Discovering Russia: Journey of an American of Mexican Descent

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An American's Love for Russia

“Hello, my friends! It has been so long since I last sat down and talked to you. I want to tell you, guys, about life in Russia, how everything will change if you decide to go to Russia. I want to share with you everything I’ve learned, so watch this video to understand my point of view. I’m an American of Mexican descent who lived in Russia and plans to move to Russia in 2024. First, you should understand that all the time I was in Russia last time, I had a tourist visa.

I had a three-year multiple-entry visa. This means that I can go there, stay for six months, leave for a day, and return for another six months. I lived like this for about a year and a half. Xenia and I lived in Irkutsk, and then moved to Slyudyanka.

Essentially, I lived as a tourist. In all the videos I shot across Russia, I traveled on a tourist visa. Here are some of the most important things you need to know about traveling to Russia. Russia is a country of common sense.

I shot many videos about how laws work in Russia, the rules in Russia are the same as in many other countries. The only difference is that Russia actually enforces these laws. I know it sounds a bit crazy, to believe that a country writes laws and then enforces them. Well, that’s exactly how it works in Russia.

There might be some of you guys watching, maybe Russians will say, oh, it’s so corrupt there, everything, blah-blah-blah. No, listen. In other countries, like my country, the United States, there’s a law that says you can’t illegally enter the US, but millions of people illegally enter the United States.

In my country, the law says that car theft or owning a gun illegally if you’re a criminal, so many rules are constantly being broken. In Russia, this happens less often.

And by the way, guys, do you remember how I told you about thinking of getting married, because right now I’m in Mexico, this is one of my nationalities, I have dual citizenship, I’m an American of Mexican descent, I have citizenship of both these countries, and the reason I’m in Mexico is because, as I told you, I plan to get married, but I want Xenia to get Mexican citizenship, so I’m preparing the documents, but let’s agree, let’s talk about other things that you should know about Russia.

Everyone always asks, how do I bring money to Russia? How should it be? It drives people crazy, literally. If you’re thinking of visiting Russia as a tourist, you shouldn’t think about bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars with you. If you’re trying here for just a couple of weeks, or maybe a month, you should bring cash with you. In Russia, you can really open a bank account. It’s very easy to get into Sberbank, they provide you with many options for bank accounts, but if you’re opening a regular bank account, all you need is a passport with a visa inside your passport, which has your name, in Russian, documents proving that you’re living there, yes, or your registration when you enter Russia. The reason I’m telling you this is that

Suppose you brought $10,000 with you and want to keep it safe and secure. Russian banks are a very good place to keep money. You can open an account in dollars and a ruble account, change them whenever you want. This is the best way to use money inside Russia and bring it into the country. Withdraw money and open an account in a Russian bank.

Besides having a bank account, another no less important thing is having a phone with a connection. In Russia, there are many different types of cell phone lines, companies that will connect your phone, but again you will need your passport, your visa, and registration.

With such things, you get access to many things in Russia, and you wouldn’t believe it, but essentially you are kind of a citizen of Russia in some sense. Technically, this is true, because you have an account in a Russian bank, you are connected to the internet, mobile phone, and you can just go around, do whatever you want, provided you follow the laws. It’s a country of common sense. Remember this. Always follow the rules. Another thing I sincerely wish many foreigners would understand is that

You won’t impress anyone by being a loud Westerner. It just doesn’t work here. I’m used to being loud, as a Mexican. I like being so happy, singing, and all that. But it’s completely different from what some Westerners do when they get drunk and just yell, behave loudly, and all that stuff. Obviously, if you’re at some party with Russians, and they are noisy, you can join them in that mood.

in that atmosphere, but if you’re just acting as a foreigner, it will irritate some native Russians. And believe me, I’ve seen Russians harshly deal with some foreigners, for example, putting them in their place for being absolutely unbearable.

Even I experienced this, for example, when an American visited me in Irkutsk, he was too loud and made too many strange sounds, and Russian people looked at him strangely. I said, hey, this is Russia, dude. This is Russia. It’s nothing like your little Hollywood Walk of Fame where you can act like a little fool. When you’re in Russia, you need to behave like a real man. And here’s another thing, he was wearing such very short shorts,

Literally, his testicles were almost popping out of them. In Russia, this is not normal. I was surprised he wasn’t literally beaten up while he was doing all this, but it was just funny. Behave like a normal person if you’re going to visit Russia. Don’t be loud, show respect, especially towards children. Have at least some good manners, dress appropriately.

Some of you guys watching might think I’m a bit brainwashed, maybe I’m overdoing it. But trust me, Russia is not the place to come to bring your culture. Russia is the place to come and get to know their culture. This land is very ancient, and its history is fascinating.

Honestly, if you came from America, this place existed hundreds of years before America was even talked about. You should behave respectfully. Having lived in Russia for a year and a half, I really understood that they are very kind and responsive people. At first, it was difficult for me because of the conflict in Ukraine.

When I mentioned that I am American, but you know, no matter where you’re from, they really don’t care, you know, I would say they are less stressed about it than Westerners. The Russian people are absolutely open to other cultures. They are always amazed when I speak Spanish or English, talk about Mexico, or what I did in the past, serving in the army.

These people are open to communication, and I really appreciate that. Having lived in Russia for a year and a half, I felt part of their community every time I came to a new city. And yes, I am concerned that Xenia has a very good level of English because she always speaks English, and I haven’t learned Russian enough yet, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

When and if you come to Russia for a long time, just don’t make the same mistakes I did. You know, my girlfriend, my fiancée, definitely speaks English very well, so she’s comfortable talking to me in English. I tried to learn Russian with friends or whenever I go fishing and stuff, because actually

English is the main language for me and Xenia. I can give you advice, if you have a Russian girlfriend, wife, fiancé, or friend, just ask them to speak Russian with you. Don’t be like me. Don’t be like me. I’ve lived in Russia too long, and I didn’t have a real teacher. If you can afford to hire a teacher, go find one.

Right now I can’t wait to get back to Moscow to really find a real Russian language teacher. If you’re going to do it right now, then start doing it. Definitely. Russian people will treat you much better than me, because I don’t speak Russian at all.

And they really sometimes get on my case, they say, “Hey, you’ve been living in Russia for almost two years, why haven’t you learned to speak Russian yet?” I apologize, but it’s really hard. I already speak two and a half languages, I think my German is completely gone, because I replaced the German words I knew with Russian.

In Russia, there’s a lot of freedom. I want to show you some of my favorite moments of Russia, like riding a tank, or our trip, how I spend time with my friends in the wilderness, checking out some areas of Moscow. I just want to show a few of my favorite fragments from different videos.

All these video memories that I shot were made on a tourist visa. I recorded them, as you know, for the YouTube channel, but also for myself, so I could look back and see all that I achieved, everything I did. And everything I did, you can definitely do too.

Don’t think that it’s just about me. You can come to Russia tomorrow and completely replicate everything you saw in all these video clips. You can meet the same people. You can make the same thing happen. I sincerely believe that our community is only growing. I met so many people online who want to come to Russia. I helped some people get a visa. I can’t wait to meet so many new friends next year in 2024.”

 

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