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All in one day

April 13, 2011

Today was one of those days where you run through a number of different emotions. It started with a phone call at 7:55, while I was enjoying my “sleeping in” day, though I was already awake because the sun comes in my window at 5 a.m. now. The man spoke Russian, quickly as usual. I was trying to explain to him that no, I don’t live at my mailing address – it is my mailing address, and it is an office, and people will be there after 9:30 a.m. He asked where I live. When I told him, I got an “oy, yoy, yoy” and more rapid-fire Russian. Me asking again, please speak slowly. Him speaking quickly again, asking where I work. Me trying to explain again. Him hanging up on me.

Well, good morning. At least I knew my package was in town.

Next up was my burning my breakfast and having to start it again. I was starting to think I should not leave my abode, if these two occurrences were omens. Also, it is still COLD out, and I am still running my space heaters, and refuse to put on my wool coat again. Bu I had to leave, because I was committed to be somewhere.

Then I started thinking how Fate has a nasty way of keeping me from getting at all confident in my language ability. Yesterday on my way out of work at the library, I spoke with my counterpart in Russian, only using two English words, and left feeling like I was at last making some progress.

Hah.

Every day I am reminded of just how little of the language I actually know. It does not help that my work is all conducted in English, and people prefer to speak it to me, because it is too hard for THEM when I speak Russian. Time and again I tell them I would rather speak Russian, but it does not matter. Only when people CANNOT speak English do I get to practice. So when I start to feel a little bit good about things, and when another woman (who speaks no English, and always speaks to me in Ukrainian) comes to me and does not ask for someone to translate but just speaks to me, and I am able to talk to her, I think “hey, maybe I am making progress after all”.

Then I get a phone call like this morning, which leaves me feeling like a small child, because then I had to ask a friend of mine to help me get the package to me.

The day turned around after I received the package and brought it into the classroom where we were (today was my day at the College) and the students went crazy for the magazines – even French Vogue, which they could not read but in which there were plenty of photos to look at. They loved the magazines. They were horrified when I tore out the perfume strip pages, but then were excited when I gave the pages to them, and rubbed the smelly part on themselves (man it got strong in there).

After movie time at the college, I met up with my friend and we made spaghetti. We have found a very good combination for spaghetti sauce that tastes like something other than tomato paste. It is part Ukrainian spaghetti sauce (i.e., tomato paste) and part hot sauce – hot adjika, and part Italian herbs, basil, garlic. Throw in some frozen veggies and it turns out to be a pretty good sauce.

The other good news is I finally got a lead on a tutor. I MUST call her tomorrow and get started on formal lessons PRONTO. Rosetta Stone is nice, reading The Little Prince (with my dictionary at hand), signs up around my room, all nice but I feel like more formal lessons would really help me. So would actually speaking it more…I am working on that part..

So the day ended on a more positive note than it started. Hey, maybe I should not say that or Fate will notice again…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sofia permalink
    April 13, 2011 1:00 pm

    Always enjoy reading your blog entries. It feels like being back in Kirovohrad:) My days are much more boring than yours. We have already great spring weather here in Germany, around 20°C which will cerainly arrive soon in Ukraine.

    Miss you much!

  2. Erin permalink
    April 13, 2011 11:31 pm

    HA! I love reading your posts, it reminds me of little stories and “adventures” all the time… I once had the package fairies laugh at me and heckle me on the phone for asking that I call them back in 5 minutes when I am with a person who can help translate! lol

    BTW, this topic hit home, too. 2-3 PCV’s and I were just talking about the roller coaster of emotions that come in 1 day… I don’t remember this in the states???

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