Discussion of Odessa
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Living here is O.K.
Seaside: sea is easily accessible from any part of the city in a reasonably fast manner. There are many vacationers at the beaches in summer, the commercial beaches are usually clean, while the free ones usually aren’t.
The whole city is comprised of foreigners mostly with some locals of varying degree, so everybody treat each other mostly nicely, but be warned, that you might get swindled.
The locals are quite colorful, you can always find someone to have an interesting conversation with or someone who will bring you nothing but trouble. Some will help you out of the goodness of their heart; others will try to profit from your troubles. You can meet people of any social status and nationality in the street. While sitting in a single spot (for example, near the opera theatre or along the seaside boulevard), you can see very different people at the same time – begging Gypsies, vagrants exploring garbage bins, school kids fooling in the fountain, a group of drinking university students, some tourists and even somebody famous, just strolling around or being cast in another movie. You can even meet Darth Vader.
It can be very hot in summer but can radically change into a storm with falling trees and flying corrugated fiber cement sheets. In winter it can either snow just a few times quickly turning to slush or snow so hard, that transportation will be paralyzed for a week.
Going to university makes sense only if you want to be a doctor or lawyer, it is a total waste otherwise, since you’ll just waste 5 years and won’t be able to work in accordance with your diploma, unless you start teaching at that very same university. More often than not, such students become sales reps. Graduating from university without bribes is also quite hard.
It is better to stay healthy, since healthcare can either be costly or worthless or both worthless and costly, it all depends on your luck.
The local language is mostly Russian but with some inclusions of slightly distorted Ukrainian, Moldavian and many other languages. You will easily find somebody to talk to in your native tongue, whatever it might be, even if your conversation partner doesn’t know that language.
Exiting a courtyard in the city center, you find yourself in a car jam, a considerate driver in a Lexus lets you pass while driving around yet another pothole, a Lada taxi cuts in front of you at that very moment, while a young driver in an old BMW comes up close from behind while simultaneously evading yet another taxi bus.
Going abroad: haven’t gone anywhere yet.
The prices are the same as elsewhere in Ukraine. Doner kebab costs about 30 hryvnas (a little more than 1$), going to McDonald’s for two sets you back some 100 hryvnas (4$). An interesting feature is that a dinner for two would cost the same regardless of the class of the place you pick – about 400-500 hryvnas (~20$). Some good places are along the Deribasovskaya street, good food can be found in Kompot, Steak House or someplace by the sea. The real expenses start when you get into trouble or need something from the state, such issues can only be solved with bribery and connections.
Good IT specialists are very valued, average salary in our company is 1500-3000$, you might find something higher but you might not too. The average salary in other fields is the average for Ukraine, about 2000-3000 hryvnas (the exchange rate at the time of writing was 22, so it’s about 100$).
You can buy a flat outside the city center for 500-1000$ per sq.m, the prices within the city center increase to 1500-2500$ per sq.m. Renting a flat starts at several thousand hryvnas and increases (>=100$) depending on proximity to the city center, size and renovations.
Be prepared that your cell phone and wallet may be lifted in public transport, especially during peak hours. Do not leave your things unattended at the seashore, even more so in the clubs. Do not leave handbags in cars, since your windows may get smashed in and handbags stolen. Even your house may be burglarized while you’d be at work, and even by a neighbor you know. Be most vigilant during summer, a peak season for both tourists and crooks.
There are some beautiful women, and some smart ones, and then there are the smart and beautiful ones, like mine :D
I am currently paying a little over 100 hryvnas (~4$) for 100mbit. Free neighbor’s Wi-Fi can be often found.
The crisis will pass.
Thanks, but don’t.
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