The arrangements made cover a range since personal preferences vary. our agency provided (a) socials where eligible Russian women, with requests for specific individuals honored if possible, (b) semi-private group encounters, which is really quite good. (c) arranged personal meetings with specific persons (some women find the socials uncomfortable and prefer to meet privately), (d) assistance with one's own arrangements to meet individuals outside any introduction by our agency. With respect to our agency, so far as I could determine, and there was one fellow in my tour who was quite systematic, they are among the top agencies and the choice seems to be more influenced by personal intangibles such as wanting to meet a woman who lives in a major cultural center and so on. The chaps on my trip were all upper middle class with a genuine interest in meeting someone. The women were generally university educated and attractive with a genuine interest in marriage. It might help to bring photographs of one's house, neighborhood, and city. The reason is that the system in Russia generally had everyone living in apartments which were poorly maintained so it was sometimes helpful to have something like that to show the differences in lifestyle. A similar provision applies to personal automobiles which are rare in Russia as a result of an emphasis on public transit. I don't know what article our agency is referring to so I cannot comment on that. There was one article on such agencies in the International Herald Tribune (Natasha meets Joe) that I read while in St. Petersburg. My best general comment is that many such articles are the result of the current fad of being politically correct at the expense of candor, honesty, dealing with the hard truths of life. I mention candor and honesty since that, plus treating the women you meet with the full dignity and respect accorded by traditional families in the West, is appealing to these women.
Yours very truly,
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