Touring Through The Ukraine, Looking For A Bride

My buddy John is an odd guy. Extremely attractive, charming, well-groomed and well-off, he met his bride when doing a search on the internet using the key words “Black Christian Virgin”. He found a page, put up by the girl’s own brother, where his future wife solicited from Ghana for a wealthy American husband. He then paid a dowry for her, and they were married. Over the last few years, he’s funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars into Ghana as a result, usually with no actual return, only photographs of the bus service he owns, or the mansion that’s been built by the family for him there.

I’ve never quite understood him, who is objectively speaking so much more marryable than I am, but still felt compelled to actually shop for one. In fact, I don’t understand any of the men who go for mail-order brides. But they’re out there, and if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to shop for a woman like a car, Harper’s has a fascinating first-hand account from a journalist who toured through the Ukraine with a tour company called ‘A Foreign Affair’ that tries to hook-up American tourists with foreign brides.

As you’d expect, it’s a seedy, desperate affair in which women utterly desperate to escape a hell hole of a country demean themselves for lonely or misanthropic men with no other romantic prospects. It’s a sad but engrossing look on an industry that preys upon two-sided desperation.

A Foreign Affair [Harper’s]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Paul D says:



    Ukraine not hellhole!
    ‘Tis the home of my ancestors. I demand satisfaction sir! :)

    PS: a dowry is usually given by the bride to the groom

  2. Paul D says:

    Actually, whenever my dad goes back to the “old country” he goes on and
    on about the women. Especially post-cold-war; now they have Western
    fashion, makeup, musical tastes, sexual um…proclivities, etc. He
    half-jokingly suggests I go with him next time and find myself a new

    Thanks dad. I have a wife. And scruples.

  3. “Do you know what the Ukraine is? It’s a sitting duck. A road apple, Newman. The Ukraine is weak. It’s feeble. I think it’s time to put the hurt on the Ukraine.”

  4. Paul D says:

    Andrew W

    ‘zackly. :)

  5. Ran Kailie says:

    Good to know that what is essentially slavery is still alive and well and legal in some places. I always found the idea of mail order brides to be perverse, yeah they can escape a country with no prospects, but god knows what their new husband’s intents actually are. Beyond that entering a country where they may not speak the language and will be a virtual slave in.

    And nevermind the flip side where the woman cons the man out of everything he owns.

  6. Pelagius says:

    Another consequence of this trade: Getting a spousal visa for a genuine relationship takes longer and is a more intrusive process.

  7. Erzengel says:

    But of course slavery is still legal!!! Havent you seen the AOL retention manual on this very same site?

  8. etinterrapax says:

    Without wanting to impugn the legitimate arguments about the way we generally do things here, I’m suspicious of any man who has to literally buy a wife. If he hasn’t got the stamina and cunning to meet and charm some woman here, he’s ill-equipped for the gauntlet of marriage. Or maybe I’ve just seen too many episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Either way.

  9. Smoking Pope says:

    From two reputable sources, I heard Russian brides work out like this:

    * You meet several brides, select the one you like the most.

    * You pay tons of money to arrange everything and get her stateside.

    * Once you get her stateside, burly Russian “friends” begin dropping by. These become increasingly hostile until at last they decide to “rescue” the bride from her husband.

    * Divorce papers are filed, and a nasty court battle begins to separate the ex-husband from half his belongings.

    Not saying that’s always the case, but I’ve heard it a lot, and two times from people who were close to the situation.

  10. Ben Popken says:

    Gary writes:

    ” I am married to a woman from the Ukraine. Though the process of bringing her and her daughter to the US was somewhat lengthy (about 9 months) and cost a few bucks, it has been worth it. She brought with her “old world” values and a natural way to live, not dependant so much on curing ailments with chemicals but with what nature provides. We have produced 3 boys and though we do have “discussions” we love each other very much.”