Your safety in Ufa, Russia
You may be safer in Ufa if u'll keep the rules for your safety:
1) Don't walk alone in the dark time or at nights, especially if you are in Chernikovka, Shaksha, Dok. The most safety streets in Ufa are - Lenina St., Prospekt Oktyabrya, 50 let Oktyabrya.
2)Change your money only in banks- Uralsib, Sberbank, Alfa-bank. Just try to find a board with the inscription "Currency exchange" on it. You may be approached by "fartsovchiki" for example in Bashkortostan Mall, they may offer their services for currency exchange - I advice you to avoid these people, who may easily cheat you!
3)Don't drink in a company of unknown Russians. Please note, that Russian vodka is very stong, don't bring it too much and please don't mix it with beer. If u really aren't up for drinking just refuse the drink! No one will really insist (althoufg they will try)!If you get drunk - please, try to avoid going outside on the street - especially at night. Call a taxi to get a hotel or an apartment!
Muslims in Ufa.
You should know that Bashkortostan is a muslim republic, but muslims here are not so orthodox as in Chechnya (republic within the Russian Federation) or Iraq. Some large nationalities of Bashkortostan - Russians, Tatars, Bashkirs, Ukranians, etc. Bashkirs and Tatars nominally muslim. One of the most beautiful mosques in Russia is Ufa Lya-Lya Tul'pan Mosque which is situated in Chernikovka district. It was built recentlt by Turks and features two minarets in the shape of big tulips. Also you should visit 100-years old Ufa Mosque - in the centre of the city. There you can see prayers at the top of the stairs and children who learn Arabic in special classes.
Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia
Ufa is the capital of Bashkortostan, the republic within the Russian Federation. It is one of the industrial centres in the Western Urals between The Agidel' (Belaya) and the Ufa rivers. Ufa industry includes electrical and oil equipment, synthetic rubber and oil refining. The most important enterprises in Ufa are: Bashneft' (oil and gas company), UMPO (jet engines), Ufaneftekhim (petrochemical company), Salavatnefterorsintez (one of the most important company in Bashkortostan), several oil factories.
"Education in Ufa, Bashkortostan"
The education system of Bashkortostan is one of the largest in Russia becuz of the quantity of universities and students trained in them. The most important universities are: The Bashkir State University, The Ufa State Aviation Technical University, The Ufa State Oil Technical University, the Bashkir State Medical University.
Bashkir universities take part in intternational conferences, symposiums and seminars. Ufa universities welcome foreign students for education and many students from Bashkortostan study abroad.
"Сulture of people"
There are more then 100 nationalities live in Bashkortostan. Public national policy priorities in the republic are free development of all people, all national languges and original national cultures preservation and development.
How did it happen that I got there?
"How did it happen that I got there?"
As mentioned I studied business administration in Lüneburg , a very lovely town in Lower Saxony. Professors of our university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule Nordostniedersachsen) were members of the Management Academy of Lower Saxony. This academy got in contact to the so called management academy of Bashkortostan which was placed in Ufa .
At the end of my studying it was the time were the iron curtain of Eastern Bloc fell. The German academy wanted to help their friends in Ufa and the project was born.
They looked for volunteers, who were interested to write their diploma dissertation on a special task in Bashkortostan. I volunteered and had the luck to join the team. Sponsors were searched and found to pay for the travel costs and so it started.
In our study holidays we made a short (and hard) exercise in learning Russian. And in April the journey began. We were four students and one professor who stayed with us just for the first week. Our stay was about 6 weeks.
First we flow via Bratislava to Prague . Jürgen had been there before and had the idea just to ask for a room for the night at the station.
And he was right. We found a man who offered us his apartment. The next day we flew from Prague to Moscow.
A man from the Ufa academy waited there and we drove two hours to an other airport in the north of Moscow. We had a car breakdown and arrived there with a delay. The airport was very crowded, almost with Siberian looking people. After a break in a (so called) VIP lounge we were allowed to enter the airplane to Ufa. Only 5 seats in the plane’s first row were empty. It smelled as if the other passengers would have been waiting for days (or months) in the aircraft for our arrival. Everybody was looking at us, but we were extremely tired and didn’t care.
In Ufa all of us got a project, we hadn’t heard of it before. My company I had to work for was the “Institute of plasticity of metals of the academies of science of the USSR”. Not only had the long name made me nervous ;-) I had to analyse the possibility of selling a bimetallic middle electrode which the institute had developed and started to produce. In that time all Russian companies dreamed of joining a joint venture because they dreamed of hard currency. But it wasn’t easy that way…
We all had translators. We three guys had a female one and the girl had a male. You see, communism wasn’t bad at all.
And we had a driver called Rachim. If there was something to buy (and there wasn’t much) he organised it for us.
We lived the whole time in a hotel – as the only foreigners. We had our meals there and had often parties in the evening. After a short time we got in contact to local policemen. They were very friendly, spend Vodka and joined our parties. Because you couldn’t get soft drinks we only had Crimea sparkling wine (a Russian speciality) and Vodka to drink from huge cups. But we learned to handle it ;-)
In our spare time we visited all the places you could visit. We were in the zoo, the theatre, the circus (with a remarkable bear show), the museums, and the cinema (I didn’t understand anything). Also we talked to students from Ufa, visited schools and talked to pupils.
On weekends we made trips to the Ural Mountains, stayed in a dacha, visited a German kolkhoz. We saw quite a lot, found friends and made many experiences.
After 6 weeks we flew back to Moscow , stayed there for two wonderful days and returned home. In summer we finished our works and in autumn we flew back to Ufa for one week to present our results. The presentation was a great success. After that we had a last party together with our friends and all the people from the Ufa academy. We drank, sang and danced together before we started our final return home.