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Author Topic: My First Trip to Kiev - Professional Dater Or Not That Is The Question  (Read 6384 times)

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Offline VSSKI

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I'm new here and just joined today (see my introduction), but am not completely inexperienced. Actually I'm currently in Odessa on my second trip to Ukraine and now having read so much on this forum feel that at least I know a few things not to do, like what I want to report about from my first trip to Ukraine this past February.

But maybe a few things about myself first so people can put my story into context. I'm 46 years old, originally from Germany, but have literally lived and traveled all over the world and for the last 16 years resided in several places in the US, although it's my goal to relocate back to Europe before the end of this year.
I have been in serious relationships only during my life, but because of my travel they have been with women from different cultures, German, Spain, Japan, Columbia, US and Costa Rica. I have never been married though and have no kids.
I consider myself of average looks (no Brad Pitt but no Quasimodo either), am 182 tall, slim, athletic but not muscular figure, and usually have no problems dating - other than being very picky and selective and definitely not the classroom clown type, although usually good at conversations with both sexes.
After ending a long term six year relationship last year, I decided to widen the dating pool and look outside the US. Having been exposed at a film festival to the movie "A Foreign Affair" I remembered the Russian dating sites and starting thinking this might make for an interesting experiment. Google it AWEB come up as the first one and while I looked at several others, the flashy pictures got the better of me (or should I say my little head  :)). That and of course I had heard about the scamming issues, and some of the other website didn't quite look right (as I find out through reading on these pages I wasn't alltogether wrong).
So I enrolled, put up my profile and within a week I would get 7 letters a day - talking about an ego boost. You can say about AWEB what you want but they are great at marketing and understanding a men's psychology - I will post a separate topic under agencies and share my experiences which are somewhat different than what I read here - maybe they are getting even smarter these days.
While I like the eye candy as much as the next guy I knew from personal experience that hanging out with a 19 year old even if she is genuine doesn't work for me long term so I focused on the 30+ crowd and after weeding through some profiles and reading many of the obvious form letters (not knowing at the time that they were sometimes sent without a woman's knowledge) I honed in on 3 ladies that all seemed interesting and started a regular correspondence with all 3. After initial letters I also managed to regularly chat with two of them. Of course it never dawned on me they may not be real, but as it turned out that wasn't actually the issue.
One of the two also had video chat and I giving the interactions there was no doubt it was live.
And here is where it gets interesting and I would love the forum's opinion whether I ended up meeting a pro-dater or simply stumbled over some key cultural differences.
After having communicated for a good 3 months through letters and chat, she (30 years old from Nikolaev) suggested that I should give her call so she can give me her personal contact info and we wouldn't have to go through the agency much longer - dahh - it never dawned on me to do that).
So I did and from there on other than the occasional video chat everything went directly through email and phone. She then asked me if I wanted to visit her and I said yes, that would be nice, so we fixed a long weekend in February that would work for both us. The only request she had was that I would really come for her and not try to date 3 other women while being there. She did say if things don't work out you can always go and meet some other girls then. She told me some horror stories of previous dates and it all made sense to me so I promised and kept my promise.
When looking at flights and transportation I quickly realized that getting to Nikolaev is not the fastest and so I asked her advice of how to best get there. She said not to bother given we only have a long weekend and to meet in Kiev instead. She even suggested that she could help me with getting an apartment given that she is a realtor.
I said not to worry and I would just get a hotel and promptly proceeded courtesy of frequent traveler points to book 2 rooms in one of the biggest luxury hotels in Kiev, one for me and one for her and her interpreter. Guys, I don't know much, but no matter how much you like a woman never ever do that.
So thinking we are all set shortly before the big weekend approaches I get a message from her telling me that her interpreter needed to talk to me. Turns out since they needed to come all the way from Nikolaev and that's not all that cheap, they needed money for the transport, which I was told was $400. Immediately several red flags went up, as I was warned never to send money and the amount seemed very steep. But it was 3 days before my flight, I was busy at work and really didn't have time to now suddenly change everything around. So I took the risk and did send the money having a terrible feeling about this.
Well the big weekend arrives, I got there a day before her and low and behold she actually does show up - and telling me that she had to scream at the taxi driver as that morning a snow storm hit Nikolaev and he didn't want to drive them. It is the women from the photos and video chat and the first thing she does is give me a present (I thought it was supposed to work the other way round). It was a bottle of vodka in a special ceramic souvenir bottle - I know nothing about vodka but as I found out later it apparently is a premium brand that isn't exactly cheap for Ukrainians.
I had brought her a special present as well that she was completely over the moon with and so we proceeded on our first date. She knew I like fish so we proceeded to what must be one of the most expensive fish restaurants in Kiev and the bill at the end was no dime less than at the restaurants I dine at at home.
Being typically shy and reserved on first dates, we made nice conversation but I kept at a safe distance and even though she seemed attracted to me I wasn't going to hold her hand this early in the game.
The same pretty much happened on day two only that now it was one of the most expensive Italian restaurants in town followed after a city tour with an English guide. The difference being that she now asked if she can put her arm under mine (to help her walk the icy streets) and hold my hand. Reluctantly I agreed. It was on day 2 that we started talking about the website, the whole agency models and to my surprise both she and her interpreter told me what was going on behind the scenes at some of these agencies, i.e. letters being sent without girl's knowledge.
I showed them what the website looks from a man's perspective, something they had never seen and got a kick out of. It was at this stage that she really started to get affective and I quickly excused myself as I was not comfortable.
OK, at this point I should say that I pretty much had made up my mind that she was not for me and being overly polite as I foolishly am sometimes I wanted to salvage the weekend and not say anything, but of course she sensed something was wrong.
I had told her that I liked musicals and theater, so that evening she arranged to go to a musical for us. She put on her best evening dress and off we went. During the whole performance she was moping in her chair - I assume now because I wasn't getting close to her.
Finally Day 4 comes along and since it was cold and not much to do, I, please not I, not her, made the suggestion to go to a shopping mall, one of the big underground ones. So off we go and on the way I see a cute little Russian restaurant - she wasn't too thrilled but went along and for the first time it turned out to be cheap meal.
And then the actual shopping proceeded. She wanted to go to the Armani store, as supposedly she had a ten percent discount card that she got from someone. While in the store the interpreter asks me if it would be OK for me to buy her a pair of jeans as a present and I said of course and actually my intention was to buy her a nice gift even though at this stage I knew this wasn't working for me.
Seeing the price tag at the cashier gave me a bit of a sticker shock even though I knew that designer clothes would be substantially more than in Europe or the US.
Next she goes into a cosmetic store and spend a good hour trying this and that and talking to shop assistant. It was during that time that I had a private conversation with the interpreter. She kept asking me if I really liked the girl and foolishly I said yes, she seems like a nice girl. We then talked about the whole issue of shopping and whether or not it was normal for men to buy all these things and she told me that this always ends up being a sore point with Western men and many refuse or at minimum don't like.
Finally she is done and we go to the cashier - and surprise, surprise, what first looked like a little face cream and one lipstick ended being half of the store. So now it was decision point, do I make a scene and tell her to take a hike or do I pay what was a sum of money that I hadn't even spend on one of my long-term girlfriends during the heydays of my previous relationships (we are talking $2000).
In the end I decide to pay against better judgement - in case you haven't already noticed, I don't like conflicts very much.
As it so happens opposite the cosmetic store there was a jewelry store, but at this point I declared the shopping tour over and we proceeded to the next cab to bring us back to the hotel.
I was very upset by now, but mostly angry at myself. I quickly excuse myself and I could see a somewhat puzzled look on the girl's face.
The next day I told the interpreter that we needed to have chat. So we meet in my room and it was then that I told the girl it's not working for me. I was also going to talk about the inappropriate shopping trip, but I never got to this stage as she started to cry bitterly, disappeared into the bathroom and for more than an hour cried her eyes out and was inconsolable. Now if she was faking all this, I have to say she deserves every piece of cosmetic I bought her, as it would have been an Oscar worthy performance. Her face was red and completely swollen for the rest of the day.
Even the interpreter was at her wits end.
I told at least the interpreter what I was thinking and feeling and she fully understand but then made an interesting comment to me. She said that the girl realized that something was wrong and that I was very removed, but when I bought her all these things she was convinced that I really liked her (and apparently said to the interpreter without me hearing - "He really really likes me").
Well needless to say the date was over at that point and the next morning we both departed, but not before getting another surprise in form of two ultra expensive spa treatments that were added to the hotel bill. And as if all of this was not embarrassing enough the interpreter asked me for money for their taxi ride back to Nikolaev and a little bit of money for lunch, as apparently they had none.
Talking about on expensive weekend.

At that time I didn't know this forum, knew nothing about pro-daters, but have wondered ever since, was this an excellent pro or simply a girl who misread my signs (after all I put her up in the most expensive hotel in Kiev and suggested to take her shopping) and whose heart I ended up breaking, as she said.

For those who I didn't put to sleep with my story, I welcome comments and opinions from folks here who have a lot more experience than I do.

Either way it was a great lesson learned and to be clear I am not blaming the girl, this was my own stupidity and naivety, after all I could have said no. The only thing I will say in my defense is that I never took advantage of the situation or the girl, which I very easily could have, even if the girl may have taken advantage of me.

So how is that for a first visit to the Ukraine and an introduction to dating a Ukrainian woman?   :'(

Well, I'm back in Ukraine as we speak and this time things went differently and I certainly didn't make those mistakes again - but of course made new ones, which I will tell you about later.


Offline el_guero

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Well .... Well ....

Well .... You have basically been to the point of marriage 6 times....  You left them, and now we give you sympathy points because this woman, "may have scammed you."

OK, she scammed you.  You get sympathy points.

But, like a couple of others on the board, I think you really could use a dating coach.

You have already spent about what it would cost you to hire Eduard .... and you would come home married.

Well .... maybe not .... but, it would be cheaper.

IMHO.

Offline Larry

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Such shopping sprees are clearly inappropriate.   When I read your story I immediately thought of a parody post I wrote about a pro dater from Odessa:

Quote
My new girlfriend Olga is from there (0dessa) and you couldn't find a sweeter girl, and beautiful.  She arranged everything for me in advance of my visit to her in February; I didn't have to do a thing. She met me at the airport with the driver she arranged for us, Ivan, a tall, strapping fellow about Olga's age.   He accompanied us everywhere all week and charged only $150/day, which is a lot less than Stirlitz's rates for driving.

And Olga made sure to keep Ivan's mind on the job.  Once when we were approaching the car his eyes went to a couple of smokinghotkovas in miniskirts and tights.  Olga noticed immediately and said something sharp and harsh to him in Russian, obviously insisting that he open the car door for us and not get distracted from his job by hot girls on the street.  These girls do take care of you when you're there.

And Olga is very open-minded. For example she told me our 28 year age gap didn't bother her a bit, that when two truly love each other, things like age don't matter.  She is so romantic.

Olga is very family-oriented.  I was so pleased to be introduced to her family there.  Several times during my week there her aunt and cousin accompanied us to dinner.  Those girls can eat sushi like nobody's business.  For some reason I had the wrong idea about restaurants in Ukraine.  I thought they would be cheaper than restaurants in the US.  But the bill when Olga's aunt and cousin were there topped $400.   But they weren't there every night.

It was pretty cold that week and Olga's coat looked so thin and she was shivering.  That gave me the idea to surprise her by buying her a coat.  I figured a nice, long goosedown coat would keep her warm in the cold Ukrainian winters.  When I suggested it, she was so happy she gave me a big hug and kiss right there on the street.  She can be affectionate sometimes.  But sometimes not.  Well, she thanked me and suggested that the warmest coat for the harsh winters would be fur.  She knew of a shop where some nice furs were sold.  A friend of hers told her about it, because there's no way Olga could ever have afforded a fur coat from her job at the pencil factory.

We looked for hours and Olga must have tried on a hundred fur coats, in all lengths, colors, and types of fur.  Finally she decided on one, a nice full-length mink.  She looked up at me in an embarrased way and told me, "but I know this one, although warm, is very expensive.  I don't want you to spend so much money on me.  I will pick out a less expensive one".  Remembering the advice that RW don't like greedy men, I immediately told her, "No Olga, I want to buy you that one."  She was ecstatic, gave me a huge smile and practically jumped into my arms and hugged me and kissed me.  Remember how I told you that she was sometimes really, really affectionate!  So, several hours and $9,000 poorer, we left the store.  I asked her if she wanted to throwh her old threadbare coat away right then, but she said she would keep it and wear it when she didn't want to get her new mink coat dirty. 

With all her affection during the week, and looking at her tall, hot body every day, I was pretty charged up for sex.  But my timing was horrible.  Olga began her period on the very day I arrived. I was hoping she would be over it in five days or so, but unfortunately it lasted the entire 7 days I was there.  I hope my timing is better next visit.

Sometimes the learning curve on dating FSUW is steep.

el guero had a good suggestion above: that it would have been better to put the money wasted here into paying for Eduard's services.  You would probably have found a great woman by now.

I hope your current trip goes much better for you.  And it couldn't hurt to expand your search geographically to cover at least Belarus, parts of Russia, and the Baltic Republics.


Offline Rasputin

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And then the actual shopping proceeded. She wanted to go to the Armani store, as supposedly she had a ten percent discount card that she got from someone. While in the store the interpreter asks me if it would be OK for me to buy her a pair of jeans as a present and I said of course and actually my intention was to buy her a nice gift even though at this stage I knew this wasn't working for me.

The test to see if she was a "pro-dater" was simple: you simply had to say no at this point and stop being her private bank machine  :coffeeread:
"Seems I live in Russia Rasputin visited" - Millaa
"So do I" - Molly35ru

Offline JeanClaude

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Armani store? pair of jeans..,,,

Now...no moral preaching on sugar daddy relationships,

But...if you decide to be a sugar daddy....you better get some sugar FIRST!
a day not trolled is a day not lived

Offline VSSKI

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Thanks for the feedback everyone - seems like a pretty clear opinion here. Sorry for not being familiar with Eduard who has been recommended - who is he and how can I get in touch with him?
And for the record, yes my second trip is much better, actually a lot better, although not how I thought it would go, but I leave that for another time.

Offline Larry

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Eduard is a Russian guy who moved to the US.  He operates a business in which he looks for good prospects for his Western clients, often on Russian dating sites.  He will translate emails and interpret on 3-way phone calls to the girls.  He will also accompany his clients to FSU to interpret and provide feedback.  I believe his website is www.getrussianwife.com

He's a member here; you can do a search and send him a private message to get in touch. His username is Eduard.  He has apparently built up an impressive record of success for his clients, many of whom are members here and endorse his services.

Offline VSSKI

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Thanks Larry - much appreciated. I will look him up!

Offline TomT

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Both your date and the interpreter were in on the well-practiced scam; you don't owe them any anonymity.
"Get away from the keyboard little man. I know where you live." (Message left in my facebook mailbox by our resident psychopath.)

Offline Manny

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Both your date and the interpreter were in on the well-practiced scam; you don't owe them any anonymity.

Agreed.

You were ripped off. This is simply business to these people.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Kiev and Odessa are the two places we read about again and again with stories like this; yet these are the places men insist on flocking to like lemmings.

We don't hear these stories about Russia, Latvia, Estonia, or other former Soviet Union destinations any more. It's always Ukraine; and more specifically Kiev and Odessa. That is what prompted this topic: Has anyone here married a woman from Odessa or Kiev?
I apologise.
And so he should.........

Offline el_guero

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OK, that explains a lot.

Offline nicknick

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Both your date and the interpreter were in on the well-practiced scam; you don't owe them any anonymity.

Agreed.

You were ripped off. This is simply business to these people.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Kiev and Odessa are the two places we read about again and again with stories like this; yet these are the places men insist on flocking to like lemmings.

Manny,

I don't know if I'm allowed to link to other forums so I haven't included an actual link to the other forum.

There was also a recent trip report on another forum entitled ''Odessa and AnastasiaDate. A Risky Proposition.'' that was a long and interesting read from the OP. 

I would suggest that it would be quite an eye opener for anyone thinking about going to that region of Ukraine.

Online andrewfi

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OMG is this for real?

Are you the kind of bloke who is in the habit of buying women $9000 mink coats?
Is this normal behaviour for people in your peer group?

In order for this to happen you has got to be fairly seriously loaded in order to have such a reality disconnect going on. ;)

OK, you can get mad at me for writing the foregoing but, unless such behaviour IS normal for you then your own good sense should have informed your choices. The world is what it is. I am guessing that, in truth in your world you DO NOT do such stuff and thus you already knew you were doing a daft thing in the forlorn hope that you'd get some legover.
Not shagging you would have been a part of the game, to see how much you could be induced to spend in exchange for as little as possible. I am sure, assuming the crimson tide was actually in flow when you were with her, the girl knew well enough how to use a sponge had she felt the need or desire to do so...

Can I STRONGLY suggest that you lay off the foreign trips in search of a bride and get some local match practice in before heading for the major leagues!

"For what else is the life of man but a kind of play in which men in various costumes perform until the director motions them offstage?" -Erasmus

Offline Larry

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Andrew, hold your horses.  Here is the intro to my post above:

Quote
  When I read your story I immediately thought of a parody post I wrote about a pro dater from Odessa:

It was only a parody.  Never happened in reality. 

Offline TomT

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SKI,

Before professional dating became the rage in Ukraine, agency interpreters were an asset. All of that has changed and many have become skillful accomplices. In the old days, I would not have written such a thing but, now, I feel that a girl who insists on "her" interpreter should be avoided like the plague.
"Get away from the keyboard little man. I know where you live." (Message left in my facebook mailbox by our resident psychopath.)