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Another move from US to Kiev... LONG POST

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  • Arkanoid
    started a topic Another move from US to Kiev... LONG POST

    Another move from US to Kiev... LONG POST

    Hello everyone. First and foremost, please excuse for writing so much, although, browsing through other topics, I understood that it is better to express myself as best as I can in order to get the answers I am looking for. So, here we go.

    P.S. Since I have so much to say, rather than putting my main question at the end, I will put it here at the beginning, just so you will have an idea why I am writing all this.

    “Knowing the current situation in Kiev or Ukraine overall, whether the country will join the EU or not, would most of you consider moving to live in Kiev from US as a downgrade? I am a 26 year old educated man. I am Russian and obviously can speak English, Russian and some Ukrainian. Recently I took a trip over to Kiev to see some of my friends and I fell in love with the city. Now, I am weighing everything and here I am with my whereabouts. I feel like there are a lot more opportunities for someone like I am in Ukraine. Besides opportunities, I think I will have much more luck getting my life straightened out”…

    P.P.S. If you get pissed off easily, please stop reading...

    I was born in one of the former soviet union countries and at the age of 16 I happened to move to the US permanently. I am not going to write out how I had that chance because this is not the point of this thread. Furthermore, I quickly picked up the language by attending a local high school for a year. Then, I attended a community college for 3 years and a university thereafter, which took me an additional 4 years to complete and now I work full time in IT. From the very beginning, I have never gone back to visit my home country or anywhere else, just devoted the time towards my education. By now you would probably think - "What is this guy doing here?" Well, here's the bad part - I am not happy living in America and I will briefly explain why... So far I live here for 10 years and I think that this country is not for me for numerous reasons. I finally came to the realization that the quality of life here isn't as great as I expected it to be.

    People’s sensitivity in America

    People here are way too sensitive about things you tell them; however, nobody has a problem talking rubbish behind someone’s back. Free speech is not as free as it sounds or as they claim. One really has to control what he or she is saying, otherwise they have a high chance of being sued. I have to bite my tongue pretty much all the time and it's so damn annoying. It seems that speaking your mind to individuals is a major taboo in this country. I always had difficulties finding new friends because friendship doesn't exist here which I realized later on. In my opinion, constructive criticism is what friends are for and almost always people are failing at telling someone they care about if something that they do or say is wrong because they are scared about being insultive.

    Everything is ‘AWESOME’

    By watching American movies, almost everyone overseas thinks that everything is "AWESOME" in this country. To be completely honest with you, I can't stand the word "AWESOME". Even though the English language is my second one, I was told that this word should mean something "that which inspires awe", but in the states it means nothing! It doesn’t even mean good - it’s just a word – a filler, like “um” or “y’know”, something that you hear every single day. This word is so stereotypical that it makes my ears bleed every time I hear it. Such positive adjectives that get thrown around like this mean NOTHING these days... "How are you?" is another thing that people ask one another. If you ask someone this question, then you will most likely get "Great!" in return, even when things are far from it. Of course, when you get something like "OK, I guess...", then you may get an idea that things are pear shaped! After all, I don't think the word "bad" is in America's vocabulary... To wrap this up, nothing beats America’s over-positivity more than this:

    SMILES... SMILES mean NOTHING.

    Recently, I took a trip over to Kiev and in all three planes I happened to be with quite a few Americans along the way. During layovers I've heard nothing but complaints. Whatever business they got there, it appears that those people visit Ukraine quite often. What I remembered most is: “That waitress was so rude to me! She didn’t even smile!”... I have something opposite for you, America - You smile way too much! Tell me one thing, guys, why would someone sitting in the subway, working on a crossword puzzle want to look giddy? When people smile in Europe - that actually means something. Depending on situation, fortunately or not, this does not happen too often these days, but when it does - you can be rest assured it is not fake! For example, because Germans don’t go around looking like an American toothpaste commercial when I was with them and they smiled, it lit up the room – you know it’s genuine and you can’t help but smile back, because you are genuinely happy. Apparently, a smile releases endorphins, but if your face is stuck that way I’m sure your dreams of a natural high will fade soon. I’d rather focus on trying to make my life better and have reasons to smile than lie to myself and the world.

    The concept of tipping…

    I don't go to restaurants... At all... You ask me why? Well, for me it was terribly annoying to be in restaurants and having a waitress interrupt me every 3 minutes asking me if everything is OK. Every single time she comes up to ask again, I had to feign a smile and throw a thumbs up just so she can go away because I could not talk with my mouth full. American people would know exactly what I am talking about, but in case if you don't know - she does that not because she truly cares whether if you like your food or not, she does that to make sure you will express your gratitude in the form of a good tip that's all! Eating out was always a bad experience for me in America, but in Kiev it was otherwise. I mean, if I needed something I would call on waitress myself and that's how it is in the rest of the world. I can tell you why it happens this way. That's because in the rest of the world, people don't live off the tips they make but rather work for a wage like everyone else and if they do it bad enough, they'll get fired. But apparently not pestering you every minute and not smiling like you are in a Ms. World competition means you are “rude”. I think the basic concept of tipping is nice – if someone does a top-notch job, sure, throw them an extra few cents or a dollar – but I just see it as a complex system of tax evasion for both restaurants and workers in the states. Some people ludicrously suggest that it makes it cheaper that the restaurant doesn’t have to charge more, but you’re paying the difference anyway. That brings us to a totally different subject about prices where most of those prices are FALSE anyway.

    False prices on EVERYTHING

    Tipping is just the peak of the iceberg. It’s all one big marketing scam to make people feel like they are paying less. The price you see on a menu is nothing compared to what you’ll actually pay. Apart from tipping, you have to of course pay taxes. Now taxes are things that you simply have to pay on items you purchase – it’s how governments work all around the world. So why hide it from us? It boggles my mind that places refuse to include the tax in prices. The price they state is pretty much useless. It’s just saying “this is how much we get from what you pay, but you’ll actually pay more”. I don’t give a flying toss how much YOU get, I want to know how much I have to pay! How much money… do you want me… to hand to you? Do I really have to spell this out? The most laughable of all of these is the “dollar store”. We have this thing in states called "Family Dollar: The Dollar Store" or something like that. If you have a single dollar, you will be turned away from a “dollar” store though. It’s a dollar… that they earn not that you pay. Do you follow? The only thing that matters is the business’s perspective and since nothing else matters. I call it -

    "wasteful consumerism"

    …simply because in the states, it is very difficult to avoid when you are flooded with advertising, even though some of it really is entirely the person’s own fault for being so wasteful. The best example I can think of by far is Apple fanboyism. So many Americans waste so much cash to have the latest iteration of Apple’s iPhone, iPad, or Macbook. When you buy one that’s fine – I personally don’t like Apple products (I find the operating system too restrictive), but there are many good arguments for why it could be better. I also like to have a good smartphone and laptop for example, and I’m as much a consumer as you if you happen to have an Apple equivalent. The problem is when you replace your iPhone 4 with an iPhone 4S, and do it along with an army of millions of other sheep for no good reason. It’s pointless and wasteful consumerism at its best. I have skipped all 5 iPhones (as of December 2013), and I feel good about it and in fact will continue skipping anything Apple makes in the future. Next, I want to talk about idiotic stereotypes that Americans like to throw at people in regard of other countries.

  • AkMike
    replied
    Go and visit her! Odessa is a pretty safe area now. I wouldn't hesitate to wander over there even when they had some problems there.

    If you want to be very safe then don't wander about after dark. That seems to be when the Russian cockroaches come out to raise heII.

    Leave a comment:


  • Arkanoid
    replied
    Hey everyone!

    It sure is nice to be back here as it's been almost 2 years since I created this topic. I guess it is time to update!

    So, a couple of things have happened since my last post. First, I've been to a couple of relationships. No, I did not get married or anything like that and quite frankly, none of them have ended happily. I've learned a lot and actually looked over the things I've been previously saying in this thread. The majority of it is the same though but that's not the point. My office job is no longer as boring due to recent promotion, so I got more things to play with now.

    The biggest thing I wanted to tell you guys is that I recently found a girl I really like. We've met online and she is from Odessa and I really want to visit her but due to current circumstances I do not feel very safe going that direction right now. As much as I don't want to get this political crap between us - I don't know what to do at this point. She tells me that there are plenty of agencies that could help her get a tourist visa, however, she has no income (pretty typical situation for most girls there), lives with her parents and the only thing that could change something - if I came there instead.

    So, I am here to ask you guys - what do you think? What would be the right thing to do? And also, what are the chances of her getting a visa, so she can come here?

    Leave a comment:


  • Farrieress
    replied
    Thanks for the update. Yes it was very interesting and helpful to read. I'm glad all is going well for you, and hope you are able to find work and living situation that suits you. !

    Leave a comment:


  • Arkanoid
    replied
    Well, it's been exactly a year since this topic was created, so I thought I shall give you guys a quick update on things (if anybody cares)... I am glad to see that this topic has so many views and I hope that at least one person finds it interesting/helpful.

    I have not moved to Ukraine... I am not going to tell you why because those of you who stay on top of Ukraine's news should already know the reason... I truly feel sorry for everything that's happening there and I believe that one day everything will go back to normal.

    I have traveled to Russia for a couple of weeks this summer where I've visited some of my old friends from school as well as my relatives. I've attempted to find a job before and after my visit unfortunately without much success but I don't lose my hope. I still have my old, boring office job (not sure if I've mentioned it before) that continuously pushes me towards just quitting and doing something else, but I just can't allow myself to do that right now. That's really it. I don't know if I should check/update this thread every now and then because I feel like it reflects me as a person, although I realize that this is a Ukrainian forum, not some kind of forum where I can whine about life LOL... Everything is good otherwise.

    Leave a comment:


  • Arkanoid
    replied
    Originally posted by Joeybagodonuts View Post
    From a American who has traveled
    WELL SAID ! Bravo !
    many things you say are true
    I do not agree with everything, I am self made and started with nothing, I have bad times and good times but try and smile as much as possible.
    why NOT be happy ? its better then sad
    without a long winded post I will say
    when traveling to Cozumel one year on vacation I took note of something
    everyone on island dreams of moving to America
    everyone in America dreams of moving to islands in the tropics
    yes, I know this is a not true and not every American wants to live on a island, I just found it Ironic how people
    "always think the grass is greener on the other side "
    there is MANY amazing, awesome places in this world
    and like anywhere and with any group of persons
    there is good and bad in everyone and every place
    Life, be it here, in Kiev or some remote island
    is what YOU make of it..
    I am stepping off my soap box now.. but I want to say i truly enjoyed your well written and in many ways true post.
    I appreciate your feedback, good sir. Your experience in South America seems to be pretty interesting indeed. I always thought that it is pretty apparent why people from South America see a better life in North America. I can only name a few reasons, but I am sure the list is a lot longer: higher crime, economic problems which don't seem to get resolved or always get postponed, drug issues and finally corrupt political leaders... I am not saying that there is a country that do not have this type of problems but the States is the closest place for the people from the islands to move to - so they keep their hopes.

    Leave a comment:


  • Joeybagodonuts
    replied
    From a American who has traveled
    WELL SAID ! Bravo !
    many things you say are true
    I do not agree with everything, I am self made and started with nothing, I have bad times and good times but try and smile as much as possible.
    why NOT be happy ? its better then sad
    without a long winded post I will say
    when traveling to Cozumel one year on vacation I took note of something
    everyone on island dreams of moving to America
    everyone in America dreams of moving to islands in the tropics
    yes, I know this is a not true and not every American wants to live on a island, I just found it Ironic how people
    "always think the grass is greener on the other side "
    there is MANY amazing, awesome places in this world
    and like anywhere and with any group of persons
    there is good and bad in everyone and every place
    Life, be it here, in Kiev or some remote island
    is what YOU make of it..
    I am stepping off my soap box now.. but I want to say i truly enjoyed your well written and in many ways true post.

    Leave a comment:


  • Arkanoid
    replied
    Originally posted by stepanstas View Post
    How have you been?

    Yes, very unfortunate. Have your plans change temporarily? I don't know if the job prospects have changes, but Kyiv is stable now from what I see.
    Hey man, I've been patiently waiting : ) What's going on with you? I can't really say that it's THAT stable there right now. I watch both Russian and Ukrainian news and it would be just too stupid of me to go there right now. I will not be outlining the news but considering everything, sadly I will probably not be going there any time soon.

    Leave a comment:


  • stepanstas
    replied
    How have you been?

    Yes, very unfortunate. Have your plans change temporarily? I don't know if the job prospects have changes, but Kyiv is stable now from what I see.

    Leave a comment:


  • Arkanoid
    replied
    Guess everything that's going on right now completely changes my plans... That's just very unfortunate.

    Leave a comment:


  • Arkanoid
    replied
    Originally posted by Gotno Gizmo View Post
    Can anyone advise me why a Ukrainian estate agent requires 3% of a property sale value if he sells your home. Does he undertake to do all of the property documentation processing as well, as I believe a lawyer is still required. In the the UK an estate agent will typically take 1% or 1.5% of the sale value, but the seller has to engage a solicitor also.
    Not really relevant to my thread, but can't you just find another estate agent? Did you discuss with him/her how much they will take from the sale prior to letting them sell something for you? If you can get away without having to deal with a lawyer, I would do that. There are plenty of templates available online for free and make sure you state that the sale is final and "you do not accept returns" LOL

    Leave a comment:


  • Arkanoid
    replied
    Originally posted by Pitter Pen View Post
    Yes, a decent dwelling is very expensive in Ukraine when you compare avarage rent payments and avarage salaries. So if you can buy an apartment that is great. I would do just that. But do not be in hurry. You said you liked it here but visiting and living are not the same. You better come, live for some time and then make such an essential investment.

    Re legal grounds for living in Ukraine, you know not all options. As I understand you are a citizen of the US so yes you will need certain legal ground for staying here. Not knowing the whole story of yours, now I can say you can obtain permanent residency due to the fact you are of Ukrainian origin. It will take some time but it is not that difficult as you might think and it is definitely easier than investing USD 100k.

    Re job oportunities. Ukraine is one of the world leaders in outsourcing IT specialists worldwide. All smart guys here try to get hired by foreign IT companies especially by American ones. I think it is a bad idea for you to come and find a job here as you can easily (or at least easier) find a job in the US and come and just live in Ukraine.

    If you are a business thinking person, then you might consider setting up an IT company here that pays only 5% tax, hire local IT guys and provide IT services to American companies. This has become a popular business structure recently and american companies does just this. I am saying this as I worked with such companies.
    Thanks for your reply PP.
    On one hand, as much as I hate renting, I will have to do so regardless at least for a couple of months until I find a job. Yes, I am a US citizen; however, since I was born in Uzbekistan, I presume I am still an Uzbek citizen. Some people say when an Uzbek citizen becomes a citizen of another country, the Uzbek citizenship automatically cancels itself, some say it's a manual process, which can take up to 5 years, and I am not about to waste 5 years of my life on that. If I can legally live and work in Ukraine, then it will be good enough for me; so to answer your question, no - I do not have any Ukrainian origin.

    Yes, I have heard of Ukraine’s job opportunities and the funny thing is that I currently work for one of the world’s largest paper and pulp manufacturing companies AND the funniest thing is that they do have an office in Kiev! The bad thing is all they do is sales, which I know nothing about. Since I am an IT person, they told me that they could not help me finding a job within the company in Ukraine. I am yet to research some more companies here in US that do at least some business in Kiev, although, I do not have a problem working for a non-American IT company.

    Speaking of business, yes I do have a business-oriented mindset. Opening a business requires a capital, which at this point I do not have. I also need to get to know the right people and learn the law. You are right, visiting and living in the country is two different things. I understand things are not going to be easy but I am not afraid of that. I do take risks.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pitter Pen
    replied
    Originally posted by Gotno Gizmo View Post
    Can anyone advise me why a Ukrainian estate agent requires 3% of a property sale value if he sells your home. Does he undertake to do all of the property documentation processing as well, as I believe a lawyer is still required. In the the UK an estate agent will typically take 1% or 1.5% of the sale value, but the seller has to engage a solicitor also.
    I guess this is because he evaluates himself so much considering the market.

    In general you do not need a lawyer. You will need only a notary to notarize your sale-purchase agreement. If you are a seller and you are paid before transferring the title and you are using your own agreement template, then basically you do not need a lawyer as well to ckeck the agreement. But you should also make sure the buyer won't have a reason to return your house after some time and claim his/her money back. So a lawyer is not required but is advized.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gotno Gizmo
    replied
    Why are estate agents so greedy?

    Can anyone advise me why a Ukrainian estate agent requires 3% of a property sale value if he sells your home. Does he undertake to do all of the property documentation processing as well, as I believe a lawyer is still required. In the the UK an estate agent will typically take 1% or 1.5% of the sale value, but the seller has to engage a solicitor also.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pitter Pen
    replied
    Yes, a decent dwelling is very expensive in Ukraine when you compare avarage rent payments and avarage salaries. So if you can buy an apartment that is great. I would do just that. But do not be in hurry. You said you liked it here but visiting and living are not the same. You better come, live for some time and then make such an essential investment.

    Re legal grounds for living in Ukraine, you know not all options. As I understand you are a citizen of the US so yes you will need certain legal ground for staying here. Not knowing the whole story of yours, now I can say you can obtain permanent residency due to the fact you are of Ukrainian origin. It will take some time but it is not that difficult as you might think and it is definitely easier than investing USD 100k.

    Re job oportunities. Ukraine is one of the world leaders in outsourcing IT specialists worldwide. All smart guys here try to get hired by foreign IT companies especially by American ones. I think it is a bad idea for you to come and find a job here as you can easily (or at least easier) find a job in the US and come and just live in Ukraine.

    If you are a business thinking person, then you might consider setting up an IT company here that pays only 5% tax, hire local IT guys and provide IT services to American companies. This has become a popular business structure recently and american companies does just this. I am saying this as I worked with such companies.

    Leave a comment:

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