Tuesday, June 30, 2009

White People for Dinner

Yesterday I had dinner with some of my host moms strange friends. Tanya was acting really weird as always. I got the vibe that she didn't want to be there. Anyway, there was a woman that had a haircut like a man and that had a kind of manly build. There was another guy that looked kind of silly. He looked like a nerdy computer person but according to everyone at the table he was a musician. And then there was a girl at the end of the table that was very shy and spoke really softly. I couldn't tell how old she was. She could be as young as 16 or maybe even as old as 27. The manly woman and nerdy guy looked like they were in their 40's. I don't think they were a family but they seemed to know each other very well. They all smoked in the kitchen while we were having dinner and it was disgusting.

They were interested in me and where I was from and asked questions about my family. I explained in Russian that I was from Texas and that I was student studying Russian language and everyone was really impressed with how well I spoke Russian. The dinner was really good and we had wine too. I only had one glass and I had to eat quickly cause I had homework but mostly cause I had to get out of the kitchen and away from the smell of cigaret smoke and animals.

I was very cordial and explained that I had a lot of homework that I needed to finish and they understood. They told me to come back and join them when I finished or if I needed help. I needed help but never finished. I heard someone playing the guitar later and everyone was singing along. My host mom is a psychologist by the way. She told me and I also see some psychological evaluation forms (in Russian) on the kitchen table from time to time.

Pet dogs, cats, and turtles are not house-dwelling animals. No matter how much some people may want them to be. Especially if your living space isn't that large. They let the turtle crawl all around the floor of the kitchen he doesn't have a cage or anything.

Seriously. I'm not supposed to wear my shoes in the kitchen (which I don't mind) but the cat is allowed to lick itself clean and leave cat fur everywhere right in the kitchen! And yesterday was the first time I saw the dog with his muzzle off. The top of his nose was disgusting looking! It was all covered in a blueish green pus. It looked like that from all the times he had been trying to take off his muzzle. It was gross. But I think he was given some type of drug cause he was really sedated and didn't bark or bite at me. He made himself very comfortable under the table while I sat and had dinner with the people.

I'm not the only one who requested a non smoking family. To Russians nonsmoking means not smoking in your presence. My babushka, mother, and Tanya smoke like people in Texas keep on the AC in the summer. All the time. I was talking to some girls at lunch and they said that they BOTH requested nonsmoking families and they said at first their host mom didn't smoke but then she started to smoke on their balcony then the living room and now she's gotten comfortable enough to smoke in the kitchen.

My room doesn't have a closest and the kitchen doesn't have cabinets for the dishes and there's no microwave in the house either.

I also did laundry again yesterday. Coin operated laundromats are a rarity in Russia. I asked Sif and he said he's never found one. So I had to let someone else do my laundry again. I LIKE doing my own laundry. And now it's all over my room in various locations drying.

The white people asked if I played an instrument and I told them that I played the trumpet. It's been a while but I've still got it. First Chair 7th AND 8th grade. Symphonic band. I think there's a free concert for students at St. Isaac's tonight. I have to run back to class now. пока!

Pictures. That's the kitchen/living room. The white people were sitting on that couch bed thing and I was on the side of the table by the computer. Imagine sitting in a room where all someone did was smoke 23 hours a day for 364 days a year mix it with gross animal smell and that's what my kitchen/living room smells like.

stay tuned.

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