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Travels in Russia

Russian Remonts
Stop Theif!
Almost Worth Staying For
Offshore Your Rubles in Swiss Accounts
Russian Women
You Can Buy Anything in a Russian Kiosk!
What Did Russians Eat Before Potaotes?
Nothing Like a Birch Branch Beating!
Anything Can Be Scrap Metal
Serious Soviet Pollution
Day-Tripping Around the Garden Ring
The Russian Poezd
Yeltsin's Family
Soviet Photography
Happy Times in HTML Hell
Road Runners Rule!
Piva is Good!
A Subaka Says What?
Soviet Swimming
Manly Russian Men
And Peter is a Distant Second
Invest in Russia?!
The Zen of the Line
But He Went by the Name of Lenin
That Looks Just Like My Dom
Russian Adoptions by the Dozen
Internet Cafes Are Everywhere
Going to See Mama Russia
Going to the Movies
Russian Visas
Eta Notebook Batteria, Durak!
Fidelity is Not a Brokerage
Soviet Suburban Living
Taking the tramvai
Cash Transfers Across Russia
Time to go...
Do Your Spring Cleaning Now!
Reclama Nation
Russians Do Tours
Pecktopan = Restaurants
Yevgeniy Primakov, Who?
101 Reasons Why NATO's War Sucks
A State Secrect: Women's Ages
Russians Blew up the US Embassy!
It's Dacha Time Again
I Love Me a Starlite Diner
Anything Goes at Night
Yesho Piedesat Gram Vodkoo
Shock Thearpy
IMF & Reform
Zoos Should Be for Politicans
There Was Giligan, And the Skipper Too
The Regions Exist?
Do You Believe the Media?
What is Russian Feminism?
Russian Music Rocks
Bye Bye Fast Food
Yest Klooch?
Addicts Are Addictive
Racism in Russia Too
An Education in Russian Politics
Orphans Are Lonely
Making Bliny
Nasty Newspapers
#51 If you get the jokes
Sick as a Dog
Those Crazy Russians
An Open Road Ahead
Iron Felix
You Can Buy (Almost) Anything in a Market
Education Makes Elections Happen
Ice Cream in Winter
Superstitions Are Sneaky
The Adventures of Flat Jon
Ice Fishing in Sibera
Death is Painful in Any Culture, Anywhere.
Lenin is Alive
Every Thing is Leaking
New Russians
Go Dollar!
Corruption is Endemic
The Joe-Cool Moscow Crew
Taxes Will Find You
I'm Driven Mad
Holidays Last and Last
It's All About Location
Taxies Take You Everywhere
Russian Religion Re-emerges


Russia, April 12, 1999

Going Local

The wonders and wilds of dating a Russian lady

Ain't she cute!
The one and only Lidya!
Looking fine and left
A close-up above Ulyanovsk
The super-cute couple!
At least I'm taller!
Ya only live once!
Mmmm.. tongue!
I've gone and done what I promised myself I'd never do; I've gone local.

Now, all my friends though I was insane for not dating the beautiful and ever present Russian dey'vs to begin with, but I had my reasons. I've always know that I was not going to live in Russia my entire life, this country is a decent, but only temporary stop on my worldwide wanderings. Also, I've never had any plans on marry a Russian woman, the cultural, social, and language barriers are too great. For me, to date a young lady is to invest in a future with her, and since I wasn't planning on sticking around Russian or a Russian woman my whole life, I felt that dating the locals wasn't right.

With all that baggage, I successfully deterred the advances of the young ladies here for twenty-two months, preferring instead to keep with my own kind, and date fellow Anglo/Americans. I've had my good dates, my bad dates, and dates who never even showed up, with a few wonderful relationships resulting from all my effort. As anyone here will tell you, the Moscow dating scene is tough, and real tough if you have all the self-imposed restrictions I did.

So there I was, standing at the local bar we all go to after work, doing my usual song and dance to attract the ladies while trying not to resort to begging and pleading, when a young lady walked up to me with a challenge.
'You've never been with a Russian girl?!' she questioned with an air of disbelief.
'No, I haven't' I answered very matter-of-factly.
'Really? I can't believe this!'
'No, really, I haven't.'
And the rest of the conversation? Well, its called a private life for a reason, but needless to say, I found her quite a interesting woman, and we've gone on a few dates since that initial conversation.

On our first date, all the issues I had with Western men dating Russian women were put aside for the fun of the affair, but now, after a few dates, I'm starting to see the stereotypes that I fought so strongly against, in our outings.

At restaurants, they automatically hand her a Russian menu and me and English one, no matter if I am the only one speaking or her. Now, I can't read Russian, so this is helpful, but it's the automatic assumption that disappoints me. When I've gone out with American women, I usually will get the Russian menu (I can speak a bit of the language, mind you) and her Russian or English one, depending on if she is wearing black Italian heels or not.

Also, the waiters/waitresses at these restaurants will speak to her, ignoring me, and sometimes even asking her what I would like, as if I was a child or an idiot. Because of my lifestyle, my 'menu' Russian is actually quite advanced; I have to ask the server what the items are on the menu due to my little illiteracy thing, so having the waiter treat me like a fool or non-Russian speaking foreigner is insulting. If I were out with a foreign woman, no matter how perfect her Russian is, I would at least get a bit of respect.

You might think that I am being a bit melodramatic or paranoid, but those two examples are indicative the stereotype that, unfortunately has a strong basis in fact. There are countless men who come to Russia just to find a Russian wife, as one look around Moscow or at my reader statistics will show. The majority of these men are not going to live in Russian, or even stay longer than it takes to fall in love. Other men come here single, and leave attached, or come here attached and become unattached when the dey'v on the side is found out about. I try not to make judgments about another man's choice in love, its too hard to find in the first place for that, but I do not want to be mistaken for someone here just for the women.

With all that, what is dating a Russian lady like? In this case, not much different from my past girlfriends. She, like all the women I attempt to court, is very interesting, having a childhood spanning two regimes and two cultures, independent, with her own desires, dreams and goals, and independently wealthy, with her own demanding and rewarding job, her own new and nice car, and her own swank and suburban apartment.

She also isn't the stereotypical Russian woman, either. Because she is so independent, she has no plans to be married anytime soon, even though she is twenty-two, she sure doesn't want to stay home and be a housewife, she can't cook, and she has absolutely no plans to leave Russia, she's a property owner here.

What timing! I spent two years wandering around the city having the time of my life, and just weeks before I am to leave, I meet an amazing young lady! Such is the life of a traveler.

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