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Home » Articles » Destinations » Europe » Yuzhno Sahkalinsk, First Impressions
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Yuzhno Sahkalinsk, First Impressions
Submitted by ieuandolby on 2007-03-30 00:22:57 (via www.seadolby.com)
Arriving in Yuzhno-Sahkalinsk Airport, Yuzhno, Russia for the first time.
8  votes
Submit Your Vote   |   Add Comment      10 comments   |   Topic: Russia  
 
Submitted by Adele on 2007-03-30 03:10:38
Wow....:):(! I don't know what to do, to laugh or to cry... Great article, Ieuandolby! And you know, this is exactly how things are there. Not a bit is exagerated. It's unfortunate, but this nations is really decaying.

Have you had a chance to go to Moscow or St. Petersburg?
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Submitted by ieuandolby on 2007-03-30 03:17:47
Thanks Adele for the comment - nope, never got off the island of Sahkalin! Spent a summer and a winter there and in short never want to go back again! I wrote what was the summer articles and the winter articles and tried to be objective but I think in the 32 articles total my bitterness and anger at the system and people often showed through!

What is the otherside like - better I presume, considering that Sahkalin was once a penal colony?
Submitted by Adele on 2007-04-02 05:52:16
Actually, maybe youve heard, Moscow is counted among top most expensive cities in Europe. And if you get a chance to visit there, you'll see all the European shops are there at European prices. And all is nice, smooth and clean there. Cars... you can see the latest most luxurious models. Buildings... a lot of newly errected residence complexes with all possibly imagined commodities and features...

But it's enough to step outside it's outskirts and you are in a reqular three world country, more on it's way to decay, then to progress.
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Submitted by ieuandolby on 2007-04-04 23:13:31
Most of the Russians that I talked to, well paid ones and those on the bread-line, mostly suggested that life was better during the years of communism. At least they all had bread on the table then, at least crime was mostly kept within the walls of the Kremlin and only involved politicians and for the most part life was positve with a growing infrastructure, a place on the world stage and a pension once you retire. Now its 'dog-eat-dog' to get to where you want. Must be good though if you are one of the few elite and live in Moscow!
Submitted by Adele on 2007-04-05 05:48:33
That is very true... unfortunately. I think it will take years, until things get stablized, maybe a couple of generations will have to pass.

For those who treasure freedom and are ready to pay any price to acquire it, they know how to appreciated what they've got now. For those who settle for a safe and stable simple routine life, when all they need for happiness is the bread on the table and a place to earn it, the new order of things is killing them. That's why so many fell into drunkeness...

So, something must change: the mentality or the society consistence.

Have you encountered such a phenomena in your country or other countries you have visited?
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Submitted by ieuandolby on 2007-04-06 22:25:44
They say it takes three generations to change anything! But change has to come from the heart - take Northern Ireland for instance. I can only imagine that change is taking place now because they are all absolutely sick of it all - but still the ability is inherent to pick up arms (fathers have taught their children how to fire a gun before toilet training came along).

I live in Taiwan. I have 800 plus missiles pointing at me from China - now how pathetic is that? Taiwan says that China really belongs to them, China says that Taiwan belongs to them. Its like little children arguing over toys except these toys have sharp points on them. This is all about face and pride really, they could do so much more if they just backed off and accepted the situation for what it is and got on with life but ......... I don't think it will be three generations here! As with many things in life change does not come with time it comes with force. Take communism for example; within a day the Russians turned to communism because they were made to - and after a fashion it worked. But take communism away and they don't know what to do except lie and cheat their way through life.

So here in Taiwan the change will come through military might and oppression........or a big bang in the night as somebody accidentally sits on that red button that controls the missiles.

Look at any country - even the Americans who have lost more wars recently than they have won (Vietnam, Iraq, Somalia) still think that they can control the world by force. Anyway that is another subject that includes the fact that military actions boost economies. What will it take for America to pull in its head and become more pointed towards its own welfare and the poverty that exists within its borders than to step outside and pretend that they are the worlds ambassador to fix and cure the worlds wrongs. It wont be a one generation; it won't be two - it will probably result from fear as china becomes a force to be reckoned with.

Where are you from by the way - hopefully not America as I seem to be hitting on them for some reason.
Submitted by Adele on 2007-04-11 11:17:55
Hi Ieuandolby!

Thanks for the long feedback:O) No I'm not from America. Have you been to America? I have never been there, but I have worked closely with Americans for a long time and they were some of the nicest people I met. Of course, it has a lot to do with the fact that they were Christians.

But I have my own view upon American politics. I would not give my life for it though:), because I have not researeched it properly. But as a friend of mine stated: if there is one word that describes America, that is "excess". So, when I read and see all these poor countries, where childern starve and people live on the streets or riverbanks because the government demolished their houses, to build modern building instead, without caring to provide a roof over their heads, then I undestand America. I don't think they need anything, 'cause they've got it all, but seeing the injustice where fellow humans just like them, are treated as inferior creatures, doens't leave them indifferent...

Maybe, I'll be judged as naife for such a view, but it makes a lot of sense and it's based on the reality facts...

And if there are poor people in US, it's not because the government has not provided them with a job or a shelter. I don't know if ther is any place where people's rights are so much cared for.

Anyways... I'd be curious for your opinion on this.
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Submitted by Anonymous on 2007-04-11 21:56:38
Hi Adele
Yes, I agree there are some very nice Americans indeed. I was up in Philadelphia some time ago and made some very good friends.

But one has to look at Americans and how they are to the rest of the world, as a group not as individuals. They refused to sign the Kyoto protocol to reduce emisions despite being responsible for a quarter of the worlds greenhouse emmissions (there excuse, it would hurt the economy. Poverty in America in some places (including New York) is so bad that people are actually starving; poverty in America as a whole is wide-spread and in the millions. This never seems to get to the medias attention. The money spent on rebuilding the area around the twin towers could have kept newyorks poor in clothes and food for the rest of their lives - and the area could have been turned into a lovely park as a memorial to those who died! Do you think that those who died really want another large building their?

The American government does not care for its poor, here you are widely mistaken. They are cast aside, ignored and unlike Britian were it is every persons individual right to receive health care, americans must have the money upfront.......millions of Americans do not and suffer as a result.

I am not for endless immigration; but even illegal immigrants have rights; America has an estimated few million illegal immigrants working the sweat shops. the factories and farms. At night they are locked up in sheds, containers and sleep ten to a room, abused and mistreated - the American governemnt turns a blind eye as thes often unpaid slaves keep the manufacturing might of America on its feet!

In Taiwan there are poor people! Everywhere there are poor people, it seems to be a feature of our world. there are the rich and there are the poor. But to look at class disticntion the world over it is getting wider and wider. China is a social problem, many newfound billionaires and then billions of people who cannot afford to buy a can of baked beans (or dumplings in china). russia is the very same, except here poverty is kept at bay through wicked behaviour, outright theft and mafia style enforcement.

And America is no different except for the fact that they allow this massive class disticntion to exists under tha banner of democracy - this is where it bothers me.

Dont always beleive what the media say, there is nothing better to make an opinion than to actually see it with your own eyes, this is what I base most of my opinions on.
Submitted by Adele on 2007-04-12 03:50:28
Ok, give me facts. Have you seen it with your eyes? Are there any source on this that I can read. I have a hard time believeing it.

And the poor are because they refuse to work in a factory, 'cause they want to be able to afford a Bentley like some of the richest and they want it fast and up front, not through hard work... They don't care if the other few have attained it through generations on work building on what the grandfather and father did. Were McDonalds rich from the start? They were 2 poor students. Of was Henry Ford bord rich and famous?..

And, it's beacause they don't want to work in a factory, that Mexicans came illegally and work in whatever conditions are offered... And you know why? Not because they dont' have aspirations and don't care about what they do, but because they know what is sheer poverty, famine and unemployment and learned to appreciate what they get in US, 'cause it's incomparable with what they have at home.

I know, not everyting is perfect there and the system is not perfect, but a society consists of individuals and they each make their own choise. And I know many people who have migrated there - recently I have talked to one and asked his opinion. He says: it's a place of oportunity, if you want to do something - it's possible. And if you want to run hecticly you can and if you don't, you still will live in sufficiency.

Anyways, when I get there maybe I'll have a different opinion. I'll let you know:O)

But keep your reasoning, I'm definitely interested in oposite views, but give me facts, please ;O)
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Submitted by ieuandolby on 2007-04-12 04:29:12
I fully agree with most that you say! yes, there is opportunity in the states, yes there is a way to do most things and in comfort. But you are talking about the educated part of society, the one that runs the businesses, the ones that got to go to a good school and the ones that went on to do further education.

There are millions in america who wouldn't know how to go looking for anything; there are millions in america who live below the bread line simply because they have no idea how to get out above it.

Yes, you can say that many poor don't try and help themselves, but at the end of the day it all boils down to education, education and more education and so many americans are not given proper education from day one.

If you type "poverty" into google you will soon find see that 37 million people in the states live in below the bread line. You will also see that the estimate is 8 million illegal immigrants. This number will be far higher as nobody knows where they are or where they live.

There is in New York, 9,173 homeless children living in shelters. This number again is only the documented figure and it will be far higher. Children I ask you and that is only in one city!

Yes, I have seen it first hand. Ten years ago I backpacked across the states without guide book or map. I stayed in towns that were falling apart, "poverty stricken" and unmarked as a tourist destination. I went through towns that still had the railway line, if the blacks cross they will be shot, believe me.

So yes, there are many different opinions but like yourself, I am positive that you will go to America and follow the known places, the tourist trail or live in a nice house in a nice area. You are not going to go to Harlem or to a small yokal town in Deep South Louisiana - are you?

Anyway, have a good time in the States! Its a beautiful country from the right angle!
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