I grew up when there was suspicion ..mistrust .. the Cold War ... Russians were 'bad', 'the enemy', etc., .... From 15 years old, when I read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's " A day in the life of Ivan Denisovich', I was in awe of a society that could be so cruel to those who 'dared' to question the state .. ( even though disenfranchised 'Nationalists' were doing so in N.Ireland - they were 'bad' and I believed that ..)
So, when the wall started coming down, I started venturing to satellite nations that became free.. Hungary, The ( pre) Baltic States and I dreamt about seeing a Gulag in Siberia. I've had the opportunity to see various nations quickly evolve. ... changes ...
Russia and the west were friends .. there was trust and openness and many RU women embraced the ability to purchase brands they'd only read about ..
Some western men ventured out and found FSW EXTREMELY interested in guys from other countries.
When you meet / met a FSW in her country, shopping becomes / became a sort of game ..a 'test' . It would include food shopping, but often lead to a mobile phone shop or a western brand clothes shop...
Now, whilst I've always enjoyed watching how a woman shops for clothes ... there doesn't seem to be any 'plan' ( a guy goes in to a shoe shop - sees a pair he likes, tries them and buys them ).. Ladies across the world seem to be 'confused' by the choice on offer ... I can only discuss women who've lived in the Soviet times - but this range of choice seems to ( still ) blow their minds ! ...
So when one is steered to visit the local new shopping mall - which in Sochi is better than the one designed to pull in folk from S.Wales and the West Country, at Cribbs Causeway ... you are in for a treat ..
That first shop is THE test of your future together ... How much of a 'man' you're going to be .. ?
I regard this test as a two-way street.. You like the woman or you wouldn't be there, right ? .. You can 'test' her, too ... ! A relationship - if it's going to work is that both parties feel they're winning and sharing ..
In the earliest days, it might have been a smarter mobile phone.. or even her first mobile ... as even getting a phone line installed was a long wait ..
Or it might have been buying a scent together or a western brand dress..
As soon as a western guy walked into a shop with a local FSW, they saw a certain sale ( or two) and your partner might enter the shop 'proud' of the man on her arm and leave feeling pleased - but the guy noticed the "He's mine' look as potential competitors tried to involve 'Sir' ..
Move on c.20 years... The same process might apply to the lady, but the w.guy has been 'warned' on forums of this 'test' and will be sweating and in fear for his wallet ))
You can spot the poor chap a mile off - they're clearly not in control and being lead by the nose ..
It'd be good to hear a FSW's impressions of w.men and the first shopping experience ))