Its very odd talking to the Russian students and my hoz, they have very different views on things. In particular I have noticed a very old fashioned perception of women. They are expected to be beautiful, marry young, look after their husbands (in a very old fashioned sense) and have children. And that is about as far as expectations of them go.

The girls my age tend to wear high heels, tight jeans or short skirts and tons of make-up. In the night clubs they sit at the edges, tossing their hair in an attempt to attract men. According to our teacher, and this as far as evidence goes, there is a shortage of men in Yaroslavl, therefore the women will settle for a drunk (as many of the men here are) because “at least you can understand them, unlike drug addicts”. There is actually a programme on television called “let’s get married” on which beautiful young Russian girls give out details about themselves and a phone number, hoping that an eligible bachelor will call. At around 25 the women are past their prime and are considered old spinsters, my hostess asked me why I am not married! The average age to have children here is 16-20! There is such a low birth rate in Yaroslavl that the state actually promote this by providing young families with money- the younger they have children the more they can have I suppose.

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