Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Coming in for a landing

It is surprising how few bugs we see here in Moscow. I have yet to see a mosquito.There are bees. Big and black and ugly bumble bee-type and regular-looking little bumble bees. We first encountered one of these black bees last summer when there was one on the bus trying to get out. We were told that they are aggressive and I was glad he didn't come near me.

 It wasn't until a few days ago that we encountered our second black bumble-sized bee. This one was on the metro. He was flying clumsily around also trying to find a way out. He was making some of the passengers uncomfortable and I was practically holding my breath hoping it would keep it's distance from us.

However, the bee had other plans.  We watched anxiously as this little dive bomber came in for a landing.......right on the tip of Dave's nose! It was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. Dave had an alarmed look on his face and he  zeroed in on the bee from both sides as his arms and hands came out to quickly push it off in a sweeping motion. It landed on the floor where it bounced once and then clumsily flew off. Fortunately, it took off and left us alone.

Across from us sat Jeannie and Ken Pierson, who hadn't noticed the commotion and the office elders who, along with a Russian man was watching this unfold. All of were laughing.
We're glad that the bee took off and that no harm was done.
I imagine the bee is flying around the metro still, bringing a bit of excitement to the passengers,  so I suggest to all our metro riders to BEEEEE -ware!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Watch what you say!

The Russian language has not come easy to me and there are SO many rules and exceptions, it's enough to boggle my mind. As in English, sometimes the same word and same spelling can have different meanings. However, in Russian the emphasis is put in a different place.
Take for instance the word mooka.  MOOka means torture.
                                                          MooKAH means flour.
I recently learned that for many months I asked for torture when I meant flour. Whoops. I'm glad I can recognize flour in the store and don't have to ask for it..
Thank heavens for signing. I can generally get my point across with a bit of Russian and some signing.
The girls in the productee (pronounced proDOOKtee) love to talk to me. They chatter away in Russian and I try so hard to get the gist of what they are saying (with success sometimes). Usually I just shrug my shoulders and smile and they laugh. I was able to get across yesterday that we are going home on August 30th and that I love Russia. I guess that's enough for now. They just appreciate it if you try. :o)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Business as usual

It appears to me that the Russians are hard working people. When Gohar was here we were talking about the fact that Sunday is just another day to the Russian people. There is no day off for the hair dressers and store clerks. It is just another work day. AND their work days are long. It's not unusual for an electrician to show up at your home at 10:30 at night, just about the time you are ready to go to bed. If you have an appointment with them and they are running late, they will just show up late.

 Some of our young missionaries have had their landlord or landlady show up to collect the rent at 10 at night. I have mentioned before that I have seen workers out on the playground cleaning up or shoveling or raking at 6 am in the morning.

She's crazy!

Our apartment building has a concierage.  Her name is Svetlana. She takes her job very seriously. Maybe a little too seriously. The apartments around here do have someone who is a "guard" so to speak and that is a form of protection. However, I feel like we live in a very safe apartment. There is a second concerage who works a different shift. She doesn't smile much either, but is more pleasant than Svetlana. Even our landlady who owns the apartment we live in wonders what Svetlana's problem is. I am guessing that Svetlana is bored to death sitting in a little room watching the people come and go. Anyway  I am sorry that she seems so unhappy.

In order to get into the apartment building in the first place there is an 8 number code to get in, a second door to go through, the "guard" to pass and up the elevator two doors each locked to go through before getting to our apartment door with 6 locks on 2 keys. Wow.

Anyway, she doesn't smile readily and watches the door like a hawk which is her job. However, she has an attitude and sometimes gives our guests a hard time. I really think Svetlana has it in for Gohar, my hairdresser, who has been to our home many times. She gives her a hard time whenever she comes to the point where she starts yelling. Hmmmm. I had to rescue Gohar this past week. I heard Svetlana yelling from the tenth floor. Gohar was standing outside the elevator door ready to jump in to get away from the icy glare of Svetlana who was watching her intently. I popped my head out so Svetlana could see me and practically pulled Gohar onto the elevator and up we went. When the elevator closed she said, SHE IS CRAZY!  I think Svetlana needs to work on her social skills a bit. She has also given our visiting missionaries a hard time. However, the difference between the missionaries and Gohar, is that Gohar doesn't put up with it and talks back to her where the missionaries don't.

She seems a very unhappy person. I have gotten her to smile at me a few times and a time or two I have taken her down some homemade muffins which she takes but doesn't acknowledge. The biggest smile I got from her was when I called her by name and handed her a big candy bar. I have to remember to introduce her to the Meilstrup's, our replacements, so she will know that they now live here and doesn't give them a hard time. The Meilstrup's will move in on August 30.