Email me!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Here, in Queens, I'm hoping I can get through the day without the cats bursting into flames--especially since, god bless them, they're not the brightest felines in their own seats, and despite the apartment being air-conditioned, they're sleeping...under the sink, in the closets...yes, in all the hottest places, bless their furry faces.--and I'm also trying to stay on message re: work, when all I want to do is spend the day in a public playground, sitting under the sprinklers in a bikini. Maybe drinking something fruit & (heavily) alcoholic, garnished with small umbrellas. (Drinks with umbrellas in them always remind me of one of my fave "Kids In The Hall" sketches so enjoy:

But anyway! (Yes, it's way too hot for me to be focused...maybe after another cold shower.) Reading the "NY Times," I found this photo section regarding a Russian supermarket in Brighton Beach.
 The caption for the fifth slide, discussing the "somber mood" of the employees made me snort out loud. I lived in Russia for about 3 years in the late 1990s, and anyone who has dealt with "customer service" in Russia, knows that "somber" is a very diplomatic term. ( Just typing the words "customer service" in conjunction with Russia also made me cackle.) Oh my. I love Mother Russia, and I met many incredible people, and I'm still obsessed with Russian history, the arts, etc... but "somber" is not exactly the term I'd use.

True story: when I was first living in Moscow, and was not exactly fluent, shall we say--people on the street would ask me the time, and I'd have to mentally diagram the sentence, so I could figure out what the hell they!--I was trying, one day, to buy some tea in a Moscow department store, and I, by accident, cut in line. (Did I mention that I wasn't 100% fluent in Russian at the time? Right.) The salesgirl snarled at me, using a term that I had never heard before. I could tell by her tone that I had done something wrong, so I decided just to cut my losses, go home and maybe I'd have better luck another day. That evening, I told one of my Russian friends what had happened, and asked what the term meant...and my friend was deeply mortified, since it was a term frequently used for cattle. Ahh, that story still makes me laugh, ten plus years later, but yes at the time, I was a little um...surprised? (Of course now, after years in TV news, and law school, and starting a business and living in Queens...I'd probably just laugh.)

For the record, yer honor, let me just stress: I LOVE RUSSIA! I met incredible, brilliant, fun, cultured, fascinating people there! The love of my life, Anton Chekhov, is Russian. Two of the cats are from Russia.
Russia, to me, is the birthplace of much, if not most, of the culture that matters to me (i.e.: not "Mamma Mia!"). So simma down; you'll have a heart-attack in this weather.

No comments:

Post a Comment