Monday, July 28, 2008

Dealing With People

So I've been home a couple of weeks now. Sometimes it's just...strange. I'm completely and utterly sick of people asking me how Russia was. My typical answer is different. How do you really answer that? Because you can't just say "good." I mean, some parts of it weren't really that good. I usually answer "Different" though Sometimes I just feel like being rude and I want to say "Do you really care or are you just asking to be polite?" The other question I'm sick of is "Have you re-acclimated yet?" My usual answer to this is something along the lines of "Somewhat" or "eh.." But I seriously think that the next person who asks me that is going to get an earful of Russian.

I miss speaking Russian tons by the way. The other night I came home from somewhere and I just started speaking Russian to my mom. Naturally, she didn't understand it. So I started trying to tell her what different words meant but without telling her in English, just explaining it in Russian. Bless her heart, she was very patient with me just sitting there babbling on for like twenty minutes before she was like "Abigail, I'm sorry, I'm just too tired." Even though it's pointless to speak Russian to people here, I find myself doing it anyway. It's good practice for me anyway. When we got done, I followed mom upstairs to my parents' room where I promptly started to cry.

I've had that happen a couple of times. Just burst out crying. The first time was actullay the day I made my last blog post. The day before my party. I had stumbled upon a website that listed "the worst roads in the world." Number two were the roads in Yakutsk. A picture of a truck half stuck in mud was accompanied by a little blurb. I read said blurb which was basically not nice about Yakutsk. The last line was something like "Maybe Yakutsk isn't worth visiting after all." I promptly burst out crying. A lot. I felt so hurt and insulted because I lived in Yakutsk. Ten and a half months of my life were dedicated to that city and I know very well that even though it's remote and freezing in the winter, it is a good place to visit.

I'm weird about Russia too. Woe to anyone who makes some comment about Communism. They will quickly be set on the straight and narrow. Russia is not a communist country and has not been so for like 17 years. Woe as well to anyone who makes fun of Russia and/or Yakutsk. I spoke in my bible class today about life in Russia. I passed around a book with pictures of Yakutsk. One girl was flipping pages and came to a picture of a woman in Yakutian National Dress. She laughed loudly and asked if it was one of my host moms. I just shot her this evil glare.

Which is odd actually. Because I have no problem making fun of Russia myself. I mean, I don't feel bad about making comments about Vodka, or Russia, or Communists, or I'll make jokes about this country and the Capitalism. That's okay. Yet when other people do it, it irritates me. I felt rather hypocritical about it until someone said it perfectly. They said it's like having a little brother or sister. You can pick on them all you want, but are quick to jump to their defense when someone else does. And that, I think, is exactly what it is. I've lived in Russia. I know well, if not intimately, The language, the culture and the people. So I can kind of pick on the faults of the motherland. Yet it bothers me when people who don't know anything make fun because, well, they're just ignorant about it. Because they don't know about Russia, their jokes are coming straight from stereotypes. It irritates me. Usually, when a comment based on a stereotype comes out as just someone not knowing. Perhaps they ask it as a question. I assume that they just don't know and that they'd like to know so I'm usually pretty polite; however, I had some guys today that were just making fun and I...uh...wasn't nearly as polite to them :) Duratskii amerikantsii. But such is my life right now. I have my good and bad days. Just like when I was in Russia.

Some days are basically good with only a few thoughts on Russia. Most days though I think about it a lot. Or at least, the russian speaking part of it. In some ways, I try not to think about it. It's my defense tactic.

1 comment:

hostfamily08 said...

It has been so interesting to follow your journey in Russia and now back in the States; thank you for sharing your story.