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  1. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Stravinsky  [View Original Post]
    Yes, it will be interesting to see how Gerard adapts to Russian life.

    The 13% income tax rate is a definite attraction, but when you add the 18% VAT, the effective tax rate ends up being much higher. Although, it's still less than the USA Plus, my understanding is that the 75% rate in France is still not law, and it may not be. In that case, the joke's on Messr. Depardieu.
    The problem is that it is 13% income tax, plus 50% of anything you earn for "protection".

    There is no escape: they can see your bank account.

  2. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by EastGoing  [View Original Post]
    Cheers
    Seems like you look for reasons for NOT going to Russia rather than for going. (rolleyes)

    The best answer to your post is this brilliant piece of writing of Borderland:

    Quote Originally Posted by Borderland  [View Original Post]
    The happiest days of my life happen like this:

    It's 4:30 am and you're woken by the Provodnitsa knocking on your kupe door,"dvadsat minut" she says. You stir and jump down from your bunk trying not to disturb the sleeping passengers in your compartment. You look out the window and see the lights in the distance of your approaching destination which is a provincial city deep in the heart of Russia that you've chosen to visit purely because you think no other foreigners would. It's black outside and snowing hard. You fold up your 'roll' on the bunk and get dressed in the warmth of the compartment. As the train nears the station you get your bag and move out into the corridor where other bleary eyed passengers stand with their luggage, boxes, kids. The train pulls to a stop and the Provodnitsa dressed in her long coat opens the door and drops the steps. We all shuffle along to eject ourselves from the womb of the train and out into a cold that will momentarily shock you as it hits you, like jumping into the cold pool after a banya. Taxi drivers in leather caps will surround you asking you where you're going (how do they instinctively know you're foreign?). You'll look at your Provodnitsa, the only link to civilization that you know, a surrogate mother who fussed over you on the journey and you'll want to get back on board the train where everything is warm and orderly. But you don't, instead you wish her "Vsevo haroshevo" and head off with the others over the tracks and to the terminal building. Inside is a sea of bleary eyed people and cold stares, men asleep on top of heating vents, a family surrounded by stacks of luggage. You go out into the cold to find a taxi. The best are not the touts but the quiet guys who wait patiently in their cars at the back of the car park."Gostinitsa" you say and negotiate a price, which is made difficult by the fact you've no idea where you are or how far you're going. Eventually you arrive at an old Soviet monolith in the centre of town and realize that the taxi driver didn't rip you off at all, you're definitely not in Moscow anymore. You go in and enter another world from the one you left behind in London just a few days ago, you're back in the 1970's, no 'remonted' lobby, just a big marble clad monstrosity. You walk past the two security guards in their black suits and study their faces trying to decipher if they will be 'girl friendly'. At the reception you will meet your first devushka, she'll be happily surprised by the presence of a foreigner in the hotel. You try not to register the shock of hearing the rediculous price for a room and hand her your passport. As she fills in a form you'll notice two clocks behind her, one showing local time and one showing Moscow time and you'll know you really are somewhere in deepest Russia. As the pretty receptionist gives you your key and explains the times of breakfast you know you'll have to make a play for her at some point in the trip, it's what you do. You get to your room and open it with trepidation: inside is a noisy fridge, threadbare carpet a hard looking bed and t. V. $80! You'll think. You have a wash and crash out to the sound of Russian MTV.

    After a couple of hours you wake. You flick on the kettle and open the curtains to a snowy cityscape of kruschovka apartment blocks, kiosks and distant power stations. There are a few cars slowly navigating the icy road, people wait for a trolleybus in long leather coats and hats. It just looks so unwelcoming, the people so cold, the atmosphere so brutal compared to home. And then it begins, the first doubts, the first questions "what am I doing here on my own?","why did I come?","what if I don't meet anyone?","what if the women are unresponsive?","why didn't I stay in Moscow?","why did I come to Russia?" It's classic fight or flight but these are the moments you live for on these trips. And as you take your first sip of coffee you scan the city view again and remind yourself of a few facts. You remind yourself that you've been in these situations before and succeeded, that there is a city of stunning women waiting to be charmed by you, that the devs here have had the fantasy of being whisked away from it all by a dashing lothario since they began msturbating and you're here to full-fill that fantasy. You remind yourself that after your first approach all the nerves will dissipate as if by magic only to be replaced by the familiar excitement of meeting women of incredible beauty. It's time to go to work. And so you blast out the MTV and prepare yourself, shower, dressed, shot of vodka.

    You descend in the elevator to the hotel lobby. As you approach the reception you notice that the pretty receptionist from earlier has been replaced by an even hotter one. She smiles warmly, she knows who you are, she's been told. You smile and as you hand in your key you engage in small talk, asking her about the town, what to do, where to go. And then as you say bye and turn to leave, U-turn back to her as though you just remembered something as an after thought and deliver the line you have used time and again,"why don't you put your number in my phone, just in case I get lost or something". She will smile knowingly then take your phone and insert her number. You've just number closed the first dev of the trip and it feels good. As U-turn with a smile of satisfaction the security guard will give you an unfriendly look which says "I've been trying to get her number for 6 months motherfucker". You walk outside and the town that an hour ago seemed so intimidating is now a town of friendly possibilities. You are in 'The Provinces'.

  3. #8
    Hi guys,

    I start by saying that I have never been to Russia personally, but I got some friends who did. One just came back yesterday. I have been "trying" more than once in the past, last time being around 2005, but I always gave up due to troubles with visa, accommodations, obligation to declare all details of your movements to officers, prices getting bigger and bigger, etc. My desire would have roughly been something like one week in Moscow and one in St. Petersburg in a single trip, but the obstacles always made me quit: I don't want to spend a fortune, I don't know anyone to invite me (my friends had girls or company providing invitation) and I would like to change place if I don't like it without having to get crazy over searches, officers, laws I don't know, etc. I happened to read this thread today because I wanted to try again after the return of my friend. I spent the evening on.

    www.booking.com

    Looking for accommodations, the only affordable ones are hostels, most with toilet in common, some of them stating they won't be of help with the visa! Not to talk about the complications of flying to an airport and coming back from another one, plus the internal flight! For this last problem I can sort out by going to only one of the 2 cities, but the other disadvantages still remain. I think I'll end up choosing easier destinations, as usual! Also standards, costs and the ratio with an average salary will probably kill my desire to add Russia to my Risiko collection, also Cuba underwent this destiny: how can can I fork out tens, hundreds of dollars over there when even teachers and doctors live on. 3? 5? 10 dollars a month? In Russia, if I'm not mistaken, the lower salary now is 130 euros. 10 years ago was about 20 dollars, anyway maybe now I'm too late for my standards, budgets and opinions, but still I hope some day I'll put my feet up there.

    However I wouldn't say that in Russia there is not sexual tourism, I'd reckon more correct to say that there is going to be less than before, maybe less and less, especially compared to the past. I think there must have been some from 1989 until some years ago, because life and (more important) girls were cheap and easy: you could get many girls, beautiful or stunning, for little money, this being common in all FSU countries. Problem was just the visa.

    Time passing by, prices have gone higher and higher (also referred to girls) , Moscow is now one of the most expensive cities on earth, in spite of its inhabitants' average income and conditions of life, and visa and related rules are still a problem, probably nowadays these factors put together keep the average monger away. I would add that there are many Russian girls "working" abroad, so you don't need to travel there to get one, especially if they're going to charge you as much or more than what they charge you out of Russia!

    If I'm saying bullshit I'll be pleased to read corrections and proper infos and advices.

    Cheers

  4. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Stravinsky  [View Original Post]
    Yes, it will be interesting to see how Gerard adapts to Russian life.

    The 13% income tax rate is a definite attraction, but when you add the 18% VAT, the effective tax rate ends up being much higher. Although, it's still less than the USA Plus, my understanding is that the 75% rate in France is still not law, and it may not be. In that case, the joke's on Messr. Depardieu.

    Also, not sure how cozy I'd want to get with a man (Putin) who can have you incarcerated in a moment's notice on nothing more than a whim. But, as long as Gerard stays out of politics, he should be safe.

    Seems to me, the only problem he has now is: can he get a visa to enter France?
    What is funny is that he has been offered a position of Minister, but he doesn't speak Russian (smilie). As for needing visa to come back to France, I am curious to see if he will actually renounce to his french nationality as claimed he will do. IMO he would be crazy to do so.

    You are right, the 75% tax on the salaries above 1 million / year, it has been delayed by the Conseil Constitutionel, but as it is one of the highlight of the new president's programm, no doubt that it will happen. Not that I care a lot, as I am (unfortunatly) not concerned (sigh).

  5. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Prosal  [View Original Post]
    Be a french actor popular in Russia and be friend with Putin.
    Yes, it will be interesting to see how Gerard adapts to Russian life.

    The 13% income tax rate is a definite attraction, but when you add the 18% VAT, the effective tax rate ends up being much higher. Although, it's still less than the U.S. Plus, my understanding is that the 75% rate in France is still not law, and it may not be. In that case, the joke's on Messr. Depardieu.

    Also, not sure how cozy I'd want to get with a man (Putin) who can have you incarcerated in a moment's notice on nothing more than a whim. But, as long as Gerard stays out of politics, he should be safe.

    Seems to me, the only problem he has now is: can he get a visa to enter France?

  6. #5
    And in the meanwhile, for us, Mr Average, we have to wait three weeks for mere one month tourist visa. (deep sigh)

  7. #4

    How to get a Russian passport in 48 hours

    Be a french actor popular in Russia and be friend with Putin.

    http://englishrussia.com/2013/01/07/...comes-russian/

    Accessorily, you will then pay only 13% taxes in Russia, instead of 75% in France.

    He has was offered a position of Minister of Culture of the Mordovia federal republic. Plus a house.

    Lucky guy.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails jl4CeBChk1U.jpg‎  

  8. #3
    Prosal,

    The Russian consulates and embassy here in the U.S. stopped accepting direct visa apps 3 or 4 years ago. All visa apps must be submitted through a separate travel agency (chosen by the Russian government, of course). This increases the cost, because the agency has to make something for itself and also the processing time, but 300 Euro and 15 days is definitely too much. But then, it's their football. . .

    Putin is a little conflicted about tourism: on the one hand, he understands that he can't rely on selling natural resources forever and he wants to open up the Russian economy to foreign investment, but then, in almost the same breath, he takes the old Soviet position that Russia must protect itself from foreign influence and foreign agents.

    I'm not sure if this new law is universal, or just reciprocity for the U.S. The U.S. embassy is granting 2 year visas to Russians now who visit the U.S. It will be interesting to see if the consulates in Europe will also change their visa policies. It sounds as if Paris is still issuing the old 30 day visa.

  9. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Stravinsky  [View Original Post]
    obtaining a visa
    Good thread, spasibo.

    Russian visa is a pain in the ass, but the harder they make it to visit the better for those who insist. Russia is still free of sex-tourists, and that is good like that.

  10. #1

    Travel to Russia

    I created a new thread for Travel to Russia. The idea is to have a place where we can collect information specifically about travel to Russia. So, information about things like; obtaining a visa, when and how to register after you arrive, airlines, flights and air fares, and also info about how to travel within Russia. Also, info about where to stay; apartments and hotels. Discussions about where to find girl-friendly hotels should stay in the regular threads.

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