11-10-2004, 12:00 PM
Guys , i am going to Visit Belarus to meet a girl i have been corresponding with for ages. I am 99 percent sure she is genuine and have met every possible scammer ever in 9 months of internet 'dating'! In any case i have lined up 'backups' in Belarus claiming i may be coming on business should anything go wrong with the 'original'. The problem arises i cannot find out much about this country, clearly they have a dictator in charge, but i wish to know if anyone has visited and what to expect. It is a journey into the unknown and i want to know if there are things to avoid things to do. In particular should you get on well with your women, how far can you push it (so to speak)? Any advice would be appreciated. By the way i have caught 7 scammers and registered them. I dont want to meet any more and have never been ripped.
11-12-2004, 04:17 AM
I just returned from my second trip to Ukraine which I visited my fiancee. I believe the Ukraine and Belarus are very similar are far as economics, living conditions, etc. You will find many of the people to be wondeful, so do not worry about that. Does your lady speak english? If not, I would reccommend a translator at least for part of the time. I was lucky that my fiancee has a friend who teaches english in the University and was able to translate. She was willing to translate a few hours a day for free, but I offered her $25 a day to translate the full day outside of her classes. That is a reasonable fee for someone who can speak fluent english, russian, french, etc. You will also notice how poor the people are. It is quite a shock to see the difference. Finally, most honest Ukrainian and probably Belarus women are quite conservative and will not have sex (if that is what you meant by how far you can push it) The first time I visited, my fiancee found me a nice apartment and would come by to pick me up everyday so we could spend each day together. The second time, she bought bigger apartment, but we stayed in seperate rooms. Of course both of us are religious and conservative, so that might not be the case with a second visit for you. Just thought i would pass on my experiences, and this is not to say what you can expect.
11-21-2004, 08:16 AM
Hello He Who Ventures forth to Belarus!
I have been to Belarus four times in the last 2 1/2 years, the last time in September.
It is not entirely clear to me what kind of advice you want and which city or cities, you'll be visiting. I just have experience in Minsk, Vitebsk, Gomel and Mogilev.
If you are looking for travel advice, Lonely Planet will not be that helpful. For instance, the Hotel Vetraz "business class" single is a better bet (particularly if pre-booked in Minsk through Minsk Tourist) than going to the overpriced Hotel Oridan, which Lonely Planet erroneously characterizes as "the country's biggest lodging bargain" - $65 for a really small room with a small bed -- but, at least, your girl can visit you directly if she wants. In Vetraz, to visit, she has to bring her passport and can only stay till midnight!
In Minsk, better to get an apartment and negotiate a monthly rate. In an apartment, you can have anyone over you like no questions asked but arrange it through someone else than your girl. If you stay initially in an apartment rather than the hotel, you'll have the problem of registration with the police - whomever you rent from will have to arrange it which will cost you $65. Don't lose the obligatory insurance you purchase at the airport as that, together with one photo, must be submitted to the police. Don't lose your registration - keep it with you, the police can ask for it on demand and if you don't have it, you'll be shaken down for cash.
If you want to stay incognito, do as the Belarussians do -- do not cross on red lights even in the absence of traffic and particularly if the police are around (which they often are). Belarussians tend to be very regimented in public.
Minsk is a safe city -- much much safer than any mid-size city in the USA. (Don't be put off by dark stairwells no one will be lurking to cut your throat - just bring a small flashlight so you don't trip and can see the keyhole!) The mafia is not as powerful in Belarus as it is in Ukraine, where if you use your credit card, your number will be stolen and return home to find various illegal charges. It doesn't matter for you that Lukachenko rules with an iron fist - in fact, in some respects, it is better as you are unlikely to get mugged. [If you venture out to medium size cities, especially outside the center, always take a taxi as these locales are dangerous.]
In Minsk, my understanding is that only hotels with ratings of 4 and 5 stars will permit you take a girl in the room (other than a hooker who works for the hotel of course - that is a different matter). There is another problem. The gold diggers are most interested in which hotel you are staying at for through that they think they can estimate your income level. Better to get an apartment and pay just $25/day and tell the girl you cannot afford more (even if you can)or that you like to save money (even if you like burning money), the gold diggers will make a convenient exit.
Then there are the restaurant goers - the girls who cannot afford to eat in the restaurants in the downtown area especially along Fransiska Skaryna. For them, it is just a free meal. These girls directly will want to meet in the restaurant of their choice so to defeat these girls, suggest that, for instance, she spend all day at the Botanical Park (where you can have tasty but inexpensive shastlyk for lunch) before you go out to a restaurant for dinner. The restaurant goer won't be able to bear it and she'll make an excuse to get out of the day trip and suggest to meet the following day at the restaurant. Tell the girl you want to try Belarussian food, maybe at Pechki Lavochki but dinner, without drinks, will cost around $50 for two. The restaurant goer usually prefers dining at Western European restaurants like Al Rincon Espanol and eating seafood. Positively avoid sushi (just too expensive) and Chinese (always mediocre).
Now if you have proceeded apace, you neither have a gold digger nor a restaurant goer, the next step is to get her to your apartment. What happens exactly depends on very many different factors. It is acceptable to be assertive though within bounds. You have to respect the girl and assess how ready she is to do what, partly a function of chemistry, partly a function of her age, her experience and to what extent she is attracted to you. I would say that once she is willing to spend the night with you - not making the excuse that her parents expect her home at such-and-such time, then you can be quite "pushy." On the other hand, the girl who insists on sleeping separately from you -- that is just a lot of B.S. and she is not serious. (Most Belarussian girls, whatever they call themselves, are not Christians, but Atheists, and they certainly don't fear God if they drop certain garments before marriage.) My Belarusian Russian language instructor (a fairly young woman -- and an unrepentant Atheist) told me sleeping together in Belarus is a good litmus test of how serious the girl is with the man.
Sometimes, at least in the case of Europeans who can invite the lady to their country easily, the girl may hold out, but then when she is visiting you, she'll agree -- unless she is the professional tourist type that uses men only for free vacations. Be skeptical of any girl who has widely travelled through invitations of foreign men or who has vacations to foreign destinations that she cannot afford.
One warning: don't ever give the impression that you think (even if you do) that you can "buy" the girl. Slavic girls often get very indignant and hostile about that issue; their relative poverty is a sore spot for them: no need to exacerbate it.
I think it is always a good idea to (as you say) line up back ups. If you haven't had a face-to-face encounter, you may find an absence of chemistry upon first meeting.
It sounds like you are going to have a great time.
All the best in your endeavors,
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