I was in a store in one of the malls in russia. it was like walking into 'best buy'. aside from the language you couldn't tell the difference. the prices? I checked a price on the exact same camera I had. more expensive! most things cost about the same or more compared to stores in america. same thing for kiev. this was 10 months ago.
This thread, alone, demonstates the point I have made many a time:
This thread, started in 2004. is titled 'visiting Russia', come 2010, and were it not for Ralph who saw the light, it's become 'visiting Ukraine', there's a vast and whole FSU out there but, with the relaxation of some visa requirements, guys are taking, what they short sightedly believe to be, the easiest/laziest option.
The point is that, back in 2004, men actually travelled to Russia, based on size of country and population alone, the first country that would spring to the lips of folk (men) was Russia, a visa was, then, required for whichever one of the countries men wanted to travelled to and men put in the required effort to do so.
Then ..... in 2005 Ukraine relaxed it's visa requirements and, these days, not only are the more serious searchers considering Ukraine as their pnly option but Ukraine is attracting the wannabee sex tourists such as that idiot 'Nooga' hence the country, the ladies, has/have becoome over commercialised, both on the ground and on the web, by the sheer volumes of men flocking there.
Taking Ralph as an example, and I stand to be corrected, I believe he settled down with the first lady he met, face to face, how many guys, in current times, can say they've sttled down with a first Ukrainian lady they've met?
I don't know Ralph's logic for choosing Russia as opposed to another country but, certainly, a guy should be entering into things with an open mind, i.e. selecting ladies from profiles on their physical appearance, what they have to say about themselves etc. and regardless of which particular country they hail from.
In my days of looking that is what I did, if one is only travelling once, twice, or three times per year there is plenty of time to organise flights, accommodation, VISA etc. Indeed the first time I travelled to Uzbekistan it was a right pain in the butt to organise my visa, my application needed to be supported by an approved Uzbek travel company, it couldn't, then, be done on the web and the lady needed to assist etc, but that's what this venture should be about, putting in the required effort and, compared to Uzbekistan, travelling to Russia is a walk in the park, a simple visa application and then a registration, which accommodation providers can do, sometimes for a small fee, if in Russia for longer than a couple of days.
I agree with Ivor - as a New Zealander, it is a right royal pain in the butt trying to get a visa for Ukraine. There is no Embassy here, so all documents have to go to Canberra (Australia), and it takes weeks. Luckily I'm entitled to a British passport as well as a New Zealand one, so I finally took the plunge a few months ago and got the British one. It turned out that this passport, which is valid for ten years (and obviously unlimited entries to Ukraine, as well as the rest of Europe) cost roughly the same as getting the Ukraine visa through a travel agency (the only way here of guaranteeing that all the little ducks are in a row), which of course is a one time only thing!
The hassle involved was one reason why I never considered Ukraine on my first trip four years ago. As Ivor says, getting a Russian tourist visa is pretty easy (and cheap). Business visas are another story - it took a lot of time and money to arrange one for this year's trip, but it was necessary because my entry and final exit dates were well over a month apart. As the Russian Embassy in Wellington wants the original invitation it had to be couriered from Moscow - about $220 for one A5 piece of paper! But it was still well worth the effort, as I had an amazing time. Registration at a hotel is normally easy, and for the first time I had a hotel offer to register me for the entire length of my stay in Russia - great!
My first time in Ukraine was also extremely interesting, but I think the people who told me that Ukrainian girls are more beautiful than those in Russia were talking from a biased point of view - Moscow is the clear winner as far as I'm concerned.
Anyway...after such a long ramble, time to get back to the point of this thread. Whether it's a relatively recent trend or not, women in that part of the world generally expect something from you when you arrive. It doesn't have to be big or expensive and, as several posters have written over the years, something from your home country can often be a better introduction than the traditional flowers or chocolates. I brought gloves - very special ones made from a blend of possum fur and merino wool, which look fantastic and are warm enough even for the FSU. I also, on a date in Kyiv, did present a single rose as my initial offering. Although the lady did confess later that she was not a "flower person," she still appreciated the gesture. As she said, we had never met before, so why should I feel obliged to get her something expensive? Time enough for that when a relationship has developed further (I'm sure that Danny will cheer for this one!).
I went to Kiev with the support of an agency. I met some of the girls they 'fixed' me up with. After a few days of this I told them I didn't want to meet the rest of the dates they lined up for me. They were even telling me a lot more girls wanted to meet me. I suppose after I arrived and spent time with their office staff the flood gates opened. Once they realized I was very serious, and well above average I had my pick of the litter so to speak. I reserved the second week of the trip for a lady who traveled from Russian to be with me. Our second visit was going to be in Kiev once again. Since I wasn't sure if I could get the time off from work it was simpler for me to just get an airline ticket and go there. The train she takes goes from her city directly to Kiev - no changing trains. It was a no brainer to meet this way on short notice. Then I traveled to Russia to stay with her when I had more time to arrange vacation, visa etc. Getting a visa to Russia is a fairly simple process. And it is not as dark and dastardly a place to visit as some imagine. Russian people are very warm and inviting. And most go out of their way to help you - especially if you are an American. I know I was treated royally when we went on a bus tour for three days. I was like a celebrity. Everyone wanted to talk to me and sit with me at dinner. It was a truly memorable experience that I was accepted and treated so great just because I was American. When I got stranded at the airport in Moscow - big snow delays - a lady took me to dinner and made phone calls on my behalf. Interestingly enough we ran into her a few days later as she was staying in the same city.
The agency supported trip was an invaluable experience because as a first timer I didn't have a clue what I was doing. The agency supported me and aside from the girls they were available to get me anything I needed if I chose to use their help. I did even after I was with someone not in their barn. From restaurants, shopping centers, things to see, a map, attractions to see, taxi to train station and an interpreter. Funny, one thing I did was separate the interpreter from the agency. She gave me her direct number and said to call her - it would be cheaper than going through the agency with them getting a cut.
Many frown upon meeting someone who doesn't speak your language. Just as they say don't fall for a photo I didn't fall for a language. Last night we went to a friend's for dinner. They were amazed that 18 months ago she couldn't understand word one of English. She is truly incredible. It was only after very many exchanges of email etc. did we decide to meet. I had correspondence with a dozens of ladies. From Odessa and all parts of Ukraine to many far off locations in Russia. As urgent as I was to find a partner I was by no means desperate.
I just happen to get very lucky meeting the person I am now with early in my search.
If I had to do it all over again I probably wouldn't even bother going to Ukraine.
I don't know how the subject changed from gifts to visa, but yes, people are lazy. They would rather go to a country without visa forms and fees than one that does, even Ralph. If they know what Ralph knows, they would go to Russia, but they don't know what Ralph knos.
We're only giving gift ideas. The gifts you can bring to Russia, you can bring into Ukraine. I don't believe it makes a difference. In the food thread, I put Ukrainian Food, but I don't believe there is much difference between Russian and Ukrainian food. People like Ralph took the opportunity to talk about Russian food.
I have no problems with your changing the subject, like others in this forum. I just didn't know that you did. This is very important to you, I see. Perhaps you should start another thread or go beyond the forum to continue your campaign.
The visa requirements are only a symtom of an "us and them attitude" that is entrenched in the culture, especially in the circles of government. It is becoming very evident in the western countries as well. In an attempt to hold on to power, the laws and poicies become "Draconian". We in the public sector are constantly "re-educated on a "Global Society" however, the same governments regulate to maintain their own power and existance. It is not lazy, it is that "dark feeling" of the past. Most of the threads relate to these symtoms on both sides of the semi fallen "Iron Curtain". The U.S. still has a "one foot" policy for those coming from Cuba, but another "Econimic Curtain" has been erected to those of the former Soviet Union, where once the same a similar policy of "one foot" existed. It is why I once posted about the poitical changes in Ukraine taking a step into the past.
no need to take a soft serve ice-cream machine danny. I just let it sit on the counter for ten minutes.
ivor commented about the dust and cobwebs on this thread before rb brought it back to life. then rb complained that it was about gifts, how did it turn into discussion on visas...
for amusement I read the whole thing. it seems there was a good discussion on the ills/merits of vodka along the way.
like I said before, make up a fantasy about some gf and try to convince yourself and others...
One cannot or should not come here and make up stories. If one does, others should not accuse or even hint without proof. There is very little proof one can provide in an anonymous forum. One should not have to prove anything. I am not one to make up a story. Certainly, professionals should not. I was tempted to when I was told I didn't have a gf. With all my imagination, I would not be able to come up with the things I do here.
My gf and I are still on. She still waits for me. I have not told much about her because people here make up things. That's hard to work with since much has not happened yet. If there is any development in that, like I am going for a visit or we break up, I promise to let you all know.
Just like it is easy to make up things about a gf, one can easily make up things about a wife and live in a fantasy.
Look years back, Ivor. Posters on this thread are also talking about Ukraine in spite of the thread title. It isn't that we only like to discuss Ukraine, it's just that there is not much of a difference in many aspects, like gifts.
I wish to not get into the russia vs ukraine debate. whatever works for someone it is their choice. is it interesting that this site about russian women also has many ukrainian women on their site? so blame the proprietors of this forum/dating site for the multitude of ukraine based comments. if they were strictly a russian portal then you have an argument. perhaps they should change the name. but in the end, whether ukrainian, russian or whatever FSU country of the day, they are still russians considering their grandparents were russians. and they almost all speak russian. it is not akin to saying all spanish speakers are mexican.
It's something of a shame that the first 'Russian/FSU' (RWG) forum is no longer available to view on the web, in the old days, until Ukraine relaxed it's visa requirements, men discussed and travelled far and wide, those 'first explorers', come the downfall of the USSR some 21 years ago, ventured to Russia, that is where this 'Russian Women' phrase came about.
Just take Elena Petrova, of Elena's Models fame, as an example, in those early days she met and married a South African, is Elena Russian or Ukrainian?
Nowadays all these 'amateurs' come along, they'll only travel to a visa free country, well they might as well be going on their summer holiday, they haven't got the balls to travel to a country whereas they are required to apply for a visa and subsequently register their presence.
Me myself, as ex UK military, I was trained, brainwashed, during the Cold War era that the USSR were 'BAD' people' and despite leaving the military in 1979 I had to sign that I would not travel to such countries without official permission. Whether that restriction still applies or not is something I choose to ignore but it took me a lot of balls to ignore it, and my training/brainwashing, on the first occasion and thereafter it became a routine.
The amusing thing is that to go thru the process costs umpteen thousands of dollars, something that lasts a lifetime with returns to her home country, but for a guy to fork out circa $50 for a visa in those early days ..... wow, it's easier to travel to 'visa free' Ukraine wheras in a day or so he'll spend more than the $50 it would have cost him for a visa to a 'cheaper' country and probably be wasting his time with all the other 'amateurs' that are also, only, travelling to Ukraine.
Me, I'm out of this game now so I'm not writing in jealousy or with a grudge, I merely trying to express to the naive how naive they are being, fork out $50 or whatever for a visa and/or if visa paperwork is too much for one to bear then, I guess, one will be likewise too intimidated to apply for a fiancee/settlement/K1 visa likewise!