Inga Freise Stahle | Life As An “Ex-Pat” Living in Russia

While Inga Freise Stahle lived as an “ex-pat” in Russia for 2 years, she learned some tricks and tips that will help others who are moving to Moscow. Inga Freise Stahle particularly enjoyed living in a gated community with other newcomers to the country. Her children learned English in an international school (although one day it was closed during the winter when temperatures dipped to -36 Celsius!) and she found the people of Moscow to be welcoming. However, for those who are considering a move to Russia, there are some things Inga Freise Stahle suggests to make the transition easier.


One of the first things Inga Freise Stahle recommends is to become familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet before you get to Russia. Most of the street signs, buildings and metro information are in Cyrillic, so to navigate the city at all you need have some knowledge of the alphabet, derived from ancient Greek.Additionally, Inga Freise Stahle suggests that a newcomer to Moscow should learn some rudimentary Russian. Inga Freise Stahle suggests that, for ex-pats who are still getting settled in, the Russian word “ресторан” – which means “restaurant” – is a great place to start. Most people living in Moscow speak only Russian and they expect tourists to know the basics.


If you don’t know (or have any interest in learning) Russian, Inga Freise Stahle recommends that you hire a driver if you want to get around the city. In Moscow the police can pull drivers over without warning, and they will want to see your documents. So, it is always a good idea to have a person who speaks fluent Russian with you in case the police have any questions, Inga Freise Stahle points out.


Once you have acquired language skills the city will open up to you, Inga Freise Stahle says. The arts and culture in Moscow are among the most amazing in the world, Inga Freise Stahle fondly remembers. Among the wonderful things the city has to offer are the Moscow Circus, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the Bolshoi Theater.


Aside from the art and culture, there is one other thing that Inga Freise Stahle highly suggests that visitors to Moscow try. “Russian caviar on toast with champagne is amazing,” she recalls wistfully.

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