Nadya and Lyuba. My hostesses in Perm wanted to see pictures of my housemates. I showed them G first on Facebook and gave them the stats: Doctor, mid-30s, caring and a good cook. Nadya jumped at him. Next I showed them A, and explained that he works in marketing and is doing a master’s degree. Late-20s. Lyuba was into his looks and profession (she herself is an ad writer) and so it was decided: G+N, A+L. Russian brides.
Katya. She insists she loved him for him and not the immigration status. But no matter, because she was just jilted days before her wedding by her German fiance. When I showed up at her house in Irkutsk, I found her chain smoking and in the process of deleting her Facebook account, swearing in a Russian-German-English creole unintelligible to me. When they Skyped later in the night, she said “So what we know each other six months? We love, we marry. I move to Germany.” After she hung up the phone, she opened her closet and showed me her wedding dress, with matching shoes and purse, still hanging in plastic.