Saturday, May 26, 2012

Random Time at the Park...


So... The babushki (grandmothers) put away their crocheting, only to whip out super-sized bottles of cheap beer... And then, of course, they smoked afterwards. Babushki, beer, butts... Don't think I'd really see that at a kids' park in the US or UK!

On the other side of the park were quite another group of babushki. If this were a US high school, the two above would be the quiet rebels... And this other clique? The "populars." They glided by us in a posse of five, stopping to sneer, "You're EATING without having washed your hands???!!!" in a VERY accusatory way to the girls—but truly to me.

We were eating our lunch in the park. Oh, horrors.

I should have been more polite, but I instantly replied, "Excuse me, but how do you know when our hands were last washed?"

She glared at me mockingly, and I bit, stating we'd washed right before getting in the car (uh, did we?) and then had used hand gel before eating (which we had).

She put us down again, and actually lifted her chin up with a little derision before muttering "Innostrantsi!" Foreigners. She then stalked away to another bench and plunked herself down with her minions. They kept giving us "looks" across the square... But, well, the girls didn't exactly conceal their own annoyance...

What's so frustrating about moments like this is that they are SO DARN RARE. Most people are incredibly kind, and I'm continuously surprised by how eager folks are to talk with a foreigner. They actually ask insightful questions and it's usually quite enjoyable! They're also usually so surprised and appreciate that we speak Russian—and even more blown away if they learn the girls are in a Russian school. Ignoramuses such as Babushka Bumkin above can just really catch you at the wrong time on the wrong day and really rain on your parade...

Last neat unexpected graffiti on the sidewalk? Evidently we have some vegan vandals. Wow, that even sounds impressive... "Beware of the..... Dah-dah-dah-dummm.....VEEEEGAN VAAAANDAL!"


In a mash-up of English and Russian, this soul professed his, or her, undying love for beans. Go figure!

6 comments:

Tina in CT said...

I remember the babushka who told you not to sit on the stone steps as you'd be sterile.

Annie said...

When my daughter Lydia was in high school she worked as a server at an upscale senior citizens home. She was amazed "Mom, it is JUST LIKE the lunchroom!" All the petty jealousies, feuds, and minor bullying behavior seemed to last right through the years.

Tina in CT said...

Annie, that cracks me up.

Mrs. Munchkin said...

Not sure if you got my email...back when you were doing the arctic race...but we are moving to Moscow! I can't say I am surprised...after years of following your blog, I knew there was a reason :-) we were there in April for our look/see. We will arrive beg of August. Amanda has been so kind and helpful...the expatresse :-). Fun times ahead or sure!

Banker Chick said...

I've entered the Babushka age group. Mr BC has taken to muttering like a Babushka, but I try not to make judgements about folk, and tell him to be quiet, if I think anyone can hear him. It's good to see you posting again. Would love to hear about your half marathon!

Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.