In the original question (in russian) the term was "ideal wife". to me the word "ideal" is not same as "perfect".Reading this thread is so odd to me: first, I was not offended by the "wife" reference at all.
In the russia's context, Samokhvalov was simply trying to start a conversation by "breaking the ice" and giving Zhenya a compliment. "Ideal wife" is figurative for a combination of qualities: beautiful, kind, loving, patient, enduring, supportive, forgiving and flexible. Samohvalov was trying to say that's how he sees her in this partnership and instead of listing all her positive qualities, said "ideal wife".
He is not necessarily "sexist", he just used a term that comes from a "sexist society" or "traditional values society". Zhenya did a good job replying that she'd rather be a perfect/ideal athlete...
I don't see this comparison.. (having lived in all 4 cities). If we have to use USA's cities, more like NYC vs. San Francisco, but none of the listed were ever "country's/state's capitals" and that is a factor... It could be compared to Milan/Rome vs. Florence..... or Tokyo vs. Kyoto... But really, given the Mos vs. St. Pete specifics and history, there is NO equivalent..Moscow is NYC, St. Petersburg is Boston, but even with more culture...