July 29, 2010
The internet, the expats friend
The expat community is big here in Moscow. Moscow is a big mega city and yet a small city, where you will know somebody, who knows somebody, you know!. Its small, because the world is now small, thanks to and because of, the Internet. Love it or hate it, the Internet has made life easier for people living away from home. I lived in Moscow for a short period, 13 years ago and there was no usable world wide web, You could only use expat language newspapers, letters and the telephone to find things out and to keep in touch with friends and family back home.
There are large communities of French, British and Americans living here. I cannot find any concrete statistics on numbers on it but after being here for a while, you can see it and feel it. Many Americans, along with other nationalities, came to Moscow over 10 to 15 years ago, chasing a fast buck to big money, in the wake of Russia opening up her arms to the free market economy. Some made some it, some did not, some came here to be with an online Russian bride. Russian brides (dating services) are big business and many a man has been hooked and reeled into Moscow, to start a new life, with a new wife, in the big stink that we call Moscow.
There are many bars catering for expats and many strip and sports bars catering for male expats, single and married. Many expats here now, are working in finance, banking, specialist law and property e.t.c, although this number has reduced a lot due to the credit crisis and corruption issues that still haunt Russia today. Expats abroad, are often on big money and Russians know this, by setting rents at unbelievable high prices assuming that all expats have their rents paid for, where this is not the case anymore. There are also many embassy workers in Russia, who arrive in Moscow with their families on long term postings.
With the Internet, you can find out about a country before you arrive. You can find out about rental costs, childcare facilities and education and other such things, where before this was not possible as the Internet was not available. This is a big help as the shock of living in a new city, will not be so hard to adjust to. You can join expat forums, if you are brave enough to do so, although as a word of caution, many of these forums are dangerous, but can be helpful, if used carefully for finding out information from other expats, in your chosen expat destination. So I say, I hate the Internet and love it, as it has made life abroad a little bit easier and the world a little smaller.
I hope this blog will help you and has many other stories and tips.
Labels: Expat resources while abroad