Providing Amusement

23 May

While at the grocery store this afternoon, I managed to greatly amuse an older Russian man.

Unlike most people here, he seemed fairly chatty.  Our first encounter was when we both tried to pass through the same space and he cleared the path for me.  I thanked him and heard him say something, but could not make out more than “девушка” (young woman), so I continued on my way.

We later met at the checkout counter.  I was there first, but there was some confusion and we ended up in a similar position of heading for the same spot.  He gestured for me to go ahead and then said something I could not understand, but seemed fairly jovial.  The dialog that followed was:

Me (in Russian): I do not understand. I do not speak Russian.

Him (in German): German?  (in English):  English?

Me: English.

Him: Ah. Okay! Good!

His English wasn’t very good, but he was kind enough to translate when the cashier told me the line was cash only.  He also very slowly, yet very emphatically, indicated how I should count out my 100 ruble notes when I was paying.  While I appreciate the sentiment, it did make me feel a little frustrated when I was trying to find a one ruble coin in my change pocket.  I wanted to shout, “But I know how to do this part!!!”  When he saw that I was able to give her exact change he said, “молодец!” (well done/good job*).

Normally I would appreciate a Russian cheer-leading my small victories, but the exchange then took a weird turn.  As I grabbed my basket, he started excitedly saying something in Russian and laughing.  When I said I didn’t understand, he started using his hand to indicate pulling a trigger and kept on laughing.  I don’t think that is EVER a good sign.

до свидания!

* I learned this one from bowling!

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