So, not too much different from many places in the USA. Sounds like a walk through downtown Los Angeles. You should be fine. ;-)
It was funny. My first impression of Moscow when I landed was that I had flown 10,000 miles to land in the middle of Ohio. Kind of ironic, but besides the communist apartment structures everywhere in their perfect matrix like cubes, it looks almost like any other small city in the Middle of USA from the air. It is different of course once on the ground, but you will be quite possibly surprised in many ways. You guys just have to realize you aren't going to some 3rd world country. You are going to some of the oldest and in many ways most advanced countries in the world. They just look like they never advanced society and building wise from about 1956 from the outside.
Many of the children there learn at least basic English in school and many places where tourists may frequent have people fluent in English and German. So unless you are going way off the beaten path you should be fine. Even then, you will be amazed at how much you can learn and figure out very quickly. The hardest part will most definitely be finding directions I would think. If you are really worried talk to an agency there and hire an interpreter (unless the girl you are going to visit can act as an interpreter for you.) Many agencies have interpreters on staff that can act as your guide to make things smoother for you on your trip.
Trust me on this,...wear an american flag somewhere on the front of your jacket, and put a patch with the Soviet Union getting stomped on by and American J.I. Joe. on the back. Doing this your gauranteed a safe a pleasant stay in the Mother land.
Corrupt Police, the Russian Mafia, Thugs, Hoodlums, Con Artists, Suicide Bombers, Bears walking down the city streets and horny woman!! terrorism... planes and schools blowing up!
Excuse me, but what are you talking about. I'm Russian and I've never seen or faced such things. I bet you watch too many Americans movies about Russia and stupied, always drunk Russians with heavy accent as in "Red Heat" or "Rambo III".
Thanks to BrianM
So your trip should be safe as any other trip to any other country, everything depends on you
Regarding my post, in America this is called cynicism; it is a form of crass humor. In this case I blended it with reality, meaning… not safe as Mafia, corrupt police, horny woman; these are rumors just like man eating bears that walk the streets in Russia. The realistic part is terrorist’s kidnapping and ransoming people, blowing up jet airliners full of travelers and killing 350 people in Beslan Russia last week, which of those killed were mostly babies.This is what all visitors need to be aware of in Russia, and not just visitors but citizens like you. So where have you been?
Not all men are womanizers in America, just like all men are not drunks and abusive in your Russia. Not all women in America are selfish and self serving just like not all women in Russia wear mini skits and high heels. There is too much generalizing going on here in the forum. I do not know what has made you so angry but I wish it was not so.
I am curios why when I responded sympathetically to Katja's post on the women's forum I was told to leave and not post there anymore as this was the women’s forum and we had the men’s forum. But women can come to the men's forum and post and this is allowed. Believe me I enjoy the women's point of view but there should be a polite decorum when exchanging view points.
Nadya, because of the multi-cultural make up of the forum it is easy to not understand what one person from region is saying when they write some things. I am a writer with what I consider a great grasp of the English Language and even I feel as though I am left in the dark here often, needing explanations to what men post here, and I am a man. Perhaps we have a cultural gap as well as a gender gap. If I have slighted you or your country in any way, please excuse me, I did not mean to offend anyone with my post.
I am from Cincinnati, Ohio and I spent 2 weeks in Moscow, Russia....the last week of May and the first week of June, 2008. My first time in Russia and I was visiting a young woman from Novocherkassk. Her sister lives in Moscow so she decided to meet me here in Moscow.
Shermetyevo Airport was interesting, however I will never forget how I felt when I first arrived there. It was cold and cloudy...mid 40's and raining a bit. There is no ramp from the plane to the airport concorse so you exit the plane via stairs and head towards a shuttle that takes you the rest of the way to the airport. (I never have traveled outside the continental USA so I had no idea what to expect). And no one speaks English, if you can speak some Russian it would do you well....or maybe hope that there are other tourists who do!
Thinking I was in a episode of Hogans hero's.....Russian jeeps everywear and the military clothing...the hats that cover ears with the big star on the lid...amazing.
Anyway, I stayed at the Emerald suite apartments, nice and clean, it is not like a suite you would think of. Tiny kitchen, rooms and hallways..very small, however 20 ft ceilings.
Or more! You may wonder why I rented an apartment? Moscow Is the Richest city in the world, I make a good living but I can not afford $3000.00- $10,000.00 a nite. You can find them cheaper, 225 or so...but believe me...unless anyone has been there and can tell me a nice hotel that was affordable,.....then you might want to consider an apartment.
The food was good...actually great...a little pricy at resturants... if you're lucky enough to be going there to meet a woman who likes to make fresh dishes at the apartment as mine
did, then you will save some coin. ( The Beer is good too....but at 20% alcohol you wont drink much of it)
The overall experience was wonderful, and the people of Russia are no different then the people of the USA, only they don't smile as much. Russians do not have the same sense of humor. I loved the trip and would go back in a heartbeat.
There are dangers, just like in big American cities. You do not want to be wondering around late at night, but I never had any trouble. Myself and lady friend were usually back at the room by 10-30...11-00 pm. And yes they do have cnn and sports chanels in English...just no espn:(
Probably one of the best vacations I have had in a long time. If you can afford to go, Go....you only live once, and you will see some things that many of your friends, family or other Americans have ever seen. Great culture, Great foods, Great Time!!!
Don't worry about Russia, crime and danger is like any place you go in America. Steer clear of the obvious bad spots and you will be OK. Stay to the well travelled streets at night (same as here in USA) and don't show your money. Don't pick up a wallet or anything on the street that could be valuable because it is a scam. Keep your money in your front pocket as pick pockets are more plentiful. Be careful riding the Metro during crouded times. The police are generally afraid of Americans who are vocal and could cause them problems. Stay away from the Gypsies they generally are all into scams.
I have been to Russia four times and have never had a bad time. I spent time in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Velikiy Novgorad, Puskin and various other small towns inbetween. I found that once you get off the beaten path the people are genuine and friendly... I carry an electronic translator the "ECTACO Itravel" and it helps me to travel without an interpreter with minimal problems.
"The police are generally afraid of Americans who are vocal and could cause them problems"
Not what I experienced Coop....because I didn't 'look' russian or even close....I was hassled by police on practically every block if I was alone. I tried to NOT stand out....not speaking english....never worked, these cops seem to be waiting for me on next block...always papers, let me see papers, never gave in to any bribes....... most cops were business like.
Yes, there is crime anywhere you go....but if you have to watch out for bribes from police....that is different. I have been in ukraine much more often and not seen the bribes there, only once did I experience the drop-wallet scam.....I laughed at the so called police guy. I only knew this from someone sharing the experience in this forum.