thing: I still don't get why you also religiously felt that any spare credit we had left over from the restaurant and karaoke we went to should be spent on the girls you were splurging for, and not for me. It was like you were religious in believing that only girls should be treated and not guys, even if they are your long time friends. How else can you explain why you immediately wanted to use our spare credit left over for the girls and not for me? It's not just that the portion of the credit belonged to my half, it's the way you immediately and automatically on impulse felt that the girls deserved the spare credit as if they were important and not me. The way you instantaneously reacted there showed that deep down, you obsessively LOVE treating girls and obsessively hate treating guys. Is that accurate?

Sometimes little actions reveal one's true nature, and from that, I saw a religious obsessive inclination in you to place girls far over guys so much that you forget your friends and forget to be considerate to them. After all, there was no logical reason to automatically want to use the spare credits for them instead of me. So the only logical explanation is that deep down, you BELIEVE that your generosity and mine, should only be toward girls and not male friends. And I kind of see that as devaluation of your friends. Don't you?

I mean, I would never have done that, so I can't understand why you do it. Like I said again, we treat our friends differently. We all assume that others are like us, and so are often wrong in that assumption, because other people do not always think like us.
Last edited by Winston on Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Winston » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:58 pm

Ladislav,
One final example. When we visited your friend, the rich Japanese woman, who had a nice fancy house in the suburbs around Manila that in the US would be considered "upper middle class", and a brand new minivan and personal driver as well, later on when she took us out to one of her restaurants that she owned and wanted to treat us, suddenly you refused and told me that she was too poor to treat us and that we should pay for our meals instead of letting her treat us! Of course, you spoke for me too, against my will. Even Dianne told me afterward that that was verrrrrrryyyyyyyy odd and made no sense and was very puzzling as well. Not only that, but technically it was 100 percent ILLOGICAL as well! How can you think that a woman with a fancy home, fancy minivan and personal driver, who owns fancy restaurants, is too poor to treat us and decline her offer to treat us?!?!?! WHAT?!?!?! (scratching my head) And I'm not too poor to pay too?

Bottom line: She was NOT poor, but in fact had more money probably than both of us combined. So I don't see any basis for your action and decision other than to conclude that you are a total knight to women and unfair to men.

Either your logic and reasoning there were very poor, or the reality is that nothing you do is based on logic, but on pure emotion and belief, which in this case is your belief that men should always pay even if they are far poorer than the woman, who is far richer and offered to treat.

Plus I obviously have NOWHERE near the assets that she has, so why didn't you then also think that I'm "too poor" as well?

Basically, it's like you were saying that a rich woman is too poor to treat, but a poor guy like me with no assets is NOT too poor to treat! WTF? Don't you see that that's bizarro world? It's totally upside down, and 100 percent the reverse of what was true.

But again, your decisions are rarely based on logic, but on tradition and emotion. Isn't that right? (That's why against a solid chess player like me, you'd probably lose all your pieces quickly, and your opponent would win with no losses. lol)

Anyhow, I know that later on, when I complained about it, you reimbursed me for that. But the main point is that your action in doing this showed that you DO in fact have a strong religious belief that men should splurge and be generous to women, no matter what, even if the guy is poor while the woman is wealthy. In other words, all the generosity in your bone is for women only. And you expected me to be the same way, in error of course. What this means is that you do not treat men and women fairly, even if they are your friends.

I cannot find any other logical explanation for the two examples above (the remaining credit one and the rich Japanese woman one) other than that there is a gross IMBALANCE between the way you treat men and women. You treat women MUCH MUCH better than men, even if they are your male friends, to the point where you will forget to be considerate, fair or generous to your own friends, simply because they are male.

That's the logical conclusion that follows from such examples. Is it correct, based on the examples and your actions?

I'm not saying I'm still hung up over that incident, which happened a long time ago. I'm just saying that regardless of how long ago it was, it still constitutes important data that reveals the gross balance inside you between the way you treat men and women, does it not? I mean yeah it's good to be nice to women, but at times you seem to carry it too far.

I am merely trying to make coherent conclusions based on your actions. However, if I am wrong or mistaken or misunderstood your actions, you are free to clarify them of course.
Last edited by Winston on Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Winston » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:20 pm

ladislav wrote:And if anyone has no money and is going through hard times when in AC and I am in town, I will treat that person. All they have to do is ask.


You forget one thing. To ask someone to treat you is kind of inappropriate and classless. Middle class people do not do that. They are too proud to. Usually, the friend with a lot more money OFFERS to treat the poorer friend. That's how it usually goes. It's an unspoken thing that most will follow. No one has to ask. Of course, between strangers, it's harder to know and so you usually go Dutch. But if you've known someone for years, you have a pretty good idea of their financial status. Unless of course, you are blind to the financial situation of men and only pay attention to the financial situation of women...

Did you not know these things? Or is this the first time you heard about them?
Last edited by Winston on Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Winston » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:49 pm

Vinstonas wrote:
ladislav wrote:And if anyone has no money and is going through hard times when in AC and I am in town, I will treat that person. All they have to do is ask.


You forget one thing. To ask someone to treat you is kind of inappropriate and classless. Middle class people do not do that. Usually, in most cases, the friend with a lot more money OFFERS to treat the poorer friend. That's how it usually goes. It's an unspoken thing that most will follow. No one has to ask. Of course, between strangers, it's harder to know and so you usually go Dutch. But if you've known someone for years, you have a pretty good idea of their financial status. Unless of course, you are blind to the financial situation of men and only pay attention to the financial situation of women...

Did you not know these things? Or is this the first time you heard about them?


BTW, come to think of it, I remember I did ask you to treat me one time, in a joking manner, but you said "No". And the way you said it was like you were saying it was your "policy" or "rule" never to treat guys, at least that's how it came across. So it's not true that you are willing to treat anyone who asks, at least not before you weren't.
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Postby ladislav » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:59 pm

Esteemed Winston,
Please allow me to gracefully bow out of this argument. I get very tired here in Oman working 12 hour days and I am really not capable of getting involved in a dispute with or without logic. I guess I do have poor social skills and am illogical. Thank you for showing me the right way. I shall be happy to treat you and your friends to meals and all next time I am in AC. I will also happily reimburse you for the money that I owe you at any time by phone loads or anything else.
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Postby Mr S » Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:42 pm

He, he, he, sarcasm rules... :lol:
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Postby ladislav » Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:02 pm

It is more like fatigue than sarcasm. Too tired to carry on such a discussion. I do agree with Winston's logic from the position he is coming from. I simply forgot about the importance of money for some people where they live.

It is true. Here in the Middle East no one even thinks about such things. Plus we do not have women to treat here as a rule since it is mostly guys that go out. It has been like this over a decade. Here whoever treats who, whoever spends ( or does not spend) what is immaterial. No one ever counts anything. Older people treat younger ones, younger people treat older ones, there are no richer or poorer among us here. Some guy takes some more food, spends more money, does what I did , no one even thinks about it. It is just not important-such amounts of money simply are not discussed or paid attention to. Money is plentiful here. I never had any problems here when going out and no one ever mentioned to me here that I did something wrong. I just do not think about those things here in the rich oil countries of the Arabian Gulf. Sometimes I held parties and paid for them, sometimes people paid for parties, some people overate, some people under-ate, there is no rancour held for months and years over $10, over a principle, over anything. This is why I like working here. People here are used to abundance of money.
Plus maybe I do lack social skills. Therefore I shall be more careful next time.

But they are important to Winston based on his background and his way of thinking, and I accede the argument to him. I shall be very very sensitive to his needs/points of view from now on.

I shall no longer reply on this thread.

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