From Russia with Love (Part 1): Siberian Romance in Sochi

Michael and Liza are a pair of couple who came from Siberia before Sochi.

They seem the happiest couple I have ever met. It has been 10 years of their journey from romance to marriage, from Siberia to Sochi and from the frozen land to the black sea city.

The first time I met the happy couple was at a cocktail party.

She introduced me her husband, and he told me that He wasn’t from Siberia. But he met her when they both studied in Siberia, and then he fell in love with her. He called it “love at first sight”.

During our conversation, he kept looking at his wife. “She’s beautiful, isn’t she?” He was the first man I knew who talked about his fascination of his wife despite 10 years relationship. “You know, we won’t settle down in Sochi but it is the gateway to our future.”

“Where do you want to go?” I asked the happy couple.

Spain? The Netherlands? Canada? Wherever I named, they seemed already have a plan to visit. They appeared so different from other Russians I met. They never described their plan in a practical and concrete way, but they visualized the future that they sought to pursue.

She once shared her interest in foreign literature with me. We discussed Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and Rudyard Kipling’s If. I asked her what made her and her husband so free, not just about the freedom at physical sense, but also the openness to different possibilities in life, and that mentality might lead them to anywhere in Russia or even the wider world.

As she put it nicely: “It could be because of good education, and yet, on top of that, only our free will matters most.”

I am not sure where the happy couple will settle down someday. One thing for sure, though; they will remain a free and happy couple.


About Brian Yeung

Growing up in Hong Kong, pearl of the orient, I have been exposed to many cultures throughout my upbringing, from Sushi to British Top Talents and Tetris. And yet, after my stay in Europe, Russia and Southeast Asia for study and work, I realise a lot of cultural perception and presentation are just myths and stereotypes. Exploring the real accent of a particular country and its culture becomes my agenda of traveling. I value travel as a way to discover the diversity of life choices. After all, life is just the consequence of our many life choices; the one who is aware of its diversity is the luckiest person alive.

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