Leave the ball cap at home for sure. AND the running shoes. They have great pointy black leather shoes you can wear - and then will most likely never wear again in the US.
Actually the day before Valentines Day my lady asked me if I ever wear my pointy Russian shoes in the US - I admitted that I do not. She then asked me to wear them on Valentines Day so that I could think of her.... *&%$!!!!&%*@#$%!!! But I did it.
I cant tell you how close i came to buying a pair of those (extra long pointy shoes) last weekend in Kyiv . I looked at them very long and hard . I liked them, but i did not for once impulse buy. I am sure they would have been collecting dust . I have yet to see them here or anywhere in the states . Maybe they are way ahead of us . LOL
Talking about blending in !! I have tried this but to no avail. Our facial and hair features are quite different. (mind you I am fair skinned)
Perhaps if you don’t wash your face for a week might help. Black suit and tie and the black shoes is defiantly the best cover, but not to good in July heat.
Just be a little careful with the “she getting Visa & paying for tickets” etc. I have spent 2 months in the area and those with money are NOT really that interested in leaving the place. If you have any form of wealth or security in Russia or Ukraine, you are sitting pretty good on the social and economic scale. They love their country and honestly would prefer to remain there, but for 85% of them they do not have any capability or chance to break out of that lower social-economic zone.
That’s where I would be a little careful if she say “I can pay for this and that” A $1000 is equal to 8-10 months salary for most of them.
Jmoluv - yea they are way ahead of NZ with fashion. Especially the women. But hay, those shoes cant be doing the feet any good.
I wore tramping boots and had a lot of men ask where I got them. They might have thought the be good in a late night street brawl or something like that.
Saw a couple of day time set to's. Christ - they kick the shit out of each other. Don’t seem to happy with the fisty cuffs but.
Maxirat - I experienced the shoes - to the head - when i got mugged in Latvia. I admit I drank way TOO MUCH vodka as I followed a taxi driver down a dark alley suppoedly walking toward his cab. He used his fists, until I stepped backward and tripped on the curb. With he laying flat on my back it was the shoes to the head. Not one of my more pleasant memories of FSU.
2004 -- Moscow - St Petersburg 2003 -- Samara - Togliatti - Kiev - Kharkov.
I have had absolutely no problems. I have always been on my (accept when with a lady) and never felt threatened at all. A have heard Latvia is the place for the not so straight types. I have also used the "stick ya thumb out" catch a ride motorists. Wouldn't do that at night though.
I also acknowledge that I had way too much todrink that night. And normallyt warnign signs would have gone up for me as we went down a adrk alley. The entire incident has already been hashed and rehashed in this forum. You'll forgive me, I'm sure, if I don't feel like retelling the whole story again.
I have always heard that St Pete and Moscow ladies have a cut above the rest persona about them . How do they fair with Ukrainians as far as being approachable and being friendly. Your observations i ask. How was Kharkov ? Did you like Kyiv??
Yes you are pretty well on target with that assumption - jmoluv.
Moscow and SPB are another league compared to say Samara / Togliatti. There seems to be a lot of money there and the beautiful ladies are getting are fair share of it. They are not as approachable and friendly as ladies in Ukraine from my personal experience.
I did not get to see much of Kiev. But it is my intention to do that this summer.
Kharkov was very interesting. Not a lot of money there. Food was excellent and people were generally friendly. I don’t know why, but ALL reception staff in Hotels have the PR qualities of a wounded Rhino. Bloody awful. I always seem to have a run in with them. Yet the cleaning ladies etc were magnificent people. Full of fun and care.
Old $100US notes is usually the starter for confrontation and disagreement at reception. ALWAYS take new notes and double check them before you leave home. No rips or punch holes or ink marks etc.
I am sorry, I was not meaning that you used that type of Taxi ride. I understood your position and, should I say, your state of awareness.
What I was insinuating, I have possibly been a little lax with that type of Taxi rides taken. I cant remember the name given to it.
On my first trip to Kiev I stood out so much(Polaris jacket, Carhart jeans, white tennis shoes) that the street vendors would switch to english when I walked by. Now I dress in dark grey slacks, gray shirt, brown shoes. Clothes I never wear in the states, except maybe to a funeral.