Tag Archives: Russian psychologist

2013 Musings from Togliatti, Russia: Cost of Living, Money and Finances

People have said for a long time that to replicate a western lifestyle in Russia costs more than at home. And it does.

When you subtract the stuff that is laughably cheap, what remains is way overpriced. But its true that if you just go about your day, have lunch somewhere, take a few taxis, have dinner somewhere, buy a few provisions from a grocery store, maybe take a boat trip or do something each day, you will be surprised how the money just drains from your wallet.

Those prices quoted above by mhr7 for Ukraine are how it used to be in Estonia. Then they joined the EU and everything shot up almost overnight.

In Russia, if you look at locals, many of them are tooling around in BMW, Audi and other imported cars. Those cars cost almost twice in Russia than they do at home. And we know few will be on finance. That means the bloke in the BMW jeep likely coughed up close to £50k for that car. Well, he isn’t on £200 a month is he? Local oligarch perhaps? Five years ago you saw the odd one and you may think so. Now go to a decent restaurant or the yacht club and these cars are lined up outside.

We took a boat trip for a couple of hours down the Volga. Tickets were maybe £5 each. The guy ahead of us brought three pals, a big pizza and crate of beer so he and his buddies could chill out. So tickets £20, pizza and beer maybe another £15. So this average bloke spent £35 for a two hour chill with his pals. So he isn’t on £200 a month either.

I would recommend any visitor budgets for £100 a day, excluding accommodation. And have a back up card in case he runs out.

Anyone who can live in Russia on £200 a month rides the bus, shops in the cheap market and eats only home cooked cabbage and potatoes. Whilst many do live like that, what I guess we can call the middle class is growing quickly and noticeably. People are buying the new houses as they are built, people are buying new cars, both local ones and imported ones. People are dining out more. People are remonting their dachas. People are holidaying abroad. People are spending money, so that money is coming from somewhere.

The only explanation is that the economy is starting to work as it should. Government is spending money on improving infrastructure. That money eventually filters down the food chain to the baker, the butcher and the candlestick maker. Continue reading

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How to choose a Russian interpreter or translator

A translator/interpreter should be a really good psychologist, should be able to predict or detect any Red Flags, should be able to encourage or comfort, to clarify any cultural or meaning misunderstandings, should not be afraid to do it not once if need arises till 2 parties understand each other to the end.

An inexperienced translator sometimes chooses incorrect expressions that can change the meaning of your words completely, or make your letters sound stilted and clumsy; the last thing you want when you are building up a delicate relationship with a lady. In situations like this, it is as important HOW you say something as WHAT you say.

Relevant experience is essential. It is very good if a person actually lives in the USA, UK or Canada, to really understand all the cultural realities men live in; be able to explain the differences between the two countries.

If a translator came through the fiancée visa process herself and knows all the details, how to avoid some difficulties, save time and how and where to get necessary documents, then she can share all this information with the lady when the time comes, and give advice on that, based on personal experience. Continue reading

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