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Bribes Part of Everyday Life in Putin's Russia 

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  #11  
Old 02-26-2012, 12:48 AM
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Re: Bribes Part of Everyday Life in Putin's Russia

Can't say I'm surprised. Russia, Soviet Union.. Corruption all the way.

I MUST SAY! I loved it when Putin stated that they won't need a presidential election because he already knows the people will choose him. What an ego..

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Old 02-26-2012, 11:31 AM
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Re: Bribes Part of Everyday Life in Putin's Russia

no wonder they drive like blind retards

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Old 02-26-2012, 03:46 PM
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Re: Bribes Part of Everyday Life in Putin's Russia

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Originally Posted by johnleeknoefler View Post
Are you going to go to Red Square? I loved that. But I snubbed Lenin's Tomb deliberately. I went to the little Cathedral there. The upper floors were off limits. They have great amber necklaces there. If you take a guide don't let them charge you extra. Threaten to report them to the federal police. GRB I think. The trains are great. Just make sure you get the deluxe ticket so you get extra bedding. At the back of the train are refreshments. If you like coffee I guess it's ok. The cups holders are very nice. I was tempted to take one with me since it has the train logo. And you can step off in the stations and buy treats. The vanilla flavored icecream is way better than ours. Dang. I would like to go again. Have fun.
I was thinking of going to Ukraine first; to Kiev and Chernobyl, then getting a train to Moscow and then to St. Petersburg, and then back home. How long would you recommend staying in Moscow for? Was it quite a safe place to visit and did you have any trouble off the police, I hear they can be quite anal about identification?

I read your post a while back in the thread with pictures from Russia (I can't remember the title of the thread), but it sounded so cool and made me want to go even more!

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Old 02-26-2012, 06:42 PM
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Re: Bribes Part of Everyday Life in Putin's Russia

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Originally Posted by slash4321 View Post
I was thinking of going to Ukraine first; to Kiev and Chernobyl, then getting a train to Moscow and then to St. Petersburg, and then back home. How long would you recommend staying in Moscow for? Was it quite a safe place to visit and did you have any trouble off the police, I hear they can be quite anal about identification?

I read your post a while back in the thread with pictures from Russia (I can't remember the title of the thread), but it sounded so cool and made me want to go even more!

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I was thinking of going to Ukraine first
I don't know if it will help or hurt you to go to Ukraine first. I have met Ukrainians here in USA and while in Russia and most of them were really nice people. But then most of them were Christian or Jewish. As anywhere you should be alert to predatory type people.

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to Kiev and Chernobyl, then getting a train to Moscow and then to St. Petersburg, and then back home
I can only suggest my ideas on an itinerary for you. I suggest that perhaps it would be best to arrive in Moscow and then take a train south to Shakhty and from there to Ukraine and then back north when you are done. By the time your plans are final your itinerary may be quite different from what you originally invisioned. And I also suggest you try to arrange things to give some flexibility so if you may find an unusual circumstance you can change plans. Perhaps alternate plans.
I arrived in Moscow and proceeded directly to Obninsk where I stayed with my original host family for two days and then back to another host family in Moscow for a evening of dining and early in the morning proceeded by train to Shakhty where I spent most of my time just touring the city and learning local culture. They treated me like a king in Shakhty. The school kids are very interested and I was given a chance to address a chemistry class. I simply told them the world had huge oppurtunities for their skills and encouraged them to study to be the best at what ever they did so that they could have a chance to make a mark in the world.
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How long would you recommend staying in Moscow for?
Honestly I found Moscow to be quite gloomy in winter and was happy to go south to see the more rural areas. The underground transportation was huge and baffling and even my Russian fiancee became confused and got us lost. The traffic was horrid and slow in the city. Maybe like New York but it sure isn't like a big apple.
Shakhty in winter is still full of gracious people who for the most part love foreigners. The stalls in the markets are full of all sorts of food nice people who love you to taste what they have. And the stray dogs stand by to lick up anything you might spit out on the dirty concrete. Strangely, the people don't seem to even notice the dirty dogs going about in convoys. The market in Shakhty goes from indoor food stalls to outdoor clothes booths and extends further out to every sort of merchandise. It's not meant for tourists and no one will speak English. On a positive note at least you are sure you are seeing real Russia just as the locals experience things. You should by all means look online for a translator device. The locals are intrigued by such technology and it instantly shoots you up high in their appraisal of you. Status is everything in Russia. Besides... you can use the device to learn Russian phrases and I have heard the newer ones can translate spoken words. Mine could translate my words to Russian and then speak the words for me. DON'T use English expressions or colloqualisms. These don't work well accross the language divide. The reverse is also true of Russian. Use only plainest English. Saying something is flat as a pancake... doesn't work. I asked my fiance what we were going to do and she responded that "it is an open floodplain". Meaning I suppose, 'What ever you want'.

As for who you can trust.. I was warned of "mouse traps" at the airport and around train stations. You will be tempted to take photos. Don't worry... It's legal. But some jackass or other will approach you and tell you it's illegal and you must now pay fine... You refuse.. you must go with them to see judge. Ya... Right. That's a mouse trap. You can always escape by just walking away. Cooperation will get you into the "mouse trap" At which point it's too late and no one is around to help you. Never go anywhere with a stranger who insists they will help you somehow. And never hang around friendly people who are larger than you and smile way too damn much. I almost got robbed by a mafia type guy who smiled too much and took an interest in my translator device. My fiance grabbed me and hustled me on our way while explaining the device which only cost me $500.00 was worth $2,000.00 USD on the local black market.
Your debit card will work in any ATM machine. It will of course dispense Rubles while deducting the legal amount for dollars or Euros in your case. I think it charged like $3.00 for the service.
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Was it quite a safe place to visit
I think anyplace is safe if you are with friends and don't display any signs that you are timid and can't handle yourself. Don't act confused if you are walking alone. Don't spend too much time walking slow and gawking. If you are with friends you can be less careful as a group but everyone should be aware and not go in lonely dark places.
Stay in bright busy places. I learned that after visiting TJ. I am naturally wary since I have had trouble in USA in the cities. I was tailed in Tia Juana Mex. and spotted the threat every time. Once I just turned around and glared at the man until he left. Another time I just walked into a shop and pretended to be very busy shopping until the culprit stopped to peer inside and I glared at him. Glaring is a useful technique. If accosted, be bold. One woman accosted me on the bus and she was just a fat farmers wife who wanted to bull her way past me to stand in the back. (there were no seats left)

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and did you have any trouble off the police
Hell no. The police never really bothered me. It's not allowed. You are under the jurisdiction of the GRB or whatever alphabet they use for their new security organization.
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I hear they can be quite anal about identification?
I was approached by a policeman exactly one time. I showed my Passport while my fiance explained. Don't wear a beard very long. That makes them think you are muslim. Don't wear sunglasses indoors unless they are very cool and you can't bear to take them off. Don't worry about police. You have more rights than they do. Always smile and be bold and polite. If they get too pushy tell them you are doing traveling for research on travel book. Take photos and have a nice notebook of where you have been. No one will seriously bother you.

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I read your post a while back in the thread with pictures from Russia (I can't remember the title of the thread), but it sounded so cool and made me want to go even more!
If you love culture you should go. Make sure to buy some bark boxes from Siberia. Those make great gifts.

I am trying to contact my friend Dmitry Kluchnev. He can arrange travel plans to suit you. If you have friends coming with you it might be even more worthwhile. I will let you know when I can contact him. His number is 7 86362 55753 in Shakhty.. I didn't let him help me much when I went as I wanted to be "free" to make my own day to day plans. It is great if you can find a host family in your destination.

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