The recession may have slowed U.S.-Soviet economic activity, but the pace of person-to-person diplomacy is getting a lift, thanks to a Placentia businessman.
Robert D. Feldman, a Placentia tour operator, is organizing a group of Southern California single persons to meet singles in three Soviet cities this summer. The tour is the first of its kind organized by a Southern California company specifically geared to match American singles with eligible Soviet singles, Feldman said.
The tour, arranged by Feldman's East-West International Tours Inc., will take 20 American singles on a 15-day tour of Leningrad, Moscow and Yalta in the Ukraine. Feldman organized the trip after receiving an invitation from Olga Abramova, who heads the Leningrad Singles Club in that city.
Already, 11 people from Orange County have paid $3,295 each for the tour, which starts July 27, said Feldman, a professor of Russian history and director of the Russian studies program at Cal State Fullerton. The cost includes air fare, lodging, meals and entertainment.
"We're also arranging for home visits to single people's apartments in each city so that the group can socialize," Feldman added.
"We want to bring together Soviet and American singles, for them to learn how each culture copes with singles problems, like being divorced or being a single parent," Feldman explained.
"This gives (Americans) an opportunity to meet singles in the Soviet Union and to combine touring and meeting Soviets in a friendly environment," he said, adding that some people are looking for mates while others are more interested in establishing business contacts.