Comments: 327 • Responses: 96  • Date: 

HerbOverstanding93 karma

Was the USSR really that bad like our media here in the US makes it out to be?

faceola114 karma

Absolutely not :) the propaganda of both sides was over the top.

faceola65 karma

The pluses of being in the country were almost everything is free, the minuses were less freedom to choose where one leaves, can't really travel abroad. That might feel claustrophobic for someone who reads international literature. My grandfather was a composer. Traveling and vacations for him were free at the most beautiful resorts for as long as he wanted. There were special places for composers to vacation during summer times where most of them and their families would spend time together. Same was for other artists.

AbuStorm154 karma

Was born in USSR and moved out in 1990. Was as horrible as described in Western media, even worse. It just wan't as horrible for the elites (such as composers).

I guess it's like the difference between being from Holmes County, Mississippi and Manhattan, New York.

Wow, a shiny gold coin! Thank you, mysterious benefactor :D

faceola12 karma

There was almost no income gap, just medals and honors :) not the same as rich and poor distinctions in the USA

AbuStorm60 karma

Yes, the income gap was not nearly as wide as in the USA. In USSR, you simply had nothing to buy if you were not part of the elite.

Growing up I wore patched old clothing passed from generation to generation. Only toys were an inherited ancient teddy bear and whatever I made myself. Nobody I knew owned a telephone. Most people I knew did not have a shower or an indoor toilet. Most of the adults and many of the children were alcoholics and/or junkies. Most of the roads were unpaved. The society around me was violent, filthy and malnourished. Those who could, grew vegetables and raised animals in their back yards. Getting stabbed or beaten to death because someone is bored was a common cause of death. So was suicide. And that was a place couple of hours drive from Moscow. I imagine there were places with much worse conditions.

As far as I know, that was not the experience of the elite.

faceola9 karma

Very sorry you had to experience the nightmare. I remember similar difficulties but not nearly to the extant you are describing. I think that life in larger cities might have been more bearable. I was also a pretty girls :) life much easier in those circumstances then for the rest.

vitex1 karma

I was born in Soviet too. For me Nazi and Communist Soviets are the same thing. I know why so many like you honor Soviets. You spend you half life in horrible regime and tried to live normal life. Make a family. Nobody blamed you for what country did. Everybody kinda supported government. While on kitchen speak dirty about it. That Soviet broke, nobody get punished. Than horrible 90th. Communist's still alive. Nobody put them in jails. Now you come here to tell how wonderful Soviets was.

faceola6 karma

Sorry to confuse you. It was not wonderful but also not as horrible as portrayed in the propaganda against it. I am not a supporter of the Soviet Union I left the country and happy about it.

agentdarko33 karma

What was the impression of America the Soviet propaganda tried to sell to you?

faceola68 karma

We were told that people are greedy in the USA, many poor in the country and ill treaded minorities.

agentdarko73 karma

Huh. Not that off the mark, actually.

faceola49 karma

Yes, I was hopping these were lies.

heyyouwtf6 karma

My friend's grandparents fled the Soviet Union a few years after WW II. Her grandfather was in an internment camp as a kid. He and his family were separated one day, he never saw them again.

In the 50s they applied to the government to emigrate to Israel. My friends grandmother's family owned property before the war and were allowed to keep it. As a condition for leaving her and her husband had to give up all property they had. Which they did. The husband had to go to Moscow to talk to the government about leaving. He was gone for 3 weeks and his wife thought he had been put in prison. She promptly went into hiding but he showed back up with all the paperwork in order. They flew out a few days later and had a layover in Rome for a couple days before getting to Jerusalem. In Rome they were approached by a man in the airport that told them when they arrived to leave to give a password and they would be put on a plane to America. Her grandmother told me her and her husband thought it was a trap. They argued over during the layover about what to do. When they arrived to depart her husband went I first and gave the code. If he had been detained or anything fishy happened she was to run. It turned out the guy worked for the US government and they were flown to New York.

TL;DR Friends grandmother told me the story of her escaping the USSR.

faceola1 karma

Great story, thank you for sharing.

roehn11723 karma

Thanks for doing this ama! What similarities and differences do you see between the Soviet Union when you left, and the state of Russia today under Putin?

faceola37 karma

It might be unfair for me to make assumptions of the country under Putin because I left a long time ago and detached my self from Russia. I don’t actively learn about what happens in the country ether. To me it seems that Russia has changed a lot in many way. It became a young capitalist country (reminds of 30’s and 40s in United States as I have seen in older movies). Under the Soviet days there was free education, almost free housing and free health care. Now everything costs a lot of money (I am basing these assumptions on stories of my friends who stayed back). It is difficult to find work. Corruption is a much bigger issue than here. Good liberal education is almost non-existent so problem solving on a global level will remain a struggle.

Similarities are close-mindedness of the people. People are still way less open to accepting diversity than in multicultural nations.

bengalviking22 karma

free education, almost free housing and free health care

Education was indeed free. Lots of mandatory Marxism-Leninism classes from high school onwards, but overall can't complain too much. Kids did study.

Some of the housing was (almost free) BUT completely up to the party buerocrats as for when, if ever, you would be provided with one. Officially there was a 10-20+ year waiting list, factually housing was provided to whoever the party deemed it should be provided. Plentiful corruption oportunities, too. My parents had to actually forge some documents a bit to be granted an apartment, by removing the "not" from "housing not provided" in some document. Nevertheless, they got an apartment from a housing cooperative, where they paid for the apartment for 20 years, just like a mortgage.

Health care was free. As it should be. I used to be at hospitals a lot as a kid, it was really boring and.. spartan? Nonetheless, maintaining public health was a priority, which was good.

Personally, I think everyday life was incredibly similar to that of low security prison. Very similar to say Orange Is The New Black, say. You didn't have freedom, you were completely at the mercy of powers that be, you couldn't leave, but you could expect to be taken care of, at the most basic level. Some people do prefer that to life in freedom.

faceola10 karma

Good points, I agree completely on most of them. Cooperatives became available as we were leaving the country.

MacedoniaBall22 karma

What SSR were you from?

faceola33 karma

From a large city, on the boarder of Ukraine and Russia - Ukraine, Kharkov.

MacedoniaBall17 karma

What is your oppinion on the conflict in Eastern Ukraine?

faceola31 karma

I might not have the right to speak out, but I will. Unprecedented scope of corruption weekend the country. I condemn Putin’s action but I also condemn Ukrainian’s way of treating its Russians and Russian speaking citizens. The Eastern part of Ukraine spoke mostly Russian during the Soviet Union era. After the separation from the Union, Ukrainians began anti-Russian actions. These anti-Russian sentiments helped Russians to have sympathizers during Putin's evil deeds. I grew up in Ukraine and remember how in schools we were toughed to be proud of speaking Russian and so on. Most of the families I knew were mixed (Russians and Ukrainians). I feel bad for Ukraine but giving them weapons would be the biggest mistake. Brothers will shoot at each other for a peace of land. They do not and will not have the funds to care for wounded and misplaced. As Luisiana was once purchased from the French so should Putin pay to the citizens of Ukraine for the land he illegally annexed.

DR_COOL11 karma

Do you mean "condone" or do you mean "condemn" when you talk about Putin's and the Uckranian's actions?

faceola4 karma

good question, help me out or I will take a minute and look up the two words.

WhereTheShadowsLieZX4 karma

Condone-accept and allow to continue. (think it's good) Condemn-express complete disapproval. (think it's bad)

faceola2 karma

I wanted to say Condemn. Thank you for helping me.

lemonsparty5 karma

wow that's a great answer; thank you :-)

faceola5 karma


vitex2 karma

Show us how somebody in Ukraine void rights to speak Russian language. Show proofs. Some law that forbid it, what punishment you get, who already punished. etc. Coz you words are bullshit. I live here almost all life, city where 95% speak Russian and now we now die while protecting our country from Chechens, Buryats and other Russians + our local rebels. Good question also, why, when & how ethnic Russians came to Ukraine? Try to answer it to yourself.

faceola1 karma

I know the history and know that a few Russians starved Ukraine to make it part of the Soviet Union. Very evil. I also wanted to do business with Ukraine and the rules were stated as such.

0Boomhauer0-19 karma

You might be an idiot

faceola21 karma

I am not afraid to sound like an idiot. So we are cool.

Getgoing8-32 karma

What a complete bullshit! You should stick to what you actually know and not spread primitive Russian propaganda like "an anti Russian action". They still speak Russian there without any problems. You grew up a Russian chauvinist in Ukraine and not even two decades of separation could cure this. You should be ashamed to give such harebrained explanation to a tragedy that took lives of thousands of people. Shame on you.

mrsexmachine21 karma

Damn son. Could you possibly voice your opinion with more angst and sheer hatred? It's almost as if your entire argument is just one emotional fueled tangent.

bengalviking20 karma

It's as if there is literally a war between Russia and Ukraine, and Russia is occupying parts of the latter.

faceola6 karma

I know, this is bad and wrong and should not have take place. Russia should not have taking a chunk of Ukraine no matter what the reasoning may be.

faceola11 karma

I agree, I was raised as a Russian chauvinist and when I visited my dying Aunt, the Ukrainians did not help me because I did not speak Ukrainian. I was in a devastating situation where I could not understand a phone number for an emergency and people would not speak to me in Russian. I was again so happy I was no longer the citizen.

koshdim-1 karma

That is unbelievable to happen. Even nowadays every Ukrainian speak Russian. Probably you weren't welcomed for another reason

faceola3 karma

Possibly, but the lady from the information agency on the other line heard me speak Russian and gave me the phone number for the emergency in Ukrainian. Since I have left the country and came back years later to visit my ill aunt, I was not there to transition into the Ukrainian language from the Russian and the lady just didn't believe that I couldn't understand her. I don't blame her, I understand her, and this just illustrates the conflict between the Russians and Ukrainians. (and I am neither, just used to leave there the first 18 years of my life)

Getgoing8-8 karma

Would you be hating Americans too that they would not answer you in Russian? What kind of attitude is that? And how come you who grew up in Ukraine would not understand the Ukrainian language given that Ukrainian was taught in schools and the languages are so close? Do you treat Americans now with the same contempt?

faceola3 karma

Good questions. I did not have to learn Ukrainian at school because I and everyone always spoke Russian in our town, news, TV...everywhere. The national language was Russian. Russians thought there were superior to everyone. I was not Russian, I only spoke it as the rest of the country. When the country split in parts, Ukraine wanted to regain their culture and everything suddenly had to be in Ukrainian. I understand and support this. I even though I was not helped in an emergency, I understand the unfortunate behavior. I hope this clarified the issue for you a bit.

irspangler4 karma

I'm a little confused. You said you grew up in Kharkov.

I just wanted to clarify a bit further - are you saying that you are actually Ukrainian, but because you were living in the USSR at the time, the national language was still Russian and Ukrainian was not taught in schools, so you never learned how to speak Ukrainian since you immigrated to the U.S. shortly after the USSR collapsed (at which point, Ukrainians decided to speak Ukrainian more heavily and openly)?

If so, it's reasonable to assume that most Ukrainians still speak Russian (or at least understand it) reasonably well, right?

faceola2 karma

Excellent assumption! All Ukrainians first language when I grew up there was Russian. All schools in Kharkov were in Russian. Very unfortunate for Ukrainians. Only when I left the country the people of Ukraine made an enormous effort to bring the language back. For that reason they slightly went overboard by prohibiting using Russian in all business signs, manuals, news, Tv...I understand that when people oppress for a long time they tend to be a bit more aggressive. So I went back and encountered issues. Which is understandable. I was born in Ukraine but was treated as a minority. That's best left for another conversation.

theonlyjimmy15 karma

Do you regret your decision at all? Did you miss your old life or are you far happier now?

faceola23 karma

People migrate within the United States often, it wasn’t the case in the Soviet Union. We had close friends and family with whom we thought we were parting for good. Leaving the country felt like leaving my childhood behind and not being able to visit it. I am very happy here, never want to go back because I am afraid of how low lives matter there.

RandomScreenNames14 karma

Is it true that your grocery stores at the time had very limited to no selection due to rationing/embargoes? I've seen video of a Soviet supermarket with nearly empty shelves and wanted to know if it was true.

faceola15 karma

Yes, this was true at some points. We would have to resort to getting food for high prices from local markets. There were many of them, at least one within a walking distance.

HerbOverstanding14 karma

Why is this the most glorious national anthem of all time? You lot really were wise in choosing it IMO. I could storm Germany's Eastern Front whilst blaring it.

faceola15 karma

As I remember from the history books and movies, this has already been done :) German's might not appreciate our jokes.

roehn1178 karma

Yes it's probably my favorite national anthem worldwide

faceola9 karma

I think it was changed. I am not familiar with the new one.

Ass_cunt_6662 karma

Союз нерушимы республик свободных

Сплотила навеки Великая Русь!

faceola6 karma

All was done for a better future, and the experiment showed the minuses and pluses of the system :)

HeyZeusBistro12 karma

Are you a sleeper agent?

faceola18 karma

I always suspect other people to be a sleeper agents. May be because I have watched too many war movies. If I say No, will you believe me?

Jeebzus201411 karma

1) Can you compare the quality of life in the USSR v USA? Such as mobility, meaningful work/learning opportunities, access to things you want/need

2) What was/is your social status? Working class, middle-class, upper class? Ex) work with hands, business person, capital owner, etc.

3) Did you have a good idea of America before you moved here? I feel like communist propaganda must have made us seem like a pretty bad place? Did regular Russians share this view?

4) Can you rate on a number scale USA and USSR on a 1 to 10 scale overall. 10 being the best?

faceola14 karma

  1. Mobility was much grater in the USA. Meaningful work might be on the same level. Government was paying to artists and scientists well. I have never heard of a starving artist. There were progressive thinkers in the USSR, rebels of their time and they suffered tremendously. As far as opportunities, it depended on the field of study or interests.
  2. MY grandfather was a famous composer which placed us into the upper class.
  3. Propaganda in from the TV shows and news sources showed that USA treated minorities poorly. From watching American movies I was intrigued by incredible connections people developed. Most Russians had an ideological perception of the United States. 4) USSR - 2; USA - 8. I understand that USA is not perfect and privatization of jails and wealthy lobbing throws us slightly of course, but i love this country and believe the diversity has a greater chance of surviving then narrow-mindedness.

bengalviking6 karma

I have never heard of a starving artist.

Of course people wouldn't have heard of it back then, but life of artists, subjects, repertoires and such were quite tightly controlled. The popular musicians, say, that you might have grown up with had to report to KGB all the time. If the party/KGB didn't like what you were doing, you definitely weren't earning a living doing what you do, if not worse.

faceola2 karma

Great point, there were issues but for the most artists the life was amazing. Most of them wanted to travel more and get larger following and recognition and unfortunately couldn't.

crescin8 karma

How did people view Lenin when you were in the Soviet Union?Was he just another historical figure or someone people actually cared about?

faceola7 karma

I was there only through my childhood. I though of him who was very active and passionate about his believes - a hero. Now I understand that he was a radical sun of a...

FL-Orange6 karma

How well have you integrated?
Would you do the same thing again knowing what you know now?
Would you do anything differently knowing what you know now?

faceola9 karma

I would absolutely do it again. I think I am very aware of my limitations as an immigrant but I am very happy with being in the country where there are so many kind and good natured people.

I am integrated well and wish I had studied more. I have an undergraduate degree in theatre and used to own a business with over 100 employes. Two things I would do different: study more, invest while I had money :) We started investing later when we were broke :)

FL-Orange7 karma

invest while I had money.

2007/2008 me wish I had done that as well.

I'm happy that you are happy here. Best wishes.

faceola2 karma

Thank You!

imthatguy256 karma

How is your life now? Are you happy?

faceola7 karma

I am very happy and often paralyzed by an enormous amount of opportunities.

tazkcmo2 karma

I am happy for you and welcome you with open arms to our country. You being here will make it a better place and I look forward to your continued contributions to this experiment called America.

faceola0 karma

Thank you! :))) I Love this country.

diegojones46 karma

What made you decide to take the leap? You and I are close in age. It was a turmultous time in both countries. Are you happy you made the choice?

faceola4 karma

Faith in humanity and hope in finding better cultures. The goal was accomplished.

metalmonkey695 karma

Did you ever go back to visit?

faceola2 karma

I went once when my aunt was ill to say the last goodbye.

metalmonkey694 karma

And what do you miss the most about life there?

faceola3 karma

My childhood :) not being able to walk on the streets where I grew up.

newsjunkie85 karma

I have a friend who's the same as you. He came to the US before the fall of the Soviet Union too. He says that the media in the Soviet Union portrayed the West as a horrible place. Did you expect the West to be an awful place to live when you got here?

faceola10 karma

I thought it was all very beautiful and was very disappointed when I found ghettos. I was depressed for a while when I found out how poor people leave here. It seemed incredibly unjust and I still can't understand how such an advanced nation can not tackle the problem. I have ideas that I am hoping to implement through the non-profit world :)

newsjunkie85 karma

Good for you! Are you currently running a non-profit?

faceola3 karma

Thanks for asking, I was doing a lot on my own, using my funds and time and couldn't get other people to help me so I had to start a non-profit.

newsjunkie82 karma

Nice! Where's the nonprofit based?

faceola0 karma


CaptainAmsterdam5 karma


faceola20 karma

It would be great to find a healthy balance.

rdfox5 karma

Do you any good "In soviet Russia blank blanks you" jokes?

faceola2 karma

Can you please rephrase the question? I didn't understand it.

Bashkohem8 karma

In Soviet Russia answer questions you

faceola1 karma

Funny! Thanks! The best answer to any question about Russia.

treebox4 karma

Any tips for the best way to learn Russian?

faceola2 karma

You may watch Russian movies online and have a couple of friends to talk to you :)

Enfrag4 karma

Does Vladmir Putin legally win elections? Do they really have people that are against the government killed? Im black and I want to go around Russia, in your experience how are black people treated there? What does Siberia translate to?

faceola8 karma

I think that the government is still dangerous. It would be helpful to find someone who is also of your race and ask them. In the place where i was raised we had a lot of students from Africa and all were treated better then the citizens :)

Jmass234 karma

How do you feel about Donald Trump and his immigration plan?

faceola5 karma

I have another plan :) but I need for people to hear me out, which is tough because legal immigrants don't have a strong representation in the country.

Hybrid8884 karma

How stronk do you think Serbija is?

faceola2 karma

Can't comment, have no idea.

bozobozo3 karma

What is your favorite dinosaur? Comrade.

faceola6 karma

The kind one.

HwanZike5 karma

Agent code accepted. Proceed as usual.

faceola1 karma


TerrrorTwlight3 karma

Are you aware that if you had stayed in the Soviet Union just another year, you could've gone to one of the best Metallica shows ever?

faceola3 karma

Yes, I just heard about this on npr :) Hey, the trade of was a second chance at life.

TerrrorTwlight3 karma

I know man, I'm just busting your balls :)

Would've been a sweet fucking show to go to (if you're a Metallica fan, which I am)

faceola2 karma

:) I am too

faceola1 karma


VicariousNarok3 karma

Do you argue about prices with everyone you deal with in retail?

faceola1 karma

I can't. But my husband does. Sorry

Ipoopbabiez3 karma

What did you like about living in the USSR?

faceola5 karma

The sense of adventurer was incredible. During the Soviet era we were not allowed to travel abroad.


I see you live near the Cleveland area. I'm a first generation Russian immigrant. What do you think about some of the ethnic Eastern European neighborhoods around Cleveland?

faceola2 karma

Hi, great to hear form you! I wish for them to become stronger communities and more connected with other communities.

The_Collector43 karma

Hello! Where in the USSR did you live? Did you know anybody in the United States when you made the decision to emigrate?

faceola4 karma

We had a relative who immigrated years before us but we didn't know much about his life, only that he immigrated and lived in New York.

frogkisser2 karma


faceola2 karma

Orange, Ohio

MiserableFungi3 karma

I entered middle school in 1989. I didn't understand anything about the changing political situation in the Eastern Bloc. At the time I simply took for granted that many of my new schoolmates were Russian speaking ESL students. As younger children, I imagine they had a distinctly different assimilation experience from you, who've spent significantly more of your growing and maturing years in the Soviet Union. What differences do you observe, if any, in any younger fellow immigrants' attitude/outlook?

faceola2 karma

Great question! I observed different scenarios. I was so happy to be done with high school when I got here and realized that younger Americans are not very understanding and forgiving of foreigners as adults. Your experience may be different. It is very difficult to deal with Russian parents for kids who came here younger because of the difference in the dynamic of communication and the way children are generally treaded in former USSR. When I can take a breath and remind myself that my mother is from a different culture, younger kids might not have coping mechanism. The result is they may suffer more from their parents being clueless on social norms as far as interactions, connections, encouragements and so on. What do you think?

MiserableFungi2 karma

What do I think? I was an awkward dorky kid at that age who felt everyone else was cooler than me - especially the incredibly pretty Russian girls. The fact that I was clueless about what they often talked among themselves about in Russian meant I have no insights into what their experience was in their perspective.

As a 1.5 gen immigrant from another large communist country, my cultural experience was distinct from my older sisters. That is why I wondered if Russian immigrants like you had similar experience. It is a bit strange because as White Caucasians, you guys are still "Western" in a way from an East Asian perspective. So is it more similar or more different compared to me?

faceola2 karma

I think most immigrants have some similar experiences and some that are completely different depending the are you have moved in the USA and the environment around one. My experience was very different that my younger sister. I think it was much easier for me, because I was older and more confident because of that. Do you have anything specific you want to compare?

MiserableFungi2 karma

Okay, so you've touch upon a bit about the "generation gap" let me ask about something slightly different.

As a child, my elementary school teachers in China socialized us in a way where it was perfectly fine for anyone - boys or girls to hold hands with each other. This is in a culture where public displays of affection didn't exist. There is no casual kissing or hugging of they type we would see in news reports of foreign dignitaries when they greet each other for the cameras. Yet when I came to the US, gender roles emerge very early and prominently in places like the school playground. It was often difficult and embarrassing for me during my first year when I did something others thought odd. Did you or your fellow Russian immigrants who were younger have to adjust to different standards of what is socially appropriate?

Another thing: the food! I had a horrible fear of cheese early on as dairy is (was) not at all a common staple in most parts of Asian. Things are changing now, but lactose intolerance among Asians is a very telling illustration of how our culture has historically not developed a use for milk (products) in our diet.

These are 2 examples of situations where I think maybe the situation is different between whites and non-whites.

faceola1 karma

Big time! We had done so many inappropriate things that they would amount to enough material for anxiety for me to deal with for the rest of my life. This is the subject I am researching now and help other immigrant from Russia to learn to communicate with Americans.

I feel the same about cheese. I can't digest it well. I never liked it and very few of my friends or family enjoyed it. I might not have paid enough attentions to the subject to be a competent cheese commentator.

darkhorse7533 karma

What do you think of current Russia?

faceola2 karma

I have so many issues to solve as a first generation immigrant that I can't allow my self to think much about Russia. I wish them well and I think it might take a thousand years for them to get out of the economic struggles mostly due to very low level of liberal education.

original_greaser_bob3 karma

Any little things you miss from home such as foods? Humor? Landscapes?

faceola3 karma

Thank you for asking. I miss Landscapes.

crawlerz24682 karma

Hello fellow comrade. I too came here from Russia but in 1994. I was 10. Unfortunately I don't remember the old country too much because I spent most of my life here.

Tell me, how long did it take you? My family was on the waiting list for 3 years.

faceola1 karma

We were so lucky! We were amongst the last once to apply and didn't wait much, a few months.

Sackbulbousy2 karma

Are you strong like Russian bear?

faceola1 karma

I wish

vitex2 karma

Whose Crimea? When WW2 started?

faceola2 karma

google it :)

BEHodge2 karma

Just out of a musicians curiosity (and a MAD respect for Russian composers) could you either tell us (or message me)who your grandfather was? I'm a huge fan of Russian symphonic music from the time of the Great Five through the Era of Shostakovich.

faceola1 karma

Yes, sure. My grandfather's name was Gregory Finarovsky. His older daughter immigrated in 1974 and after that his name was removed from all of the dictionaries, but I still was able to find some info about him online. It was a big blow for him because he was a public figure. We had a composer's union. He was the vice president of the union even though he had duties of the president,( because he has Jewish).

afgator582 karma

Thanks for answering all these questions. I've actually got a couple questions. First, I've hear that in Soviet Russia if you wanted to paint your house you only got 4 colors to pick from and were told that the American's only got two colors, black and white, can you speak to the validity of this? My second question is if you would consider yourself liberal or conservative in today's America? I can see how the smaller government could appeal to you as having seen how a large government can negatively impact people, yet I can also see how you would identify as a liberal due to the fact that they don't want people telling them how to act socially.

faceola1 karma

I am a liberal, but I see the downside in the slow and large government. At least the system provides honest jobs and we can hopefully in a near future figure out how to reduce the government and still create more jobs for americans.

Most of us leaved in apartment buildings in the Soviet Union and some of us (I din't) had summer houses in rural areas. I was not aware of the rules associated with painting properties.

connorgurney2 karma

I've got the ultimate respect for you, especially with everything going on, both then and now. However, my question is: how did emigrating to the USA affect you mentally?

faceola0 karma

The western world seem so amazing that I thought i was on a different planet. It was euphoric for a long while. I hat to adapt new values and learn new communication technics. The experience is very educational. More fun than stress for the younger people.

C_Chivo2 karma

Is It true the mob pretty much ran everything back then? Even the cops were corrupt? It seem I'd be pretty lawless if so.

faceola0 karma

This is what I learned after left the country and don't know to which degree this is true. And when the organized crime took place before or after the fall of the Union.

chosen_few2 karma

Do you have any more proof?

faceola1 karma

Proof of what? of Me being me? What would work for you as proof?

OrionsSword2 karma

In hindsight, do you regret leaving a country which was giving up socialism for one which is adopting it?

faceola1 karma

Funny question and a scary thought.

thelastrhino2 karma

Interested in your opinion - do you think there is a lot of corruption in the US authorities (police, local government, federal government)? In general, would you say they usually have your interests at heart ? I'm not asking how they compare with the USSR, just in general.

faceola3 karma

I had a couple traffic tickets that were clearly unjust. Or I should say, the police person did not have interest of the public, he just wanted to give out another ticket. I was visiting my son in Pittsburg and was waiting for a green light. I wasn't sure if I could turn there and had my turn signal on. A police car stopped behind me and after a minute the green light came on. I thought that is a police car sees that I am attempting to make an illegal turn, he/she will let me know. But he didn't, He waited for me to make the turn and only then stopped me telling me that i was endangering the public by making a turn in the wrong place. I understand that not all of them are doing a bad job. I have witnessed many great actions and often feel safe when police is around in my town. I understand that this is not the case everywhere.

I had very few interactions with government officials. They are much better versions of the USSR government official. Often same kind of people, even similar facial features.

faceola2 karma

I know a person that works for an agency that helps countries and communities to figure out how to find and deal with corruption. He told me that most of the corruption takes place in local governments. I had never had to deal with corrupted officials here, but I had to deal with the corruption in the USSS.

johnnycleveland2 karma

My freshman year in High School we had 2 new students who were from Russia and I was chosen to show them around (because I played hockey, so they thought I would have something in common with them). I was scared to be around them because of how dangerous we made them out to be. Were you scared of us when you came here?

faceola4 karma

Very :) because I could not understand body language, mannerisms and didn't speak English.

camelothotel2 karma

How many of you are taking part in the AMA?

faceola2 karma

Don't understand the question. Its just me answering.

camelothotel2 karma

It says in your description that you are women. I assumed there were more than one of you because of that.

faceola1 karma

Funny, still me, a women. Like to laugh.

whosaidpanic2 karma

We came in 1990 as well. Did you go through Italy and Austria? Also i dont know if you are Jewish or not but did you immigrate with the help of HIAS?

faceola4 karma

Yes, I did. This was the route for which I am very appreciative. We may even know each other. :)

whosaidpanic2 karma

We just might. We came from Belarus i was 7 years old at the time. We stayed in a hotel in Austria and then in Rome we stayed in a house with 4 other families.

faceola1 karma

We also went though the same route. In Italy we stayed in Santa Marinella for 5 months.

whosaidpanic2 karma

Ha ha, thats right. Us too, did you guys go to the market where all the immigrants sold their chachkas?

faceola1 karma

Yes, we did :) My younger son was two then, curly hair. We also went daily to spend time by the ocean.

grouphugintheshower2 karma

Do you empathize with any other similar communist countries?

faceola1 karma

I never did and never will. I simply state that the vision of the communist world was distorted through the lens of the propaganda just as our perception of United states was manipulated. Time for us all to grow up and think for our selves.

LeaperReign2 karma

We in the west hear a lot about nostalgia for the Soviet Union of late in Russia, especially under Putin. How widespread would you guess this is?

faceola1 karma

Very seldom I get this sentiment amongst immigrants and usually from very minded people who have time time adjusting.

DontHandleMeBro2 karma

Do you ever get sick of the "In soviet russia..." jokes?

faceola0 karma

Unfortunately I haven't heard any :)

cwwmbm1 karma

How come you immigrated 25 years ago but your English is still pretty bad?

faceola1 karma

I had to work more then study. My English was good enough to run a business and employ over 100 Americans. My English was good enough to send kids to private schools. My English is good enough to answer interesting and some times angry questions. How many languages you can run a business and support family on?