Conversations with Rock

Discuss international visas, immigration and citizenship issues.

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ladislav
Elite Upper Class Poster
Posts: 3824
Joined: September 6th, 2007, 11:30 am

Conversations with Rock

Post by ladislav »

Rock is no longer on this forum, but I chat with him on WA and he has shared some great adventures and information. He gave me a permission to share our conversations. You may find them useful. Rock wrote copiuosly and I feel that I need to share so that others could read his info.

16:31
Kampala is like a less expensive version of Nairobi which has become costly over last 10 years and maybe a bit less open in the capital due to development and social media. We’ve seen similar dynamic in Metro Manila.
01:23
Cool. Can u cite prices? Send photos u took?
19:30
7/26/2020
Missed group voice call at 15:09
4/14/2021
Dude how u been?
01:17
How is ur condo?
01:17
where are u?
01:17
Hi Lad (David). I'm ok. At the moment I'm in Bogota and will go to Medellin tomorrow. I came here from USA for some medical stuff. How are you. It's been a tough year. My paying tenants in Philippine condos moved out a couple months ago but I'm letting a girl I know stay in one.
01:23
I'm afraid that masks, social distancing, and lockdowns will damage people psychologically over time. The country I know which is freest from this is Tanzania which I visited in 2020. Even Mexico is doing lockdowns in certain areas. After I go to USA to help my parents with some things, I may go back to Dar es Salaam. I want to live a normal (COVID free) life again for awhile. Too many masks, curfews, and talk about Corona. I need a break, how about you?
01:26
Oh, wow. Cool, Rock! You know I was in Rio and Sao Paulo, right? I liked Rio a lot. The whole city set up with these huge rocks was so surreal. I left to get in before the deadline for arrival tests into the US. I may go to Mexico again or even to Brazil ( and then back to Mexico) just to chill out. Not all places are locked down there. It's so near and I can just walk into the US from there. What about visas in Dar es Salaam and also in Colombia? Is it easy to extend? How is the female scene in Colombia? Can you get a girl?
02:03
Yes, I hear you about all these restrictions and I am preparing for two-three years of this. I was going to go to Ukraine to watch the May blooming of all the orchards, but Russia is amassing troops and there maybe a war with Russia. Just like it was 100 years ago. They invaded and annexed the country.
02:05
But what's happening with your condo in Cambodia?
02:05
How're you managing it?
02:05
You
But what's happening with your condo in Cambodia?
I have a month to month tenant and some broker is managing it and putting money into my ABA account. In order to attract tenants, I dropped the rent 20-30% below pre-COVID market level. I am familiar w Rio because way back during Lula era, I had a condo there a block away from Copacabana beach. I maintained about 3-4 years with a black American manager renting it out to short term American visitors. But finally, I felt it was too far from Asia so sold it. Right now, Brazil is very bad for Covid and there is news about millions struggling just to get food. Colombia is more disciplined in that people wear masks diligently and try to stay in during period lockdowns. In Tanzania, Americans can get a one-year multiple visa and stay 3 months at a time. Col… Read more
02:29
+63 917 419 5867
JMH
I have a month to month tenant and some broker is managing it and putting money into my ABA account. In order to attract tenants, I dropped the rent 20-30% below pre-COVID market level. I am familiar w Rio because way back during Lula era, I had a condo there a block away from Copacabana beach. I maintained about 3-4 years with a black American manager renting it out to short term American visitors. But finally, I felt it was too far from Asia so sold it. Right now, Brazil is very bad for Covid and there is news about millions struggling just to get food. Colombia is more disciplined in that people wear masks diligently and try to stay in during period lockdowns. In Tanzania, Americans can get a one-year multiple visa and stay 3 months at a time. Col
Oh, cool, so you are staying afloat as far as that condo. Great crisis management over distances. Brazil was a bit bizarre. A bit rough. The people were rough and kind of mistrustful. Not polite as in Mexico, no elegance. Just crudeness in everything. At the same time, I kind of liked it that way. No hypocrisy. Thanks for all that info. I am just a bit scared getting stuck in those countries if I catch the Covid and then the visa expires as there are no more border runs and you can’t get back into the US if the test is positive. But it theory we can always fly into Mexico and then just walk over.
How do you extend visas in Tanzania and in Colombia?
I’ve heard about the hookers all over the place there but a lot of them are fat, no?
In Kyiv its all locked … Read more
04:53
My condos in Philippines are not generating any revenue anymore. The ones in Thailand still have people but are heavily discounted as is one in Cambodia. But in Florida, I have a good tenant and real estate there and other parts of USA has actually gone up significantly in 2020. I loved Rio when I was there but decided to go back to Asia because about every expat I knew who had been there for more than a few weeks had been assaulted one or more times and a lot of Brazilians I met had also been victimized by car jackings, etc. In Rio, back then anyway, you needed to be constantly vigilant whereas in Manila, I know people who've been there like 20 years and never been threatened w any type of violence. Philippines has reputation for dangerous crime but it… Read more
09:16
What happened to you in Uganda was terrible. I think the cop wanted some pay off. I am being very careful everywhere, but you just can’t avoid breaking some unknown law or a recently passed rule. I was in Mexico City taking pictures of the architecture of one street block. This dude came yelling at me to stop. I think it may be illegal in Mexico as this is what robbers do before planning to rob some houses. I was also yelled at in Oaxaca when I was taking photos of some trees which turned out to be in someone’s garden. It was good thing I did not get arrested. Made myself scarce very quickly. What I enjoyed in Brazil is that visually I did not stand out and no one does, basically. Once dressed like them, one fits in. So, what is it about their top society no… Read more
23:16
4/15/2021
Brazil and mainly Rio was a very nice experience for me as whole. I got my Portuguese up to Pimsleur Level 3 which means I could maybe sound fairly fluent to those who don't know it nor another Latin language. But in fact, I only could use the most basic practical stuff so when it came to general listening comprehension in broad contexts (news, slang, fast conversations about lots of things), I was usually lost. So you could say I never got to a decent enough level. I was good at producing the vocab and sentences I knew but my range was just too narrow.

I had and probably have a look which is obviously gringo. That may not apply to you. As such, people were less afraid of me and perhaps I was more of a target. But a small subset of girls back then li… Read more
18:08
This message was deleted
18:12
Those same motorcade jeeps shot and killed the driver of Bobby Wine less than a year earlier. Bobby Wine was main rival in presidential election that took place earlier this year. They also beat him badly so he can no longer walk normally. In spite of being a much younger populist candidate, he lost the election.
18:13
One more thing Rio used to have which was famous - Help Disco. That was arguably the biggest p4p pickup disco in Latin America w hundreds of eager Brasilieras packed in every night and guys from USA (black and white) as well as many parts of Europe. You could go in there, dance and party, then flirt with a girl and take her home for equivalent of US$30-50. Many were very gfe. That place was closed prior to olympics and was missed by many. The scene spilled outside to the all night restaurants - Teracco Atlantico and Mia Pattaca. There were hundreds of girls and gringos in the disco and out in that area til 4-5 am every night.
18:17
Termas were also extremely popular for p4p.
18:18
Do you want to see photos of the 2 girls I was closest to there?
18:18
You
What happened to you in Uganda was terrible. I think the cop wanted some pay off. I am being very careful everywhere, but you just can’t avoid breaking some unknown law or a recently passed rule. I was in Mexico City taking pictures of the architecture of one street block. This dude came yelling at me to stop. I think it may be illegal in Mexico as this is what robbers do before planning to rob some houses. I was also yelled at in Oaxaca when I was taking photos of some trees which turned out to be in someone’s garden. It was good thing I did not get arrested. Made myself scarce very quickly. What I enjoyed in Brazil is that visually I did not stand out and no one does, basically. Once dressed like them, one fits in. So, what is it about their top society no
This is a very interesting account and info? Could you please share it on HA? You've taken a long time to describe all this. A part could go into the African section and another part into the L. American section.
22:21
My Mediterrenean/ Semitic face is a double edged sword in L. America. There are so many Spaniards and Portuguese that look like me - and theirt descendants, as well. I stood out in the DR but got yelled at, Hey Cubano! Hey Espanol! And in Brazil and Mexico I also don't stand out with so many Arabs there. Many just take me for yet another Arab immigrant. So, I am kind of an immigrant or a son of an immigrant mostly. No special treatment. Once I start speaking in Mexico, they go, " Oh, an Arab!" And walking down the street, I " kind of" blend in. In Brazil, I was told they thought I was just another Portuguese. This all plays against me in the female department. In Brazil, I get a haughty, suspicious look from women, with a frown and a raised chin. Apparently,… Read more
22:29
The quality of the girls was much lower than in the PH. Many fat ones with big bubble butts. Many very black ones which is OK, but they were not pretty.
22:31
However, the whole Copacabana area with the leafy streets and sidewalk cafes and the friendly waiters was absolutely fantastic. It is like this in Odessa, Ukraine to a point but smaller and without these rocks. But the rocks there were just mind-blowing. However, the ocean was too cold to swim in.
22:33
As far as being a white man in the car, it got my drivers in the Philippines stopped and the cops would take them inside their van and made them pay a fine to the tune of P1000. Once we stopped some cops to ask them for directions and they forced the driver to pay them P100 because of some rule he apparently broke.
22:35
I am thinking, could my 7s and 8s be your 3s and 4s based on the way you describe the girls in Rio and Sao Paolo? I will send you photos of the 2 I was closest too. Oddly enough, one of them found me on Facebook a couple years ago and said she was dating a Filipino guy and was in Metro Manila. So I met up with them and had coffee in Greenbelt. When I knew her, it was early 2000s and she was just 18. By 2019, she was already in mid 30s and a lot slimmer lol. I'll show you her original look and then recent ones grabbed from a few of her FB photos.
23:05

23:05

23:05
That was back in early 2000s.
23:06
Here she is in last few months in following photos.
23:06
Or last couple years at least.
23:07

23:07

23:07
The second one I'm going to show you was my favorite. Unfortunately we lost touch a long time ago and I don't know where she is now.
23:08

23:08

23:08

23:08
Both of them are 5'10"
23:08
For you, are they a lot less attractive than Filipinas? When I was in Brazil, I saw lots like them and also many attractive black girls and when I went to Barra da Tijuca (south suburb of Rio which is wealthy) and certain areas of Ipanema, I saw a lot of beautiful local lighter skin or white girls. These were mostly elite class people and I didn't see them around gringos much. The guys in those groups also tended to be very attractive. Either we have very different taste or Rio has really gone downhill in terms of physical beauty. Or perhaps you didn't see it all.
23:13
There was a period when Rio got very expensive. That was when commodity prices were very high, maybe around 2011 ish if I remember right. The Real got extremely strong, Help disco had closed, and the termas became very expensive. I read that girls were getting very spoiled. Fast forward 10 years and its back to third world economy with a super weak Real and low prices. But according to you, the beautiful people seem to have disappeared along with the commodity wealth.
23:18
I miss the old Rio circa late 90s through 2005 ish. There are some interesting videos of the Help scene from that era on Youtube.
23:20
About Philippines, have you seen this quaint and endearing movie about Welshmen seeking brides in Manila (circa 1991)? You might be able to relate to it and it's shot in an area near where you used to stay in Ermita. I also miss the Philippines a lot.
23:23

🇵🇭Filipina Dreamgirls Full Movie: Circa 1991
Still valid today
youtube.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Jb7Ncm-W4M&t=4975s
23:23
4/16/2021
I guess you can get those other high class girls if you stay in Brazil and live your life in Portuguese. And their families would like to see a respectable man, a businessman of the same social class as them. Which you could pull off if you have the will. But is this what you really want? Become part of the bourgeoisie? I’d be bored stiff and when she gets old, what do you do? And Brazil’s social inequality is way worse than a lot of other countries, way worse than Mexico.
I should be back though because I feel that I have some unfinished business there, some dream that should have come true. I felt oddly at home. On to the pictures of the girls: you are I definitely need different girls as you are tall and slim and I am short and pudgy, so I need smaller A… Read more
14:46
sorry lots of typos. too sleepy.
14:47
so how do you deal with the visa runs?
14:48
4/17/2021
You
I guess you can get those other high class girls if you stay in Brazil and live your life in Portuguese. And their families would like to see a respectable man, a businessman of the same social class as them. Which you could pull off if you have the will. But is this what you really want? Become part of the bourgeoisie? I’d be bored stiff and when she gets old, what do you do? And Brazil’s social inequality is way worse than a lot of other countries, way worse than Mexico.
I should be back though because I feel that I have some unfinished business there, some dream that should have come true. I felt oddly at home. On to the pictures of the girls: you are I definitely need different girls as you are tall and slim and I am short and pudgy, so I need smaller A
In Philippines, I advocated for the "sweet spot in the middle" when it came to girls. I saw so many westerners, even young ones, going for less educated girls from low stratas of society, some from p4p background. By default, first world guys usually have a decent education and never suffered the kinds of poverty you have with Filipinos from bottom half. So pairing with such girls maybe asking for trouble because so little common ground is shared. There are exceptions and good matches but in general, I think it is a mistake for western men to go for this segment. As for the elites, whether in Philippines or Brazil, I also think they are in a very different world than us. Public Duende, an Italian on the forum, struggled and ultimately failed in Davao t… Read more
03:09
4/19/2021
If we use common sense and logic, then everything you say (and do) makes sense. And with patience and proper courtship, it is all doable and a healthy, long lasting family should result in most cases. And your concept of golden medium makes a lot of sense. Two factors, though, work to spoil this structure-to-be with most people: A lot of the peasant stock girls ( or creole ones in case of Brazil) are very sexy and cute- and friendly, too. They show great interest in the guy and flirt as all get out. At this point, all guards are down and nature just takes over. Not all guys want to go through the process of courtship- they don’t have the time. Either they are on a temporary visa or they really feel lonely and want to have the girl pretty much within a reaso… Read more
02:45
There is something in me that tends to be repelled by most of the girls that an overwhelming majority of westerners find sexy, hot, or somehow attractive. I didn't really start dating until I went to Taiwan so perhaps I slowly absorbed the values of NE Asian society when it comes to judging women. In fact, there is a stereotype in Taiwan, China, and probably other parts of Asia that western men, even very attractive ones, tend to go for very unappealing local girls. The topic has been covered in the Chinese media before and locals tend to chalk it up to - foreigners are different so they like different food and different girls. You could say it's a win-win in places like the Philippines where foreigners don't bother the girls that local men most want but… Read more
03:05
How are you gonna deal with the visa situation if it ex[ires? You cannot do a border run can you?
08:31
Haha my visa is 3 months I think. I generally don’t stay in one country more than a few weeks. I have some stuff to do w my parents later this week so I’ll go to Illinois. Then maybe Dar es Salaam to dodge masks and lockdowns. If things improve in Colombia and lockdowns and curfews stop, I think I would like to come back then.
11:06
4/21/2021
Oh, but you do know that you need to take a test to be admitted back to the US
12:45
I’m already back. That’s just an antigen test, results out in 20 min. Medellin offers it 24/7 at the airport for equivalent of US$25.
13:14
4/22/2021
Can u get it some place else?
14:14
And welcome back
14:14
You
Can u get it some place else?
Yes, they offer it at certain places in Bogota and Medellin.
14:43
I think Colombia has a lot of potential as a HA destination whether short, medium, or long term. It's very inexpensive, has varied options for climate and vibe: Bogota vs. Medellin vs. Cartegena vs. Cali, vs. Cucuta vs. Baranquilla, vs. Santa Marta vs. smaller cities and towns. I think you can get a retirement visa if you can prove a pension or monthly income of around at least $750, cheaper than in any of the neighboring countries. There are also investment, marriage, and real estate visa options and they give auto 3 month stamp to Americans and many other nationalities. My American friend Brian is living in Bogota with his Filipina gf and her son.
15:01
Although I didn't explore global dating there, I think there are abundant options both for real dating and various forms of low cost p4p.
15:02
About racism in Brazil. Here is an old anecdote. Back during Helpee days, I took a black girl out of there even though a couple of lighter skinned (light morenas) from Mina Gerias were competing for my attention and I knew one of them. They sneered at her and called her monkey face to me behind her back. They basically said she was ugly and animal like because she was totally afro (well medium toned by black American standards, not the darkest nor lightest of African Americans).
19:39
SUNDAY
$750 a month is all it takes? I think in the PH it is $800. In Brazil it is 6000 Reals Apparently, now in Brazil racism is illegal and you can go to jail for making such statements.
20:49
So in what state are you now?
20:50
You
$750 a month is all it takes? I think in the PH it is $800. In Brazil it is 6000 Reals Apparently, now in Brazil racism is illegal and you can go to jail for making such statements.
In Philippines, I think there are options, depending on age, whereby you need only to have on deposit US$10,000 or US$20,000 or own a qualified condominium which you attach the appropriate annotation to. In some cases, I don't think any pension is necessary though there is an annual fee which works out to be cheaper than continuous tourist visa extensions. Due to COVID, these programs may have been suspended for new applicants until further notice.
21:25
You
So in what state are you now?
I'm still in Illinois.
21:25
You
$750 a month is all it takes? I think in the PH it is $800. In Brazil it is 6000 Reals Apparently, now in Brazil racism is illegal and you can go to jail for making such statements.
In my limited and dated experience, police in Brazil are potentially a much bigger problem for gringos than are their counterparts in Colombia. I had problems with the the federal ones once and it wasn't pretty. I was also warned by my lawyer that if I opted to bypass official cable service for my condo, I was opening myself up to ongoing extortion by local police should they ever find out. Basically, when it comes to tourists, my impression is that Brazilian police are more dangerous and corrupt than are the ones in Colombia. I've not heard many if any stories of tourists in Colombia being harassed by local police for no legitimate reason.
21:33
MONDAY
wait. how did the Federals bother you? And how would a cable bring police problems?
14:42
I arrived once in Rio from Bogota using a 5 year tourist visa. I had visited 2 years prior so the visa should have still been valid. However, immigration control had failed to stamp my passport entering and exiting on the previous trip. So they assumed I had not entered within the 3 month window after my visa had been issued 2 years previously. I pulled out a couple dated photos of myself in Rio and told them I had indeed been in the country. And I asked them to check their entry and exit records in the computer. The immigration people had the federal police come over and told me I would need to leave on next flight back to Bogota. When I protested and started asking them to check the computer, they said to me in a very serious tone, "are you refusing … Read more
14:53
Oh, so what happened next? Basically, they screwed up and forgot to stamp you. So, what would you need to have done and what did you do? Ah, the free cable? Never a good idea. Sheeesh!
18:10
But how does it work with the plane? And aren't the bags off loaded and wait for you in the lobby before you go to the immigration even?
18:12
How can you get back on the plane with no ticket and no check-in?
18:12
You
Oh, so what happened next? Basically, they screwed up and forgot to stamp you. So, what would you need to have done and what did you do? Ah, the free cable? Never a good idea. Sheeesh!
The free cable is common in Philippines though except maybe condos built by Ayala and SM. In Brazil, they were common in my building but the owners doing that were local so maybe not a big deal for locals but for gringos, better safe than sorry. It seemed in Rio especially, based on all the stories I heard being thrown about by the longer term expats, authorities love to find any excuse to turn the gringo into an extra annuity. When the airport feds asked me that question, I said no, I will comply and get back on the airplane. My ticket was a changeable round-trip so no problem boarding the flight back which was far from full. I flew back to Bogota via Sao Paolo, got a new 5 year Brazilian tourist visa a couple days later, and within a week, I was back … Read more
19:02
You
But how does it work with the plane? And aren't the bags off loaded and wait for you in the lobby before you go to the immigration even?
Ladislav, they will collect your bags for you, bring them too you, and walk you through express check-in to whatever flight they want you to get on. The same thing happened to me on a flight from Nairobi to Doula (Cameroon embassy in Australia told me on the phone that he thought they would give me a visa on arrival, he was wrong). I had no visa so was put on next Kenyan Airways flight to Nairobi. They collect your bags and keep you in a special area until it's boarding time. I tried to bribe a visa out of the guy and even though he was nice, he would not grant it. That time, I had to eat the cost of the new ticket myself.
19:06
Everyday in any given international airport, certain passengers are denied entry for various reason and forced onto a flight out, usually a flight by the same airlines. There is a process and part of that is collecting your bags and watching you until at least you are checked in and at the gate for your flight out.
19:08
YESTERDAY
So, it's a well established procedure then? Interesting. I kind of figured they'd have it. But who and how pays for that flight back? What if you have no money on you to pay for it?
01:19
You
So, it's a well established procedure then? Interesting. I kind of figured they'd have it. But who and how pays for that flight back? What if you have no money on you to pay for it?
The airline is financially responsible as far as immigration is concerned. They may also be fined if they let people on the flight who do not have the correct visa. That is why for example you need to show your onward ticket at airline counter for flights to countries such as Philippines that are strict about that requirement. Now the airlines will usually try to get the money out of you, sometimes by bluffing. But if you don't have money, they still have to fly you out. I remember way back I knew a Taiwan girl who was a student at my university. She was on an F-1 visa or whatever it was called back then. She was allowed to stay in USA for another year or so after she graduated and got her masters degree. However, her mother died so she went back to … Read more
01:31
This is all very interesting. Would you mind sharing it on the forum?
01:32
Anyway, you must know that any major airport in the world is going to have people who arrive with visa issues that cause them to be denied entry. In such cases, they won't just leave the passenger to linger indefinitely in transit. They need to be sent away but no country is going to pay for these costs. So they push it onto the airlines.
01:32
wow this is cool!
01:33
so when you went back to Kenya
01:33
did they ask you to pay for it?
01:33
You
did they ask you to pay for it?
Kenyan Airlines made me consume my return ticket so to go to Cameroon the second time, I had to buy a ticket again. But Avianca gave me the second ticket back to Rio for no charge. Do you carry any pain or sleeping meds? Sometimes people get into trouble for things like xanax or tramadol in Middle Eastern countries which tend to have draconian rules.
01:35
Do you have more than one passport? Are you Ukrainian
01:36
No I am only a US citizen. But I have a Greencard in Ukraine
02:28
I carry no meds but I like vaping and some countries don't allow it
02:29
This is all very important info. Could you copy it and post it on the forum?
02:30
I don't have account on forum anymore. But you are welcome to copy and paste our discussions and just refer to me as Rock since that was my forum username back when I posted. Winston has done that at times with our chats.
10:57
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
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