I drove a few hours last week to visit a girl that I used to go out with in Vodkaberg.
She didn't make the final cut of my memoir of the same name, but she was actually around a lot in 2003 and 2004; she studied with the African students I knew at the engineering school.
|Russia in 2004, back when people used home phones|
She was notable among all the girls I knew as far as she was the only devout virgin. She was saving herself for marriage, not for religious reasons but because her mom had been a single mother at a young age from an older married guy and warned her daughter repeatedly not to make that mistake.
She ended up coming to America twice on a work-travel summer program; the second time she was here she got married.
Now she's a grad student and assistant teacher in an engineering program here in the Dirty South in a capital city that will remain nameless.
"Why didn't you marry me back in Russia and save me from my awful marriage?" she asked, rhetorically.
"I didn't know you were going to get married. I didn't even know you were leaving. You didn't even say goodbye!"
"I was busy with a lot of things, as you can imagine."
"Well, me too. Mainly drunkenness."
"This is only my version of the story, of course, but I was working hard in three jobs and he was just taking money from his parents and sitting around playing video games. It was like having a room-mate, not a husband. That's not the way it should be."
"Yeah, I guess not."
"But even though he wasn't doing anything a husband should do, he started to get more and more jealous and possessive. It didn't end well."
We chatted about America, and I casually mentioned that she must be really popular in the U.S. She's a curvy little blonde.
"Actually it's really difficult for me! If you go to a nightclub, it's all blacks and Latins."
"You're still racist, I see."
"Well, I'm Russian. Their culture is very ... specific, to me. I like them but ..."
"What about at your university? Can't meet guys there?
"They're all Asians and Indians. In fact I had a boyfriend from the Middle East for a while. But it turned out he was married in his home country."
"Mmm, yeah, that happens."
"You know Russian girls like nightclubs. But most guys in America only sit around bars. And if you try to start a conversation! Either they're terribly rude, or they immediately want to have sex with you."
"Well, yes! They'll try to kiss you or grab your ass immediately. Sometimes I go out with some of my Russian friends to these lounges where mostly Russians go but it's very ... mercantile, there."
"Can't you talk to guys in the health club or whatever?"
"Well, it's the same thing. American men are terrible at conversation. Either too shy or too rude, and they all want to have sex five minutes later."
"We're not a patient society," I admitted.
So there you have it, boys, advice from the source: slow it down and be patient. And wait more than five minutes to ask for sex.
|2004, back when Russian wallpaper was REAL Russian wallpaper|