Monday, May 22, 2017
Someone from Russia visits here on a regular basis. So I thought I would tell a story since I do have a connection with Russia and Russian people through my other half who I will refer to as 'The Smart One'.
The Smart One holds various degrees in Russian and Slavic Linguistics as well as library computer stuff. He has been published numerous times and I'm very proud of him. He is also great to travel out of country with as communicating with locals is never an issue.
When he and I first got together he wanted me to meet his friends as I wanted him to meet mine. We were invited to a birthday party of a faculty member from the Russian Department at Duke University. People from the Russian department were also invited from Duke, as was the Russian Department from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. There must have been thirty five or so people at the party. It was very amusing to me as they were all discussing who won and who played the best game of Scrabble in cyrillic, all the time trying to goad people to get a contest started.
After a while three more people joined the party. One, local faculty and the other two were an Asian married couple from China. The Asian man was a scholar and professor of Russian at some university in China. He was a visiting dignitary. The man spoke very little English, so the entire party shifted to speaking Russian. But! There was still a problem. The Asian man's wife (like myself) spoke no Russian. Her language was Mandarin. However, her parents were diplomats and were the Diplomats representing China in Morocco where she spent her childhood. She spoke a little French. Again, the entire party shifted language to French to accommodate the woman. But they didn't just speak French; it wasn't Parisian French or Canadian French, but Moroccan French.
To all the faculty, who were American, this was far more fun than any Scrabble game. The competition to out shine each other swelled as the night progressed. The word pompous comes to mind. And The Smart One was in the thick of it. Although, pompous would never be a word that anyone would ever describe The Smart One as being.
When they all finally had too much to drink and grew tired of correcting each other's pronunciation of Moroccan French dialect, I said to The Smart One I wanted to leave. From then on The Smart One and I had an agreement that he didn't ever have go to a horse show and I will never spend an evening like that again.
When we left, there were 138 potato chips left in the bowl. Only 22 were soggy.
It was a loooooong night.