‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What I DON'T want you to know...lol

Ok, time for a breather.  Time to show you my sense of humor is still intact. At my summer theatre program, we do an activity called actor/audience where we share what we truly do not want others to know about ourselves.  This is my light-hearted take on that. Here are some things from this trip that I honestly don't want you to know, but am sharing just because I have a very 'what the h*ll' attitude this morning.

What I don't want you to know about this trip is:

~ After sleeping in a cockroach infested room at the orphanage, where I picked them off me like flies all night,  I found one yesterday still stuck in my hair ( dead of course.)

~ After finding myself in a particular Russian bathroom that-shall-not-named without toilet paper once again, and NOT wanting to do the shaky-dance again, I used a scarf I had around my neck and then stuck it in a plastic bag to wash later. OK, now you can tell me how disgusting I am.

~Nastia and I both experienced bad runny noses while in Prokopievsk , which has the distinct label of being the most polluted city in the world. We were without tissues out for a walk, so Nastia taught me the Russian way of blowing your nose without tissues. We were both disgusted by the black boogers that came out! Thank you, coal dust.

~ My current diet consists of green apples, nutella, coke, water, rye bread and butter. I don't think this is very healthy, but I'll be damned before I eat another piece of sausage or another bowl of soup.

~ I hide food in my drawer by my bed so Anya doesn't eat it.I f I don't, I will go hungry. Nastia does the same.

~The sheets on my and Nastia's bed at the hotel have blood stains on them, and they are not from us or Anya. GROSS.

~ I sometimes pretend I do not understand Russian simply to get out of dealing with some people. What kind of person am I???

~ I have learned some swear words and mean phrases (thanks Anya) in Russian so I can scream that at the drunk men that come too close to try to get money from me.

~ I have actually let Nastia and Anya protect me from people with bad intentions and enjoyed it! Seeing them go off on someone in Russian gives me great joy. ( Sorry, just trying to be honest here!)

~ I have caught myself on more than one occasion closing my eyes so that I can pretend I am back home, and then I get mad when someone speaks in Russian and ruins my little game...

~I have gotten used to brushing my teeth with brown water and will not apologize for it:)

Any other people who've been to Siberia care to chime in?


  1. Anonymous5:58 PM

    Never been to Siberia, but I have spent a good deal of time in the slums of Tijuana, Mexico. I used to take my students every year to our sister school there to help out (building, painting, mixing cement, teaching). Anyway, this list sounds very familiar. Often I would pretend not to speak Spanish to get away from the incessant questions about life in America.

    (((HUGS from California)))

  2. When we were in Russia my sister and I made a terrible (and long) list of all the stuff that we missed about home. Then we got home, and about a year later I realized that those three weeks were the only weeks I ever got to spend with my daughter without fast paced life getting in the way. But I bet if I did it again, I'd still be ready to go home after about day 4!

  3. ok... I know it's not funny, but you made me laugh.

  4. One time when Ilya and I were going to the grocery store, as we headed in there was someone selling something for charity, and "just to get out of dealing" with him, I suddenly began responding to Ilya (who was speaking Russian) in Russian myself and looked blankly at the salesman.

    When my oldest son was a baby, he had health issues that required us to go to the hospital to get his blood taken regularly. One day I notice that the sheet on the table when they laid him to get this done had blood on it. I was grossed out, but not as grossed out as I was when we came back three days later and that same sheet was STILL there! In a HOSPITAL!!!!

  5. LOL . . . I well remember the black coal dust that got on EVERYTHING in Khabarovsk. . . and the time I'd washed all our laundry by hand (for two adults, one 5 year old, and a 3 month old baby . . .) hung it out to dry--and in the night a huge rainstorm came and ran water from the balonies ab ove us down through the fire escape hatch . . . and our clothing was ALL BLACK streaks . . . I could have cried! Praying for your sucess . . .

  6. I've seen worse diets, but I don't know that sausage and soup would improve it much anyway. Are you getting any calcium?

  7. we adopted out daughter from prokopievsk... ahh the memories. Thank goodness I packed power bars. We were there for the big ice storm and record cold temps in Feb 06. So we were holed in our dinky hotel room. What i remember most is just the lack of personal space and manners, the crowding at the airport on the tarmac in the freezing cold. I remember no shops having change.... yeah right...if I did not have exact change for whatever I was buying, I was going to be screwed.

  8. I haven't been to Siberia, but when I was in St. Petersburg a couple of sketchy looking guys were hanging too close when my husband was using the ATM. My son's girlfriend Olga got right in their faces and blasted them but good in Russian. I had no idea what she said to them but I said to her "wow, that was IMPRESSIVE!" And she's this tiny cute little thing .... but they got away from us and fast. The power of tone of voice I guess.

  9. Cockroaches in Siberia??? Those things could survive being nuked! UGH
    I think having roaches crawling all over me would have seriously set me into a psychotic episode! How awful.... Do all the kids sleep with these bugs?
    I would have nightmares.

  10. The cockroaches..ICK! Makes me not feel like teasing my Russian-born son about his bug and small animal/rodent phobias.

    You are so strong and determined! I love reading your story.

    And I totally understand if you obsessively check for Comments on your blog. We were only in Siberia for a few short weeks (spread out over 3 trips) and blogging and email felt like such a lifeline. I was all "What, no one has responded in 2 hours?? Where is everyone??" lol
    Hang in there!


What do you have to say? Leave a comment!