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Why was my Ukraine date offended by sensible things I did?

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to Russia, Ukraine, or the former Soviet Republics.

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Why was my Ukraine date offended by sensible things I did?

Postby Winston » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:57 pm

Ladislav or Have2fly or anyone else,

While formatting my Russia Trip Journals, I saw my account of my strange experience in Ukraine with a woman I was visiting named Elena Motorina that I met from AFA. She was very nice but read too much into every little thing and got offended too easily.

I was wondering if you guys could explain it. Do people in Ukraine/Russia really expect me to let anyone and everyone scam me or rip me off? If I never "count my money" or speak out when I'm ripped off, then wouldn't that mean that anyone can rip me off? Why should I let myself be a target for everyone? I don't understand their logic. Their logic seems bizarro and upside down.

What would a Ukrainian guy do? Are Ukrainian guys allowed to "count their money" or protect themselves from being ripped off or overcharged? Or does this apply to only foreigners? I don't understand why foreigners aren't allowed to protect themselves in Ukrainian/Russian culture from being ripped off or taken advantage of? Can someone explain? Am I misunderstanding anything?

Here is the description from my Russia storybook about what happened, the misunderstandings and sensible things I did that offended her.


http://www.happierabroad.com/RussiaJournals2002.doc

"Then I brought up the subject of our plans to go to Odessa or Kiev and when she said "I think you should go to Odessa, but not with me." my heart started to sink as I knew what she was implying. When I asked why she was saying that, she started to explain to me that she had stayed up all night thinking about us and came to some conclusions. She said that she didn't like how things went last night at the restaurant, and with my confessions of what had happened before coming here. She said that what I told her made her feel like she was nothing special and was just the next person in line for me.

When I explained to her my reasons for revealing those things to her (which were outlined in Chapter 37), she said that those reasons were wrong, that it would have been better to keep those things a secret or even to have lied to her about them, and in fact she would have preferred that I did. I felt confused by such an admission because I thought that the saying "honesty is the best policy" might be true, but now I realized that it wasn't. And furthermore, I realized that honesty wasn't such a virtue after all since it can be used against you as well. (What a great excuse to justify lying and omission of truth now, I guess) I knew that such a realization was very politically and morally incorrect, but the reality was that this experience and other experiences I had before had shown that to be the case.

Elena also said that if I hadn't made those confessions of why I went to Russia, that she would not have asked me about it to probe for the truth anyway. This made me feel very foolish indeed for adopting such a clumsy strategy. She also said that in her philosophy, she doesn't believe in giving men who hurt her a second chance, because if they do it once, it will only be a matter of time before they do it again. I remarked that I've heard that reasoning from people before, but I never agreed with it.

Besides what I did, Elena also cited the misunderstandings we had yesterday that indicated that we had a mental incompatibility. I admitted that I had come to the same conclusion too after the misunderstandings we had yesterday. She said that she felt insulted when I tried to check the price of the taxi fares before getting in, because I was in effect saying that I didn't trust her judgment in her own city. I apologized and claimed that I was only following common safe practices, and that people don't usually condemn me for that habit. Referring to the increased fare last night, she also said that the driver's claim to the increased fare was legit and not a scam, and when she said "Ok then! Let me pay for this ride since I make so much money, 8 dollars a month!" she was angry at me. I calmly explained to her why I protested that and about the experience I had in St. Petersburg when the driver did the same thing, and that I was just trying to stop someone from taking advantage of us as a matter of principle.

Then she said that while I was in the restroom of the restaurant last night, the waitress came over and told her how unmanly I acted when I counted my change, and asked the price of everything. The waitress said that she never saw a man who was so efficient and calculating with his money before. I laughed at how outrageous that was, and said that where I'm from, it is extremely common and normal to count change that's been given to you, in fact, the people giving you change are supposed to count it for you to show you that it's accurate. I told her that I couldn't tell her how many times I have spotted errors on my receipts and in the change given back to me, so it was logical to check it.

But she claimed that the Americans she met on the beach resort her grandmother worked at were not like that and were very generous. I told her that that was an exception since those Americans were probably affluent or else afraid of looking stingy, and that back in the USA, most people will count their change and ask about prices. After all, we are not as rich as they think, and the liabilities and debt we have usually balance out the income. In any case, I was mad at that waitress for gossiping about me like that behind my back, and I wished I could give her a piece of my mind. What, does she think that to be manly, one should throw money like it's endless? How stupid.

To top it all off, she said that when we walked together, she would often hear people mutter "You prostitute." as we walked by them. She didn't like that, she said, and she would only put up with it if there was something special between us but there wasn't, so she didn't feel it was worth it to endure it. I was surprised because I didn't notice people muttering anything as we passed them, and besides, none of the other women I went out with during my trip so far complained about that. Who knows, perhaps it happened to the other girls I went out with too, but they just weren't as sensitive about it as Elena was. But after she told me this, I realized that one of the advantages of living in the USA is that people don't do that to you, at least not verbally to someone they don't even know. Elena also said that since she thought I wasn't coming anymore, that she didn't prepare her schedule for me, and so wouldn't have much time for me anyway.

During our serious talk, Elena also confessed to me that the foreign friend who visited her a few weeks ago was an American man who had been writing her that she met through the marriage agency too. She said that he came to visit only her, and that he only had a week. There was not any special chemistry between them, but they had a nice time visiting a few nearby places and having good conversation. They departed as friends. She also showed me a huge stack of envelopes and letters, saying that these were all the men who wrote her from the agencies. There were about a hundred letters with photographs and gifts here, she said, but that she only gave her home phone number to me and one other guy, because we were her top two choices. She thought we were both quality relationship material.

When I claimed that it seemed like a double standard that she was condemning me for visiting multiple while having multiple men visit her too, she claimed that she was much more selective than I had been, and that she was only serious about me and one other person. In any case, she said that it was better if I don't waste any more time here in Mariupol, and that my time would be better spent visiting the other women here that I had as backups. (We agreed before my trip that I would visit her first in Ukraine and then if things didn't work out, I could go visit some other women, or get more introductions from the marriage agencies around here.)

I reluctantly told her that she was right, but that I felt that she judged me too quickly. After all, just because there are misunderstandings at first doesn't mean that they won't start to diminish as you get to know each other and become acquainted with each other's ways. But she said that her intuition told her strongly that her conclusions were right, and that this was her decision. She apologized if she hurt me in any way, and that she hoped we could still be friends at least. I said ok and then asked if she could accompany me to the train station tomorrow to help me buy tickets for Dnepropetrovsk or Simferopol, where my next two backup women were. She said it would be no problem.

With nothing to lose, I told her about the experience with Natasha in Tula and the special feelings we had for each other. She said that if that's so, then I ought to follow up on those special feelings. I replied that I would later on, but that I couldn't go back to Russia now because my visa there was expired. Soon it came time for her and her mom to leave, so they called a cab to take me back to my hotel."

(End of excerpt)

Also, here are some photos of us:

Image

At the park in Mariupol.

Image

Saying goodbye to me from outside the window of my train.

Image

Image

She's actually very sweet, sincere and natural on video. I should try to upload a clip sometime for you all to see.
Last edited by Winston on Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Winston » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:08 pm

Here is the description of our friendly good natured goodbye from my storybook.

http://www.happierabroad.com/RussiaJournals2002.doc

Chapter 40: Deep conversation and playful goodbye

The next morning, I made sure not to miss the breakfast included with my stay this time. It turned out to be some simple things stacked in trays on a table, and one breakfast item from the menu. Some of the items tasted strange, but others were ok. The juice was good at least. But what I wanted most of all was the tall blonde gorgeous waitress there. She had these long smooth white legs in sexy shoes, which were killing me because legs and feet are fetishes of mine, especially when they looked unblemished like hers were. But she was so tall and like the nightwatch man said, she was married, so I had no chance, but I could dream at least. I wish I could take her to the USA and rub her legs all day :) (had she been the call girl, I would have accepted in a heartbeat!) After breakfast, I sat and watched the TV in the restaurant. The waitress sat down to watch it at the table across from me too. I tried talking to her but she didn't speak English. When I cracked a joke, I used it as a chance to tap her leg for fun (but not my favorite part of it). (Oh yeah!)

After breakfast, I called Elena and then I brought the luggage down from my room and put it in their storage closet. I explained that I would be taking the train sometime today. Then I waited for Elena and she showed up punctually as usual. I thought she would give me weird looks after yesterday, but instead she was very warm and in a good mood. As we left, the waiter who served me spaghetti last night said something about me to her that sounded like a snide insult. I asked Elena what he said but she kept saying "You don't want to know." (What a cowardly prick) We first went to the train station to get tickets for Dnepropetrovsk, and I reimbursed her for the cab fare she paid to come to my hotel. (Since finding out that she earned 8 dollars a month, I was afraid to let her pay for anything.) The departure time was 4pm and we weren't sure about the arrival time, but Elena said it looked like 5pm. Only an hour away, I thought? It looked close on the map, but not that close. I was perplexed for a while. If it was only an hour away, why not take a bus instead, I asked. But Elena said she heard that the bus to there would be more expensive than the train, which was dirt cheap by our standards. (I later found out that Elena was way off about the arrival time.) On the way back to my hotel, Elena asked me if I would like some company today until my departure. I humbly said "Sure, if you have some time that is." She said she did and I appreciated it. She said she would take me to see some of her city for a few hours.

When we got back to my hotel, she called Evgeniya for me and told her my arrival time in Dnepropetrovsk. Then we did a little walking tour of her city. First we went to a mall and had some snacks at the cafe inside of it. Then we walked through some parks in her university and through some city parks as well. They were very nice and well maintained. This seemed like a middle or upper class city compared to the rest. But of course, this was the first Ukrainian city I've been to, so I had no idea what the rest of the country was like. We had some deep and substantive conversations. She was very intelligent and had a lot of deep thoughts to share. It was a shame that I was leaving her so soon. I would love to have gotten to know her better. Now I kind of regretted being so honest and telling her about why I was in Russia, but as I already learned during this trip, everything happens for a reason, so perhaps this was for the best too. But it seemed that we were starting to connect now, which was ironic because I was about to leave.

We talked about a lot of things, including our reasons for joining this agency (A Foreign Affair), and so forth. She still said she didn't like men who came and visited multiple women. But I explained to her our reasons for doing so and the tactics involved, including the advice that us Russian-wife seekers usually give each other on group email lists. I explained that it made sense to male logic to visit multiple women since you didn't know who you would click with, and the high risk of visiting only one woman whom you don't even know how it will work out. I said that it was a probability game to us, and compared it to pulling the handle multiple times on a slot machine. "The more times you pull, the higher chance you have of hitting it off. That's how a lot of men think." I said.

And of course, I told her that the men who come here are always advised never to tell the women they visit that they are visiting other women too (a mistake I made with her of course). Therefore, the men who came to visit her may have visited others without her knowledge, but she knew the last one didn't because she saw his plane tickets. It turned out that several other men have visited her before, but they didn't work out with her and ended up as friends. Like me, she also put them in one of the hotels here. I also told her about the silliness of the Russian Bride List I was on, and how any lie told about you there is automatically believed by everyone. I told her that the latest lie about me was that I was in Colorado fabricating all my trip report updates to the list for fun, and that some people were actually believing it. We had a good laugh about that.

Elena said that after all that she's gone through with men from the marriage agencies, she's decided to take a break from it for now to figure out what she really wants. Right now, she is focused on her studies at the university, in which she majors in metallurgy and steel manufacturing. She said that both of us seem to be in a wandering stage, and are probably not ready for a serious relationship or marriage like we think we are.

When I told her about my luck or fate in meeting Natasha at the museum in St. Petersburg, she said that perhaps she should start visiting museums soon then. lol She said she wanted to know how the rest of my trip here went, so I told her I would call her or write her about it later. When I mentioned that I had been writing journal entry updates of my trip, she said that she wanted a copy and to send her one after my trip. I said maybe because some of the contents may make me look bad (such as the chapters with Julia!) but that if I did, I would edit it first. lol We seemed to understand each other well now, and could talk at ease since it was understood that we were just friends. She no longer had a problem with hearing about the other girls on my trip, and was instead curious about them now.

When I asked if she would like to see highlights of my trip from my camcorder, at first she said no thank you, but later she got curious and changed her mind. I rewound it and showed her some of Olga in St. Petersburg, then some clips of Julia in Cherepovets as well. When she heard Julia say that she loved me and then right after that that she loved Vitalik, Elena said "She loves everybody." We also watched Julia's sexy dancing scene. Elena agreed that Julia seemed crazy and immature. When I sarcastically asked "Wouldn't you love to meet her? Wouldn't you both get along great?" she said "No way." Then I showed her clips of Natasha in Tula, and afterward she said that Natasha was more attractive than Julia. I said "Really? But Julia is sexier by conventional standards." but Elena disagreed and said that Natasha looked smarter and had more class. I said she was definitely right about that. She said that in retrospect, it might have been better if I had visited her first and then the other two primary girls afterward, but I explained to her about their schedules and of course that I wouldn't have met Natasha if I had done it that way. Then it was time for us to start heading back now.

I took some footage of Elena for the first time now when we were on a city street. Then as we took a side trail back to my hotel that ran along a high overview of the Black Sea, I took some more video footage of the view of the water and ships. When I focused the camera on her again, I asked "Do you have anything to say?" She said "Yes I do." and then proceeded with a nice speech about how she was glad to meet me, that she was sorry there wasn't something special between us, and that she hopes we can be friends and that I will call and write her later. And finally, that she wished me luck in finding my other half. It was no cliched BS, she sounded very sincere and good natured about it all. I was touched by her kindness and thanked her. At least I knew I would be leaving with a good feeling now. She seemed like a close friend or sister to me now.

Then I joked that maybe as I took off on the plane in Kiev, that she might run alongside the airstrip and yell, "Winston, wait, don't go! I love you!" like a scene from the movies. I knew that wasn't going to happen, but it was fun to imagine it. We got back to the hotel to get my luggage from their storage room, and then went to the train station. When we got to the front of the station and the sloping walkway where I rolled my luggage down, Elena nostalgically said "This is where the story began" which was funny because those were my exact thoughts as well. (It's funny when you're reminiscing how it seems like it was only yesterday when you first got here.) Before I got onboard the train, I gave her a last hug and jokingly said "See you on the airstrip in Kiev, maybe."

From the window next to my seat, we looked out at each other and flirted warm goodbyes for a long time. We waved at each other, blew kisses at each other, smiled, used sign language to say I will miss you, and she used finger communication to tell me to write her and call her when I got back home.

(Here is a photo still of her doing that below, taken from my video that I was filming of her during our goodbye)


Image


I also kept waving my hand at my face to indicate how hot it was in here, and I had to keep wiping my forehead because sweat kept dripping down. She looked sympathetic about it but tried to cheer me up. When I pretended to cry, she shook her head and said "no" and then drew letters in the air with her fingers that spelled "Happy Ending." As we kept repeating these things in cycles, I took out my camcorder to film some of it, since it was such lighthearted fun, and I wanted to capture some of it. Then the train jolted as it started to move, and we both playfully gasped at each other. We continued to blow kisses until she was out of sight. As I sat back in my seat, I thought "What a nice quality girl. It's such a pity that I left so soon. I wonder if it was a mistake."

The temperature inside the train started cooling down as it went faster. There weren't many people on this train except some guys playing cards and one young girl laying down. I soon became the center of their attention after talking to them. I amused them with my magic card tricks, and then they offered me some vodka but I refused. Wondering if it was really only an hour to Dnepropetrovsk, I tried asking them when we would reach Dnepropetrovsk, but I couldn't understand their answers, and they made gestures that seemed to say "Don't worry about it. Sit down and relax."

When it got to 5pm I started getting anxious and wondering if my stop was near. Each time the train stopped, even for just pit stops, I would point outside and ask them "Dnepropetrovsk?" and they would all reply "Niet. Niet." and brushed their arms as if to say "Don't worry about it. Sit down and relax." One guy even sounded like he was telling me to take a nap. I soon found out why though. A younger guy nearby came and wrote down the time we would reach Dnepropetrovsk. I couldn't believe it and thought there must be some mistake. He wrote "00:15" which if my knowledge of military time is correct, is 12:15 midnight! Holy cow! That's way off. I looked at my train ticket in disbelief and then saw in dismay that next to the 4pm departure time, were the numbers "00.15". I wondered how Elena and I could have missed that. It was right next to the 4pm departure time! Perhaps the zeroes are just ignored by the human brain or something. But I felt silly for being 7 hours off. I didn't understand though, why it would take 8 hours to get to Dnepropetrovsk. On the map, it looked very close to Mariupol, almost like a neighbor.

But now I was very worried and concerned. Since Elena thought the arrival time was 5pm, she probably told that to Evgeniya on the phone too. If Evgeniya was waiting at the train station now, what would she do when I didn't show up? Surely, she wouldn't wait there for me until midnight. I just hoped that she would somehow find out the correct time of my arrival. I know that anyone could just easily find out at the train station, but I also know that some people hate asking questions too (such as my own father) so I just hoped that she wasn't one of them. I explained this to the guy who told me the correct time of arrival in Dnepropetrovsk, and he offered to help by calling her for me on his cell phone. I said that was a good idea and asked how much I would have to pay him, but he said not to worry about it. However, he couldn't get it to work now for some reason. Perhaps his phone couldn't pick up a signal here or couldn't make long distance calls. It seemed that he was the only one here who had a cell phone though, so there was nothing else I could do but wait until I got there. I was just afraid that if I got there and she wasn't there, that she might not answer the phone at midnight either if she was asleep. Everyone there told me not to worry about it though, because she would probably figure out my arrival schedule somehow. I sat down prepared for a long ride and thought, "Oh great. After all that I've been through, now I'm on a very long train ride to see a girl who looks like a kid. How nice indeed." I just felt so emotionally exhausted now, and wondered what would happen next on this trip.
Last edited by Winston on Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ph_visitor » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:23 pm

People in EE, Russia and Asia don't think as you do. They don't think logically in the same way, they don't reach conclusions as 'Westerners' do - they simply think differently.

Part of this is the Orthodox/Western Christian Schism and other parts have to do with Buddhism, Confuscianism and the influence of the Mongols and other marauding Asiatic hordes.

One can see this online in comment threads when Chinese netizens defend a driver running over a little girl (he cannot be expected to stop...) or the logical blindness that Russians have when-ever tens of millions dead are brought up (they immediately attack your nation for ABC, or explain it as 'he was trying to help the people').
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Postby WuFan » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:04 pm

Winston, I think she was intimidated by you because you were out of her league.
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Postby Winston » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:10 am

Question:

Why is it that around a Ukrainian/Russian woman, you aren't allowed to count your change? Isn't counting your change normal? Do Russian people count their change when they get it back from a cashier or restaurant? If not, then wouldn't that allow the cashier to short change them and get away with it?

I don't understand the logic behind that.

It's normal to count your change right? Recently, a Siberian girl I went out with saw me glancing at my change for a second in my hand, and then she asked me "Do you always count your change" as though it were a bad thing. When I told her I was just weighing them because my pockets were already full with change, she said, "Well if you have too much change then why don't you give some of it away?"

WTF? Do Russian people give away free change like that? That's hard to believe, given how stingy they are. If one has too many coins, why not just exchange them for paper money instead? That would be the logical sensible solution. Why give it away for free? What's her logic? Can anyone explain?

Russian logic has never added up or made sense to me.

Can you imagine a stingy Jewish guy giving away his coins to lighten the load in his pocket? lol

Isn't it normal to count your change?
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Postby eurobrat » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:31 pm

Winston,

It seems to culturally be a superstition: http://www.russian-language-for-lovers. ... ition.html

Money in the Evening - Do not count money after dark, and never lend it in the evening time, as it is a sign that you will lose your wealth. The same goes for taking out the rubbish after sunset!

It's the same as giving flowers to a Russian girl never give an even number of flowers.

They probably think were weird for having our own superstitions like Friday the 13th.
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Postby Christianfilipinacom » Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:28 pm

Hi Winston, Sorry I do not have the time to read your whole story but from the two paragraphs I read, it seemed that she was open and interested if you had been willing to be serious with her. However, based on my instinct I think at the time she figured out probably accurately that you were not a long-term serious prospect for a fulfilling relationship. Therefore she wasn't going to denigrate her decency. Sorry if I might have missed something as I admittedly did not read much of your posts here.
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Postby a110263f » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:54 am

Western people will never understand us, Russians. Just because westerners are narrow-minded.
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Postby Winston » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:36 pm

a110263f wrote:Western people will never understand us, Russians. Just because westerners are narrow-minded.


Isn't that a copout? So rather than admitting that your people are dishonest and sociopathic, you say that people don't understand you? That lame. If someone doesn't understand you, then why don't you explain yourself?
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Postby rampsam » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:56 pm

Hi Winston, It's really a long story but seems interesting from the couple of paras that I read. Would you make a shorter version of it if you don't bother? Thanks!
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Postby a110263f » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:34 pm

Winston wrote:
a110263f wrote:Western people will never understand us, Russians. Just because westerners are narrow-minded.


Isn't that a copout? So rather than admitting that your people are dishonest and sociopathic, you say that people don't understand you? That lame. If someone doesn't understand you, then why don't you explain yourself?

So I have to admit that my point of view is substantiated by your words. It explains the total failure of multiculturalism in Europe. And it explains why Americans are so hated in the world outside the USA and some English-speaking countries.
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Postby Winston » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:56 pm

Here is the girl I was referring to. Here we are walking in the park and she makes a farewell and best wishes speech to me. Notice how sweet and down to earth she is.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K16Qbq1ZKZo[/youtube]
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Postby eurobrat » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:25 pm

....
Last edited by eurobrat on Mon May 27, 2013 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby C.J. » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:44 pm

Winston, this CLEARLY proves that "happier abroad' doesn't guarantee happiness, if you're an unhappy westerner. You really should do some soul-searching. Or just stop being a little wuss, either one. :D
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Postby Winston » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:53 pm

Christianfilipinacom wrote:Hi Winston, Sorry I do not have the time to read your whole story but from the two paragraphs I read, it seemed that she was open and interested if you had been willing to be serious with her. However, based on my instinct I think at the time she figured out probably accurately that you were not a long-term serious prospect for a fulfilling relationship. Therefore she wasn't going to denigrate her decency. Sorry if I might have missed something as I admittedly did not read much of your posts here.


Well she explained it. The two reasons she cited were:

1) I went to meet other girls before her, which she took as an insult.

She preferred guys who come just to see her, the "visit one woman during the whole trip" type of guy. It's kind of selfish of her though, because she doesn't consider that it's not in the guy's best interest to use up his yearly vacation from work just to meet one girl, who will most likely not be compatible with him. She was not considerate of a guy's expenses either for some reason. It was like she assumed that the word "expensive" didn't exist in a foreigner's vocabulary.

Also, she was the type of woman who overly analyzed every little thing, which is not good because it means she will always find something wrong with everything. Thus, it would be like walking on eggshells with her. She had a nice easygoing temper and personality, but she nitpicked little things so in that sense, she was difficult to get along with.

2) We kept having misunderstandings over little things, which she took as a sign of incompatibility. This is true. Mature women know this. However, some of her expectations were not realistic or reasonable either, as mentioned above. Plus, she was overly analytical about little things, even though her disposition was nice. So she was not exactly easy to get along with either.

Probably, she was not physically attracted to me either. But then again, women don't judge on looks as much as we assume they do.
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