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Author Topic: The Dating Game, circa 2018  (Read 2714 times)

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Offline rwd123

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The Dating Game, circa 2018
« on: November 25, 2018, 11:45:18 PM »
I thought I'd start a thread about some of my experiences in the FSU this year (2018). As I have made multiple trips, primarily for business and personal reasons, I will share reflections and short stories - not a trip report per se. I have not been seeking a wife but rather casually dating and meeting new friends. I have lived and traveled a bit in the FSU, as well as having relationships with Slavic women.

I have noticed that threads on these forums often get derailed by off-topic posts or dogmatic arguments. To avoid polluting this thread please post any comments here:

http://www.russianwomendiscussion.com/index.php?topic=23305

For context, I was mostly interested in meeting women aged 25-35 though met in a range of 20-39. If you are looking to date women 35+ the dynamics shift quite a bit, so keep this in mind when reading.

Offline rwd123

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Basic Logistics
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2018, 11:48:05 PM »
Those embarking on a trip to the FSU in 2018 are spoilt. It is far easier than a few decades ago. The downside it is less of an adventure. Before you embark on a journey for the first time there are some simple things that you should know to make things as smooth as possible.

Visas

Most westerners can visit most FSU countries without a visa or visa on arrival these days. The obvious exception is the Russian Federation. It is not hard to get a visa to Russia. Pretty much all you need to do is to purchase or arrange for a letter of invitation, get some passport photos made, fill out the application (online), and submit your application with passport and payment. Apply for either a tourist or business visa. You can only study at a university on a study visa even for a short course. You may not be granted a 1-3 year multi-entry business visa initially, only after obtaining a 3 month visa.

Apps for Taxi Alternatives

Install the Uber app on your phone and local alternatives such as Yandex Taxi. Have at least two installed. I was recommended the app Gett which helps you compare fares. Have them up and running before you fly. I've had issues with credit card payments in Russia with Uber so needed to pay with cash.

Money

Always take USD, crisp unmarked notes. My preference is just under the declarable limit. If you can get some local currency at home that is handy. You probably want at least one credit card as well. Make sure to inform your card issuer before you leave which countries you will be visiting. There may be odd things happen in Russia because of sanctions, so I recommend you always take cash there. Not hard to open a bank account if you are going there frequently.

Gifts

Always bring small gifts. Local toys, chocolates, wine, t-shirts and so forth make for good random gifts. If you're meeting a lady then other things like cosmetics and clothing can be safe options. You'll need to know her size though for clothing. If in doubt go one size larger so it can be altered. Don't forget dress sizes have different measurements in different locations.

Miscellaenous Personal Items

Think about stuff that you don't really want to try and locate while overseas which you may need. These may be things like spare contact lenses, power adapters, umbrellas, recharge cables, nail clippers, toiletries, condoms, sleeping pills, medications, etc. Making a list can be helpful. Be aware Russia has certain laws pertaining to bringing in prescription medication. You will obviously pack clothes but pack for the seasonal weather conditions.

Accommodation

You can do this once you're in country, but if asked by immigration it's good to at least have an address on hand.

If your preference is apartments, which is typically my preference (but not always), AirBnB is the easiest option. For those with Russian language skills there are other options - I have used www.rent365.net in Ukraine; I haven't used www.avito.ru in Russia but know people who have. I've never found an apartment via avito where the host will register me.

For hotels www.booking.com is probably the easiest option, but like apartments there are local equivalents.

Language

Learn some Russian (or Ukrainian, etc.). The alphabet is not hard to grasp. Nail some basic phrases. Don't be a lazy eejit that relies on Google Translate. Having just a little can be of benefit. There are apps/web sites that can assist you, my favorite is Duo Lingo.

« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 02:05:38 AM by rwd123 »

Offline rwd123

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When Your Arrive
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2018, 11:50:00 PM »
Migration Cards

Some countries will require you to fill out a migration card. It's a small piece of paper in two halves. When you enter the country one half is kept by immigration staff, the other half is returned when you leave the country. Don't lose it! I haven't had to fill out any paperwork in Ukraine but not sure if that's because I had a visa or if they've completely removed migration cards.

Local SIM Card

Pretty much every international airport will have kiosks where you can purchase a local sim card. Do it on arrival before you leave the airport. I picked up a sim plus 9GB of data for a month in Ukraine for 180UAH. In Russia I paid 700 or 800 rubles for a similar deal. It can be slightly more expensive to purchase at the airport but it is so cheap just buy it there. A dual slm slot phone is handy.

Local Currency

Get some at the airport. Don't get too much as it will be roughly 10% more expensive than in the city center. If you have issues with your credit card like I have had, then you want enough cash on hand to pay for taxi rides.

Getting to Your Accommodation

Booking a ride via a ride sharing app is generally the easiest option. Free wifi at airports generally don't work once you leave the terminal which can make finding the car difficult. In some cities I've used trains and buses from the airport. Again, DYOR as what is your preference.

If you are arriving in Kyiv (KBP) then Uber pickups are on Level 2 (arrivals), not on the level you exit. I can't recall any other airports when that was the case, maybe because most airports don't have ramps for departures.

If staying in an apartment make sure you have all your questions answered on arrival, such as wifi passwords, how to use washing machines, how to check out, etc. Some places your host will ask you to drop the keys in the mail box when leaving, others will schedule a time with you.

Registration

Some countries still have registration requirements. It is a requirement on your host, whether at a hotel or apartment, to do this. Hotels will do this by standard practice; apartment hosts not necessarily so. If they don't it may cause you problems. Anecdotally, a friend told me it's not such a big deal for westerners in Russia. He once went three months without registration and had no problems (not recommending you do the same). If your stay is only for a week, or two weekends, then you won't need to register in Russia - but check as laws do change.

Getting Around

Generally, organizing rides via an app is the most convenient method if walking is not an option. In some cities you're better off using local transportation such as metros. I prefer the metro in Moscow as traffic can be horrible, and many streets are one-way so what seems like a short trip can take longer than anticipated. Public transportation is normally cheap and safe. I have never had an issue.

You'll also want to locate a currency exchange desk, grocery store, pharmacy, florist, nearest metro station, etc. close to where you are staying. If you have other particular needs like theaters, restaurants or gymnasiums just read up online before you depart.

You may wish to keep your passport in a safe place, and only carry a photocopy with you. It's typically required that you carry ID with you though I haven't kept up with the latest laws in each country. Better to carry your wallet in a breast pocket than in pants. If you have a backpack, in some places it's better to carry on one shoulder under your arm.

Offline rwd123

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The A to Z of Dating in the FSU (A-K)
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2018, 11:53:25 PM »
A is for Architecture

What is striking about gallivanting around the FSU is how cities are often the same but different. The civic kernel distinct and beautiful. Take for example the French-inspired architecture of Odessa; the old Europe feel of L'viv; the majesty of Saint Petersburg; the grandeur of Moscow. Yet they are cloaked by predictably drab Sovet-era lego block buildings or post-Soviet "novostroiki" that may look slightly better with a slightly worse build quality. As a tourist you may only experience the former and not the latter. It's worth jumping on a trolleybus or getting off at the last metro stop to get a feel how most people live. Just do your homework first. Some raions are better left unseen - especially after dark. If you frequent enough dwellings you'll discover the "cuffs don't always match the collar". The facade has no correlation with the comfort of the interior of apartments. Adjacent apartments can appear as if from different dimensions depending on the occupants. One could say FSU cities are like a box of "konfeti".

B is for Blablacar

I met a girl. An introvert, melancholy and on hard times. While that was two hours of my life I will never get back I did discover Bla Bla Car. It's ride sharing geared towards communal intercity travel. I made an impromptu decision to leave Kyiv for Odessa so decided to try it out. The ride was 350UAH (dirt cheap), and took about six hours. The only dilemma I faced was locating the pickup location as no address was specified, only a general location. With the assistance of two kind "devushki" I finally found the driver. I thought my ride was a car, instead it was a marshrutka. Fortunately far more comfortable than what I was accustomed to. They even had movies, top-shelf bootlegs with Russian dubs. Blablacar is really only an option if you have some local language skills, but opens up more travel options.

C is for Cabs

When you arrive at an airport it is rare not to be solicited by a pack of jackals called taxi drivers. 20 years ago you normally had to negotiate a fare, knowing full well that as a foreigner you were about to be reamed. The one time I didn't agree to a fixed rate was in central Moscow. I ended up being charged 35 dollars which was outrageous for a short journey. But those days have essentially ceased to exist. Ride sharing apps are now available to bypass said jackals and you pay market rates. One hack I noticed from some drivers was to confirm the fare with you, cancel the booked ride, and have you pay cash. This happened several times in Russia. The Uber commission for credit card transactions is 13-15%; 20-22% for cash payments. So these guys try to pocket a few extra rubles. I didn't care but this may confuse FSU n00bs.

D is for Divas

There is a pendulum of power between the sexes. At 25 years of age a girl pretty much has all the power in selecting a partner. What can happen in the FSU, is for the fairer sex to use or abuse this position. The term often cited is flaky. Last minute cancellations, late or no shows for dates. On a whim without notice. But the pendulum starts to swing and by 35 the roles are reversed. As the years tick by it becomes increasingly difficult for a girl to find a good man, particularly if they do not have a "clean passport". By mid-30s the dating pool for women becomes a narrow field. Most men are either married, completely out of shape, alcoholic, chasing younger women, never satisfied with one, or all of the above. The dynamics of dating by age are poles apart. For the time-sensitive male maturity becomes a coveted attribute, so the other D can become more attractive for men seeking women; divorcees. I met one divorcee, when learning I was searching for an apartment, she invited me to stay with her. When I declined she suggested to accompany me in my hotel room. I had to shake her off like a chihuahua knawing on my pants. If you don't like flaky women, just date older women - though not without hazards of a different kind.

E is for Enemy

I am not one to talk politics. I have no interest in keeping abreast the latest news, nor which criminal syndicate is in control of a goverment. However, through conversation the topic did come up more than once in Ukraine. I'd simply mention I'd like to spend more time in Siberia, and a delightfully charming lady would metamorphize into a fire-breathing dragon. Russians are stupid! Russia is a backwards country! Are you completely stupid?! Visceral, unadulterated hatred. I would need a napkin to wipe the spiddle from my face following the blistering tirade. While some are ambivalent or conciliatory towards the current political climate in Ukraine, there are many with complete disdain for Russia. I visited the Trades Union House in Odessa, where approximately 50 people died in 2014. The building has been fenced off, with no sign of repair. Names of the victims were printed on paper and stuck to the fence; their names crossed out by red paint. It would not surprise me if there is a similar incident in the future. If you scratch the surface there is plenty of resentment and hostility.

F is for Face Control

I've known about face control for years. As a well-behaved, well-dressed white guy it's never been an issue - until this year. I hadn't been partying so decided to have one night on the town. I rocked up to the venue and was met by hostile bouncers and a smarmy administrator. He told me, "not tonight." No other reason. I was wearing a designer clothes that cost several thousand dollars. It didn't matter. I was prepared to pay over 300USD for a table - and there were tables available. It didn't matter. They didn't want any foreigners. I grumbled off at having wasted time and went to a different venue. It also had a reputation for face control against foreigners but I didn't have any issues. I had a great night there into the morning. Sometimes there is a silver lining to a dark cloud.

G is for Gifts

Whenever I travel I always take gifts. Small, inexpensive and somewhat personalised. Toys are always nice to give to random children. It's nice to see their eyes light up. Also nice to get that reaction from a girl! Not as easy though. All I can say is keep it simple until you really get to know a girl. Flowers are ubiquitous. In the frosty, snowy confines of a Siberian winter you'll find them, even late at night. I love 24/7 grocery stores and pharmacies in the FSU, though never saw a 24/7 florist. They may exist, but 9pm closing times are a fair compromise. There's one bar I like in the FSU. I gave the staff chocolates from my country. I've been there a few times and they remember me now. Sometimes you don't need to only tip in cash.

H is for Health

I have a joke I'm working on. It relates to how gravity is different in the FSU. Younger women are tall and thin, but by the time they are babushkas all short and plump. It's gravity at work squashing them! I'm not sure my hypothesis is well grounded, but there's a noticeable difference between generations. For women it is a rotund figure, for men it is moreso dropping dead from chain smoking. Actually, come to think of it, I don't think the whole "smoking causes cancer" memo has hit the FSU yet. It may be a generational thing, a socioeconomic thing, or a cultural thing. But the typical Russian/slavic diet sucks. Lots of breads, lots of potatoes. A lack of leafy green vegetables in winter and hellishly expensive fresh foods for locals. It's also harder to exercise in winter. Some say meet the mother-in-law to know what your life is going to look like in 20 or 30 years. I'd say this is what she will look like if you don't get your woman on the "straight and narrow". One other thing, every guy in a Russian gym is huge. Anywhere from solid to brutishly massive.

I is for Instagram

I was never exposed to Instagram until I went to Russia. Apparently it's a common way for friends to communicate. It also plays neatly to the psyche of FSUW - vanity on display. I've never felt the need for social gratification online, but it's clearly a thing these days. You're almost tripping over women on the street posing for photos. The need to be beautiful and seen to be beautiful seems woven into the culture - instagram is merely the digital conduit. As a guy it's not hard to be distracted by scantily clad FSUW online, but the reality is quite different. I'd borrow from Pareto and say that 80% of women look worse than their photos. Of the remaining 20%, roughly half look the same and the other half look better in person. The old line of "don't fall in love with a photo" is never truer. I met one girl via a dating app whose photo was so different I had to double take to realize it was the same girl I was supposed to meet.

J is for Jetlag

Long flights suck. It's just something that is part and parcel if you want to hit the FSU for most people. On my most recent trip I decided to buy over-the-counter sleeping pills. I've only used them on planes. They seem to wok well if I'm already feeling tired. It's nice to sleep for ten hours on a flight. A friend once flew from east coast USA to Korea, a 17 hour flight. He slept for ten hours but was still awake for seven hours. Sometimes there's no getting around distance. But distance can be a benefit. There are less tourists in Siberia. I love not being around foreigners, you get a more authentic experience. For guys looking for girls it may improve your odds, but Siberian girls on average speak less English than those in Eastern Europe.

K is for Kissing

It's a very European thing to kiss. In some places it is one kiss on the cheek for greetings. In other places it is a kiss on each cheek; in others again it is three. I still haven't figured out the FSU customs yet but always prefer to a greet a girl with at least one, whether dating or just friends. If you are dating it can be an indicator of interest. While there are cultural dffierences there are still certain body language cues that you need to pay attention to such as physical proximity, eye contact, smiling and of course - kissing. The end to a date can provide some indication of future directions. If you get nothing it's the last time you'll hear from a girl. If it's a hug then it's essentially "adios amigo" as well. Kiss(es) on the cheek are not necessarily a bad sign but doesn't point to good either. If you get the lips then things are looking positive.


Offline rwd123

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The A to Z of Dating in the FSU (L-Z)
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2018, 11:58:13 PM »
L is for Language

Some people will tell you that if you want to meet FSUW or even marry one, don't waste your time learning Russian (or Ukrainian, etc.). The opportunity cost isn't worth it. Better off investing your time to more productive endeavours, right? Wrong! I'll give you a few reasons why even a rudimentary grasp of "russki yazik" will pay dividends. First, it gives you a level of independence and control you wouldn't othwerise have. It streamlines asking for assistance or finding places or things you want to buy. Secondly, if you get to meet the parents they'll compliment you on your ability to say "spaseeeba" or "zdrastviture". You may be crowned as a "molodets", much to the secret delight of your girl. Thirdly, by having a conversational level of Russian you open the dating potential by at least a factor of fives times, maybe ten times in some areas. There is a huge swathe of devushki that are off limits without language ability. It could be your key to the promised lands. So learn a little every day.

M is for Metro

It's a little known fact that traffic was one of the plagues of Egypt, just read up the gnostic version of the Bible. So I am overjoyed that most cities in the FSU I visit have a metro. Efficient, reliable and cheap. Far more comfortable than the London tube, far more reassuring than in New York City. I'm kind of disappointed that they have signs in English these days. It makes the experience less exotic. What surprises me is that very few people walk on the escalators, particularly when going down to the platforms. I guess if it's a daily ritual then people tire from even the slightest physical effort. The Moscow metro is a highlight for me in the city. Some of the interiors are visual wonders. Though you're not supposed to take photos. One time I took a few photos and was scolded in Russian by a middle-aged woman. Good Soviet-style discipline.

N is for Nature

I'm not really a "nature guy" but some of the places in the FSU are simply stunning. Great lakes, majestic mountains, fantastic forests. There's something for everyone. I managed to make it briefly back to the mountains of Central Asia. Years ago I visited Lake Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan, simply stunning surrounds. This year the higlight was getting acquainted with Siberia. One day I went bicycle riding through the forest with friends. I can't say my "popa" was too happy about the rented bicycle seat but the rest of me was delighted. The other standout was forest horseback riding in autumn. The colors of the scenery were something from a famous landscape painting. Although I saw the Black Sea I can't say I was taken aback. Maybe I should return in bikini season. And the parks! There are some really lovely parks, sometimes it just takes a bit of effort to discover them. If you visit Russia you must visit Stolby. Or so I'm told. It's on my to do list.

O is for Opinions

I have a friend that moved to Russia. He hates feminism. So Russia is generally a good fit. Until it isn't. I was at a social event, and welcomed a lady to our table. She was loud, opinionated, and in your face - "if you don't like what I say then fuck you!" Unsurprisingly she lived in the USA for over a decade. Now I'm the kind of guy that gets on with most people but it's not the case for others. A Russian guy said he was offended by her attitude. My foreigner friend said she was the kind of "bitch" he was trying to get away from in the West. The experience was distinct from engaging with other Russian women. It's like one can choose to use a soft power or a hard power. Western women often utilize hard power, FSUW have generally perfected the use of soft power so have no need for more abrupt means of persuasion.

P is for Pollution

I don't mind the idea of living in the FSU. I've done it before and may do it again. But there's a few things you should be aware of if you're contemplating a sea change. Corruption and cops - part and parcel of the landscape; it can be like lightning in that it's unlikely to strike but can be devastating. Healh and education - the backbone of socialism, yet ironically the quality in the FSU is dubious. The other is pollution. I am used to living in a very clean city - clean air, clean soils, clean foods, clean streets. It's not the same in the FSU. In some cities you need a shovel at the end up of the day to clean out the black soot from your nostrils. Streets, parks and even forests can be littered with garbage. Tap water can be undrinkable. The fumes from vehicles resembling mobile smokestacks are detrimental to long-term health. So just be prepared that life may not be as comfortable as what you're used to.

Q is for Quality

The term quality is subjective to cultural norms. For example, in Japan it is perfection; in France, luxury. I've never come across a cultural definition for Russia or the FSU, but predict it differs depending on social strata. For the majority it's good enough at the lowest possible price. For the wealthy it's all about increasing social status. In fact, anything that increases social status will be perceived in a positive light. It's important that you understand that your idea of quality may be radically different. For example, seeing slabs of meat on open metal tables may make you freak out and say, "eww, what about the germs!" You may be surprised to see travelers using plastic bags instead of sturdy suitcases. The concept of seat belts can be optional, and in some cases non-existent in the back seats of cars. Regardless of your standards, sometimes you'll just have to go with the flow.

R is for Restaurants

I couldn't go without mentioning food. Sadly McDonalds and other western chains have infected the FSU, but there are always alternatives. With the exception of perhaps Moscow and Saint Petersbirg dining out can be quite affordable. Hence, it provides ample opportunity to try different dishes, local or otherwise. For some reason people often asked me if I had ever had borscht. Only about a hundred times! The next common dish asked about was vareniki. Yup! I like that drinking yoghurt and kefir are quite common, but found it difficult to locate "normal" cream when I wanted to bake a cheese cake. Apparently Philadelphia cream cheese is a sanctioned item though have not verified if that is the case.

S is for Scams

I dined with a couple of women then went to a nightclub for drinks and dancing. The night was quite memorable, as much as for when I received the bill. I had to recalculate several times grivnas to dollars before I realized that I had been conned. The establishment had overcharged me for drinks and was under the suspicion they had two sets of menus; one for the start of the night and one for the end of the night. When I raised my concerns I was escorted to a back room to see the manager. It was pretty obvious that I was dealing with local mafia types so rather than going "full retard" and risking life and limb decided for a tactical reduction in the charge. I was able to negotiate a revision but it was still obscene. An expensive lesson. It's the only time I haven't judiciously watched my tab. Never again!

T is for Tarmac

The last time I descended upon Washington I had to wait over an hour to pass through immigration. It seemed like one in five people were in wheel chairs. These people are advised never to go to the FSU. There is a 1 in 5 chance you won't end up on the tarmac. It's old school flying whether there be sun, rain or snow. Jump in a bus and walk the walk. Asides from such inconvenience I find most FSU airlines to be adequate to good. Qatar Airways wins a lot of awards, but Aeroflot provide better food. Air Astana was quite accommodating with friendly staff. Belavia stewardesses wear pink! The airports are generally distinctly FSU airports; nebulous queues, seemingly glib security checks at entrances (Lviv an exception), and of course grifters posing as taxi drivers. I thought Moscow only had three airports. That was until I accidently booked a ticket to Zhukovsky Airport. I think it's more Moscow Oblast rather than Moscow. Still figuring out how Rudy Giuliani had an airport named after him in Kyiv. And the best FSU airport I have visited is, drum roll - Krasnoyarsk.

U is for Underground

Unsurprisingly given the climate you'll end up underground a bit. Not just for he metro, but for shopping. The Metrograd in Kyiv is quite pleasant. Typically though, the "perehods" are more common - underpasses on streets that have vendors in tiny shops. I find this environment quite depressing. I cannot imagine working in such a place day in, day out. These are the modern day peasants. No longer building cities in swamps or ploughing fields, but selling socks and phone covers in the darkness of day. The better ones have musicians. Kyiv is quite good in this regard, just watch your bag and your pockets.

V is for Village

I had an idyllic image of Russian villages. Log cabins, fireplace burning, maybe even one with chicken legs. Alas, not always the case. They also differ. You really need to get off the beaten track to get a true rustic feel. It can be an adventure though. I accompanied a lady to a village about an hour outside of town. She was visiting a "mystic healer", a Russian hippy-type. We took a bus but then had to walk two kilometers. Fortunately we waved down a car and were able to hitch a ride. On the way back we were dropped off at a bus stop, but as there were no buses had to hitch hike. As beggars can't be choosers we ended up in an archetypal run-down Lada. It was so old we were overtaken by trucks. The driver and his friend were teenage boys, cracking jokes most of the way. On the way back we had to stop for fuel. When leaving there was a loud BANG! sound. The passenger asked, "chto eto?" (what was that?), the driver replied "schlank" (hose) and they both laughed. He had forgotten to disconnect the hose from the car's fuel tank and the handle had snapped off.

W is for Weather

It's hard not to mention weather. it's just a topical thing when you think about Russia or the FSU. If you end up in Yakutsk in January people will think you're crazy or at least be suspicious. Such visits are usually down to one of the three W's: work, women or wild lifestyles (nomads, adventure seekers, etc.). The weather is generally not as scary as you may think, but depending on the region be prepared for cold snaps that leave you trapped indoors. Each season has its special qualities, though each also have downsides. I'd say the best time to go to the FSU is the beginning of September. It's normally warm but past the peak tourist season. It's also nice around March/April as the really cold weather has normally passed and you haven't quite hit the sludgy, dirty melting snow part of spring. The best time for nightlife, unless you're in a summer tourist destination, is winter. Bars and nightclubs are packed because it's too cold to congregate outside.

X is for X-Factor

There's always a level of expecting the unexpected when you are in the FSU. Over the years I've had a variety of experiences. I didn't have too many bizarre events this year but there were a few that stood out. The most vivid was heading to the airport in Kyiv, and being faced with a burning car in the middle of the road with nobody around. Then there was the experience of driving between DME and SVO airports on the ring road. It was like ballet. Cars - at high speeds, would swerve in between in each and change lanes without indicating. The movements were like schools of fish. Waking up in Odessa to find no water in the entire apartment block because of a power outage, and having to hunt down a toilet. And then there's meeting women from dating apps. A reality tv show in the making.

Y is for Yolka

The big holiday in the FSU is New Year; related to the Soviet influence of diminishing the role of religion. Whereas Christmas may be the big holiday in your locality it is a bit less of a thing in the FSU. It's all about the new year! There's a franchise of Yolka movies that relate to new year, and The Irony of Fate is a film that I dare say, is watched religiously by some on new year's eve. The other big holiday you need to know about is International Women's Day. Again, thank Khruchshev or someone for programming it into FSU customs. If you have a special devushka then it's also known as Mandatory Flowers Day. The other note about holidays is that summer holidays is a big thing. meaning that many people escape their home town for more enjoyable surrounds. Why is this important? If you're going to visit a girl the odds are that she's not around in July or August.

Z is for Zakonchil

I'm done with "Z", the end of the alphabet. I figured I'd end with a Russian word. It means finished. I'm done for the year. I'm done with random dating and dating apps, But I'm not done with the FSU, I'll be back next year. It has nothing to do with women, I just like it there - one just needs a viable exit strategy if required to get out of Dodge. If I play my cards right and get lucky Russia will become a second home. Finished is also the term used in the FSU if you had an orgasm. If you already knew that then you probably don't need to learn from my stories. You should be sharing your own, da?


Offline rwd123

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Dating apps and sites
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2018, 01:52:20 AM »
I am not a fan of online dating. I prefer meeting in day-to-day life. It seems more natural and a more efficient use of time. But I decided this year to experiment with sites/apps as an alternative. I met women from a mix of apps and dating sites - typically at least one from each source.

Dating apps

If I were to describe dating apps in one statement it would be that it's easy to find a date, but hard to find a decent woman. As a rule of thumb, you may find an amazing woman on any site or app but there is an opportunity cost of wasting your time on some sites/apps and dead end dates that may not be worth your while.

Apps are also geared more towards local dating not international marriage, so many women simply aren't interested in foreigners (or speak English). Even when you match you may be dealing with flaky women. Paid services will result in more matches/contacts, so if you decide to try an app would recommend purchasing "premium" services.

I will categorically say that Tinder is a time waster IF you are looking for a serious relationship and/or you are not a local. In Kyiv I was hit up for escort services, massages, paid dates, and city tours. It's not hard to find the same on Mamba.

Dating webites

Dating web sites seem to be better for international dating. Sites that explicitly target this type of relationship are arguably the best bet for wife hunters. You may still run into flaky girls though, and more likely to run into scammers. They are not hard to spot as they'll ask you for your email address and then send generic emails with a few photos attached. Again, paid services are generally worthwhile. I didn't find free sites useful at all. There are some sites which a hybrids - both web site and app. These are generally older sites.

I do have to make a small mention to Anastasia Date. I created an account for shits and giggles, without a profile photo. I received dozens upon dozens of emails from apparently a plethora of gorgeous Ukrainian women excited to meet me. It's too good to be true, right?

Recommendations

For local dating Badoo is probably the best app. It has some interesting location-based features. You'll need to pay for premium services to get the most out of it. I can't really recommend any other app.

For international dating Elena's Models is probably the best site. Russian Cupid is perhaps ok but just be prepared to waste some time sifting through the chaff.

The majority of women I maintain contact with I did not meet via dating web sites/apps. So if you want to meet FSUW don't rely solely on these for introductions.

« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 02:06:11 AM by rwd123 »

Offline rwd123

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Dear Romeo Letters
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2018, 02:44:30 AM »
Here are some examples of suspect emails I received via Russian Cupid. There's always a handful of photos attached, a little bit of eye candy. I assume anyone (under the age of 40) who wants to communicate via email is not genuine. Older women may prefer email.

----

Hello darling <Romeo>, I hope you remember me and see that we have a chance to start our communication in private? Has it ever crossed your mind that everything happens at their own pace my darling? I believe so, everyone has a different clock. Our life choices and our own life experiences have brought us to each other. Whatís your opinion? Do I sound like a Miss smarty- pants now? ha ha I hope not. I just want to share my point of view and let you know what's on my mind dear. I'm from Ukraine. I live in town which is temporary occupied zone and not controlled by Ukrainian authorities, but I am still a citizen of Ukraine and I love my country. I have a peaceful soul and I wish for solution for situation my people is currently facing... Have you heard on news anything about it? I don't trust TV news, but there are some sources of information you can trust. You might see lots of women even during a day but only some can be special. Do you wish we would be special for each other? I came to conclusion that being patient is the key to success not only in life but also in love. I want to be successful in love. I'm a single lady, who is interested in knowing you. Yes, darling, you got it right, you have my full attention. Do you like it? My heart is open for love, I think that this is one of the main and basic aspects for finding, noticing and acknowledging that you met the right person for you. I can talk on and on about my good traits and how wonderful I am, but isnít it better if you will learn everything on your own and if you let yourself discover me? I want to do the same thing, to learn about you from our communication and not making our letters too formal and full of information. Letís bring more life into our correspondence, shall we? Nothing else matters for me if there is mutual interest and I do not look at differences as hindrances. I think that diversity is normal and healthy, we can have age difference, nationalities, places of birth and so on... We choose people we want to have in our lives. I will be thinking about you and wishing to hear from you soon, just let you know that I am interested in you and I prever our own personal contact. How you feel about this?
Sincerely yours,
Elena

----

Nice to meet you again, Dear <Romeo> ! As I was in rush,I can write only now, so I am sorry. Its me Svetlana and I will be 34 years old this summer. As you see, I am already mature woman, so I don't have reasons for fun or games!!!! I know what I want and have only serious intentions. What about you???

I should be totally honest with you, as I have heard about lots of BAD and not serious men in the internet now, who search for sex or dirty games. That's why I ask you not to surprise, if my profile has a little bit different information.

Please don't be confused! You should understand that I protect myself in such way. It is my first experience.

Now I am lonely and all my efforts to find the man of my life were in vain here in my town:( I had only couple of relations, but have never been married. -Have you been married? -What do you expect of your new relations?

Don't forget about your photos, because they are the reflection of your way of life, right?) Want to know more!) Please don't ignore my letter. Even, if you are not interested in me, let me know about it, because I will be waiting any of your answer.

Wait for your answer!
Svetlana!


Offline rwd123

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Electronic communications, circa 2018
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2018, 02:49:11 AM »
On the topic of communications, I'd be suspicious of anyone who only wants to communicate via email. Some may be reluctant to give alternative contact details straight away and prefer communicate via the dating site/app.

My WhatsApp rule of thumb,
  • If a girl asks for your WhatsApp, she's probably interested;
  • If you ask for her WhatsApp and she provides it, she may be interested;
  • If you ask for her WhatsApp and she doesn't provide it, she isn't interested.
The most common forms of messaging seem to be WhatsApp and Instagram, followed by Viber. VK is still quite popular in Russia (blocked in Ukraine), there is some use of Facebook but doesn't seem to be the primary means for communications. Skype is used but not very popular - Microsoft has effectively killed it. Telegram is not widely used. Making traditional phone calls or SMS is rare.

For the professionals LinkedIn is blocked in Russia. You'll need a VPN for access.


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Be a gentleman, not a Middle-eastern gentile man
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2018, 11:39:48 PM »
I met a girl for coffee after work. Conveniently her office was only a couple of blocks away from my apartment. She was fluent in English and worked in a similar sphere so talked a lot about work, but also about dating.

She had communicated with guys online in the past, though I was only the second foreigner she had met (or from the same country, can't quite remember). But what I did remember were the stories she told me about Arabs and Turks.

These guys would contact her and ask to chat on skype. She'd oblige and set up a time. When they joined up with her they would ask to see her legs or ask what size her breasts were. She was no shrinking violet was would respond by asking them how big their dicks were. Nude photo requests were not uncommon. The attitudes of these guys were that they had a right to know what they were getting.

Now I understand that Russian/Slavic culture has differences from western ways, but those from Muslim countries are entirely different. They often come across as slimy pigs. It' s no wonder some women explicitly say no Arabs/Turks/Muslims in their profiles. So it may not be that hard to appear as a gentleman. If you don't know how to be one, just refrain from asking to see certain body parts. Well, at least until after the first date!

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Stay in School!
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2018, 11:41:30 PM »
I found myself in a Russian bar and grabbed a seat next to a lovely looking lass. She appeared to be there by herself so decided to strike up a conversation. I quickly discovered she didn't speak any English so decided to cut straight to the chase (in Russian):

Me: Are you married?
Her: No.
Me: You have a boyfriend?
Her: No.
Me: Why not!

Turns out she likes intelligent guys, and she hadn't been able to find one yet. This is where language skills are invaluable. I could converse with her for 10 or 15 minutes - which is ok; with a little more practice a bit longer - great. But until you're fluent you cannot effectively convey intelligence. But every little bit more advanced makes you look smarter and smarter.

Even though I told her my IQ was 200, which only seemed to confuse her, the conversation eventually petered out. I did ask for her contact details, which she was happy to provide. But no Russian skills means no phone number.

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There are plently of fishes in the seas
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2018, 11:42:43 PM »
I finished a gym session and was walking back to my apartment when I saw a gathering on the street. Men were in suits, women in fancy dresses. An MC was on a red carpet garnering laughs. So I decided to take a peek.

I couldn't figure out what was going on so decided to ask a pretty young woman in a red dress. She spoke a little English so I was able to learn that this was a corporate event and so engaged in a  conversation. When I asked her for her contact details she declined. I wished her well and continued on my way.

Michael Jordan is attributed with the following quote:

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

Rejection is a part of life. You learn from the experience, you accept it and move on.

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Chemistry is everything
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2018, 11:43:51 PM »
One night I went out dancing with a girl. She had contacted me via a dating app and I had no plans, so seemed to be like a good idea to meet. It turns out she had two masters degrees, entrusted to an important role at her work, young, tall and attractive. Initially I couldn't figure out whether or not she was naturally quiet or just not into me.

Once we got dancing we had an amazing time. Drinking, laughing, dancing and a little bit of necking. She described it as one of the best nights of her life - not sure if that was because of me or the flaming cocktails. So we decided to catch up again the following week.

We met for dinner and the energy was quite different - partly because I was tired and not mentally tuned for a date, but also because my senses told me that we weren't a good match. I decided to pursue her further, and after texting for a month and seeing her again it was clear we weren't for each other. Sometimes it is better to trust intuition no matter how desirable a woman may be.

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Be assertive. No, really be assertive!
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2018, 11:47:37 PM »
While being a gentleman is important, it does not mean to be submissive. Far from it, the typical Russian man can be quite assertive in pursuing a woman. Some to dramatic effect.

I was about to head off home from a bar one night but decided to stay for a show. An attractive young blonde with large breasts bulging from her dress was drinking with her brunette friend. A short middle-aged man in a slick suit (let's call him Mr Biz) entered the bar with an attractive woman and two other guys, and took under residence on a nearby sofa.

Mr Biz walked straight over to the blonde about half his age (or more) and started talking her up. I wasn't close enough to make out much of what he was saying but observed his body language. It was like he owned the place, or even the city. He ordered an expensive bottle of something - I think pink champagne. He poured each girl and his entourage a drink.

He sat down at the sofa, only for the woman to start talking with the blonde. I thought it was Mr Biz's wife, but couldn't tell. What I could tell was she was trying to convince the blonde Mr Biz was a great guy and he should get what he wants. Unconvincing in her marketing pitch she sat down and Mr Biz came back for another monologue - and another bottle. Mrs Biz did another sales pitch, then for Mr Biz to try one more time. His efforts were not impressed by everyone; the barman warned him to be respectful.

Now at this point I was tired and wanted to sleep, but at the same time wanted to learn how the pantomime would end. Would the blonde be bought by this guy or not? I have to say although his performance was stage worthy, spectacular in its brashness and would have scored an A+ for assertiveness, he didn't win the girl. Either the guy was too old or the champagne wasn't good enough. It's worth observing FSUM almost as much as it is observing FSUW.

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Age, damn age, and statistics
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2018, 11:50:13 PM »
Sometimes the question of age difference for couples would come up in conversation. It seemed there was a similar attitude of women - though there are always exceptions. Those quite young, such as in their early 20s, would only consider guys 2-3 years older. As you get close to 30 the gap stretches more to 5-10 years. Once the age is getting close to 40 then 15-20 years is not out of the realm.

However, it really comes down to personal preference. Some women prefer a man close to their own age. Others want an older man - because they want a mature man. Unsurprisingly infidelity is rife with 20-somethings, but with both men and women. One friend told me that she used to prefer older men. Once she resolved problems with her father she no longer found older men attractive. I guess for some if there was an absent father figure then an older man may be desirable for some reason.

Another common question that I would be faced with is - how old are you? I'd ask them to guess. Most responses were 7-9 years less than my actual age; once it was 15 years less. Only one guessed my age correctly, possibly because she was with her mother. This is one of the benefits of not dating online - people see you for who you are, not a number.

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Money makes the world go 'round
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2018, 04:04:32 AM »
Money, get away
Get a good job with more pay and you're okay


It's funny how money changes everything. In many different ways.

When I was in Ukraine I was told several times the country is full of poor people. In Siberia I was told that most people earn a sustenance wage but no more. There are lots and lots of poor people, it's just as a westerner you don't see them or notice them that much. If you go to nice bars or restaurants you'll meet atypical locals. You may get the impression that things are better than they really are.

But not all people are poor, even if they are not rich. Most of the people I keep in contact with own their own apartments, have nice jobs, and can afford regular independent travel. University educated, often with postgraduate qualifications. There's little desire to move to another country. When I stayed in Odessa I was met by a host in his Mercedes. He works in shipping, good money but terrible lifestyle. The only reason you sign up for that type of work is the money.

Money also changes the dynamics of dating. A friend in Russia believes the dating scene has changed a lot over the last five years as economic conditions have improved; an inverse correlation between GDP and the ease of winning the affections of a woman. It may explain why wife hunters are more often seeking brides in Ukraine rather than Russia.

If you splash some cash things happen, generally for good, but with different consequences or benefits. Which I will describe.

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Low level gold diggers
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2018, 04:07:21 AM »
I met a girl for a date, one of, if not the first this year. She was buying coffee so I offered to pay for it. She then mentioned she had to buy some chocolates for a gift. When she realized I was happy to pay for it she grabbed another two boxes!

Now a guy like Trenchcoat may never find himself in this position, and be mortified by the cost of a date, but this was a positive. She was a young and very attractive divorcee. Not at all hard on the eye. But she showed her personality, and in less than five minutes had enough understanding of her character to know she wasn't for me.

I met another girl the following day. We hit it off immediately. Yet again attractive, but no lavish requests. At the the end of date we saw each other off and she asked for taxi money. I obliged. I saw her a couple of other times and she always requested taxi money - both ways. I offered to book an Uber ride for, which was half the price, but she refused. She said she'd had a bad experience and so only took official taxis.

I knew this was bullshit and knew she had outstanding travel debts, so wasn't hard to see she was milking me. So I never saw her again. The funny thing is she actually liked me and her greed squandered any potential for a relationship. The faster you can get a good handle on one's character the better, even if you burn a little cash. Better to have a small hole than a big one.

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Money brings honey
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2018, 04:09:43 AM »
The night I got knocked back by face control I ended up at another club. I was in a foul mood when wanting the opposite so decided to buy a table. For those unfamiliar, it is common to reserve a table by prepaying a tab which you draw down upon, though shisha is normally not included - only drinks and food.

I was taken to my table, one with a couple of chairs. I was dissatisfied and asked for one with a large sofa. It was almost double the price but I wanted a fun night out. It was probably a month's worth of wages for TC. Fortunately I had a fistful of cash because their card machine wasn't working. My wallet was almost empty.

What I quickly discovered is that when you have a well placed sofa it's like a spider sitting in a web. Girls are dancing and get tired - and there was nowhere to sit except for reserved tables. So every now and then a girl would come sit with me and we'd share a conversation, I'd offer them a drink and they'd be happy. That's unless they were there with their boyfriend. Then they would be retrieved and I wouldn't see them for the rest of the night.

After a couple of hours the hottest girl in the club comes and sits down. I start talking with her, but she says she doesn't speak English. I'd offer her a drink anyway. After a few rounds of drinking, dancing, resting and chipping away she confesses; she has trained to be an English teacher and speaks fluently! She just doesn't like meeting foreigners so pretended not to understand me.

By the end of the night she has given me her number, and offered to help me in any way next time I am town. I suggested we go to dinner together. She accepted. There is an old adage - no money, no honey. That is probably true, however, when you have money opportunities arise simply that would never materialize unless you splash some cash.

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The aggressive gold digger
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2018, 04:28:44 AM »
Now I can't talk about gold diggers without mentioning one of the most hilarious conversations I had this year. I was just disappointed it was online and not in person. I began chatting with a girl who happened to be online at the same time. For some reason she would freely and openly express her opinions to me. Something had clearly ticked her off. "You're the same! All men are the same!" Ok, I thought. "All men are liars not worthy to be trusted!" I egged her on and she opened up a bit more.

Apparently she had only dated three guys in the last six months, and had blocked over three thousand! Obviously she has particular standards, I thought. She had a second profile which was her real profile. But the more I talked with her the less I could understand how she could possibly get a guy to the altar.

She said she only meets if a guy pays her on the first five dates. That kind of explained how she dated so few guys. Nobody had ever reached date number five, kind of like a survivor series. When I suggested $50 she said no way and blocked me on her first account. When I continued the conversation on her second account she called herself a "loser who lives with her 62 year old mother." She refused to work because of the level of local salaries. I suggested $100 for date and replied she's not that cheap.

I had no interest in her other than as an anthropological study. She was physically attractive but displayed an awful, awful character. A few days later I noticed on her profile that she was in Switzerland. Yep, a good Mamba girl. Obviously some guys don't look below the surface.

 

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