Montenegro is not Thailand

    It so happened that the last five months I have been working and living in Montenegro. I used to live in the Moscow region, worked as a senior engineer in a small but successful Russian company, and like so many others sometimes thought about a better life. The best life in my understanding looked like a small house in the mountains, not far from the sea in a place where there is always good weather, friendly people, good ecology and measured life. But the road to a better life looked difficult - 20 years of mortgages for an apartment in Moscow, then 10 years of savings for a house in the mountains, so when there was a chance to miss all this and immediately try a dream, I had no doubt.

    Enough time has passed to understand a little Montenegrin reality, but there is still contact with the homeland and a fresh perception, so I hope that my observations can be considered quite objective. I must say right away that life in Montenegro in moderate doses (several months) can be a therapeutic procedure for a resident of almost any Russian metropolis. Then there is a fork - either it seems that he was in a swamp, or, like Vladimir Vysotsky, you gain another homeland. But let's leave the lyrics for personal blogs and look at the situation through the eyes of freelancers. I took an interesting post about Thailand as a basis and decided to compare it with my impressions. In Thailand, I was a tourist and I understand that although the author goes too far, he sets out many things adequately.

    the Internet

    First of all, it is worth saying that I came to Montenegro to launch a new Internet provider, which should provide tourists and new buildings of the country with wireless mobile Internet using WiMAX technology. Compared with the wishes of the author, we can say that the Internet in Montenegro is as bad as in Thailand, they do not offer 50 Mbps anywhere - a maximum of 30 Mbps, which can be connected only in a few new buildings of the business capital - Podgorica. If you are realistic, you can recall that 10 years ago such a channel in Russia had only a large city, 5 years ago - a large company, and today only residents of large cities in crowded panel high-rise buildings. In the cities of Montenegro, you will receive an ADSL connection with a speed of up to 4-6 Mbit per download and up to 512 per download. In the suburbs - 2000/512 via WiMAX, in tourist areas, fast but quite expensive 3G. You can live and work with this.


    The climate in Montenegro is diverse and much more comfortable than in Russia. In winter, there is almost no snow, but there are heavy rains. No, of course there is snow here, there are even ski resorts in the north, but it disappears so quickly that there is no need to bring sheepskin coats, skates and earflaps to here. In winter, it is about the same as in St. Petersburg in summer :) In the summer, the capital has a great heat. From the first day of my arrival in June, a temperature of 32 degrees was established, which ranged between 30 and 40 degrees until mid-September. Air conditioners save during the day, but at night it’s quite unpleasant. One important point: literally 10 km from the capital, in the valley near Lake Skadar, in the evening the temperature drops to a comfortable 27 degrees in the heat of the evening, in the mountains or on the seashore the temperature rarely exceeds 29 degrees, which makes spending time by the sea a paradise pastime. Local residents have long adapted to this climate, in July-August, the capital becomes deserted. Many institutions send on vacation for 30-40 days almost their entire composition. For me personally, 2 months of heat by the sea, more pleasant than 6 months of frost and black snow on the Moscow Ring Road.

    Offices and apartments

    For work, office quality is more important than climate. Everything is fine with offices, because European companies are engaged in construction and design. New houses and offices are constantly being built in the capital. The starting rental price for an office is 300 euros , apartments from 200 euros . After renting a Moscow hrusher in Kapotnya, it’s enough not only for an office and apartment, but also for daily coffee.

    The seasonal factor is strong on the coast. In winter, most houses are empty, and in summer they are very expensive to beat off shortfalls. However, by agreeing to a year you can get good conditions.

    These offices on the first line of a new prestigious quarter will cost you 100 euros per square meter. meter per year.


    The average salary in Montenegro is 500 euros . If you put a Moscow aplomb in your ass (and this will have to be done to take root in the local community), then you can get such money for any specialty. Given the constant growth of the Russian diaspora, teachers, radio and television workers, marketing specialists, translators, and tourism managers will be in demand. There is absolutely no chance of finding a job for drivers, sellers, bankers and accountants. Locals successfully work in numerous state institutions - this is generally a problem for all countries of southern Europe. Therefore, in Montenegro it is much easier than in Thailand to find an occupation for the spouse, after all, there are always temporary vacancies in the tourist season.

    At the same time, it is worthwhile to understand that Montenegro is a beautiful country for a comfortable spending of money and hard for making money with the exception of business. And now the last moment is perhaps the most important of all. If you manage to find sales of your products among foreign companies or among tourists, the very procedure of opening and running a business will require much less effort than in Russia. There are companies that open their offices in Montenegro. All the difficulties and risks come down to spending small amounts of money. However, one must not forget that this is not an offshore, but a European country with bureaucracy and high taxes.


    Compared to Thailand, the situation with visas is much better. As there, a stay of up to 30 days does not require any effort other than a registration card (which does not interest anyone, and is a way to take some money from the tourists to the treasury). Automatic renewal requires traveling abroad, for example, to Albania, to the border of which 15 km by car. The process itself is so routine that the main thing is to remind customs to put the right stamp, otherwise it may be lazy to do it. From the west it is more convenient to travel to Croatia.

    You can get a business visa for a period of 90 days at the Moscow embassy. And finally, in Podgorica, you can apply for a time-lapse borovak - a work visa for a period of one year. The process itself is quite confusing, but quite solvable. If you liked to play quests or MMORPG then you can even enjoy the process by imagining that everything happens in the elven (goblin) language. Only three stages, each of them has about five pieces of paper to get the main piece of paper, which takes you to the next stage. At the same time, there are terms in which some pieces of paper burn out, throwing you to the very beginning. I tried to go through the procedure with the advice of reputable Montenegrins and suffered a fiasco each time. As a result, he spat, took the translator and did everything in three days. A visa for a family and children is given almost automatically if you have a visa, only the entire set of pieces of paper should be duplicated. And this, by the way, is about five euros for each piece of paper. The total cost of obtaining a visa is about 100 euros per person, of which 50 will go to medical insurance.

    The main problem for obtaining a work visa is to receive an invitation from the company. If you open your own company, then you cannot become its director without a work visa. In such a simple way, the state creates additional jobs for its lazy citizens.

    Socialization and Integration

    This is perhaps the most interesting and important point of our conversation. The unique difference of Montenegro is that the issue of attracting Russian residents is an approved state policy. After the wars caused by the collapse of Yugoslavia, the territory of Montenegro was sandwiched between Croatia, where historically hostile Croat Catholics live, and Albania, where Muslims live. The saddest facts of the war relate to hostility between Serbs and Croats, who are a single nationality with a common language, but separated by centuries of religious principles. Muslims are historically more tolerant of other religions, but have a higher birth rate, so their compact residence in one area leads to a change in the composition of the population and the emergence of problems such as independence of Kosovo. However, the national question in Montenegro after the wars is completely closed,

    Attracting Russian capital and people to the country, Montenegro defends its future.
    Russian people in Montenegro feel support at the household, state and business levels. This is all based on a deep interweaving of culture, history and the kinship of the language. All this is flavored with European friendliness and genuine Montenegrin hospitality.

    Oh, language is a separate story! Without much effort, after 3 months you begin to understand the parts of everyday speech. After 1 year, it can be explained, and after 5 years, communication problems completely disappear. Many Slavic words in the Serbian-Montenegrin language are better preserved than Russian. For example, the word "gate" means "door." “The gates opened” - “the door opened”. Does it remind you of a childhood fairy tale? Another example is more accurate use of words.
    “Sunday” in Serbian is “week”. But what then will be the "week"? And the "week" in Serbian - "Sedmets". It is logical! Fifty will be the same in both languages, but fourteen and ninety seem absurd only for the first time. In fact, the word "ninety" is more absurd than "ninety."

    And of course they deliver funny things. Watermelon in Serbian will be “melon”. And "directly" will be - "right." Having ordered a vegetable salad in a restaurant, be prepared to get fruits, because in Serbian they are called “waxes”.

    Personally, I really enjoy listening to a speech in the company of ordinary Montenegrins who do not know English or Russian. In this language, even with words identical with Russian, the emphasis falls on the first syllable. As soon as you perceive the rhythm of the language, about a quarter of the words become completely understandable. The meaning of some words or phrases becomes clear after a few days, when the brain finds a clue in the more ancient layers of consciousness.

    Coming out of a store, cafe or office, the Montenegrins speak one another pleasantly . I don’t know how to accurately translate it into Russian, but it's nice to hear!

    Morals, law and police

    The main feature of Montenegrin society is its small size. The largest city by our standards is just a big village where everyone knows each other. The laws here are reprinted from European circulars; nobody reads or knows them, first of all, local lawyers and lawyers. In everyday affairs, everything is decided on the basis of acquaintance, not effectiveness. The supplier may be genuinely offended by the fact that you began to buy cheaper and higher-quality goods elsewhere. What we call the word corruption they call friendship. Competitors meet in cafes and discuss information that in Russia would be considered the worst commercial secret. There is very little police, there is almost no crime, since it makes no sense to spoil in your village. These principles apply to criminal concepts, you can unload strangers, but you must not touch your local civilians. As a result, for example, Montenegro is a transit state for drug trafficking, and there are very few drug addicts in it.

    Local joke: each state has its own mafia and only in Montenegro does the mafia have its own state.

    It seems that Montenegro’s independence has one reason - its leaders wanted less to depend on European justice. And, interestingly, the people are quite happy with this situation. Police officers, as in Russia, are busy with their own affairs, it is useless to turn to them for help. But their affairs, in turn, do not concern ordinary citizens and do not pose a threat.

    I was warned that for a ride without the headlights turned on, a fine of 30 euros is imposed, but I did not know that the use of a fog lamp is subject to the same fine. Once I was stopped by a policeman and amicably gestured that it wasn’t supposed to turn on these lights. Is it necessary to say how sincerely I said “nice” goodbye?


    With cars, everything is quite simple. Having a temporary residence permit for a period of one year, you can purchase any car and hang up temporary numbers. In the process of obtaining the next residence permit for about a month, the car number will be invalid. When selling such a car to a local one, a 5% tax will be required from it. Whatever the price of buying a car, you can sell it no more than 5 thousand euros, because this is the solvency of the population. Prices for new cars are slightly lower than in Moscow. It makes sense to buy a used compact compact car, yes the same Logan or Sandero, on which a successful IT-person in Moscow will go to the West. It's called Dacia here.

    Childhood happiness

    Montenegro is wonderful for young children. The local families have three children. There are few street playgrounds, but a lot of game rooms. This again has a justification - in the summer it is too sunny, in the winter too rainy, and in the game rooms it is always comfortable, but you have to pay for it. In the capital's theater every week there are children's performances. Children everywhere are loved and patronized, even in the bank for the child there is always candy. Young children play on the streets near houses alone as in the forgotten times of the USSR.

    In Budva and Podgorica there are Russian schools and kindergartens. A Russian school in Bar is opening. Of course, medicine and education for visitors will be paid and this fee is quite high by local standards, these are the costs of Europe. At the same time, the quality of medicine and education corresponds to the status of the outback that Montenegro had in the former Yugoslavia.

    A spoon of tar

    It may seem that Montenegro is an ideal country, but this is certainly not the case. There are problems and difficulties that are not immediately disclosed.

    The first difficulty is the famous Montenegrin mentality
    If you agreed with the Montenegrins, and he said “tomorrow”, then you are very lucky if everything is done in two weeks. If you say "in a week", then it means never. For a long time I have not paid attention to the dates and times of business meetings. Whatever you agree on, no matter what level a person is, most likely he will not arrive in time for a meeting. After long and fruitful, as you think, negotiations, you get up and shake hands waiting for the start of activity. In fact, this is only one of the meetings, which absolutely does not mean anything. There can be three, five, ten such meetings - each of them is accompanied by a two-hour sitting in a cafe and talking about life. An explanation can be found for such climate behavior. Before the air conditioners appeared in the hot summer, people fell into suspended animation, and during the rainy season it was impossible to plan some kind of activity in advance,

    I know Russians who could not stand these ceremonies, simply got up and left in a rage, but it’s impossible because ...

    The second difficulty is personal more important than work
    Work, business for the Montenegrin category is transient and of little relevance. Living a small united nation on the heel of the earth is much more important to have good neighborly relations. The opinion of a dumbass is more important than work efficiency. Therefore, for success, you need to establish personal relationships, this happens in a cafe. Actually at the height of the working day, at 12 o’clock, all the tables in all the cafes are full, and the cafes are located in EVERY building. No wonder real work just gets stuck in these ceremonies.

    Difficulty Three - Education
    Local education is absent, as such. If universities are just morons, then the output is morons with a diploma and aplomb, but excellent marks. Indeed, in education the same principles of their people act. For smart people, training is of course beneficial, so the only way to find local personnel is to take an intelligent graduate and train him from scratch, but here the following difficulty lies in wait for you.

    Difficulty Four - Labor Law
    European socialism - this continent is destroying before our eyes. The rights of the employee are so well protected that having registered a person in the state you lose any opportunity to punish him. All social benefits are paid by the employer. If the decree of an employee in Russia costs you the trouble of an accountant, and the payment is made through a social insurance fund, then here you have to pay out of pocket. The solution is to use temporary contracts or black cash. However, in this case there is no way to protect your investment in training. Vicious circle.

    It is not surprising that in the context of the stagnation of the global economy, such concern leads to huge unemployment among young people. Large companies refuse to hire graduates, but eagerly lure trained professionals.

    The fifth difficulty is the tax on Russians
    Montenegro is officially a tourist country, the season is quite short, so the locals objectively try to squeeze the maximum money. Russians coming to do business in Montenegro without knowing the local mentality look like tourists. At first they are touched by low prices and begin to pay generously, then they see slow returns, in the end they realize that they are “milked” and are impatiently abandoning the business. You need to understand that your local partner with whom you have an excellent relationship will always play for the team of Montenegro, not Russia. It will be he who will arrange local deliveries for you at a double price. This chain went through everything from the oligarch Deripaska, who bought and lost an aluminum plant, to a small company.

    The sixth difficulty - consumer spoiling
    Montenegro is not the richest country in the Balkans, but here the most demanding consumers. The stores here are people who put food in bags for you, cut any products. You can ask to cut you a sandwich from a quarter of a loaf, 50 grams of sausage and trained sellers with a smile and without the slightest dissatisfaction you will do everything.

    Local pay for the Internet through a credit system, they consider any malfunction in work as a reason to refuse to pay the bill. The disgruntled Montenegrin is terrible in rage, it is not clear how seriously it is worth considering the threats of reprisal in a country where at weddings it is still customary to shoot Kalashnikovs. The only possible way of doing business is the high quality of service, but these costs cannot be included in the price, everything is a burden on the business. This can greatly change the business plan scheme.

    Instead of a conclusion

    I believe that Montenegro will still win its recognition among Russian business. There is a unique combination of favorable factors, and difficulties can be overcome, including by personal contribution to the life of the country. Podgorica quickly develops right before our eyes.
    2009 - The first shopping mall Delta City
    was built 2010 - The second shopping mall Mall of Montenegro
    2011 was built - new highways with roundabouts
    2012 were laid throughout the city - beautiful modern stops were established throughout the city (there was nothing before).

    Months or years spent here will not be a waste of time and you will not feel divorced from Russia. Montenegro for Russia is a replacement for the lost Crimea, and it could become part of the Russian Federation if President Yeltsin extended a helping hand to the fraternal Slavic people in difficult times.

    Welcome to Zerna Gora!

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