I've got to admit - you pretty much set yourself up here. You trusted the agency far too much, went in without a clue and it sound like the girl was just playing an semi-willing part.
I have NEVER been seriously involved with any woman who didn't speak excellent english. I have had all of ONE dinner, in Latvia, with a girl who spoke no English at all - and there was no interpretor - it was the most ridiculous and boring dinner I have ever had in Eastern Europe. My FEW experiences talking to a girl through an interpreter came at the first social in Odessa. It was uncomfortable for just a few MINUTES - I can't imagine doing it for days.
Now you did mention that you were tricked into thinking she spoke some englsih when actually it was the interpreter who communicated with you. AT THAT point you should have decided that enough was enough and you should have had a prearranged back-up plan. You were far too trusting to put yourself enitrely in their hands.
But one other comment - it IS expected that when you take a lady out, WITH interpreter - YOU pay. Going Dutch is not really an option in these situations. ANd its not likely that the lady has the money to treat you or that the intertreter is going to pay for your food!
It also worth noting that most FSU women smoke, at least "socially", especially in Ukraine, all yes they all lie about it on their profiles. Its just one of those cultural differences: there is no stigma at all attacked to it there.
You are right to a degree, i trusted them too much, i was only there for 4 days so i had a fixed budget, my thought was what the hell its too late what could i do get in a car and go home. I was stuck in a place where i could not speak the lingo and had been told a total lie. If someone you think you are having a conversation with says she speaks a little English you have to accept that maybe they do. It turned out she could not but what can you do, once the situation is in front of you the only logical thing to do is get up and walk away. Regardless of this yes it was my fault i fell for it but my mindset is about trust and as a human that is not stupid. The stupid people are the agencies and the scammers, i would also add that the Ukraine authorities should think about bringing laws in to put the fear of god into these type of agencies, basicly they lie, prey on the vulnerable and sell a dream that does not exist. I will not accept it is my fault this happened the only responsibility i take is for my actions not somebody elses. As for the interpreter prior to my trip the girl said she was happy for me not to have an interpreter if i insisted and i said i was not happy to have one and she agreed not to have one. Soon as i turned up the plans changed and there was nothing i could do about it. I could not change my flight plans or my hotel reservation i was there whether i liked it or not. I was totaly hooked on this girl she knew it and took me to the cleaners.
figgis: Until I know the girl really really well - I ALWAYS have a backup plan. Live and learn.
But I've got to put a plug in here for Romance Socials. THERE you get to meet a lot of women - some won't speak English. If you are like me you bypass those women. ANd if it doesn't work out with one there are always many others. And one really great thing about Romance Socials - the people who arrange such things KNOW that you are out of your familiar environment and they look out for you. I've heard of the organizers solving some pretty ticklish situations with police, and girls who tried to take advantage of the guys and their inexperience traveling internationally (generally girls who were not directly involved with the Romance Social). They look out for you. And that can be good to have.
True - what devilmaycare says about girls smoking. Cigarettes cost about 25 cents a pack in Ukraine and Ukrainians think it looks sophisticated to smoke at parties etc. Very different from here. It was like that in America during the 1950's or 1960's.
At one point a lady I knew was trying very hard to TAKE UP SMOKING - but she didn't like the smoke very much so it was difficult. Nevertheless she persisted.
Thanks i take your point, In the Uk smoking is banned in bars restaraunts etc, IT was like you said out of the comfort zone, I had no problem with the girl smoking i was just surprised as she said she didn't, it was just one of a descending sequence of lies. I have learned my lesson and would say thats Ukraine on the list of countries visited and after this experience it is extremely unlikely i will visit again until these women and agencies are bombed out of existance. its one thing to say be aware of these situations but the other is to say this should not happen in the first place laws should be in place to stop it, that responsibility is the Ukrainian authorities to sort out, These women and the agencies are starting to make their country a laughing stock, who can you trust there, my answer at the moment is no one.
Not to pile on you figgis and I feel sorry for what happened BUT don't you think 99% of what happened was decisions made by you. Just because someone overcharges you it doesn't mean they are scammers, just a greedy company. I think the word 'scammers' is thrown around rather easily. Guys have this pechant for going after girls who are way out of thier league and when things don't go well....lets blame someone, not me, the one that made all the choices but the one who I am so easily giving money to. Guys for years have been feeding this industry, continually making same mistakes and all you hear from them is scammer, scammer, scammer. There would be no need for that word if guys are more realistic in their endeavors, if you are middle aged and you go after a girl much younger than you, chances are YOU will be left holding the bag. I made some mistakes in the beginning by letting the girl have control but after a couple days of that nonsense I told her how things would be, only thing I couldn't control was needing the interpreter. If you are going to see a girl that speaks little to no english, it one more hill to have to climb.
I have never met a 'scammer', plenty of 'users', 'daters' or even 'goldiggers', some were even genuine, most if not nearly all times things didn't work out.
Back to you figgis, I have a friend that had something similar to you, agency rented apt, hired a driver, had ther interpreter. My friend was tired of just handing out money to everyone and told girl that 'this' is how I want things to be. Out went agency, luckily the girl spoke enough english that they were able to communicate. One thing I have learned, girls due know more english than they will show you, they are just not confident to speak english.
One last thing, has anyone ever called Las Vegas scammers??? Maybe the reason is, people go there knowing there is large risk in gambling money, very few come home with any...........why can't the same be said about going to FSU to find a girl, where risk may be even higher?????
A mistake made was to do everything via an agency, it seems that no phone conversations were exchanged prior to his visit whereas he would have been able to establish her proficiency in English, make a decision from there and, if had been necessary, shop around on the internet for an (independent) interpreter, there are plenty of websites to find interpreters, word of mouth on forums, 'brama' etc.
But, it seems, figgis travelled halfway across the world having only communicated with, via, an agency. He was travelling to meet with a photograph, someone with whom he hadn't spoken to 'one to one', if her profile had said she spoke English then, unless the agency forbid it, an exchange of telephone numbers would have been the natural way for things to proceed.
The mistakes were made before he ever set foot in Ukraine and what happened thereafter happened because of these previous mistakes.
I agree with you to a point, goldiggers is someone who knows she will not get involved with you but is prepared for you to splash the cash i agree, what happens if this girl has been represented by an agency for 4 months tells you she loves you prior to you meeting her and all the things positive she can say to get you to come and see her. She says she speaks English. In my opinion if this girl is only prepared to take money from you on the basis that everything that has gone before is merely to groom me into thinking this girl is the real deal. this is done by the agency prior to my trip to see her. That is a scam to me, what else is it. Why try and water it down by saying it is something different. My fault i take responsibility i fell for it. Please dont patronise me by saying this is well known because i did not have a clue this was going happen. i am in shock
Things like cigs are quite likely to be more expensive in Yalta - but still my memroy served me slightly incorrectly. I have a photgraph of a cigarette stand at a gas station between Donetsk and Mariupol. I took it in April 2007 when the exchange rate was closer to 5 grievna per dollar. The cigarettes have prices aroun 2.5 grievna so that would be 50 cents. Slightly higher than the 25 cents I mentioned - but not nearly so high as the $2 you mention.
But if prices are the same at that gas station today (and there is no guarantee that they are) at 8 grievna to the dollar that pack would be 32 cents.
figgis.....if she told you that 'she loves you'............THAT is the red flag for you to see.
Tell me, how can someone love someone without ever meeting??? It is ridiculous for either side to tell one another that there is love. I have read before some letters that guys send to girls...how they loved them...just a ploy to seduce a girl, well figgis, you had the reverse, girl told you about love only to get you to visit.
Also, it is possible for a girl to meet a guy and have no interest after first look and decide she doesn't have interest in him. That can explain sometimes for excuses to not meet again. Some don't care thaty you traveled thousands of miles.....welcome to the land of minefields!!!!
If you have a fixed budget on your trips maybe you should go somewhere else, sorry.
I feel sorry for the guy - but in some ways it seems like he put his order in for a lady and was disappointed that not everything was neat and orderly as per the contract when he went to do the neccessary courtship portion of the transaction.
Spot on, My fault i fell for it. It is not her i have the problem with, it is the agency and 1000s wasted communicating with someone who said it was her when it was obviously not her. It came out she had no internet but could communicate with me 3 times a week for hours. I was actualy talking to an interpreter acting as her. I had no way of knowing it was not her. You are right i should have realised that nothing is real until you meet and i was aware of that anyway. It was the fact that her agency never gave her half the letters i sent her the photos i sent her also she never got. That is not my fault. It sounds like the agency basicly says we have a guy who really likes you and he will be here next week. She had some background info on me but basicly she hardly knew a thaing about me. Hey thats life you live and learn. I for one want to see these agencies bombed out and its time people got serious about these places. I got conned its my fault, it should not have happened. The reason i went is because i had met a girl from Sevastopol last year and she was ok she spoke English and she was a great girl, thats why i trusted this other girl to a degree you have to trust people, Unfortunate for me this girls agency is a bad one. Never mind thats life.
Basicly i thought i had booked the Belagio and ended up in Circus Circus. The fixed budget comment is i knew i was only there for 4 days and was not going to spend over the top. But i guess i spent close to 1000 dollars in 3 days.
I am certainly not an expert on cigarette prices. I remember buying two cartons in Zaporozhye to take home to my smoking friends, but I don't remember the price. I only remember it being cheap. Most of them were stolen by the baggage handlers anyway.
I was sent by my gf to buy her cigarettes in Yalta at the corner drugstore. That's why I remember the price. I saw it as a chance to do some running. She was surprised that the drugstore was a ten minute walk to and a ten minute walk back, and I was back in five minutes.
Her profile did say she was a nonsmoker. But she tells me she is quitting. I am not going to nag her.
It was Marlboro that were UAH4, other brands were cheaper or more expensive, indeed, to agree with jetmba, I recall some being as cheap as UAH2.50 but some brands were more expensive than Marlboro and if one buys cigarettes in a bar or restaurant then one normally pays more, they'll throw in a box of matches and or unwrap the cigarettes and charge perhaps 50% on top of the shop price.
The best way to skip such stories figgis told us is to find a local person to interpret and guide you. He must be well paid, but you will save much more money having a confident person for fair price who knows locals, can identify scammers at a glance. There are some agencies in popular Ukrainian "brides" cities that honestly provides such services as helping people after they are scammed. (it's nearly impossible to help them before because the people just don't believe they are being scammed)