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For one of them, I find out later, it is not only his first trip outside the US, but also the first time he has ever been to a nightclub."I'm very conservative, so I never go to bars or clubs," says 47-year-old Joe, a hay farmer from Pennsylvania with an awkward manner.
Affable but shy, Joe has trouble meeting women at home, and has had little contact with women since his wife died of cancer five years ago.
Most of the "ladies" do not speak English, and thus the men will require the services of the red-shirted translators who will also be present at the social, he tells us.
Amid the US contingent, there are also two Brits, a smattering of Europeans, and a Saudi.
Some of the Americans wear sharp suits and talk loudly about their property empires; others are from small towns in the Midwest and have acquired passports specially to make the trip.
A foreign man, usually though not always over 60 and American, sits with a Ukrainian girl, probably in her twenties and strikingly attractive.The oldest is 76-year-old Giuseppe, an Italian plastic surgeon, while the youngest is 29-year-old Chris, a stand-up comic from New York.With an outgoing personality and a full set of teeth, I wondered what he was doing on the tour."I realised something earlier than these guys," he says, as the group journeys across Odessa on a testosterone-filled bus to the first social.Chris wears a tuxedo and top hat; others wear stiff suits and ties; Darren, from a small town in North Dakota, wears a shellsuit.Inside, dozens of women await, enjoying a free glass of champagne and branded with white stickers bearing their "ID number".It becomes clear that the dating scene in Odessa is not all it seems.Locals laugh when I ask them about the strange no-shows, and tell me that in all probability, the women that these men thought they were falling in love with do not even exist.Habitually, they are joined by another young woman, the translator, who facilitates the dialogue."She says she likes a strong man who knows his mind." "Tell her I love the idea of two cultures coming together in a relationship." "She says she thinks you could be her soulmate."Hundreds of dating agencies operate in Odessa, luring the foreign dollar into the laidback Black Sea port city with a suggestion of the nubile young model living a life so impoverished that she will be ready to fly away with the first slack-skinned foreign pensioner who offers her a way out.Other cities in Ukraine, and other countries in Eastern Europe and Asia, also have well-developed bride industries, but Odessa is a global hub for men looking for love.The socials spawn dozens of dates for the coming week, but there is a recurring complaint among the men.Most have spent between £3,000 and £10,000 chatting to women online prior to the tour, and were looking forward to meeting in person these women with whom they had formed an emotional connection.