My dear Amanda/Maria/Masha apparently doesn't take "no thanks" for an answer. It was only two days later that she sent me this message:
Hi Dave. I'm sorry that I did not answered fast but I thought your reply will be not so fast also. Please tell me do you want to exchange emails often? Everyday? I could email you everyday and tell you more about me. I hope you will tell me about your life and your country also so I want to tell you that if you will write me short notes or few words I want to forestall you Dave that I will appraise your short email as you do not interested. Please be honest with me, please be open and if you feel that you don't want to email me and you are not interested please tell me this thing in this minute when you think about it, ok? I will not take displeasure because it's your choice but I will be very glad if we will continue our talking. I hope your emails will tell me about your life and it will not be short. I want you to know that I hate a lie or an affectation so please no any games or tricks because I'm really serious girl and I'm not looking for senseless chatting, I'm medic and I'm really want to find friend or more because I will come in your country. I know that there are many bad people in this world especially in internet because they believe in their impunity because nobody can't see them. I know that there are many spam and autoemailers in internet so I'm careful. I believe you know about this things. I'm real girl and believe you are real as well and your emails to me will not consist of few words. I've read that there are many criminal persons in internet also, they thieve money, asking for help, sell fakes. I've read in newspaper about this things. The governments of many countries catch this kind of people and put them in jail. I really can't understand why people can't work and earn good money in this world. I hope I will because I'm going to work in country where my speciality valued more than here in russia. I told you that I will come for living and working in my previous email. I know that the people usually live in city or in the country. It's interesting to live in the city but living in the country is more peaceful, so I don't know where is better in your country, please tell me? I will have all papers for it because my education is over and I decided to build my future in good country with good wages. Dave, what do you think about it? I have selection for coming in united states or canada, I have selection in states also. I don't know where I will work but I can choose it. The salary will be approximately the same so I don't know where to come. If we will be more close in future maybe I could come in your city or near your city and we could have possibility to meet, who knows but I guess it's real thing. I don't know anyone from your country and I havn't anyone from my family there so your advises will be very actual for me. I don't know where I will live but I'm sure I will decide. I don't know the date of my trip now because I'm waiting for papers. I will get the visa and many other papers soon and I guess my trip will be after few weeks. It will be great! There are many employers for good specialists in your country and there are many companies which allow to live and work in your country. It's the business and the ability for good living for people all over the world. I'm professional anesthetist and I will use this chance because I want to live. I know that many people all over the world take this way so I will also. So I can live in the place where employers can give me my work. And there are many places in your country. I will choose the place after few weeks and will come for living and working. Now I want to tell you more about me. I'm 28 years old and my birthday is 10 August, so I will be 29 in this year. My height is 168 centimetres it's about 5'6' and my weight is 55 kilograms it's about 121 pounds. My father dead 3 years ago because of cancer, his name was Andrey (my middle name is Andreevna) and he was 59. My mother's name is Svetlana and she is 58. She support me in my choice and she is very good woman! I love my mother. I loved my father. I do believe in God. I'm Christian, russian orthodox. I havу no brothers and sisters, I'm the only child in our family. I'm living in Yarega town. It's in Komi region. I attached the map so you can see where is it. I'll attach a new picture of me in my next letter. Actually my pictures were taken by my girlfriends and I have two girlfriends, do you have many friends? I hope you have another one now! Do you know the time difference? I have GMT +3:00 (Moscow time) here. What is your time?
I love pets especially dogs and cats. I like many colours but the blue as sky is my favourite. When I have free time I like to listen to music like eurodance, pop, rock and many other kinds because I'm sure there are many great music in different styles. I have a hobbie also, it's playing in tennis. Do you know Maria Sharapova? She is a russian player and she plays tennis very well. So I play in free time either. Do you know this game? It's my favourite sport also. I like to watch movies and the last I saw "16 blocks". Bruce Willis is the main hero and I like this actor very much. What is your favourite movie and actor/actress? I hope you can understand now that I'm a simple girl, a girl who like the warm weather and warm relations. I had one love in my life but it was not mutual so it's not started like relations.. I have never been married but I hope that it will happen in the future. I don't like russian men alot because they are lazy and drink alot. I do not drink and smoke, I lead healthy style of life. I hope you like my email and I hope you will write me about your life and your thoughts. I will wait for your reply.
Hopefully your new friend Maria.
This email is amusing because she's almost like a reverse horoscope. Rather than saying vague things that I'm supposed to say, "Yeah, that's me!" about, she instead says vague things that are supposed to make me say, "Hey, we're compatible! *I* like movies and pop music!"
But by this time, the jig is up. I know she's scamming me, so I figure I'll have some fun with it. I wrote her back:
I live in a cardboard box behind a grocery store. I use the library for internet access, as well as for the bathroom facilities. Do you have a bathroom where you live?
I enjoy pulling the wings off of flies, then watching them flap the broken stumps. Do you think they wonder why they aren't taking off? I do.
I should tell you, I only have one arm. And it's attached to the small of my back. It makes typing difficult, since I have to face away from the screen and keyboard. I make frequent mistakes. But we all have our bears to cross, wouldn't you agree?
You mention that you're a Christian. What a coincidence! I am a Druid. I find fulfillment in the worship of trees. Particularly oak trees. When I stare at an acorn, I feel as if I'm looking at the very seed of God. Do you feel the same way?
Thank you so much for taking an interest in me. Let me know before you come, so I can make sure my box is neat and tidy, and at least rat-reduced. Rat-free, unfortunately, is not possible.
Do you think she'll write back? I think she will, as I don't think she (if she exists at all) is reading these emails. I think anyone that writes back goes into a "wrote back" queue and is sent the next dispatch. Eventually, she'll be asking for some money. Will it be entertaining? We shall see!
More on this story as it develops...