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How I Found a Russian Bride
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Solitaire Offline

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How I Found a Russian Bride
[This is my personal journey about how I married a young Russian lady. I’m going to try my best to avoid the use of present-day idioms and appropriated words & phrases, e.g., blue-pilled, white knight, etc. I’ll simply describe my state of mind, decisions I made, observations, and let the reader take what he wants from the passages. I've debated where this should go - Relationships vs Travel - and decided here, though it starts out much more as a travel journal. It will end up discussing the 18 year relationship I had with my now ex-wife. I’d love to add some photos from my trips there but those pics are on my broken laptop, so I’ll have to put them in separately after I manage to retrieve my data.]


Quote: Regarding possible actions Russia might take in the early stages of WWII: “[Russia] is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma …” – W. Churchill

In the summer of 1998, I made the decision to travel to Russia, go out into the provinces, and explore. Every friend and family member I told this to said in response, “Russia?” It wasn’t so long ago that perestroika and glasnost had happened – restructuring and openness – meaning that the veil of mystery regarding the Former Soviet Union (FSU) was at least somewhat pulled aside. Americans could now more freely travel to Russia, though it was still a tedious business of getting the required VISA which needed to be supported via invitation and other requirements, all still applicable today, far as I know.

In any case: why Russia? The short answer is that I decided, in the mid-90s, to teach myself a language. I was rather bored, after finishing my degree in 1994 (one young lady I told this to, she said, “Wow – when I’m bored, I go shoe shopping”). Why not Japanese, since I’d lived there as a boy and would pick up the language again rather quickly, in comparison? All I can say to this is that the sometimes-menacing mystery of the FSU captivated me, somehow. The 80s propaganda that I grew up with was that all Soviet women were either steroid-addled man-things or decrepit babushki, that the bread lines were still around the corner, well you get the idea. It was indeed propaganda, because as I discovered ten minutes after leaving Aэропорт Шереметьево (Sheremet'yevo Aeroport), this country has some breathtakingly beautiful women, scenery, art, cities, and culture.

The language itself came quickly to me. I learned the basics of the alphabet in the first day. I used Pimsleur’s cassette tapes to learn words, phrases, grammar, and proper enunciation, as well as reading (writing was and still is impossible for me; without living there, I’ll never learn the rules and exceptions). I found a language book from the 50s that helped tremendously with grammar, though I had to thoughtfully not memorize the outdated, and sometimes hilarious, idioms and word usage. I didn’t want to be that guy running around calling everyone товарищ.

Sometime into this language exploration, I decided to travel to Russia. I’d lived overseas most of my childhood, so it didn’t seem to me that I was doing anything outrageous. I just wanted to go. I wanted to test whether I had learned enough Russian to navigate the country, so I planned my trip thusly: I’d fly into Moscow, of course, then get on a train headed east. I did have to choose a city and obtain the invitation for my travel dates, so I picked На́бережные Челны́ (Naberezhnyye Chelny, hereafter written N. Chelny) in the Republic of Tatarstan. I'm not entirely sure why I chose this particular city, except that I decided not to go too far into Russia (turns out that just stepping off the plane could be considered 'too far'), the name was interesting (translates to 'quay of boats'), it has a fascinating history, at least to me, and I figured for sure that I'd be one of the only Americans hanging around there. Boy, was I right about that ...

Onward to the Eastern Front

Quote: “When I drink a bottle of vodka, I feel like a new man. And that new man needs his bottle of vodka” – told to me by a jovial Russian fellow

September of 1998 came along, and off I went to Moscow. Let me tell you something: As a former US Marine, stepping foot on the soil of my formerly sworn enemy was humbling and exhilarating. I had more than one interesting experience with young men during my months in Russia; they were jovial, quick to embrace me into their group of friends, endlessly curious about the West, overall really fun to hang out with. It’s difficult not to turn this whole post into an extended travel journal. Let me just mention one example, for fun: that having to find a toilet to use urgently and racing into an unmarked building, to realize too late that I’m standing in the vestibule of a милиция (militsiya), with a couple dozen fresh-faced fellows in camo and Kalashnikov’s slung over there shoulders … well, turns out it’s a funny story, in the end.

Red Square was almost indescribable. After having seen this place on television, in movies, and music videos my whole life, to be standing there in that vast space was just incredible. I was hooked. Everywhere I looked were drop-dead gorgeous young ladies. The men were as masculine as they come, as well – confident, swarthy, friendly and laughing. The dollar was still very strong against the ruble, so I had a hard time spending more than a few bucks even if I was buying for the whole table. I made some good friends starting on my very first night.

I was soon off to Kazan, the capital city of Tatarstan. This particular Republic was, probably still is, 50% Muslim. The people in general had darker hair and complexions compared with the Nordic influence apparent in Moscow. Riding the tram in Kazan that first day, going from the train station to a ‘taxi stand’ where I could get a ride for the three-hour drive to N. Chelny, I’ll always remember my thought, while looking out the window: I’d see a beautiful girl on the street corner, but by the time the tram got to the end of the block I’d forgotten what that first girl looked like, because there had been a dozen more. A 29-year-old American male in paradise! That’s how I was feeling, and that feeling just intensified over the days of this first trip.

to be continued
(This post was last modified: 10-07-2019 08:35 AM by Solitaire.)
10-07-2019 08:33 AM
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Messages In This Thread
How I Found a Russian Bride - Solitaire - 10-07-2019 08:33 AM
RE: How I Found a Russian Bride - gework - 10-07-2019, 01:48 PM
RE: How I Found a Russian Bride - AffNomad - 10-07-2019, 04:02 PM
RE: How I Found a Russian Bride - Eazy_E - 10-07-2019, 04:25 PM
RE: How I Found a Russian Bride - AffNomad - 10-11-2019, 01:20 PM
RE: How I Found a Russian Bride - AffNomad - 10-11-2019, 05:53 PM
RE: How I Found a Russian Bride - jcrew247 - 10-14-2019, 07:10 PM
RE: How I Found a Russian Bride - Salame - 10-30-2019, 05:03 PM
RE: How I Found a Russian Bride - AWright - 11-02-2019, 02:15 AM
RE: How I Found a Russian Bride - AffNomad - 10-27-2019, 02:41 PM
RE: How I Found a Russian Bride - heelheat - 11-03-2019, 02:56 AM
RE: How I Found a Russian Bride - authun - 11-04-2019, 10:00 AM

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