Just popping in from the internet center where I do my printing (of lessons etc.) to deliver, as promised, the update on the situation with the mail-order bride for whom I was translating letters. She left today for Great Britain to meet up with (I hope) the man of her dreams! I’m happy for her, but unfortunately I’m also a little worried, because I failed miserably at teaching her English (to be fair, it would have helped a lot if she had come to more than 25% of our lessons). Hopefully what’s-his-name worked a little harder at Russian, or love will break the language barrier, or something like that. She’ll be there for two weeks.
When I got to the internet center, all the computers were taken, so I had to stand and wait for a few minutes. I glanced at the lady at the nearest computer and noticed that she was writing in English. Always interested to discover other Americans in Vlad, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to take a tiny peek at her computer screen to see whether I could tell by her writing whether she was a native speaker. I freely admit that this makes me a very bad person. However, that didn’t stop me from doing it, and I soon discovered that no, she’s not a native speaker, and furthermore, the email she was writing was definitely a love letter! I’d like to pretend that it didn’t take my inching a bit closer and squinting a little to see that she was writing to a guy named Bjorn. Scandinavian, I guess? (Eek, I can’t believe I did that! What kind of person am I?) Now that must be tough – a long-distance relationship where neither party is communicating in his native language.
Anyway, that’s all for today, but watch for more pictures soon, because on Monday my roommate, two other French teachers (“French teachers” as in “from France,” and also as in “teachers of French”... oh, the imprecisions of the English language!) and anyone else who wants to come are going to Slavyanka, a nearby fishing village. I forget what the guidebook said about it, but it's two hours away by boat, and I believe it’s pretty close to the border with North Korea. And then it’s May Day and there’ll be a parade, and then I’m off to Moscow again for a conference!