I had tried the whole blind date thing, friends of friends, on-line, and while I had mostly posative experiences I finally decided that maybe the love of my life was not on this continent.
Anna and I met on an international dating site and from the start I could tell we had much in common. We were both cautiously optomistic. We were both very practical and both very open and honest. From the start we discussed important topics, such as family (we both have very supportive and loving families), religion, and politics.
As the months went on and we learned more about one another we eventually started chatting via ICQ. Then there was a turning point where I asked Anna if I could come visit her and she was unsure at first, she explained that before she would agree to my visiting she had to be sure that there was a chance that she would be willing to make such a big change in her life. About a week later she agreed that it was time that I come visit her.
Flash forward to my trip to Saratov, I am walking in a crowd of people, we just disembarked from the plane it was 10:30 in the evening and the crowd is walking between two buildings towards the building that has our luggage. We catch a glimpse of one another between the bobbing heads of the weary travelers, we both smile. She is more beautiful in person and I thought her pictures were quite lovely. Anna and her brother-in-law get me to my hotel and let me sleep. The next 9 days are the most happy of my life, her family seems familar to me as if they could be the Russian mirror of my family. Anna says they like me, despite the fact that I hate that I was unable to learn any Russian (I think I am challenged when it comes to languages). They take pitty on me, we talk about politics and family. The conversation convinces me that families are the same all the world over and her mother says the same thing.