Twice a year, thousands of nubile, Russian coeds concentrate into train cars and migrate from the far corners of the former USSR to attend universities in the major cities.
They’re all in the same state of mind – excited to finally escape their boring villages and the watchful eyes of their parents. If you are traveling or living in Russia, this is a particularly excellent time to meet a Slavic beauty.
However, this isn’t a cafe or nightclub. A Russian train car is a unique environment and success depends on having the right approach.
- How I stayed hydrated on the train…and everywhere else I travel!
No cell service
This is the most significant advantage of the train car environment compared to normal life.
Cell service is non-existent between train stations. When the train does cross a town, you only get five minutes of shitty service before the next blackout.
Without distracting social media there are prolonged periods for natural human interaction without anti-social, smartphone interference.
During the cellular blackouts – the increased eye contact and reception to conversation you will receive from girls – is noticeable. They’re bored!
Even better, there are only two or three power outlets per train car. On trips longer than 6 or 7 hours, peoples phones start to die – mitigating even offline phone distraction!
The best time of year
Russian universities all follow the same schedule:
Fall Semester: 1 September – 30 December
Spring Semester: 1 February – 31 May
This means that you will experience peak concentration in the two weeks leading up to each semester.
Most girls don’t attend a university that is farther than a two day train ride from their home. (And if they did, they might fly.) Ideally, time your travel such that you are on a two-day stretch of tracks that goes towards a large city like Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, etc.
Naturally, the trains are also full of students at the ends of the semesters. However, at these times girls are dispersing to the villages instead of concentrating in the cities. This makes follow up dates logistically difficult, so use this time as an opportunity to get some contacts for next semester. This is especially applicable before winter break, as it only lasts one month.
What it’s like on a Russian train
Understanding the train car environment is necessary to make the most of your time. All train cars in Russia are “sleeper” cars. They have sleeping cots that fold into bench seats during the day. There are three classes.
- The apex of underwear technology
- Keep your boys fresh and ready to go
3rd class cars:
These are the cheapest tickets and where you will find 80% of attractive Russian girls. These are simple accommodations, cots on each side and a narrow corridor.
In the summer, it gets quite hot inside. In addition to the bare-chested men, girls will go bra-less and wear light pajama shorts or transparent yoga pants. (I actually have a contact in my phone called “Elena – train – no bra.”)
2nd class cars:
These cars are divided into cabins that each have four bunks. When not sleeping, you use the bottom two bunks as benches and all four occupants share a small table in the middle.
The center table is often the focal point of a little Russian style party – even between strangers – where passengers in the cabin bring out various foods and share while socializing.
If your cabin isn’t completely full, and the other occupants are fun and social, you could bring a girl over to hangout, play cards, etc. and it wouldn’t be out of place.
There could be times when you don’t have any cabin mates. Although these cabins do have a door, just remember that new passengers get on at every stop.
- Buy for life quality
- Ideally sized
These cabins are similar to 2nd class except they have two beds instead of four.
If you have the funds and desire, you could purchase the tickets for both spots in the cabin. This is the only way to ensure that you have a place on the train where intimacy could occur.
The Restaurant Car
Every train has a restaurant car. When you walk in, you’ll feel as if you stepped directly into the 1950’s Soviet Union. There are tables on both sides next to large windows. It is the perfect place to have a drink and watch the passing landscape.
The restaurant car is the perfect (and only) venue change option you have when you are talking to a girl. It gives you a place to go and an activity to do together to help build a connection. It’s perfect on several levels.
1. There is nothing else to do – no good reason for her to say “no” unless she flat out isn’t interested. (Note: Only invite her to get tea or a snack. The meals are expensive and by only mentioning tea, you’ll ameliorate any concerns she has about money.)
2. Getting to the restaurant car is a small adventure. You have to pass through crowded train cars to reach the restaurant. The train is always swaying and jostling. When crossing between cars you must step through two hatches, and cross a dark and noisy connection platform.
3. There are many small opportunities in this journey to give her your hand for help, open heavy doors for her, guide her through openings, etc. You will see lots of funny people and things as you pass through the cars, giving you some topics to talk about.
The car entrance and connection platform
The car entrance is like a tiny lobby. There is standing room for a few people and a windowed door on each side. There aren’t many people moving through the cars, so this is a casual, semi-private place to talk that won’t disturb sleeping passengers.
The connection platform is how you actually cross between two cars. The floor consists of metal plates that slide under your feet. It is dark and noisy inside. You feel a bit like Indiana Jones when stepping across.
Approaching Girls – Keep it Casual
The train car simplifies the social dynamic compared to a place like a nightclub or bar. There is only one way to initiate conversation with a girl in this crowded environment – normal, innocent conversation.
If you see a girl you like, the easiest way to get started is to ask an innocuous question such as:
Which direction is the restaurant car? How many cars down?
Is the food good in the restaurant car?
What is the name of the city/landmark the train is passing?
Can you watch my bag while I go to the bathroom?
Ask about the book she is reading.
Ask if she has a battery bank and you can charge your phone a little.
As a foreigner, you have a great advantage in that there is automatically something interesting about you and it is understandable that you might have a stupid question. There aren’t many tourists or expats in Russia.
After initiating the conversation with a question, you can start some small talk and gauge if her English ability is at a sufficient level to maintain a conversation.
Russian girls can be cold at first. It will be up to you to keep the initial small talk alive. Keep a casual posture – there is no reason to rush on the train. Here are some examples of how to keep the conversation going beyond the opening question:
I’ve been on the train x days, it feels good to walk around.
What is the longest you’ve ever ridden the train?
I really like Russian trains, this is my first time on one.
Where I’m from, we don’t have trains.
Bringing up that you like Russian trains is a good line because Russian girls almost always say they dislike it. Then you can act surprised and ask why she doesn’t like and tell why you do.
Don’t volunteer where you are from. It is useful to hint at it with the “Where I’m from…” line, but don’t outright say it. Wait for her to ask. If she doesn’t have that baseline of curiosity/effort to ask such an obvious question, then she probably isn’t interested in talking.
Directly flirtatious lines such as, “You are so beautiful, what is your name?” aren’t really appropriate in a crowded train car.
The goal is simply to make a connection through small talk. Since you are on a long train ride together, you may have a lot of time to hangout such as having tea in the restaurant car, looking at photos on your phones, or playing cards. If this goes well, you can get her contact info and set up a meeting in the destination city.
Your Demeanor and Aesthetic
Calm, confident, and masculine is what works in Russia. Don’t draw a lot of attention to yourself or act clownish. This isn’t a laid back place like Thailand where backpackers can goof off everywhere. Girls won’t look at you as fun and outgoing, they’ll think you’re an idiot.
Slow down. Speaking slowly will help her understand your English or non-native Russian.
Be mindful of your style and appearance. Russian girls place a high value on this. Although Russians dress very casually on long train trips you shouldn’t go overboard. At a minimum have decent shoes, jeans, and a good shirt. While you wouldn’t be out of place wearing an Adidas track suit, it wouldn’t be doing you any favors in the female department.
The popular Russian aesthetic for men is clean cut. An unruly beard or unkempt hair will do you no favors.
Have a good Instagram and VK profile
Every girl in Russia is obsessed with Instagram. VK is the Russian equivalent of Facebook and is also popular. Whats App is the most common messaging app. You should have accounts on all three of these services.
I recommend having pictures on you Instagram and VK account that portray the type of guy you are. If you’re talking to a girl it is an easy go-to to show her pictures from a trip. Then it’s natural to add each other on Instagram. Now you’ll have a way to contact her later.
Another playful way to get her contact info is to tell her, “I just made a VK account and don’t have many friends. Will you be my 3rd friend?” This works because foreigners have no reason to have a VK account until they visit Russia.
Have a set of playing cards
This sounds old school…..but Russian trains ARE old school. When Igor and I were traveling across Siberia, I went to the bathroom and came back to find him playing cards with two young girls (one of which was the most beautiful I have ever seen in my life). In case you didn’t know, Igor is a player.
This was a lot of fun and made us all quick friends. Soon we were all exchanging contact info in case we passed through their cities on our return trip.
Having a game to play was great for me because it was a way to have fun despite my poor Russian language ability.
Download offline translation files
You can’t rely on an internet connection on Russian trains. If you need Google translate to assist you in communicating, download the offline translation files before you depart.
You’ll likely have several cuties in your train car at any given time. The odds are just so good in Russia. However, if you don’t, you’re free to walk through the other cars. While people don’t usually move around much, going to the restaurant car is a good excuse.
As you walk through the isles be ready with something to say so that you don’t hesitate and make eye contact multiple times before your approach. Otherwise, she will not believe your indirect approach. Russians are very observant. If you are clearly hunting, as if prowling around a nightclub, people will notice.
Keep an eye out the window at every station. New people are getting on and off all the time.
Do you need to speak Russian?
I estimate that about 20% of young Russians can speak English well enough for basic communication. Perhaps 30% in a major city.
However, most Russians that can communicate in English are insecure about their ability. If you immediately ask them, “Do you speak English?” the majority will reflexively say no – simply out of surprise and low confidence. If 20% can speak basic English, only 2% will respond “Yes.”
For this reason, I recommend knowing a dozen or so phrases in Russian. If you begin speaking to a girl in Russian, it will not shock her like immediately opening in English does. As she hears your accent, she will realize you are not a native and mentally prepare to use her English. If she can communicate in English, she is much more likely to respond “Yes” if you ease her into it by beginning in your stumbling Russian.
Of course, opening with Russian and transitioning to English only works if she actually paid attention in her English classes. Sadly, the most beautiful girls almost never speak English. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve met angelically beautiful girls that can’t speak a word of English – very frustrating.
In conclusion. Traveling to Russia without first learning a few phrases is a massive handicap. Your success will depend on the luck of meeting the rare fluent girl. If you possess a few lines that can get a conversation started, you will find many girls that speak English well enough to get know each other and have a good time. Being conversational in Russian opens up a universe of the most beautiful and high quality girls.
- The phrasebook I recommend.
Sex on a Russian Train?
What should this be called? “The Trans-Siberian Club?”
Is a one night stand possible? Yes, I think it is possible. However, it would require luck and a specific set of circumstances.
For starters, you’d need to have an entire 1st class cabin to yourself. So you must buy tickets for both beds in the cabin ahead of time. This is the only situation where you would have the privacy for intimacy. It’s a lot of money for a long-shot, but hey, not everyone is poor.
Second, you have to find the certain kind of girl that would go for such a thing and you have to be the kind of guy that a Russian girl would throw herself at.
In general, Russian girls are slower to get into bed than Western girls. However, if she is on the fast side and you are a high value guy and the train trip is long, I can see talking leading to dinner, leading to hanging out in your cabin, leading to….
A girl could definitely get caught up in the excitement of such a wild encounter.
Hell, she might do it just for the chance to get an Instagram selfie in first class cabin…