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My Russian Tour

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1. What selling a car has in common with finding a wife

This story started a while ago, at the times when I would never consider Russia as a good place for a holiday - this destination does not sound like your regular tropic paradise vacation. My Russian tour was the result of my quest for a Russian wife, and the means of finding her. Please don't consider me a jerk straight away! Search for a Russian wife was something that just happened to me. Also, my first language is not English, however I have English names. If there are grammar mistakes, forgive me for that and enjoy the story.

I believe every man comes to the idea of finding a Russian wife in his own way. What about me, I should thank my feminist neighbor. She would be very surprised if she discovered that it was she who was the reason of my marriage to a Russian girl!

One night after visiting my neighbors - a married couple next door - I decided it was time to replace my car. My neighbor was working for a motor manufacturer, and she told me about demo models that the factory was selling at a very good price. But first I had to get rid of my current vehicle.

You know, there are different ways of doing that, but because previously I was very successful with classified ads. I did not think twice (the offer would expire soon). The next day on my way home I bought the newspaper- I needed to have a look at prices before placing my own ad.

That night I paged through the newspaper, and the following day placed my advertisement. I kept the newspaper so I could look through it later.

(Very boring? Keep reading, the things are starting right now.)

During the weekend I had some time to page through the newspaper more carefully. The last few pages were all about people that were interested in meeting other people. Since I was currently available (I divorced a few years ago, and had not dated much since), I looked through this section with a particular interest. You know, it feels weird to look for the love of your life in classifieds - but hey, who said one cannot just have some fun? (I mean that it is fun to read personal ads; please do not think I meant something else! I am a quiet type that tends to be shy at first, not very adventurous and I am not a big fond of blind dates.)

This section was split into the local and international sections. I read the local section first, but could not find anything that would interest me, except the ads of married couples that were looking for other married couples to swap partners - not that I was interested in something the like but I did find it pretty amusing. I was wondering about these couples' married lives. Does such a marriage work?

Then I looked further to the back of the newspaper and saw in the international section many ads of foreign women that were looking for men from other countries. Most ads belonged to women from Eastern Europe, mainly the former USSR or eastern block countries, as it was known at one stage.

I read all advertisements and was swept off my feet. According to the ads the women were attractive, educated and so much more. That sounded to good to be true, and surely would make any man wondering. As far as I know men, even the ones who are married would wonder about this. I was tempted to respond to some of the advertisements, but decided to think about it first. Many questions came to my mind, and some of them were very disturbing. 

The Cathedral of the Resurrection, Nevsky Prospect, St Petersburg
The Cathedral of the Resurrection
, Nevsky Prospect, St Petersburg ("Our Saviour-on-the-Spilt-Blood"), one of the most beautiful and famous churches of Russia, built in the memory of the tragic event on 1 March 1881 when terrorists bombed the Tsar, Alexander II - who referred to in Russian history as "Alexander the Liberator" because he freed peasants from the serfdom they had suffered for many centuries, so he actually deserved such treatment less than anybody. It was the 8th attempt of the terrorist organization named "People's Will". One of the members of this organization was Lenin's brother, Alexander Ul'yanov.

The Bronze Horseman
, Decembrists' Square (formerly Senate Square), St Petersburg - memorial to Peter the Great, which had become an unofficial emblem of the city. Peter was the founder of St Petersburg, and it was his wish to move the capital from Moscow to the new city. The words on the stone say "To Peter the First from Ekaterina the Second". Ekaterina II was Peter's daughter. Built in 1733.

Some of the questions that I can remember were:

  • Why Eastern European women looked for western men?

  • Why Eastern European women advertised to find men?
  • Why men 15 years older were acceptable for Eastern European women?
  • Why most of the Eastern European women that advertised were so highly qualified?
  • What other methods did these Eastern European women use to make contacts with men?

All those questions prompted me to start my own research, and where in those days did we run our researches? Of course, on the Internet. Soon I discovered that Internet was loaded with web sites featuring Eastern European women looking for western men. The web sites at that time were mainly featuring women from the former USSR.

I started my research partly out of boredom, partly to find out if I really wanted to do this, or better say, if it could really be an option, would it be acceptable or not. The word acceptable in this sense had a very broad meaning because it included everything and everybody around me. I believe in many cases men that read or hear about these women and see their ads would be tempted to storm in like a bull and write to some women before doing any research.

Of course every person is unique, and there will be unique things that are applicable to one's personal situation. But the basic questions that you must answer are: Are you ready for this experience? Will you be able to deal with the situation? And - very important - If you choose to continue, will you be able to make a success of it?

Magnificent Great Palace at Petrodvorets, Peterhof (a place outside St Petersburg), the abundance of fountains, gold and greenery.
Below: The sculptures at the Palace are gold plated!

For me, once I've accepted a challenge I would try my best to make a success of it. In this case it was a very serious personal matter that would change my whole life - with the opportunity to be happy for the rest of my life. I was brought up to believe in myself, and I am strong enough to accept the challenges life has to offer. Finding a partner for life is a very serious challenge, in this case a foreign wife. Everyone's experience will be different. The point I am trying to make, give it a very serious thought before heading for it. For me it was a wonderful experience but for you it can be different.

So after counting all pros and contras, I decided to go ahead. My choice was Russian women. I made this decision purely based on my review of different web sites that were available at that time on the Internet. Russian women attracted me the most. That being, I need to clear that I considered all women from the former Soviet Union as Russian. USSR was still fresh in my mind; and despite of the fact that it ceased to exist in 1993, all counties of the former USSR were still Russia to me.


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Why I decided to look for a Russian woman

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Winter Palace
, St Petersburg (built by Italian architect Rastrelli) is the residence of Russian Tsars and the Court since the later half of 18th century. It includes the vast Hermitage Museum and is considered one of the best palaces in Europe for its beautiful architecture and interior decor. It is currently one of the world's biggest museums for fine arts. 

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