Wednesday, May 14, 2008


So I finally have a cross cultural gaff to report that is appropriate for readers of all ages and will pass through the censors at the FCC. As you know I am studying Russian and being inundated with new vocabularly words on a minute by minute basis. Some are easy for me to process and regurgitate on command but others get all jumbled together and on occasion I get them confused...usually with no negative or humurous consequence. This past Saturday however, was not one of those days.

So I am sitting in a cafe called "Prince" that is located in the town center with one of my fellow Peace Corps peeps. We go there at least once a week and hadn't really had any problem ordering because we mostly rely on just pointing to the pictures on the menu. On this day though I decided that having almost 2 months of Russian under my belt it was about time that I order for myself aloud. Standing miles outside of my comfort zone I told the waitress that i would like the ice cream with hot fudge while miming how i would like to eat the ice cream so she could get the point. Unfortuantely, the word for "ice cream" (at least in my head) sounds pretty similar to the word for "youth" yeah, pretty much i had just ordered a dish of youth with chocolate sauce and had showed my waitress just how i planned on eating said youth. I have never seen someone look so confused in my life and finally, after realizing that that I had asked for youth but still not knowing what the word for ice cream was, i resorted back to opening up the menu and pointing. I don't know how well the story will translate over the blogosphere but it was one of the funnier moments I have had since i have been "in country". And yes, the ice cream was delicious. Hopefully that story buys me a little time while i go out and embarrass myself again for your enjoyment.

As for the day to day details of my life...nothing to new or exciting to report. Last Friday was yet another holiday (victory day) and we were given the day off from classes. I spent my free day with my fam at their "Dacha" which translates in english to a cottage. Their cottage though is only a mile away from the apartment where we live and they use it mostly as a place to keep their chickens, to plant their crops (they also have 3 other large fields) and to just relax. Part of the day was spent getting the ground ready to plant tomatoes and potatoes which is actually pretty gratifying and enjoyable work, and the rest was spent preparing and then consuming a ginormous feast. The highlight of the meal were the kebabs (sashliki) that we prepared and then slow roasted over a giant pit of hot coals...ochin vacousny. The remainder of the day was spent playing chess (im still fairly awful but I won my first 2 games this week and am feeling pretty good about it), tossing around a football and listening to Sweet Dreams Are Made of these by the Eurythmics about 100 times on repeat (my host cousin like the song....a lot). Definitely one of the better days I have had.

Tomorrow I have my site placement interview and will hopefully have a better idea of where I will be spending the next two years afterwards. I will keep you all updated on the developments and by request, will try and give you, my loyal readers, an idea of what life is like in ukraine and what the people here are like. (I just have to be tactful as there may or may not be some Ukrainian readers among you...but there really isn't much negative to say!) Alright...that's all for now. Go Wings


J Ro said...

Jordan... Coincidentally, I had a dinner party last night and served dishes of youth with fresh fruit... can't wait to hear where you will be headed next! So you play chess, farm and speak Russian? You are turning into quite the Renaissance man.
Наслаждайтесь днем, моим другом


Muzachary said...

Wow, your cottage experience sounds a lot like mine in spain, con mi familia!