|Something to bear in mind:
Often marriage agencies try to foist their services upon you: apartments, interpreters, drivers, etc. It's understandable: they try to make as much money as possible out of your visit. But you don't want to depend on the agencies. There are good agencies and bad agencies, but 100% honest marriage agencies are very rare. How do I know that? Because I've been working in this field for many years and I know the seamy side of the marriage agencies business. Actually, I have had encounters with dishonest marriage agencies in almost all of my trips.
Here I will give you an example, so you could imagine what you could expect if you decide to rely on a marriage agency. One of my American clients corresponded with a lady from Kishinev (in Moldova) through some local marriage agency, which at the same time is an affiliate of another big American introduction agency, and they post their ladies to that big agency's website. My client decided to use my services as driver and translator, but he asked the agency to arrange accommodation in Kishinev. They promised to arrange a nice two-bedroom apartment at $50 per night. However, when we arrived, it was about 7 p.m., we were tired, and they brought us to the apartment and said that we must pay $80 per night for three nights in advance. In fact, the apartment turned out to be a one-bedroom apartment. In the living room, there was a worn-out couch with no bedding. So I suggested that my client pay for one night only, and the next day I would find something more convenient and not so expensive. We managed to convince the agency representative - a lady who spoke fluent English - to accept the payment for one night only. It took about a half an hour of arguing with her, letting her call her agency, then arguing again, etc. When she was finally gone, we took our luggage from the car and brought it to the apartment. Then we decided to wash our hands for a start. And guess what? There was no water in the tap! Neither hot, nor cold, nothing! My client was very upset. I called the agency and asked them to come back and bring the money back because we didn't wish to stay at that apartment any longer. I got a local newspaper and began calling the numbers that were advertised for the apartments for rent in Kishinev. Perhaps in fifteen minutes I found an apartment that sounded much better and was only $50 per night. So after waiting about 1,5 hours, we finally got the money back and drove to the apartment that I found. It turned out to be a luxury apartment in the very city center and the price was fair. My client was happy and admitted that I saved him that night. Later on, when he met a lady he corresponded with through that marriage agency, we found out that the same marriage agency had forged the correspondence between them. In the letters, he suggested that she comes to meet him in Odessa instead of him coming to Kishinev. And she wrote that since she has never been to Odessa, she would be happy to go there. However, the agency changed her letter as follows: since she has never been to Odessa, she doesn't know that city and that is why she would prefer him coming to Kishinev. The agency wanted him to come to Kishinev so they could warm their hands in his pockets. They didn't know and didn't expect that he would arrive not alone, but with his guide and interpreter. They were very angry with me because I prevented them from doing their shady business.
Furthermore, if you use the marriage agency translation and interpreting services you should bear in mind that, even if they are not a scam, they try to improve or correct what a lady has written or said, and often even add something from themselves. You ask why? At first because they want you to come, and when you eventually come, they want you to become engaged with their lady-client, so you would keep on spending money on correspondence with her, sending her flowers and gifts, paying for her English classes, etc. And the money you spend in vain is not the most important thing here: it's nothing in comparison with your wasted time, hurt feelings and false hopes if eventually you find out that she is not the right woman for you.
Please note, as a translator and interpreter I'm always on your side, I always try my best to translate exactly what is said, because I have neither trait in my character nor reason to swindle you. As for a place to stay, I will get an apartment or hotel for you at the honest rate, the same that locals would pay, while the agencies usually double the price for foreigners.
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