Category Archives: Everything else

March 8: International Women’s Day

flowers-flowers-bouquet-springingMarch 8th is nearly here! Do you have big celebration plans yet? If not, it’s time to think about how you would like to surprise your favorite women: Moms, sisters, wives, daughters, girlfriends, co-workers. If you didn’t know yet, March 8th is the International Women’s Day and it is widely celebrated in Russian speaking countries.

History of the International Women’s Day

Interestingly, the holiday originated in New York in 1908 when women went on a strike to demand equal rights, voting rights, shorter hours and better pay.

In Russia International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1913 first time as a part of the peace movement on the eve of World War I. Soon, following the events of 1913, it was established that the International Women’s Day will be celebrated on March 8th.

How is International Women’s Day celebrated in Russia today?

Today, International Women’s Day is one of the favorite public holidays in Russia. This day is associated with the first days of spring, warmth, first sunny rays and the most wonderful emotions. On March 8th men and women express their love and care to the women in their lives.

When it comes to gifts, it’s more about the gesture. It is not a secret, that women like attention, and even a small thing like a card, flowers and a box of chocolates will put a smile on your lady’s face. And of course, it also depends on how well you know each other: whether you are coworkers, relatives, are dating and so on. Now, let’s skip to the fun stuff – a few words and expressions in Russian that you might need when celebrating the International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day in Russia vocabulary

С 8 Марта – Happy March 8th

Поздравляю с 8 Марта - Wishing you a Happy March 8th

Поздравляю с Международным Женским Днём! – Wishing you a happy International Women’s Day!

Source: Fun Russian

Valentine’s Day celebration in Russia and Ukraine

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Valentine’s Day is coming up! Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” In Russia and Ukraine Valentine’s Day is a relatively new, but one of the most popular romantic holidays.

What Gifts are Popular in Russia and Ukraine on Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day in Russia and Ukraine is all about expressing your love and care to your significant other. This means that you can get as creative as you like when it comes to gifts. Any gift that conveys romantic feelings will be very well received. For example, a little memorable souvenir, such as a framed picture of you both having fun, or a poem written for your significant other will make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

Giving flowers is considered one of the most romantic gestures in Russia. Russian and Ukrainian women love flowers! A bunch of fresh roses, tulips, orchids or any other flowers will certainly bring a smile to her face. If your lady has a sweet tooth she will most definitely like a box of chocolates.

How Do Russians Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

There are no specific Russian/Ukrainian traditions associated with this holiday. Just remember to let your imagination go and make your celebration as romantic and as memorable as you like. Russians love romance. These are just a few suggestions to warm up your imagination:

• Enjoy a homemade candle lit dinner with a glass of good wine

• Cuddle up watching an old romantic movie (preferably in Russian – so you can practice your Russian language skills )

• Go for a romantic walk in the park, or a beach holding hands and sharing your childhood stories

• Reserve a table at a fancy restaurant and surprise your sweetheart

• Write romantic letters to each other

Valentine’s Day Was Banned in Belgorod

Unfortunately, not every city in Russia welcomes Valentine’s Day. Belgorod, a small city in western Russia banned Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago.

Grigory Bolotnov, a spokesman for the governor’s office, stated that celebrating Valentine’s Day is not a Russian tradition and it does not teach good moral values to Russian youth. Belgorod archbishop supported governor’s decision to cancel the holiday.

How to Wish Happy Valentine’s Day in Russian

It might be a great idea for you to wish a Happy Valentine’s Day to your Russian or Ukrainian woman. Here is how to write it in Russian:

С Днём Святого Валентина! [s DNYOM svya-TO-va va-lyen-TEE-na] Happy Valentine’s Day!

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day – only with your loved ones!

Source: Fun Russian

Online dating statistics and interesting facts

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Over the past few years, online dating has increasingly become a more widely accepted way of meeting a future partner and today, as many as one in five relationships are believed to begin online. You will probably be surprised to learn that:

  • Messages on a dating service that used words associated with laughing like ‘haha’ and ‘lol’ have a 17% higher chance of ending in an exchange of phone numbers.
  • You are 56% less likely to get a person’s number if you use the word ‘sorry’ in your opening line when you message someone on a dating service.
  • 61% of adults who have tried online dating agree that it is easier and more efficient than other ways of meeting people.
  • 31% of online daters agree that online dating keeps people from settling down, because they always have options for people to date.
  • 2 spelling errors in a man’s profile will reduce the chances of a response by 14% from a women. Spelling errors by women don’t affect their chances of getting a response.
  • Women receive 17 times as many messages as men on dating services.
  • Men use 21.9% more words than women do in their responses to questions about their dating profile.
  • 33% of online daters have never actually gone a date with someone they met through a dating service.
  • 20% of online daters have had someone for help with their dating profile. 5% of Americans who are in a marriage or committed relationship say they met their significant other online.
  • Generally on a dating service the most attractive men send the most messages.
  • Women are much less likely than men to initiate contact on a dating service.
  • Women are 2.5x more likely than a man to receive a response if they initiate contact.
  • Members of dating services who share photos of themselves laughing have over 3 times more chances of communicating with other members.
  • Your dating profile is judge in part based on the last profile the person saw before yours. If it is more attractive then yours will be considered more attractive.
  • People looking for long-term relationships tend to log into their dating service the most on Tuesdays at 2pm. For younger singles and those looking to hookup the best time to find them online is 9pm.
  • 33% of women and 20% of men retouch photos for their dating profile. Most do slight tweaking like removing blemishes, whiten teeth, and/or change skin tone.
  • 47% of men and 27% of women have encountered a first date who looked nothing like their dating profile image.

Source: Dating Sites Review

New Year’s traditions in Russia

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For many countries, the majority of winter holidays have passed, but this is not the case in Russia!  In fact, Russian New Year’s Eve trumps Christmas in importance, with major celebrations occurring all over the country in recognition of the holiday.

There are actually two New Year’s holidays celebrated in Russia.  The “New” New Year’s celebrations occur as most would expect, on December 31st and January 1st.

Russia’s “Old” New Year is celebrated on January 14th according to the Orthodox calendar. This celebration is the smaller of the two New Year’s holidays and Russians usually spend the day with family.

To celebrate this holiday, many Russians attend concerts or fireworks displays, with the largest located at the Red Square.  On December 31st, most families have a very late dinner including Russian salads, herring, and sparkling wine.  A short presidential address comes on TV at 11:55pm local time in each of Russia’s time zones, and the president reflects on achievements from the last year.  At midnight, the Kremlin Spasskaya Clock Tower chimes and the Russian national anthem begins.  Now is when the festivities really begin! Many Russians spend December 31st with family and only leave the house after midnight to see friends or enjoy New Year’s Eve parties and nightlife.

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The top 10 requirements for a stereotypical Russian New Year

Ded Moroz and Snegurochka

The West may have Santa Claus, but he can hardly compete with “Ded Moroz” (Grandfather Frost) or his granddaughter, “Snegurochka” (the Snow Maiden). Unlike Santa Claus, Ded Moroz is not afraid to show his face and often stops by holiday parties with Snegurochka to deliver presents in person. Ded Moroz maintains his residence near the town of Veliky Ustyug (in the Vologda Region); Snegurochka supposedly resides in Kostroma, on the Volga.

The “yolka”

Christmas trees were banned shortly after the revolution but were reintroduced as the novogodnaya yolka (New Year’s tree) in 1935 as a secular holiday symbol.  Trees tend to be small and are often made of plastic, but they are still symbolic and important gathering symbols for Russians.

Celebrities, Grandfather Frost and steam

Many countries have popular traditional holiday films, but few can match up with the song and steam of the Soviet classic, The Irony of Fate or Have a Nice Bath (1975). Zhenya is engaged and plans on spending his New Year’s Eve with his fiancée. However, he first must go to the sauna, as per tradition with his friends. They all get intoxicated and Zhenya ends up on a plane to Leningrad. He drunkenly tells a taxi driver to take him to Third Builder’s Street, where he lives in Moscow. Remarkably the building looks the same and his key fits. He passes out in the apartment and is awakened by the unsuspecting Nadya. They fall in love, and Russians still can’t get enough of this film. Television shows such as Goluboi Ogonyok (Little Blue Light), Pesnya Goda (Song of the Year; features most top-tier celebrities) and the children’s filmMorozko (Grandfather Frost) are additional holiday staples.

Salads

New Year’s just isn’t New Year’s without the salads. We’re not taking about light green salads either, but mayonnaise-infused and protein-thick works of art. Russians consume 2.5 kilograms of mayonnaise annually and nowhere is it celebrated more than on the holiday table. Olivier salad is usually made with mayonnaise, potatoes, carrots, pickles, green peas, eggs and chicken or bologna. New Year’s literally doesn’t exist if this salad is not on your table. Selyodka pod Shuboi, or “Herring under a Fur Coat” is a layered carnival filled with herring, potatoes, carrots, beets, onions and mayonnaise. The beets give the salad its purplish color.

Mandarin oranges

Supposedly this tradition began back in the reign of Nicholas II. However, it was discontinued for decades due to the Soviet Union’s difficulty in growing or importing them. It was revived around the 1970s and remains a staple on every Russian New Year’s table.

Champagne and caviar

Nothing said “proletarian” in the worker’s paradise more than champagne and caviar. While these items were in shorter supply during the Soviet period, it was then that they became part of the New Year’s tradition. The champagne is usually the “Sovietskoye” variety, available everywhere from Kamchatka to Brighton Beach. The caviar is usually red and served on buttered bread.

A midnight date with Putin

Regardless of their political affiliations, Russians around the world tune in to hear the Russian president offer his wishes for the upcoming year. Once he finishes, the clock tower on Red Square chimes, fireworks burst into the air and the New Year officially begins.

Not leaving the house until AFTER midnight to visit friends and walk around the city

For Russians, New Year’s is a family holiday and celebrations take place with close relatives on the evening of Dec. 31 with traditional toasts to say goodbye to the passing year. Phone calls are made to relatives that live far away. It is only after midnight that people begin the real partying. Many clubs only begin their main events at 00:30 or later.

Fireworks

As one person told me, it isn’t New Year’s if you don’t see the equivalent of a small country’s budget blown up in fireworks. The first New Year’s holiday I spent in Russia, in the industrial city of Tolyatti, involved hours of celebrating at home before going out after midnight with the whole family to see the citizenry declare war on the central square. The fireworks display was intense, loud and bright and is an integral part of any Russian New Year’s holiday.  

New Year’s Eve is just the beginning

Perhaps the best part about Russian New Year’s is that it’s not back to work the next day or even the day after. In 2015 Russians have until Jan. 12 before they have to report back to the office. That’s 11 days to shake off their hangovers.

 
Source: Russia beyond the headlines, Cultural awareness

7 perks of dating Russian girls

The main perks of dating a Russian girl are the same as the advantages of being in a relationship with a gorgeous model who treats you like a king. Who wouldn’t want to do it?

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7 perks of dating Russian girls:

  1. They love being in a relationship. The Russian culture gives a huge value to having a good relationship. For most women, this is the highest value before money, career, or even education. Being in a happy and loving relationship is like winning a lottery for Russian girls.
  2. They cook. Feeding her man is considered a woman’s obligation in Russia. Russians don’t believe in microwavable meals and women still cook for men from natural products. They actually enjoy it!
  3. Russian girls are stunning. Girls from Russia are crazy about their looks. They spend hours daily to look beautiful: skin, hair, makeup. They love wearing pretty dresses and high heels. The type of girls you could be dating look the same. Russian girls dress and look like models from the catwalk in daily life.
  4. They like being feminine. Everything you know about femininity, you will find in girls from the Russian Federation. They are warm and welcoming, gentle and sweet.
  5. They are devoted. Russian women are fully devoted to their partners. If you are dating a Russian girl, she is unlikely to dump you or leave you, because she dreams to become a wife and a mother, which has a very high value in their culture.
  6. They are direct. In their culture, people say what they think without much political correctness. Some people don’t feel comfortable with that but others find it extremely refreshing.
  7. They are resilient. Girls from the former USSR are used to more unstable life and don’t get upset easily. They are used to problem-solving, which is a great quality in a potential partner.

Source: Quora

Communicating with potential partners

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You can meet Russian and Ukrainian women without ever leaving your house. How? Go online! Here is how to be successful with online dating.

Be a gentleman

Being polite and kind to everyone you interact with communicates that you’re a quality person, online and off, who’s worthy of respect and attention. Pay particular attention to these points:

  • Make a polite introduction. If someone messages you, note that you were delighted to receive their message and give out a little more information about yourself. If you message someone, tell her more about yourself and express that you’d love to get to know her.
  • Keep it elegant. Remember, if she wanted to meet a slouchy, rude, abrupt barfly, she would have gone to the bar. Instead, she came to the Internet to meet guys like you, so try to step it up a bit. Don’t ask what she’s wearing or what her figure is like, don’t push for pictures right away, and don’t ask for highly personal specifics at first (such as where she works or her full name). Instead, focus on her personal interests, her goals, and anything you share in common.

Stand out

Most women who use online dating sites get a lot of messages. If you decide to send a lady something, try to make it compelling and different from the rest of what she sees. Ask her a question about her profile, make a tasteful joke, or just be bold and say something like “You’re gorgeous, and you seem fascinating. I’d love nothing more than getting to know you.”

Know how to keep a conversation rolling

So you’ve gotten a nice girl to notice you — now what? How you manage the conversation will determine where the connection goes, but it’s easier than you might think. Here’s how to continue interacting with her:

  • Let her talk about herself. Keep in mind that most people are comfortable talking about themselves, because it’s a topic they know well. Nervousness might tempt you to keep the conversation focused on yourself, but resist. A big part of being a good conversationalist is being a good listener.
  • Ask her questions that are thought-provoking, but not too personal. Asking your potential ladylove what she does for fun on the weekends is perfectly fine; asking her if she’s divorced or had a hysterectomy is not. Though you might learn this information later, now is not the time. Keep your questions focused on things like what she does to relax, where she’s from, where she went to school, what kind of entertainment (books, music, movies, television) she likes, whether she’s an animal-lover, etc.
  • Follow that old adage and steer clear of sex, politics, money and religion. There’s a reason why these are forbidden topics when you’re first getting to know someone.

Always leave her wanting more

Bow out of the chat session before it gets too stale, or don’t be too quick to return her emails. Lowering supply increases demand, and she’ll be more interested if you don’t immediately give everything away. Be interested, but restrained. Let her come to you a little bit.

Express gratitude

Every so often, let the women you’re talking to know how much you appreciate their attention. It doesn’t have to be cheesy — something as simple as “I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you so far” or “Thanks for responding to my message” will suffice.

Handle rejection with grace

If it doesn’t work out, don’t get bitter. Instead, say farewell like a gentleman and wish her all the best. Your polite send-off might cause her to circle back later, at which point you can evaluate if you’re still interested.

Don’t push a date too soon

A woman will automatically read you as creepy and only after her body if you start angling for a date too early. Instead, try to be patient and enjoy this period of getting to know her spirit and mind. If things work out, you’ll have plenty of time later to bask in her physical presence. Allow her to let you know when she’s ready to meet.

Keep your head up You might encounter a lot of rejection online, as everyone does in the real world. Don’t let it get you down, though. The right girl for you is out there somewhere, and maybe you’re meant to appreciate her more after getting turned down by the wrong girl(s). Stay positive!

Source: WikiHow

Safe online dating tips

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With a few simple tips and tricks and a bit of thought you can be dating safely online in no time (source: The Love Queen)!

Don’t take things too quickly.

Exchange at least a couple of messages back and forth on the dating site before giving out your e-mail address, phone number or Skype information. This will give you time to observe your potential date’s social skills. If she seems overly impulsive, you might want to nip things in the bud rather than proceeding any further.  Some people set up a separate disposable e-mail address solely for online suitors. That way, if someone becomes too persistent in their attentions to you, you can just abandon the temporary e-mail address. After the potential object of your affections has displayed the ability to write intelligent e-mails, move on to phone conversations and/or video chat. If you have any reason to suspect that her profile includes a fake or out-of-date photo, the latter means of communication enables you to verify the identity.

Catfishers, fake profiles and scammers.

Internet dating fraud situations most often occur when hundreds or thousands of miles separate the victim and the fake persona created by a con artist so try to avoid long distance people. One way to avoid catfishers is to do a reverse google image search for their profile picture. If you see lots of results coming up you have found something dodgy!

Do a little bit of online detective work.

Companies often review a job candidate’s social media profiles before making a job offer. There’s nothing wrong with something similar before embarking on a romance with the woman you met online. If her Facebook profile reveals she’s still married to the man she describes as an ex, you can bow out before you become “the other man.” If her Twitter timeline includes racist jokes, you can spare yourself future social awkwardness by not pursuing the relationship. Naturally, there are limits to this kind of activity. You don’t want to turn into a stalker. But looking up public information about a potential girlfriend can help you weed out unsuitable candidates for your affection.

Money = red flag.

You may think it can’t happen to you, but everyone who has ever been conned used to think that, too. Most of us can become a bit too trusting when our hearts and/or hormones are on the line. No matter how sincere the person seems, no matter how attractive she appears, head for the door if there’s a story about needing anything more than cabfare. Similarly, be suspicious of anyone who offers you expensive gifts like airfare to a foreign country.

Top 7 tips for online daters

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Internet dating has come a long way. There’s no longer a stigma to finding love online.  The Online Dating Association says it is now the largest single way in which relationships start in the UK.  It definitely works, but to make the most of online dating here are the experts top 7 tips (source: WebMD).

1. Don’t be too choosy

When you are going through the reams of potential partners on the internet – or when you meet them on a date – it’s all too easy to have a shopping list mentality. ‘He’s too short, I don’t like her eyes, or he doesn’t make enough money’.

Try turning down the volume on your inner critic on a superficial front, you may just discover you’re a better judge of character, and are better able to decide if your date is someone that you connect with on a new level.

2. Be honest

It’s tempting to stretch the truth when writing your profile or use a photo from ten years ago. But the advice is not to do it, as your date may be disappointed when you meet in person. Just as your online dating profile should accurately represent who you really are, your dating encounters should be equally as authentic. Don’t pretend to be someone that you’re not in an effort to impress a potential partner. Be genuine, and let your character and charm speak for themselves.

3. Beware of exaggeration

Even if you are honest about yourself, expect a degree of exaggeration from potential partners. They are trying to sell themselves to you so may over egg their attributes and achievements.

They are bound to look better in their profile photo. No-one is going to post a picture of them at their worst. Beware phrases like ‘carrying a few extra pounds’ or ‘cuddly’.  Read between the lines in profiles.

4. Narrow your focus

Online dating can be a real time-saver if you know exactly what you want.  For example, if you definitely don’t want a partner with children, remove that option straight off. Likewise, if it’s important that a date lives in your area you can weed the rest out.

5. Stay safe

Never give out personal information or send money to anyone. Use your first name only and give personal details only when you have got to know each other well. Follow your instincts. If you get a bad vibe, steer clear.

Meet in a public place like a cafe or pub. Tell a friend where you are going and who with and when to expect you back. Make sure you don’t get drunk.

6. Less is more at first

Don’t give too much away too soon. Gradually reveal details about yourself and don’t post photos that are overly sexy.

7. Get ready for rejection

Don’t take a rejection to heart. Just because you didn’t connect with one date, it doesn’t mean it’s your fault. They may want someone who is a different age or lives closer to them.

It works both ways. You may like someone as a person, but feel no romantic connection to them – so feel free to say no to dates that you know won’t work.

 

8 ways dating is like starting your own business

2011 Jesse Knish Photography

If you’ve ever attempted to freelance or start a small business, then you know that only one person is responsible for your successes and/or your failures – you. There are certain things that you need to do. You need to dress well and be presentable. You should be able to converse on a variety of topics. You should also be yourself (source: CoffeeMeetsBagel).

1. You need to be a bit shameless about self promotion

Put yourself out there. You can’t get a date if you don’t talk to people. Don’t count of referrals or your friends to introduce you to amazing people.

2. Distance yourself from the pack

Separate yourself from the rest of the general population. You’ll need to put your uniqueness on display a little bit. If you’re good with your words, use them.

3. Marketing

Do you have skills? What are your interests? Have more going on for you than good looks, spartan abs, and a salary. Have intangibles that let the other person you’re seeing see that there’s long-term potential here.

4. Have vision

You need a business plan. You need a mission statement and this ties into legacy. You need purpose. You can date for the hell of it, or you can be in it to win it. You can crystalize for yourself what your motivations are for dating.

5. You will be rejected often, get used to it

Be secure in who you are and what you have to offer. Know that they who just outright rejected you never gave you a chance and have missed out. So what if no one has clicked ‘Like’ for you in a month? You wouldn’t be moping around because some company won’t grant you an interview, right? You just move on to the next one.

6. You will fail often, get used to it

No one ever went very far in life in any pursuit without failing. It’s about bouncing back and recovering from the experience.

7. You won’t be wildly successful right away

If you’re in it to win it, it means you’re willing to accept the wait. Great friendships don’t happen overnight and neither do great romantic relationships that lead to marriage. If you’re doing dating and online dating right, it’s really hard work to get there and you need to keep doing the hard work to stay there.

8. Performance review

You need to objectively evaluate how you’re doing with the various types of women you’re going out with. Do you notice trends? Is there a pattern with the kind of women you’re going out with and is the outcome of all those dates unbelievably predictable? Be in the moment and be aware of what he/she does in response to what you say and do. Be objective and not overly critical of yourself! The right person will like you for you!

Classification of Russian women

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Generally, the women who decide to find a foreign husband can be very different and can have completely different motivations. Some women are sincerely looking for a partner to create a family together, some women just want to have fun, others want to make money. So, the following classification might be helpful (source:WayToRussia) :

“Family-Oriented” woman is looking for a sincere relationship and wants to create a real stable family with a husband who will love her, understand her, and care about her. Usually, she’s about 25 to 50 years old. She would like to have a safe enviroment for her family and – partially – this makes her look for the future husband abroad, because it is considered that a foreigner can have a much more stable situation (socially and financially), than a Russian. She does not necessarily want to leave their home country, usually, the main criteria is well-being of the future family, for which the place is not so important.

“Russian Lover” woman is not family oriented, but she’s open and she wants to have nice time and to find an interesting man to spend time with. It doesn’t matter if he’s a foreigner or not, the main thing is that he’s pretty, charming, and interesting to talk with. A man might have a lot of nice time with such a woman, and perhaps, it would be an ideal introduction for an interesting relationship, that could maybe grow into something more serious in the future… The only problem is that this kind of women do not usually look for a husband deliberately.

“Russian Blonde” woman is a special kind of woman.  When she was a young pretty woman, she met a handsome “new Russian” with a lot of money, and fell in love with him and with the ambiance of success around him. She got used to indulge all her needs and to get what she wanted. However, their “new Russian” man was letting himself too much: having so much money, power, and charisma, he was getting with many other women. At one moment, the “blonde” had enough of being just “one of many”, and broke the relationship with her rich friend. However, such a “beautiful girl” shouldn’t be alone, so she’s settled to find a worthy substitute to her old friend, who will worship only her, and will let her indulge into her old habits.  She will most likely not want to leave Russia, because it is very important for her to be able to show the new husband to her girlfriends and to be seen.

“Russophobiac” woman despises Russia and Russians, so her main goal is to emigrate. Usually, her first and main condition is to be able to live abroad, and deep inside she doesn’t care about the relationship. If necessary, she will be a slave to her future husband, only to be able to leave Russia.

“Money Maker” is a dangerous type. Her main goal is to make money, so a long-term relationship is not on her agenda. The most important is to get a regular allowance from the future husband. Usually, this kind of people come from poor families and are not able to do anything by themselves. However, some of them are just “players”: they get pleasure in sucking out the money, and then dissappearing. There were a lot of cases, when a woman like this would engage into writing over the internet with a foreign man, and then at one moment ask some money to buy a plane ticket to be able to meet. So, a naive “husband” would send his “future wife” a check for $1000 US and never hear about her again…