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Jul 11th, 2013, 04:22 AM
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I'm planning a 6-month stay in Jeka - October-March
I've got an accomodation, but the rest is up to me
what are the costs of living, public transport etc..
should I buy some special winter jacket?
what should I be aware of before arrival?
ashii is offline  
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Jul 11th, 2013, 05:13 AM
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Gretchen is offline  
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Jul 11th, 2013, 07:13 AM
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Get winter clothes before you leave,its surprisely hard to find there and expensive for quality. It will be bitterly cold and while the public transport is good you will be do lots & lots of walking. Its a large city

I dont know if you have a western style apartment, but if you dont try to find a babushka in your building that will cook a couple of times a week for you. Many are on very small incomes so some extra rubles will go a long way for them and save you a lot of hassle. Just a large pot of borscht(beet soup-yumI can eat that 4 days in a row) or stroganoff will go a long way. You will be set for pastries, cakes,chocolates{if you have a sweet tooth, you will think you went to heaven}, bread, caviar, cheese, booze and cold cuts...but a consistent supply of fresh fruits & veggies(get used to eating lots of cucumbers/totatoes and green onion) will be difficult to come by in Feb/March. Even a decent potato will be hard to find, so prepare for pickled veggies

Bring American things like hats and jerseys. these gifts will go far in earning the good will of your colleagues.

Crime is a BIG deal. Your building if not secured means you will have a huge metal door at your apartment, dont open it for anyone you dont know. Be especially careful in places like bars and restaurants etc...They will know you are a foreigner...and watch the gypsies too

Take in the culture the city has to offer by visiting the Opera and Ballet...excellent and very inexpensive
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Jul 11th, 2013, 10:01 AM
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You need more than a winter jacket - you need a full set of winter gear. December through February will be literally freezing and rarely light (its latitude is north of Gdansk, which had "night" at 3 pm in December).
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Jul 11th, 2013, 11:00 AM
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Avoid flashy winter clothing. If you look like an affluent skier coming off the slopes, you're a target sooner than later. Dark and drab looking, but thick and warm is what you need.
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Jul 14th, 2013, 01:09 AM
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thanks SO MUCH!!
I actually planned to buy a winter jacket from fjall raven - it's a Finnish company, now I know what colour to choose
I'll be living in a city center, in a typical Russian apartment.
My main goal is to learn the language, do you know any schools, courses etc?
ashii is offline  
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Jul 14th, 2013, 05:44 AM
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You are welcome ashii,
A few other items

Russians, contrary to stereotypes, dress very well considering ther incomes. I found that it is not unusual for moderately paid white collar workers to wear recent or the latest Paris fashions.

Stalin era housing
There are some nice apartments in the city center, but some extremely simple where your bathtub is also your sink and clothes washer. You should at least have a microwave, fridge and small stove. Note: the key to the main door to these type of buildings is sometimes like a sharp metal rod. I might suggest getting a pocket protector to carry it in

You can try Rosetta stone. Be advised when you go there everyone will want to practice their English with you too
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