Admittedly, most of my posts have leaned toward the positive aspects of my experiences in Russia. To balance that, let me share one of my struggles–something that often threatened to overshadow even the happiest of events. My host Volodya often told a joke about an American who made several trips to Russia, and couldn’t understand why those &*&* Russians only spoke Russian! Of course he was gently pulling my leg (hanging noodles, as they call tall tales and other stretching fabrications). But we all know the grain of truth in humor is what makes us laugh.
And I did try to keep my sense of humor. Sometimes, however, the inability to join in to conversations or to understand even the simplest of situations transpiring around me (such as…this tram isn’t going any farther. Get off now) drained my energy and poked holes in my self-confidence. That grain of humor made its way into my shoe causing an irritating blister. Such are the challenges of foreign living.
Hooray for English!