Sunday, June 12, 2016

Pedal Horse

We're in the process of job hunting, so it's going to be sparse for a while, but my wife shared with me an insult, a "pedal horse".  It means that you're compared to a horse that goes places by using a bicycle (hence the pedals on the bicycle), which means that you're going about something all wrong.

Cheers.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Featured Russian Media: Kolobok

Today I'm sharing with you something M showed me some time ago.  It is a cartoon of a popular story of Kolobok *call-ah-bok* (small round bun) who runs away from home and has to survive using his singing ability to avoid being eaten.



To call someone a Kolobok generally is to call them unattractively fat, so I wouldn't recommend it unless you were jokingly referring to yourself.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Recommended Viewing for Beginners

This post is a compilation of media that I have found useful over my journey.  For me, it really started at with Steve "The Professor" Neese's now-deleted website, but there is still a lot of good material to be had for free.

Happier Abroad (by Winston Wu):
http://www.happierabroad.com/articles.php

Winston seems to have the anti-American slant a lot of ex-pats share.  His forum is kind of reminds me of a watering hole for 90s and millenial bridehunters.  A lot of people don't seem to like him for a number of reasons that may or may not be true, but I've never met/talked to the guy.  The important thing is that site has a lot of good material.

Western Women Suck:
www.westernwomensuck.com

A fairly active community of regulars (including myself) point out the absurdities of the women in western society while dispensing knowledge of the dating process in Eastern European countries.  It's run by Scott.  One of the reasons I started this blog, aside from the more personal theme I have going on, is the shock value of the website title.  It's effective, but the message of support I have for the community is not conveyed if I simply told them the name of the site.

Mark Davis:

Mark's Vimeo Channel:
https://vimeo.com/dreamconnections/videos/sort:date

Mark's Video Youtube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/iDatingSuccess/videos?sort=dd&shelf_id=1&view=0

If you let him, he will stick you in a room full of women you don't know just like the "romance tours" of old.  Unlike them, however, he's much more personally invested to the cause.  With HUNDREDS of hours of presentations it's hard to think of anyone who has made a bigger contribution to the world of international dating.

The last I knew, he had a direct public line for people to his cell phone and spends a few hours every morning answering e-mails from guys himself.  As its gotten bigger I don't know how he's kept sane because there are some really weird and disturbed people who look into going overseas as well as the normal guys and I know I couldn't personally put up with the strange that he must go through.

Some of his videos are a little dated, but most of the content is still good, especially where it comes to preparing yourself to going overseas.

If you want to start somewhere, I'd start here:  http://www.dreamconnections.com/friends-and-family-temp


TribeTalk:
 https://hu265.infusionsoft.com/app/orderForms/Inner-Circle-Monthly-Membership

Another product of Mark Davis, it's his take at trying to build a community of men who are actively wanting to participate.  The highlight of this "Inner Circle" is the Tribetalk open forum which will, in theory, only feature people that are not him.  Having helped host it in the past rendition, I can say that this is probably what is going to happen.  Whether it's worth $29 a month is up to you, though.  Hopefully it will keep the knuckleheads away (a problem we had last time) and there will be enough consistent fresh people to provide new shared content.  I might sign up for a month myself just to participate on and off. 

If you were looking for a place to meet people to actively network with, this would be the place I'd start.

Here's a recording of their first revamp (last Monday): https://vimeo.com/166033583  It will be interesting if I can continue to find the recordings for free.

That's all I've got for now.  Does anyone know of more good resources?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ask E: Where should I start?

Hi, I'm interested in going over to Ukraine to find someone too, but I'm not sure where to start. I can't afford a tour with Dream Connections, but if I just go over there I won't know where to start. Did you meet your wife on EM or some other site first? I'd be very interested to get some advice. I asked about DC on WWS recently and got more opinions then I bargained for. Your opinion, I thought, was the most constructive.

Sorry I didn't know how else to contact you.

Love your blog, keep it up.

Neil

 Before I get to the issue at hand, I'm going to answer your question and make a few points.  I'm going to be very succinct because each point could be a book chapter/blog post by themselves and the topic "Where should I start?" is already going to be some length.

  • I met M on UkraineDate.com.  Or rather, her friend contacted me while posing as her and because I'd had enough experience to know when a girl wasn't serious, I quit messaging her after the third exchange.  The real M contacted me with the same account a month later.
  • DC is what it is, and that's perfectly fine.  As a person who's been as closely tied to the business as anyone not actually being paid (Mark was concerned I was learning from his system in order to start my own), it's my opinion that the superficial problems everyone else complains about are irrelevant or unavoidable when pursuing this kind of relationship.  I've thought about collecting all the specific issues I've heard about the company and addressing them line by line.  Maybe I'll start a collection thread.
  • The alternative to DC is an AnastasiaDate style, party-in-a-different-town-every-night tour, and that was such a joke that nobody even talks about it anymore.
  • If you don't have the money/time to go with DC, don't go.  There are other options, but they require digging and networking.

Networking in Odessa with a Ukrainian and Norwegian.
The Ukrainian is the one more put together/drinking less.
No this was not a date, you jokers. :)


The following is addressed not only to you, Niel, but to "You" the budding, entry level, knowledge seeking foreign lady enthusiast.  I'm not talking about expats or frequent world travelers because you all probably know most of this.  This refers to the working middle class guys looking in from the outside for the first time and wondering how it all works.

You are, right now, in the Knowledge Seeking phase.  This is actually the second phase, which comes right after what I call the Exposure phase.  During this phase, You are becoming aware that all is not right in the Matrix of western society.  This is either by meeting foreign people at home, international travel, or military service (which involves the former).  For example, my exposure involved two Slavic students in college I sat/studied with and one coworker from Russia. Eventually You have an epiphany and realize it's possible to have a relationship with a foreign woman and begin to seek out knowledge and examples of people who have already executed this maneuver.  How you were Exposed to foreign women has a lot to do with your assumptions about marrying one, so keep it in mind during the following.

"You" are here, so I'm gong to start by encouraging You to read EVERYTHING about it.

For the meat of the matter (Where to Start) there are four main points You will need to acquire to get a complete understanding of what it takes to pursue this path.

  • This will cost You
  • There is NOT a formula to win
  • Identify the cognitive dissidence You have and handle it
  • Everything over there is the different...and the same 

1. This will cost You.  It will take time, money and effort.  Even someone who fell into a relationship with a local foreign woman can tell You that the exchange inherent to that kind of marriage is not the same as with a western woman.  The first question You need to ask Yourself is:  What do You want from a woman?  Keep this in mind, because it's going to change and get better!

Now think about the question: What would You be willing to pay (in time/money/effort) to get that woman?  I answered this question for myself over at my WWS post, the Cost of Doing Business.

The flip side of how much it will cost You is how much You will grow as a person.  For me, the entire (ongoing) process has been extremely influential to the person I am today and has contributed to my personal and emotional growth.  Financially speaking, I can't even count it as a loss for the long term, as I met my current financial adviser and keep up with him on at least a monthly basis (he'll be marrying a Colombian gal this year).

The Columbian gal
in case you were wondering.

There is the question of How Much it will cost, and there is no exact answer (see below), but if I had to put a figure to this endeavor, I would want a man to be comfortable with the thought that he may be spending up to $20,000 on this.  It is certainly possible for about $10,000, but I'm taking into account that there will be some learning experiences and perhaps a few failed attempts.  This amount includes from "Searching" to "Settled", as You'll need a few things to get her on her feet here including some new furniture (probably a bed or wardrobe).  It will also be "paid" over the course of several years.


2. There is not a formula to win (but still a lot of ways to get it wrong).  As men, if we want something we try to figure out how much it will cost us.  If we were shopping for tires, we would know a rough price to expect to pay and that our money would get us better (or more specialized) tires if we were willing to pay more.  If we were shopping for a car we know that there are a lot of variables when considering the cost of a car and that there is a certain process to searching for the right car, meeting with the dealer, test driving, financing and maintaining the purchase.  With a job it's even more formalized, as You usually have to carefully craft a resume/CV/cover letter and go through a stilted legal process of interviews before the company tentatively presents an offer.

With dating, it's all bets off.  You can read about how everyone met their spouse and how there are certain parallels, but everyone had a unique experience.  You can't just expect to get online, meet a girl after a few dozen tries, fly out to meet her, fly back to pick her up and live the rest of Your life together.  There will always be an experiences that changed that person and how they view the journey.  My own outlook took several twists and turns from being happy and open, to more cynical and intolerant, to resigned, to passionately apathetic.  It changes You, and You should be aware of and expect the change (see below).

You can, and absolutely should take the advice of people that offer it, especially if they have already met someone, but You will also want to network and get to know some of them more personally.  Look at the advice You're given for Yourself and decide if it is right for You.  Very few people are commenting on the forums/blogs to make money, but they all have their particular backgrounds and expectations.  They usually are more outgoing and have a passion, whether positive or negatively charged that may not be clear.


Part of my Formula: Mrs. Davis leading us around Disney

For example, I got into the online dating AFTER four visits on the advice that I should do it for the winter months.  I was given 16 websites and told to send out at least 10 messages per day.  Most of the sites were free, but I wasn't going to spend all that time being keyboard-Romeo, so I told my friend I'd do three sites and send no messages.  Got a lot of spam, but it's what finally worked for me (and spending about 300 hours on skype with the girl).  I never would have been able to pay attention to her, though, and address her properly if I didn't have the experience I gained overseas prior to signing up.

People I have known through their own processes include: A man who found The One after an attempted cuckolding; ex-military who found contacts through a Russian-English learning exchange (tried to get me acquainted with one student), ultimately found his wife online;  two attempts gone bad but still swinging;  several married couples through DC (they don't all wish to be public); and many people who, for one reason or another never made it over or quit the process because they determined for themselves it wasn't for them.

This section was longer than I expected, but the take home point is that if You feel the questions burning inside of You, You at least owe it to yourself to try.  Just don't expect the same result (good or bad) as someone else just because You did it the way they did.


3. Identify Your cognitive dissidence and handle it.  Everyone at some level rationalizes things they don't fully understand.  There's a lot to learn about dating foreign women, and so Your brain has to make a lot of assumptions, so if You have this idea on how things are supposed to be and it's not working out, You need to be able to understand it and deal with it.  It's easy to observe that the woman also has to overcome these things (it's an important part on her end that You want to make sure she's comfortable doing) but You can only work on Yourself.

The most typical kinds of problems involve the misconception of a Formula (see above):  A man does something, so he expects something in return.  It's part of his formula, one that we're all trained by our society to expect depending on the setting.  That's why there are men who have sent thousands in currency overseas to a person they've never met.  They think that sending money will equal an outcome of loyalty by their show of patronage.  It's easy for us to laugh/be sad for these guys but we also need to be aware of less obvious things.

One example of I see often is religion.  Some very pious men have understood that Ukraine has a very high number of Orthodox Christian people.  They take this to mean that most of the girls they meet will be fellow believers in Christ and driven to engage in a pious lifestyle themselves.  In reality, most of the people are very traditional and simply follow Orthodox Christian customs.  Many (most?) people use the church, which is very rarely attended, as an excuse to their children to make them behave.  The closest thing I can think of to a local societal norm is how parents will tell their children to be good around Christmas time or Santa will leave them a lump of coal.

While there are many faithful, practicing Christians in Ukraine, many (most?) of the girls would be just as happy to pick up the traditions of the man they attached themselves to if he was open to celebrating in some of her traditions as well.  Encountering this leads these pious men to disappointment, as this is not being "Christian enough" or Christian at all, and a sense of betrayal about what they -thought- about these girls.

While I can empathize with their point, I think it's wonderful that a woman would want their man to be the religious head of the household.  The other alternative is the western Church Princess who sizes You up to based on her idea of what the Divine.  The Divine then, coincidentally, always seems to side with her based on whatever she is feeling at the time.

My advice to these pious men would be to look for a woman under the image that God set forth and using the example he provides us and not for a woman who will try to usurp Your leadership.  Do You want a traditional girl who will do her best to fill the traditional role of wife, or a girl who wants you (lowercase you this time) in the position of "servant-leadership" (to her notions)?    You can only have one, You know!  And if they really want to know those kinds of girls, I know now where I could point them, but that's because I've gained that experience through my networking.

This is just one example of a worldview that men might need to understand in order to properly engage this path, and each challenge is difficult and satisfying to overcome.


4.  Everything is different...and the same.  My wife once told me that many men, even if he was very poor, would often carry with him an expensive silver case.  In his pocket, he could easily produce a contact card which would be used when introducing himself to girls.  Girls are courted over there and guys do things to impress them, that much is the same, but if we had a friend who did the same as the example above in western society it would appear very over the top (probably to the girl too).

Since You are considering courting a woman from a different society the premise is the same, but the methods You will be using need to be tweaked.  For example, every girl has had a boyfriend who would kick dogs or whip their pets, so I always encourage men to have themselves with a picture of an animal as their main profile image to show that you are "kind to animals".  Using their particular vernacular, such as (if You're a big guy) describing Yourself "like a brick wall" will get You more interest than if you said "reuben-esque" or "fluffy".  Did You know that manhood is considered achieved three particular things: bought a house, had a child and planted a tree?  Mention that in Your ideal future together (but don't lie if You don't want children/property/trees).  And never, ever insinuate that a woman (or anyone she likes) has bad hygiene, it's one of the worst insults available.

Keep in mind, too that social situations may need seem out of place.  Here's a picture from a Russian social event I attended with M recently, right here in the good old US of A.




It's not obvious unless You understand the culture and a little Russian, but D in the picture is actively asking my wife on a date, mostly to get money from her.  Oh yeah.  He's also insulting me and telling M how much of a loser I am and all the reasons that she should leave me for the American slug that I am.  Sure, his Russian wife (he's russian too) and two kids are right there, but she's a village (poor upbringing) girl and she has nowhere else to go if she wanted to, so she has to put up with it.

You want to know what else is gold?  The other men will butt in on each other to ask her to be a mistress.  With one old man it went something like, "I'm old and my wife is old and you've met my grandchildren so you couldn't replace them all, but I can be a very generous man when I want to be."  D was sitting right next to him, across from M.  I don't understand most of the Russian, but I get the gist of the conversations they're having, so I just keep getting up for more (homemade traditional Russian grandmother) food and feeding M off the same plate, smiling like the I'm an ignoramus.


The face that says, "о Боже, this guy wants me
to give him $70k."




You see, I could get mad, but I understand that this is just how Russian culture is.  You see a beautiful girl, You flirt with her.  Granted, they may not have done that if they knew I could understood what they were doing, but I don't have any illusions as to what the social situation is and how I'm supposed to react (see the point above).  Every (slavic) man at the event probably had a go at her and she was certainly flattered for the attention, but they also had a go at every other girl in the park.


And us Western men?  We were attentively looking after our own wives and (whether the men knew it or not) the wives were grateful that they did not have a man that would so easily and forwardly attempt to acquire a mistress!

So do Your best to learn about the local customs.  You'll be more prepared to take advantage of an opportunity (Your last girlfriend/wife was Baba Yaga) and be prepared to get Yourself out of an awkward situation (drop something, wink and tell her You are "rrahk-ee" (lobster)) or react appropriately to the social situation (don't speak on the bus, or nod/wave/make eye contact with men).

The specific cultural advice could be listed out for several pages and I have neither the time nor the memory to get them all down here.  As You traverse the internet in search of more information, keep a notebook of things and be the best at both worlds so if You do decide to pursue this path You stand out, and a foreign woman can appreciate You even more.


So Niel, was that the kind of advice you were expecting, or was there something more specific you were wanting to know about?

Also, if you're reading this, Scott, feel free to re-post this (or anything here) on your website.  You have my permission to use the images as well.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

M's Sense of Humor

Most of the time, M tells me that my jokes are stupid, but I must have hit her funny bone just right today.  We were on the porch swing after lunch, talking about going to a house to view it later and I brought up her use of vernacular.  When we are going to see a house she often uses the word "will" instead of "could" or "should". 

For example, when we're in a house, she'll say things like:

"We will put the children's room here."
"The kitchen will be replaced."
"Walls are a bad color.  We will put up wallpaper."

This tends to give real-estate agents the $$$ look in their eyes, so I asked her why she says "will" when she should say "could".  She explained to me that it is more difficult to pronounce "could" because of all the hard sounds, so she says "will" instead because there is more vowel.

"It's easier to say "will", but it costs more, too," I replied.

For some reason this was the most hilarious thing she heard all month.  I have yet to understand it and in some ways I hope I never do.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ukranian Relationship Advice

M and I were driving home yesterday and said something to me that I might elaborate on later, but for now I want to jot it down and enjoy the perspective she brings to my life.

"[A woman] should build up her man's authority (in the home) so that he can be strong and make decisions, and I do that because I want you to be a strong man.  I don't want you to use this against me, though, because I don't want to be beaten with it like a stick, I just want you to listen to me and make me feel like I have a vote.  Explain your rationale to me and listen to what I have to say, and I'll follow you anywhere."

A paraphrasing, but I hope you hear this kind of advice from the important people in your life, too!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Featured Russian Media: Cheburashka

The crocodile I showed a few days ago is/was part of a show called Cheburashka, which began in the late 1960s.  Cheburashka is a show for children about a toy who comes to life and befriends a crocodile, Gena (like "YE-nna" but with a soft "guh" in front, "(g)YE-nna").




While these may not seem like the most exciting cartoons in the world, it's worth knowing them because most people in Ukraine or Russia grew up with these.

As another interesting aside, the google translation of this verse in the song comes out a little funny:

Теперь я Чебурашка,
Мне каждая дворняжка
При встрече сразу
Лапу подает!

Now I Cheburashka,
I each pooch
At a meeting immediately
Lapu delivers!


As you can see, Google Translate fails to deliver exactly what is going on.  As near as I can tell, and I don't speak Russian, a more accurate translation is:

Now I am/(have become) Ceburashka,
Every little doggie
Upon meeting me on the street
Walks up to me and offers a paw (like shaking a hand)

Comparing with the literal computerized translation above, you can imagine how hard it would be for a Slavic person to explain something as simple as the intro song to their children's shows.  I'm not sure I even have the correct translation for this sample, but I would encourage you to practice this skill (I call Flexible English) if you're looking to travel to that part of the world.