Monday, February 06, 2012

Greed is Good (Excerpt from HOW TO SURVIVE LIVING ABROAD)

(This is an excerpt from my newest book, HOW TO SURVIVE LIVING ABROAD, in the chapter DATING, ROMANCE, AND FUCKING, in a section specifically concerning marrying foreign women.)


To me, the saddest of all are the guys who go abroad with this constant refrain of “American (or British) women are too greedy, I can’t stand them anymore!”

Poor bastards.

Once, another teacher and I got a ride to a language school exhibition with one of the young women who worked in the administration of our school.

We were surprised when she picked us up in a new Toyota SUV.

"Damn, I wish I got your salary," joked the other teacher to the pretty administration girl, who was a former artistic gymnast.

"My boyfriend bought me this. He's very rich," she added, unnecessarily.

We knew there's virtually no way she'd go out with a guy who wasn't. Like many Russian girls of the Glasnost era – she was about 26 – she was taught by her parents to find a rich husband by any means necessary. (Her salary at our language school was probably no more than $500 a month or so. That might have covered her makeup money every month, but not much else.)

"Nice," we agreed.

"But you don't know how hard I worked for this," she said, without a trace of self-consciousness or humor.

Now – here’s the thing – you should be GLAD that women in other countries are greedy. I mean really, what OTHER reason would there be for some girl from the village in the middle of Kazakhstan to marry you? Because you’re so fucking awesome?

So let’s face facts – if a foreign girl wants to marry you, it is almost surely because she figures you for being a better economic bet than the guys around her.

If you don’t make a lot of money, it might just mean that you’re her chance to live in a foreign country where there are more opportunities for women, or for the children she intends to have.

Perhaps she just loves you because by local standards, you’re kind of a pussy. You don’t beat your woman, or scream at her for talking to other men, and actually help out around the house a little bit.

You better get that straight from the jump, if you have some misguided idea about settling down in the village or continuing your life of bohemianism as a broke drunkard in the capital city of whatever country she’s from.

Because I suspect your girl has other ideas.


Now of course, the pick-up artist community talks a lot about “demonstrating value.”

Traditionally, as a foreigner – you were already demonstrating value, just by being a foreigner.

Regrettably that’s changed a lot in the last five or 10 years.

As countries like Brazil, Russia, and China turn into the economic powerhouses of the 21st century, the value of your stock as a foreign guy is just going down down down. There’s a whole generation of college-age people in Russia and China who can’t even REMEMBER the Cold War and isolationism of the ‘80s.

And what’s more – there used to be plenty of thin, beautiful girls in villages all over the world who had no real idea how desirable they were.

Then the internet came along, and then Myspace came along, followed immediately by Facebook, and suddenly the homeliest girl in the village now has 5,000 friend requests a day and 54 marriage proposals a month.

Of course in Eastern Europe and some parts of Africa, there are statistically more women than men, and even fewer men that have any money.

So that’s a useful demographic to keep in mind.

Now another depressing fact about the Western world is its aging population; not only are we fat, we’re old. The developing world has a much younger skew to its population.

Fortunately, in developing countries, there tends to be much less stigma connected to an older man going out with a younger woman. (Not that there’s a tremendous amount of stigma attached to it in America or Britain, but a 10- or 15-year age difference will raise even fewer eyebrows in developing countries.)

But alas, still, the more money you have and the better looking you are, or at the very least the more charm you have, the more luck you’re going to have with women. Don’t expect miracles.


So, after you find your lovely slim feminine child-bride from the village, is she more likely to stay with you than an American or British woman?

In my experience, no.

I’ve known dozens of guys married to foreign women – Koreans, Chinese, Ethiopians, Russians – and I’d say better than half ended in divorce. Some of the marriages were extremely short and spectacularly disastrous.

(If the girls didn’t take half of the guys’ money, in these divorces – it was mainly because the guys didn’t HAVE any money.)

Check out this list of statistics from

Divorce rates in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union are even HIGHER than they are in America and Britain. In my experience, Russians were some of the LEAST faithful spouses I’ve ever seen. (Just because their men are such dicks and they’re looking for a nice guy like you? Well, be my guest and give it a try.)

So in conclusion, for every story from a guy praising his happiness with a foreign wife, you’ll hear at least one other guy with a horrifying story of how he was drained dry by a vindictive and cold-hearted foreign woman with whom he shared no cultural background and practically no language.

Ask Mel Gibson about how fucking awesome it was to be married to a Russian. And, you know, ask her how much she enjoyed being married to a foreigner.


Anonymous said...

would you include your girlfriend in that bunch, X?

English Teacher X said...

Well, time will tell. There's greedy, and then there's GREEDY.

steve said...

Exactly X, if you believed your own words truly then you would have to call yourself on that one.

But this is natural, romantic notions of marriage are only recent. Money and extrinsic virtues have always been a decider.

The same can be said for children and their being nothing but parasites. Most children live off their parents until they are a few years into their first job, approx 18 - 27 depending.

The kids will probably borrow some more money off their parents to get started on the property ladder.

Occassionally the kids will buy a birthday or xmas present for their folks.

Some may put their folks in a retirement home when the parents get old, but will most likely pay for it by either selling their parents home, r drawing down their parents inheritance.

Eventually the children will do the most they have ever done for their parents, and that will be bury them when they die.

Ergo, should we never get married or have children?

Or should we accept our fate as men the same way as the male black widow spider accepts his?

Or should we choose our own path and try to build a family based on values, and not vanity?

I just say this because there have been a few years of you running expats down for their stupidity & naivety in seeking russian wives.

Since you seem to hold an ideal about marriage that is more than just getting screwed financially after a year or so, maybe you should really offer an alternative solution?

English Teacher X said...

Well -- there are happy marriages out there. I just said that 50 percent of them failed, not all of them. Half of them are fine! Flip a coin.

The whole idea of marriage is kind of in a hard place now; people used to marry and have kids mainly because they needed more hands in the field and somebody to take care of them when they were old.

Now, as you point out -- it's far more likely to be the other way around. I couldn't possibly take care of my parents now, for example, their standard of living is far higher than I could ever afford to give them.