Monday, February 18, 2008

Welcome To Russia and A Funny Phone Call

The welcome to Russia part of this entry is because once again I have had the pleasant experience of running into Russian Beauraucracy. Again. It's an epidemic here. Here's what happened. I had to pay for my art class as I hadn't paid for a couple of months and was therefore behind. I hadn't paid before, I'd given Raisa the money and she'd taken care of it. But it was no problem. I pulled out the money I needed and headed to the main office of the art institue. I figured I'd tell them that i needed to pay, give them the money and bam, it's all good and I'd be all paid up. There was just one problem. I forgot I'm now living in Russia. It would've been that simple if I'd been in America but I'm not, I'm here. The result it that i went in, said I need to pay, and the scary lady is like "Oh no, you don't pay here." I'm sorry...WHAT? "That's right, you have to go pay at a bank."

So I'm there, freaking out because I have no idea how to pay for this thing and I want to pay so the lady will stop telling me that I need to pay, and so on and so forth, and i was worried that i was going to have to get a hold of Raisa and figure out what i was doing. Thankfully there was a woman there who said she'd help me out, and sometimes, you just have to rely on good samaritans. She helped me fill out the form I needed, and then we headed to the bank.

two and a half hours and three banks later, we got my self paid and my little receipt stub to give to the scary lady today. you've gotta love Russia.

Probably the most interesting thing that happened this week (other than the amazingly warm weather we've been having) was that my parents called me. This in itself wouldn't normally be an event I would mention on here but it was what occured during said conversation that was interesting. First of all, came the answering of the phone. My parents are lucky because i almost didn't answer. but I did "Allo?" I asked in the traditional way we Russians answer the phone. A voice on the other end answered in broken russian "zdrastvii, abigail doma?" I knew at once it was my father and I was so excited that I automatically answered "Eto ya!" which means "it's me" as soon as the words left my mouth I thought "oops, they don't understand russian." So then I switched to english. except throughout the entire conversation I would have moments where I forgot english. I never thought messing up my native language would feel so good. At one point, Elena Ivanovna came home, and I paused in my conversation with mom to tell her that her tableclothes were back (long story) my mom remarked that my russian sounded more russian and that I was just blurting it out. heh. that made me feel good about myself.

It's true though. My Russian has gotten better the last month or so. It feels more natural now. I don't know if it's just being immersed for so long, or what. I think a part of it is the whole changing families thing. while I'm still not one to talk your ear off in Russian, I do talk more than I did at Raisa's. At least it feels like I do. I'm not saying I'm a native speaker, or nearly fluent, but I'm certainly more fluent than I was. And it feels pretty good.

1 comment:

Mr. Faust said...

Your mother says your good Samaritan lady deserves a Chai. And that Elaina Ivanova, as a teacher, is probably "teaching" you Russian in a more natural way. And... Broken Russian? I thought it was Tour Guide Russian. Oh, well. Back to the manual.