Thursday, July 16, 2009

russian brides in australia
















A growing number of Australian men are turning to Russian women for relationships and marriage.




Perth Airport, 6am. Elena Polyanskaya walks through the arrivals gate wearing dark jeans and a pale blue top, her fine, blonde hair cut boyishly short.

She is exhausted after a 54-hour journey from her Russian hometown of Nizhny Novgorod, but the moment Richard Bosward sees her, he decides she is beautiful. Her eyes are wider and brighter than in the photos she had sent him and, when she sees him, she grins broadly. Then for a moment, things are awkward. Do they kiss? On the lips? On the cheek?

On the way home, Polyanskaya asks Bosward to take her to the beach. As they drive they talk about the emails they have been sending each other and the awkwardness slowly ebbs.

It is just six weeks since Bosward first tapped "Russian brides" into his computer and paid $100 to Elena Russian Models, an internet site that listed Polyanskaya's email address.

"I'm too old for this," he remembers thinking as he clicked on photos of smiling women with exotic names such as Natalia and Olga and Elena. But he was lonely, his life felt incomplete, and none of the Australian women he dated was prepared to commit herself to a more permanent relationship.

"I'm an accountant, 53-years-old, five feet ten inches, 96 kilos, good health, Australian born," he typed. "I live in Perth near the beach, have a degree in commerce, a son and a daughter. I've been divorced 10 years and I want to start again. Please let me know if you want to talk to me."

"Wow. I have a letter from Australian man," replied Polyanskaya, a 37-year-old accountant and divorced mother of two. "You cannot image how much I am glad. Good morning. Send us a picture. I like your first message. Keep writing."

Two days later, on Valentine's Day 2002, Bosward sent Polyanskaya a bunch of red roses and offered to buy her a flight to Australia. He had read plenty of stories warning about internet scammers, so he knew that acting so hastily wasn't smart. But it felt like the right thing to do and he reasoned it would be worth the airfare just to find out for sure if they had a future together.

"We both knew we were looking for partners," he says. "There's a coldness about that but there's an efficiency at the same time. If the two intellects fit, you're most of the way there. You just have to see if there is a physical attraction."

Polyanskaya stayed in Perth for 10 days and at four o'clock one morning they both woke and Bosward asked her to marry him.

She paused "I hadn't had time to think" but she said yes.


"In Russia, nobody asked me to marry them," says Polyanskaya today. "People wanted to meet me, maybe go out. But there weren't any serious offers. I didn't like this. I'm family oriented. I prefer to live with a husband and children."

Polyanskaya flew home, quit her job, and enrolled in a full-time course in English, along with her 16-year-old daughter Genya and her son Vasily, 12. The couple was married at Bosward's home on September 28. It was a perfect sunny Perth day. The icing on the wedding cake depicted the Russian and Australian flags.

"Since marrying Lena, we've gotten to know four or five other Australian/Russian couples guys pretty much my age, who've been married before and have found it very hard to get any Australian woman to marry us," says Bosward.

"I don't believe it is any reflection on us. I don't have two heads. I just think some Australian women have a hang up. They like to have a man, but, at a distance, a sort of three-quarters-time guy."