Jan. 13th, 2015

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Had kind of an awesome experience last night. I ran into one of my neighbors in the lobby—we’d chatted before at a building Halloween get-together. She and her husband are from Ukraine (I think, based on how they were talking, they are Russian-Ukrainian) and they were intrigued by my interest in and knowledge of Russian history. She invited me up and I met her son with whom she wants me to work on basic speech patterns (inflecting his voice, speaking more forcefully, etc.). In return he can teach me Russian (I can read a bit, but my conversational skills, other than basic phrases, are nil). The kid was amazingly well-read for his age and very intelligent. Anyway so she set out a whole Russian spread of food—toast, tea, honey, dates, nuts, caviar spread, the whole shebang. It was really pretty cool. I drank the tea through the honey, Russian-style—i.e., I put a dollop of honey on the spoon, ate it, and then drank the tea.

When I got home I added the Russian keyboard to my phone and texted her по-русски saying what a great time I’d had. Now all I want to do is add a Russian channel to my cable setup! It’s amazing how inspired I always am when I force myself out of my comfort level—I get nervous but then I’m like “hey, I can DO this. I can learn Russian, I can become fluent in French.”


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February 2017


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