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  #1  
Old 03-28-2006, 12:07 PM
Admiral-Third World Fleet
 
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Location: Central FL
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Great Place to Buy a Diesel Benz- back from the USSR

I just returned from 2 weeks at my in-laws place in Odessa, Ukraine. You would not believe the number of W123s running around there. All with euro lights and bumpers. I must have seen at least 20 cars every day I was there. I was drooling...and over the chicks, too

We went to the junkyards looking for cheap euro lights but the best we found were $80 a set and they weren't all that great. ( and I didn't feel like dragging them back- 15 hours flight time with 2 changes). This is in a country where the average monthly salary is about $200 - can you say Mafia?

It is amazing that anything runs there. They have potholes on the street the size of Hondas. Vehicular anarchy abounds.

Rick
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  #2  
Old 03-28-2006, 12:20 PM
Cabernet red, actually
 
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There's a lot of chaos over there.

In Russia it is not uncommon for someone who misses their exit on the highway to just put it in reverse and back up to it.
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  #3  
Old 03-28-2006, 12:46 PM
Austin85's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maroon 300D
There's a lot of chaos over there.

In Russia it is not uncommon for someone who misses their exit on the highway to just put it in reverse and back up to it.
sounds like Brooklyn.
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  #4  
Old 03-28-2006, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maroon 300D
There's a lot of chaos over there.

In Russia it is not uncommon for someone who misses their exit on the highway to just put it in reverse and back up to it.
Or Naples...
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  #5  
Old 03-28-2006, 01:30 PM
Admiral-Third World Fleet
 
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I have been to Rome recently and Odessa was on par as far as vehicular chaos, but with pizza-sized potholes and missing storm drain/manhole covers. Unbelievable. My brother-in-law drove us from Kiev to Odessa on a 4- lane divided highway that nearly killed us all at 60-70 mph.
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  #6  
Old 03-28-2006, 02:33 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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I heard they went east

They sure aren't many around here. I saw far more 123's in the US than I have in Germany in the 10 months I have been here. I expected to see a lot of old BMW's and Mercedes but my German friends say that after the wall came down the old vehicles were bought up and sent east, probably to replace the Trabants or whatever they drove over there. I notice that many Germans are very status conscious and drive the newest Audis, BMWs and MB's. If you can afford a MB here you can afford a new one. The ones that won't pass the TUV get sold to the Americans, or probably go east bloc countries. Prices here are very high for the German consumer. Yesterday I was in the local MB dealer and saw the following:

2007 S500L : 120,000 EURO
2006 R350(This was a TDI): 70,000 EURO
2006 E350 TDI: 67,000 EURO

Currently, the EURO is about $1.20. With gas prices at 1.20 EURO/liter, Americans really have it pretty good.
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  #7  
Old 03-28-2006, 04:49 PM
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More about Russia...

I went to Vladivostok and Khabarovsk (sp?) in Siberia in 1993....some of the things that really caught my eye were the fact that there was a burned-out airplane hull next to every runway, all the buildings appeared to be from 1955 or so and no one would accept wrinkled dollar bills, they only wanted crisp ones. Also, in one store they would not give me change for a purchase and gave me a couple of cans of the most awful beer I've ever had in my life instead.

While flying in from Alaska we stopped in Magadan, which was gulag central during the Stalin days, to re-fuel. I recall deciding that I didn't care about getting out of the plane to stretch my legs, but I changed my mind when I looked over and saw the guy re-fueling the jet smoking a cigarette.

A couple of years after I left I read that the City of Vladivostok had run out of money to collect people who died and there were dead people in the streets as a result. There was a great picture of an old lady looking at a dead homeless guy on the sidewalk.

I got some great Soviet military gear (clothing) and some cool commie propaganda (banners and such) for the jeans and t-shirts I brought over. The people were really nice but everyone was very cynical, a trait I have since come to identify in most Russians I've met. Probably has something to do with the long totallitarian history of the country and the brutal invasions by France and Germany in relatively recent times.

I don't remember seeing any MB's while I was there, just cheap-looking Soviet models that probably worked only slightly better than the military watches, which is to say barely at all.
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  #8  
Old 03-28-2006, 04:53 PM
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I hope I never have to go over there. Sounds like a real depressing place.
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  #9  
Old 03-28-2006, 05:55 PM
Cabernet red, actually
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Giant
I hope I never have to go over there. Sounds like a real depressing place.
True. Perhaps that is why they have produced the world's greatest writers, though. At least IMO.
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  #10  
Old 03-28-2006, 06:25 PM
Admiral-Third World Fleet
 
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I can't speak for Russia as I have never been there, but I have been to Odessa three times, in 1997, 1999 and just now. The first two times it was bleak and there was a feeling of hopelessness and backwardness. But now I see that things have finally gotten much better- IF you have a better than average income.

My mother and father in law live in a depressing Soviet apartment complex, five floors up with no elevator, a (what would be in the West) tiny one bedroom apartment about 5-600 square feet. Now that their two daughters have moved out (!) it is reasonably livable. I have no idea how my mother-in-law can cook (and she DOES ) in a tiny kitchen about 80 square feet - with dining room table for up to six.

My brother and sister-in law are very well off. They have a very nice house even by Western standards in the 'burbs. But he is the head of a hospital and probably gets a lot of his income in the form of "favors". I took a few of them home with us (extra vodka and cognac).

Anyway, things are getting better- they have supermarkets like us- video superstores ("Best Buy" type) like us, reasonably free elections-things they didn't have seven years ago. I hope they don't backslide toward the Russian economic/political model.

Rick
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Last edited by rs899; 03-28-2006 at 06:43 PM.
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  #11  
Old 03-28-2006, 06:29 PM
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Lots of MB dealers in Russia, even where the roads are not so great. Mafia runs a lot as you get further away from Moscow, and they like their MB's.
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