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The Semi-Regular Newsletter

Travels in Russia

KLM Rocks Across Europe!
Santa Claus in Moscow
Television Is a Time Suck
The Reality of Irrelevance
Salute Mayor Luzhkov
Impeachment Happens
I Am Not The Only One...
I'm Back! Did Ya Miss Me?
Chechnya Burning
Weddings in Winter
The Jews Are Here!
Gailyn Goes to Town
Is There a Central Bank?
Santa Barbara is Real
Nick's Thanksgiving in Russia
Den' Rozhdeniya = Birthdays
Those Crazy Expats
It's Just a Few Drops of Vodka...
Elections Are Always Rigged
The Blind Leading the Blind
Good Russian Grooms
You Say 'Boris Berezovskiy' Fast
Too Cold to Care!
Russian Oil Towns
Sneaky Siberian Tigers
Which Way is St Peterburg?
Where am I again? Oh, yeah...
I Love Me Some Vodka
It's a Gosorg Halloween
Hunger Comes to Us All
Why Don't They Just Learn English?!
Post-Crisis, Life Goes On
Is Yeltsin 'The Man'?
Murmansk - Brrrr!
Taganka Hides Her Secrects
These are Communists
It's a Power Vaccum
The Commies are Back
Propaganda is Good for You
You Better Buy Russian!
Sex Ed Soviet Style
Party over, oops outta time!
Russian Healthcare in Moscow
What Russian Financial Crisis?
YE Prices in Russia
The Hungry Duck
Russian Caviar Mafia
Magical Mushrooms
Shhhh! We're Bear Hunting
Soviet Street Scams
Bez Dollarov
A Koshka Konspiracy
On The Dacha
The Banking Implosion
Surviving Army Life
Shashleek is Steak on Steroids
Beach Weekend
Dos Vedanya
Hello from Vladivostok
Equality Means Only She Works
Jogging is an Extreme Sport
Russians Have Reunions Too
My Folks in Massive Moscow
Better than Fireworks
Miners Are Real Men
The Russian Mafia is the Roof
No One Smiles in the CIS
One Year Anniversary
Russian Brides Rock
Laura is My St Pete Connection
Change is in the Wind
Chuck Norris' Beverly Hills Casino
The Expat Woman's Predicament
Street Food is Yummy!
Spring Flowers Make June Leavers
The Provinces Are Provincial
Ever Take an Elektrichka?
The English Invasion
Nuttin Like New Money
Rules Are Made to Break
All Black is Russian Fashion
Easter Memories = Easter Dinner
Politics, Russian Style
Theresa Tries to Russify
I Go to Gay Clubs Worldwide
I Hide on Women's Day
New & Shiny: Nizhny Novgorod
Psst! Wanna job in Moscow?
Fili Park Has All the Bootlegs
Web Page Reactions
Take a Break at Dom Odaha
Expat Living in Moscow is Swank
Why Are You Remonting?
They Look Like Telephones...
In Need of a Decent Hairstylist
Smashing Bottles in Red Square


Russia, August 10, 1998

Dacha Thinking

When you go to the dacha, you come back a whole other person

A place in the sun
Nice Dachas
Mmmmm.. women!
Very worthy
Now, ain't she pretty!
Pick of the year
The Young Pioneer looks into the future
Always in control
This past weekend, I went to my friend's dacha. It was nice to get out of Moscow for the weekend. I spent the whole time reading, writing letters, sleeping, and goofing off. Going to the dacha always makes me reflective, and this time was no exception.

Ever since I arrived in Russia, over a year ago, I have had a personal rule about dating the locals. I abstained from the wonderful treats that were, literally, thrust upon me by the Russian women. I can' remember exactly why I had the rule. I think it had a bit to do with the other men here, my outlook on Russia, and my opinion of Russian women.

First, I saw so many expat men with Russian women, I was appalled. Some days it seems like every expat guy here has a Russian wife. Of all the single-when-arrived men, I am straining to remember one man who did not find a wife, or at least try to, while here. This mass union made me a bit skittish for two reasons. First, I hate following the crowd, no matter where it's going or what it's doing. As the crowd dived into the ladies, I looked for a more original approach. Then, as I saw why so many Russian women would attempt the cross-cultural union, the security (financial and emotional), the liberty (passport and family), and the future (her and her offspring), I started to question their true motives.

Second, when I first arrived, I was with 44 Americans, all in a bit of group think. We stuck together, and to a great extent, were quite aloof from the country we were to live in. Once my visa was questionable, and my tenure in Russia tenuous, I sure didn't want to entangle myself with a Russian girlfriend. Even after I started at PW, I was still quite unsure of my future here. I didn't have a real contract; I could be cut off with a three-month's notice, so I was a bit apprehensive. All this uncertainty kept me in the expat circles, where a quick departure could be understood.

Finally, and most revolting now, was my opinion of the ladies here. I subconsciously though of Russian women as inferior to Western women. Yes, I know, I am shocked too! I never realized I though this way until I was examining my life this past weekend. See, I though that since so many dorky men were landing amazing Russian women, I, as a non-dork, should do better. Who did I think was better (or more difficult to date, thereby proving my superiority)? Expat women. I was downgrading a segment of women, solely because they were not being as discriminatory as I would expect a woman to be. Like, who the hell did I think I was?

Ok, so here I sit thinking about all that I have written, and what it means. I do know why so many expat men and Russian women marry. The men want excitement and the mix of femininity and power a Russian woman has. I do admit that the mix excites me too. The Russian women want what an expat man can offer, not matter how dorky he is. Maybe they are morally above me, judging a man on his soul, not his looks. I also feel much better about my future prospects at PW. I am going to be there after the merger with Coopers finishes. I will be moving up, slowly but surely, and they do pay me enough to keep me interested. On top of all that, I cannot continue to think of any class of women as anything less than the mysterious, wondrous, amazing, sensuous beings I admire and desire so much.

What did I figure out after all that? I am going to cast aside my previous rule, and I shall try to enjoy the magnificent women this country has to offer, if they will even talk to me after reading this.

What a difference a weekend at the dacha makes!

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