A Skeptic's First AFA Tour
A couple of years ago I was checking the cable guide and found the movie 'Two Brothers and a Bride'. No it's not a porno - It's about two brothers and their weary mother struggling to keep their family's farm alive. Mom suddenly passes away and the brothers are helpless with the house chores. Unable to find affordable domestic help, the older brother searches the personals for a wife/maid and notices an advertisement for:
Pulling-up the page, he finds a Russian bride introduction agency, full of hotties. Some quick calculations and he figures it's cheaper for them to take a trip to St. Petersburg Russia and make a deal with a Russian bride, than hire a maid. His well constructed plan starts falling apart when romance begins creeping into the plot. The movie is really cute, so anyone curious about introduction agencies will like it. Just for laughs, I try the website and the same page pops up. Wow, the movie is using a real agency! It turns out that the writer and producer went on an actual AFA tour, and many of the events depicted are things that happened to them. Also the movie was filmed during another tour, using some of the tour clients instead of actors. I had the distinct impression that this movie had the look and feel of an actual tour with 'A Foreign Affair'. This was really intriguing, but it's hard enough to have a serious relationship with someone in your own town and culture and who speaks the same language, so I didn't give it serious consideration.
Two Years Later
I'm way overdue for a good vacation and I want to visit a couple of friends in Eastern Europe. I've only been to Western Europe, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the culture in the Baltic States. Since I'll be so close to Russia, maybe I should check out what AFA is doing. There's a tour to Kharkov, Ukraine. After many unsuccessful days trying to find reasonable air fares and hotels, I start thinking this vacation is getting too complicated. When traveling I enjoy the sights, but the best part is meeting the people and experiencing the way of life. An AFA tour would let me meet the locals and simplify my plans, but I'm concerned that the women at the socials wouldn't appreciate a guy who's just there to make friends. I talk to AFA about this and they say, even when someone is serous about finding a wife, they won't know if it will happen until they meet that special person. So in other words, it isn't a problem. Am I really doing this?! Okay, but the rule is no romance. The last thing I need is a relationship with someone on the other side of the earth.
Jets and More Jets
I think I've been traveling for forty something hours. My brain is a little fuzzy, so I'm not sure. As we taxi to the Kharkov terminal, I think if the plane had propellers, it would feel just like a Casablanca movie (except everything is green). This also makes me wonder if Customs has an interrogation room. Inside, everyone is scurrying for Customs forms. The line moves slowly, but when it's finally my turn, the guard is very nice and helpful. Ukraine no longer requires visas for US citizens, as part of their push to promote tourism. About a dozen of us get on the bus with our tour guide Michael, who has been our escort since JFK Airport. We also meet Jane, our local tour guide.
The ride to the hotel is my first glimpse of Kharkov. The buildings are just what you'd expect from the Soviet era, and the traffic is fairly heavy. The guys have been getting acquainted along the way. I'm surprised to find most are repeaters. These tours must be good. We have a couple of hours at the hotel to unpack and then head to the orientation. Additional men join our group in the hotel's cafe, some from other parts of the world and some making their own customized tours. The interpreters start trickling in, and I have to say, you'll find yourself falling in love with at least one interpreter in each city. This is a good time to find an interpreter you like and reserve her time for assisting with dates, shopping or just running around town. Everything is in Russian, and if you don't know the Cyrillic alphabet, you can't even attempt to sound out the words.
What, no Gruel?
After orientation we grab a couple of interpreters and head out for something to eat. For some reason, I thought the food would be dishes like 'potato and sheep brains stew' and 'deep fried pig toenails'. In fact, I packed bags of organic snacks, so I wouldn't starve. But everything was excellent; fish, chicken, beef, vegetables, salads. I believe all the food in the Ukraine is organic and everything is prepared fresh - no preservatives or fillers. I have a very restrictive diet and all of the food agreed with me. Also, I was warned not to drink the tap water and at my first meal, as I was taking my second bite of salad, I suddenly realized that it was washed in 'the tap water'. I thought it would cause me problems, but I felt fine the entire trip.
It's Friday night, and finding enough seating for our large group is a bit challenging, but we eventually locate a nice restaurant. Don't expect fast food service like in the U.S. I think much of the menu is prepared from scratch. Enjoying a leisurely meal seems part of the culture, allowing time to socialize and relax. Of course, we 'pick up' the meals for our interpreters and cover the taxis back. Something you should be aware of is that the women in the Ukraine typically make about $45 a week, and even a $5 taxi ride is a big chunk of change. Meals and entertainment are reasonably priced for us, but extremely expensive for the local wages. Men should always pay for everything, including any taxi rides your date required to meet you.
The next morning we head out on our walking tour, marching across broken sidewalks, dirt, mud, weeds and cobblestone. I was surprised how poorly things were maintained, but even more surprised by the women in stiletto heals trekking through all this without a second thought. In fact, most women are in stilettos and dressed with eye-catching style. Jeans are common on the men, but rarely seen on the feminine parade. These ladies appear to embrace being sexy, whereas back home there seems to be some guilt about it.
Before the trip I had read that street signs were all in Russian, so I studied the phonetics for the Cyrillic alphabet. As we walk along, I could sound out the signs for the streets and the stores. Some of the words have English equivalents or are actually English words transferred to Russian spelling. Most of the shops are small, giving them a homey feel, and there are a surprising number of cell phone stores. The party starts at 2 p.m. today, so time to head back.
The Best Wingman is a Woman
I'm still totally exhausted and my brain is in a fog from the travel, but I definitely don't want to miss this first big event. The social is in the hotel's club and I squeeze past a line of pretty ladies signing-in, as I make my way up the stairs. I don't want to mislead you into thinking every woman looked like a model, but compared to 'fat city' back home, this really was Nirvana. I feel pretty intimidated, until one of the interpreters and a pretty guest joins me. The translator introduces me and gets the lady's basic stats, like children etc., and asks if I'm interested. I tell her, "I'm really not ready for an instant family", so she suggests moving on. The basic idea at the socials is to move from one table to the next, getting phone numbers from anyone interesting, with the purpose of making dates later.
The interpreter encourages me to explore more tables and leads the way. These lovely interpreters actually do much more than translate. They make the attending ladies feel more comfortable and help the men read between the lines. I learned a long time ago, bringing a pretty dance partner makes it much easier to meet the ladies. The best Wingman really is a woman.
Since I'm only here to make new friends, I'm trying to avoid monopolizing too much time from the guests and interpreters. I know many of the men are seriously looking for brides, and I don't want to slow things down. But I still talk to a few ladies, some of which really are models. I find a woman who can dance Salsa, so I grab her and head to the floor. We get a lot of notice, and I have the feeling not many men in the Ukraine can dance. Leaving the dance floor, a woman who looks like Cameron Diaz tells me that I dance like a professional. Actually her friend is translating. She explains that she runs a dance studio, so she can recognize a dancer. I thought that was sweet.
The party is coming to a close and I'm doing more loitering than mingling. Michael, our fearless leader, is always trying to make sure everyone is happy and points out two women I should visit. He tells me "One is a Doctor and the other is just plain gorgeous". I talk with them a bit, but the two women on the other side of me are much friendlier. One is late 20s with a nine year old, and the other is about forty with a 20 year old in college. They can't speak much English, so I break-out my ER800 electronic translator. It translates complete sentences in either direction. They are very intrigued with this technological marvel. The lights come up and they suggest getting coffee downstairs. Since I've neglected to get a single phone number, that works for me. (I could have asked Cameron Diaz out - What was I thinking?!)
Austin Powers at the Next Table
We grab a table in the club downstairs and order some snacks and coffee. My electronic translator has really come in handy. I keep thinking that it will become too tedious and they'll get bored, but they're having a good time.
At the next table another AFA tour client sits with a black haired beauty and a gorgeous blonde, both early thirties. And they are both leaning over the table, completely enthralled with him. Keep in mind that this fellow is just an average looking guy, 40s, and the nicest most sincere person you could ever meet. Maybe nice guys don't finish last here. Another tour gent notices the extra woman and joins them. Both women remain enraptured and completely ignore this other gentleman, so he leaves. This may be the nicest guy in the world, but I'm beginning to think he stole Austin Powers' vial of "Mojo". How does he do that!?
At my table we continue using my electronic translator. I can tell by the lady's expressions that the translations aren't always accurate. Communication is tedious and I'm certain they'll leave any moment, but they're really enjoying the evening. The bouncer comes over and tells us, "It's 20 Grivnas ($4) cover each to stay". The girls want to hang-out, so we stay put and the bar transitions into a night club. The music changes and four beautiful women in little outfits come out and perform a very professional dance number. The music changes again, and you'll just have to go to the Ukraine to find out about the rest of the show. J We move to a couch and enjoy the performance. After about four hours, the battery goes dead on my translator and the date comes to an end. Actually I'm so sleep deprived, this gives me a good excuse to make my exit. We exchange numbers and I go to my room and collapse.
The Morning After
In the morning the guys are filtering into the cafe for breakfast, and I start getting the scoop on the happenings from last night. One of them explains how he was lectured by a Ukrainian woman about being more aggressive. "You must take control and be strong", she said. So that's what I've been doing wrong my whole life. Actually later in the tour, I asked a couple ladies about this and they didn't care for aggressive men. So, it really depends on the woman. 'Austin Powers' came down and I had to find out what was going on at his table. He had actually found his dream girl, the black haired beauty, and her blonde girlfriend was translating. He was thinking about remaining in Kharkov, but some of the other guys recommend continuing the tour, so he'd have more options if this one didn't work out. I had an appointment, so I was a bit rushed. I'd have to get the rest of the stories later.
The previous day one of the interpreters, Natalie, invited me to meet her English students. This was the perfect opportunity to meet the locals, so I said my goodbyes and rush off. She is waiting for me at a taxi out front. I really wanted to sleep-in, but this is my only event for the day. Across town the taxi pulls up to a multistory concrete building, typical of the Soviet era. It was obvious the grounds hadn't been maintained for a very long time, as the taxi driver nimbly avoids the huge potholes. One of the students is waiting out front and we take the elevator up. Inside, the flat is very nice, with solid wood floors throughout. I find out quickly that you take off your shoes before entering, and she introduces me to her five students. Natalie uses the movie "My Best Friend's Wedding" to demonstrate and break down the dialog. They also want to talk to a native English speaker, but I think I'm speaking too fast for most to comprehend. The time passes quickly and everyone rushes off before I can get a picture. Natalie has an appointment to interpret for one of the guys, so we have to rush off too. The elevator door opens, but this time it's the larger freight elevator. Natalie says, "Not this one - We could get stuck for an hour". So we head down the stairs and I notice we're on the 15th floor. No wonder these women are in such good shape.
Entering my hotel, I pass one of the guys and his date. He is about 6' tall and his date is a blonde, about 6' 4". I have a thing for tall women and normally fantasies would be flashing through my head, but right now all I want is a nap.
It's Monday morning, and we're on the bus to Poltava. The jet-lag is finally wearing off and I feel fully cognizant for the first time. My 'Mojo' buddy decided to continue the tour after all. The scenery is green and lush, and little towns dot the countryside. We enter Poltava and it's the opposite of Kharkov, with well maintained roads and grounds, and beautiful architecture. This is also a campus town, and I wonder if many coeds will be attending the social. The hotel is much smaller and much nicer, complete with replica antique furniture. Our group is too large for one hotel, so we meet up with the rest of the gang and go for a walking tour and lunch. The guide is a local interpreter, and gorgeous. I test the water a little, but no interest. Just as well - Gotta remember my rule.
I'm really enjoying lunch with my new group of friends. In fact, I'm really enjoying all my restaurant experiences, and it's more than just the good quality food. I can't quite put my finger on it. They aren't smoke free, so that isn't it. People are dressed nice, instead of looking like they just came in from doing the gardening. An improvement, but that isn't it either. And then I realize what it is - There are no screaming babies or out of control toddlers running amuck. Nice restaurants are for adults here. Ukrainians are very polite and are actually concerned about not disturbing others, inappropriately. What a concept!
I Didn't Know They Made Women Like This Any More
Tonight's social is at nightclub downtown. I make my way past another line of beautiful women. Inside there's lots of booths, a dance floor and a stage. A continuous stream of female guests register and find seats. I'm chatting with one of the interpreters, until she decides I should get busy and leads me into the action. We sit down with a guest and chat a little bit, but I don't believe there's much interest. I tell her, "I don't want to take this seat for too long, so other guys can have a chance to visit with you", and I head for a safe corner to observe. The room is pretty full now and the organizers get on stage for introductions. It's all in Russian, so I have no idea what's being said, but this gives me some time to check out the room. It appears a lot of cute college girls are at this party.
The coffee and sodas have filtered through, and I head for the toilet (Conveniently, the word 'toilet' is understood in every European language). I step around the corner and I'm surrounded by women. Obviously I made a wrong turn and I start to back out. An older lady waves me in and points to a door. I feel like all eyes are on me as I stammer through the central room, with wash basins and doors on each side, and through the designated door to find a squatter. I'd seen one of these years ago in Italy. It's basically a porcelain hole in the ground. Maybe this is why most of the women are wearing dresses, but I digress. I close the door and there's no lock - I'm not sure the hasp is even working. Well, I doubt if the women have ever molested any of the guys, but I can always hope. I come out and wash my hands in the sinks with other ladies. Nobody else seems to feel awkward, so I try to be as nonchalant as I can.
Trekking back into the club, a PYT smiles at me (Pretty Young Thing, for those of you too young to remember Michael Jackson). This is a little unusual, because most of the women have been very reserved with their smiles. I take a seat at her table. The smile comes from one of the college age blondes across from me, and I'm sitting next to a lovely dark haired woman. The friendly girl can't speak much English, but her friend helps with translation. The lady next to me also speaks English - In fact she speaks fluently. As the conversation continues, I'm speaking more and more with the raven-haired beauty next to me. I find out a little about her family, that she's working on her doctorate and that she's 23 years old. I also discover she has a warmth and a smile that could light-up a room. I didn't think they made women like this any more. I ask if it bothers her that I'm 51. She leans close, and in the sweetest voice says, "You're not 71", and just smiles. Numbers start 'clicking' in the back of my head, and my brain is feverishly trying to calculate if I can afford to relocate here NOW, PERMANENTLY! Click, click, click, tilt. Crap! The conversation continues to go well and we arrange a meeting for the next day. I've spent a lot of time at her table, and I explain that I have to let someone else have the opportunity to visit. Reluctantly, I head back to a safe corner and continue checking out the room.
There is some kind of contest happening on the stage. Before I can say "neyt", a pretty coed is dragging me onto the stage. Even though I like to dance and I teach dance, I hate performing (which has caused some disagreements with my dance partner back home). I don't know what she's saying in Russian, but she really wants me to participate. Now we and six other couples are on stage, standing on sheets of newspaper. The contest involves dancing on the papers without falling off. We make it to the second round and she gets a little too excited and rips her half of the "The Ukraine Post". We're disqualified - Oh darn (NOT). I waste no time getting off the stage. Maybe it's safer sitting at a table.
There's another dance contest, but this time it's for the girls. I have to say, Ukrainian women love to dance, and they dance incredibly sexy too. The contest is over and the main dance floor starts getting some action. I look for my raven-haired friend, but she's nowhere to be seen. I check the dance floor, but nothing again. So, while I'm there I get a few dances with some of the girls. I can see the other fellows with notebooks full of phone numbers and making all kinds of arrangements. The lights come up, and it looks like everyone has to leave because the private party is turning into a public nightclub in a few minutes. All the guys are busy with prospects, so I head outside and wait for them. Out front there are a lot of young people lingering, waiting for the club to open. I'm a little uncomfortable, so I figure I'll just meet them back at the hotel. I hope I remember how to get back - I forgot the map in my room. I find my way to the lobby, but nobody else is there. Am I the only guy who didn't get lucky?
She Works Hard for the Money
It's the next day and I get a private tour of Poltava with my new Ukrainian friend. The city is very pretty (but not as pretty as my date). There's a museum dedicated to the wars with Sweden. That might explain some of the blondes. We visit the church she attends and I get to meet some of her family. I also find out that this beauty works three days a week, attends school three days a week and writes her dissertation (doctorate) on Sundays. So many of the women here work and study incredibly hard. Six day work weeks are common.
I'm intrigued by this lady's jet black hair, and I would have bet a box of doughnuts that she uses the same dye as the 'Goth Girls' back home. And I would have lost those 'fat pills'. Her hair is naturally pitch black and amazingly thick. I have a date with Snow White! The women here are so exotic. At the end of our day, she gives me a flower. I'm trying to remember why I have that 'no romance' rule - oh yeah - hmmm.
It's been nearly four hours since our bus left Polatva. I can see big exhaust stacks, towering in the distance. I wonder if that's Sumy? The sign ahead confirms it, as we pass this immense industrial complex; possibly a power plant. A few miles up we enter the actual city and it's charming, with a European flavor. I'm getting good at packing and unpacking now. I kept tonight's clothes on hangers with me. When I was looking through AFA's profiles, it seemed to me that Sumy had the highest percentage of 'hotties'. We'll soon see.
Tonight's social is a short walk down the cobblestone streets of downtown Sumy. The nightclub is tucked between shops, and easy to miss. Inside I pass another line of 'lovelies' and enter the club. There's a good sized dance floor, seating all around it, and a DJ. I make my way to the bar and check out the scene. One of the other tour members joins me (a fellow Italian paisano). He tells me about the very special lady he's invited to the social and really hopes she shows up. He met her on a previous tour, two years ago. An interpreter sees me idle and helps me start the rounds. I'm a little more comfortable about approaching tables now. From the previous socials, I get the feeling that some women are very serious about starting relationships, some curious, and some are just party animals.
I sit at a table with several lovely ladies, ranging in age from 20s to 40ish. One is a writer and so I tell her about the screenplay I've been working on. It's about a Knight on a quest, and she wants to play the princess. Unfortunately the only lead woman wears armor and brandishes two swords. She asks about the Knight's white horse, but again she's disappointed that he's on foot for most of the adventure. But apparently she wasn't too disappointed, since we still exchanged phone numbers.
The next table has 6 younger ladies, and all but one are beauticians. I can tell they aren't interested in me, but they are still curious. They want to see the pictures of my house and are surprised by my four car garage. I don't want to give them the wrong idea, and explain that I only have one car. The next question is my age. I say, "I'm 51", and they look shocked. They thought I was about 40. It seems the men of Ukraine don't age as well. We continue talking about various cultural differences and one says, "The men there make the women work and support them". Now I'm the one shocked. "Really?", I ask. They're all nodding in agreement. Whoa, I thought these stories were just rumors. I don't want to overstay my welcome, so I thank them and continued on.
Back in a corner is a large table with about eight young women. They're all students at the local college, and some speak English well enough that I don't need an interpreter. As soon as they find out I teach dance, one latches onto me and wants a lesson. I show her a couple of steps and a group of us are immediately making our way to the dance floor. The floor is full of stunning dancers. These women hit the floor as soon as the music starts, with or without a partner. By the third song, my dinner jacket comes off. It's seems almost surreal to be on this dance floor, packed with charming beauties. After a couple more songs we head back to the table. My paisano friend approaches and I signal him to take a seat. It turns out my new dance buddy is the girl he invited to the social. What are the odds? They want to dance again, so he grabs his heartthrob and I take her roommate. The dance floor and I are heating up and my tie soon relocates from my neck to a pocket. After a few more dances, I wave goodbye and search for something to drink.
Soft drink in hand, I watch the 'bevy of beauties' strutting their stuff. There are a few using the lighting system's vertical trusses for pole dancing. I get the feeling that these 'red-hotties' could 'chew me up and spit me out', but what a way to go! A good song comes on and I head back to the floor. There's a pretty blonde dancing alone, and I motion to her, asking her if she wants to dance with me. She nods and soon the dancing becomes flirtatious. At the tables the women are fairly reserved, but on the dance floor things loosen up. After a few songs, I walk her to her table. She's tall, slender, very pretty and a twenty year old student. Her English is weak, so her girlfriend translates. I haven't asked anyone out, so I think "what the heck". She agrees, but I sense some reservations. Off the dance floor she's become much more reserved. Since I don't know the town, I ask her to meet me at my hotel. She says "Women here don't go to hotels of men they don't know". I can tell she's got 'full shields up' now (sorry, I'm a Star Trek nerd). I say, "No, I mean meet me in the hotel lobby". She seems okay with that, but want's her friend to come and translate. "That's fine", but I can tell this isn't going well at all. I have the definite feeling that she is just being polite. They have class in the morning, so they head home early.
I take a seat back with my Italian buddy, his flame and her girlfriends. Soon the four of us are back on the floor. The party is so 'happening', they extend it for an extra hour. We close the place and head out for something to eat. I'm wondering where they're taking me, as we walk down a stone stairway, below street level. It opens into a brick-lined cellar, complete with arched ceilings. It has a medieval feel, and could easily be hundreds of years old. We grab a table adjacent to an alcove, with an alchemist working on some kind of brew (it's actually a mockup of a medieval alchemist in his lab). This place is so cool. Our dates help us with the ordering and we get a complete meal, including champagne for about $70 total. They want to double-date again tomorrow. I tell them that I already made a date, but I have this feeling it won't last long. We decide that since I have everyone's phone numbers, I can just call and meet up with them afterwards. Looks like my friend will have to entertain two beautiful twenty year olds on his own. Did I mention he's forty something?
Treat Her Like a Lady
The next morning, some of the tour members are heading back to Poltava. Apparently they've already met their dream girls in the previous town. The guys start trickling into the cafe for breakfast. Looks like a late night for many. Some want to find an internet cafe and I need some bottled water, so I join them. The internet cafe is packed with teenage boys, gaming. I wouldn't have expected this. The manager shows us around, and behind a couple of doors are a bunch more people on computers. It's a few Grivna per hour, so this must be a lot more affordable than purchasing a computer outright.
In the hotel lobby, I wait for my date and chat with one of the guys. His date arrives and they head out. He pops his head back in and says "There are two ladies waiting out here". They won't even come into the lobby - This date may be even shorter than I thought. I hurry out and greet them and notice how well both are dressed. My original thought was to take them to the hotel's cafe, allowing them an easy exit. But I know they don't get many opportunities to go out, so I want to make this a memorable evening for them. I tell them I want to find the restaurant I was at yesterday, and we make the short hike into Old Town. My date is asking me questions through her friend, and I'm hoping she doesn't think I'm ignoring her, since I'm so focused on finding the restaurant. I know there are stairs leading down somewhere. I have the ladies ask a nearby woman for directions, but no luck. They explain to me that it's futile, because most of the women here have never eaten at these restaurants. After a second pass, I see one of the guys standing in a doorway, and start to ask him. Before I finish, I realize we're here.
We're escorted to a table and go through the process of deciphering the Russian menu. They place the orders and I ask what they're having. They reply, "The same". I tell them, "You don't have to order the same as me. Get what you like." "We are shy", and she explains that the man normally chooses and orders for the woman. I can tell my date is still very anxious about the situation. Finally I say, "This evening is for you. We are here as friends, so I don't want you to worry about anything. Just enjoy yourselves." Instantly, things become much more relaxed and I finally realize what is happening - This woman, with her perfect body, natural platinum blonde hair and a face that could be on the cover of a glamour magazine, must be 'hit-on' constantly. As soon as she figured out that I wasn't another jerk, trying to take advantage, everything changed. She admits that some men, recently, have been rude to her.
We're starting to have fun now, and I admit that originally I thought this was going to be a short date. She also thought the same, but not anymore. I think some champagne is in order, and we check out the dessert menu. The conversation is becoming more personal now. I think we're talking about children. I'm not really sure; she's doing some kind of Ukrainian hypnotic thing with her penetrating brown eyes and my brain is turning into mush (But happy mush). Should we be talking about children? But then again our children would be beautiful. Hell, the Elephant Man could make beautiful children with this woman! Playful flirtation fills the rest of the evening, which is fleeting much too fast. Unfortunately it's another school night. We snap a few pictures and walk back.
A taxi pulls up to the hotel, and we all hug each other goodbye before they drive away. What a surprising turn of events. What I thought would be a quick cup of coffee, turned into a delightful, full evening. Too bad I have this 'no romance' rule. Maybe it's not so much a rule, but more like a guideline. Yeah, that's it: A guideline.
I wonder how my paisano is doing? Probably pretty damn good.
The Reluctant Return
Originally I was looking forward to getting back to the Western world (i.e. high pressure hot water 24-7, etc). But now I'm sitting in the plane, staring out the window feeling melancholy. I've had more fun in the past few days, than I've had in a year back home. There's a professional, attractive woman sitting next to me and we start chatting. Turns out she's an attorney from Europe, specializing in human rights, on her way to the United Nations. I had originally planned on catching up on sleep during the eight hour flight back, but we're really hitting it off. Too bad she's not available, but then again you can't have too many friends or European contacts.
Why is it I can meet one fantastic woman after another in Europe and nothing back in the States? I'm an average looking guy (some women even think slightly above average), pretty good income, great house and athletic build. And yet I always get this vibe, like I'm 'chopped liver'. And yes, I'm fairly normal, except for the occasional drooling on dates. I think I've finally figured it out:
- Statistically, for every 100 female births there are 105 males born. During times of war, things get more evened out, but luckily there hasn't been much of that lately. You may have seen overall ratios that are more evenly balanced, but that's only because women tend to live longer than men. That will only work in your favor if you want to date 85 year olds. So this means about five guys out of a hundred get nothing. U.S. women can afford to be pickier. The ratio is reversed in the Ukraine and Russia.
- American women like 'bad boys'. They may emphatically deny it, but ask why their marriage didn't work out or about the father of their child - Then you get the real scoop. I'm responsible, keep my word, pay bills on time, fair, career minded and in other words, boring. I actually had a dance partner, who thought the ultimate insult was to call her dependable. But in Eastern Europe, nice guys don't seem to finish last.
Does it Work?
I believe meeting the right person is very much a roll of the dice - Being at the right place at the right time and under the right circumstances. But the statistical probabilities can be greatly enhanced. In the Ukraine you'll meet a larger percentage of educated, attractive and fit women who appreciate responsible and sophisticated men. In the United States you'll meet many women who look more like Dr. Suess characters and desire guys who seem to take pride looking like they were dressed by a homeless, retarded person. Without actually looking for a bride, I met some fantastic women. Language can be a barrier, but as I mentioned earlier, most of these women have no problem working hard and studying hard.
The whole experience really is a great ego boost. In the States, I know beautiful women who are eager to dance with me, but that's because I can make them look good on the dance floor. The women in the Ukraine were actually interested in me. When I returned home, everyone noticed an improvement in my attitude. I think my borscht must have been spiked with Mojo!
I should also dispel a myth. Ukrainian women love their country and have close family ties. Few are desperate to escape, and even if they were only interested in getting a green card, five years is a long time to be married to someone who's incompatible. I think finding someone special is as difficult for them as it is for us. But conversely, you'll still need to use the same intuition you would in the States. There are women who are very serious about finding a husband, some just curious, party girls, gold diggers and those looking for an easy out. But like I said, the same concerns exist here, except in the Ukraine you'll meet women of a caliber who otherwise wouldn't give you a second glance back home.
Am I going back? I have a brand new copy of 'Rosetta Stone, Learn Russian levels 1, 2 & 3' sitting next to me.
Catch you on the next tour,
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