If you walk down any Parisian boulevard and inadvertently stumble across a movie theater, you will, without a doubt, see a poster for Gaspar Noé’s Love, yet another explicit French “love story” meant to celebrate mildly disturbing sexual encounters between barely post-pubescent pretty young things. This time, the French had truly outdone themselves, throwing a 3D component, a transsexual encounter, and a threesome into the mix.
Of all the things that confuse French people about Americans (noise levels, portion sizes, sweatpants in public . . . the list goes on), the biggest culture shock definitely lies in the phenomenon of the big fat American wedding. I’m always entertained watching my French colleagues devour Facebook albums of me in a parade of bridesmaid dresses and coiffed updos, mocking my resemblance to the seven girls by my side, all looking like “les meringues.”
Read more HERE!
While it may seem that I have gone completely mum on this blog regarding all things personal, I can reassure you that its for a pretty decent cause. While details must remain more classified than NSA affairs pre-Snowden, I have effectively managed to gather some valuable insight on slippery slope that is Level II dating, starting with a few faux pas that will send a man running for the hills faster than El Chapo. Feel free to apply selectively, or ignore altogether!
My newfound obsession with Japan knows no limits. From the schizoid robot shows, to the ancient temples, to the food (the food!) to samurai practice in the middle of parks and entire streets dedicated to the most bizarre Japanese animé, the juxtaposition of the weird and the beautiful and the chaotic rings so close to my inner turmoil that I cannot help but feel a mysterious kinship with this culture. And so, I decided to investigate further and see if the Japanese dating scene held any gems that we could apply to our own lives, basing my research on a combination of articles, readers advice, and the conversations I had with a few people I met there. Here is what I found.
In case you haven’t been following my mess of an Instagram feed, I recently spent 10 days in Japan, unveiling a world so far removed from the Western hemisphere that it would be take me days of waxing poetic lyrics to depict all my observations. As a key takeaway, however, comes an innate admiration for the impeccable etiquette of this country’s inhabitants, a phenomena reflected in each mutually respective interaction. While I was wary to investigate the dating scene, this particular dissonance with the Western world inadvertently triggered me to reflect on the etiquette of dating, a rapidly demising concept within itself. Additionally, I was traveling with two Latin-American boys who had zero romantic interest in me, and yet were brought up to treat women in a way that made me feel like (insert eye roll) a princess, at least as much of a princess as one can be in a never-ending chain of bullet trains and Capsule hotels. Combined with my Russian upbringing, which evokes a similar set of courtesy codes that I struggle to find elsewhere, I am left questioning whether a certain lack of chivalry is an issue particularly pertinent to the European and American cultures, perhaps a downside to the fight for gender equality?
Ever since moving to Europe three years ago, and particularly since launching this male-objectifying exercise of a blog, I have been repeatedly advised – no, instructed – to go to Scandinavia. I’m talking about friends, coworkers, readers, you name it, all promising me some sort of cathartic experience in the land of herring and Ikea, complete with the discovery of my own 7-foot tall Bjorn Ironside with superpowers in the sack.