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Schoolmates reunion in Moscow

LeninMavzoley-225x169I just came back from a two day trip to Moscow where I was meeting some of my old friends by high school. I say “some” because most of my friends didn’t make it even though many were going to. At the time I went to the school I lived with my parents in Chukotka, Russia. It is a region in far east Russia, very close to Alaska. Sara Palin could probably see my town from her backyard :)

We met during the first day and then I went to my friend’s house for the night. He lives with his wife and a 2 y.o. son in a 2-bedroom apartment on the 9th floor of a high rise building in the northern Moscow suburbs. My friend is currently unemployed but soon after he got laid off he started a small motor oil distribution business which fairly quickly picked up and currently pays his bills. My friend’s wife doesn’t work.
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Calling to Russia and Ukraine – money saving tips

Old PhoneI have recently received an email from one of my readers asking how to call Ukraine without spending a lot of green. Since both my and my wife’s parents live in Ukraine (as well as many relatives) the topic of international phone calls to Ukraine has never been off the table and we have probably tried every possible way to save on international calling. Here are a few tips that will help you call Ukraine (and other ex-Soviet countries) without braking the bank.

Check what your current provider charges

If you are using one of VOIP providers the chances are they already have very competitive rates. SunRocket, when it was still alive, even offered $3.00 monthly credit towards international calling. My current provider Packet8 charges $0.13 to call a land line and $0.16 to call a mobile phone in Ukraine, which is a very good rate. For those of you still stuck with AT&T and the likes - read on.
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