Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Rain drops keep falling on my head

"Ouch!" says Nathan. Tom and I laugh.

"Ow!" says Spencer and Tom & I laugh again.

"OUCH!" says Alida... only Tom is still laughing!

Have you ever had a raindrop land on your head with such force that it hurt? I thought the rain in Kansas was hard. These rain drops were huge and heavy. We got caught in the rain after we finished our pizza. We walked out of the restaurant and it started off slowly then started to pour! We had two choices at first:

1. Run for the nearest tree

2. stand and wait for the bus

We made a run for the tree. Tom decided fairly quickly to hail a taxi. So what would have been a 12 ruble ride home turned into a 50 ruble ride home! Such is life.

I went out for a big shopping trip with Melanie today. She took me to a large renoc that rivals the Orange County swamp meet in Costa Mesa, California. There were designer clothes, jewelry, shoes, purses, perfume, electronics, you name it... it was there! The people here are very frank in how they speak to you. Melanie is very tall (I'm 5 foot 2 so everyone is very tall to me!) and she needed a new swimsuit. This older woman just flat out told her that the two piece suits she had for sale would all be two small for her and she could only look at the one piece suits. Melanie had not even told the lady her size! I was looking for jeans. A different woman had some in my size...Melanie told her I was size 47 (Russian size). I was asked if I wanted to try them on. When I hesitated she came down on the price 100 rubles. There is a sheet they hold up and you step behind it and try on the item you select. Some women at other stalls just took off their tops and were trying on bras out in the open. I am not so free! Melanie ran to the front of the stall and assured me you could not see from that angle so I was brave and tried them on. That was the fastest I was ever in and out of a pair of jeans in my life! I paid 1000 rubles (35$) for a new pair of Jordan jeans. They show a picture of Michael Jordan's logo who knows if they are fake or not? I also purchased a lime green leather jacket for the same price! It says real leather & made in USA but we are not sure about that either. Anyhow, it will look cute this winter.

Our taxi driver was funny today. There was a car beside us that had to screech to a stop to avoid hitting the car in front of it. The steering wheel of that car was on the right so our driver was able to talk to him out of his window. He looked over and said "harashow!" (Good) The other driver nodded and said "Spaceeba" (thank you) Melanie told me that the other driver said he was praying to stop!

Nathan had his first art lesson today. Gaulia came to the house and worked with him for an hour. He is working on faces. I think she is a fabulous teacher. She said the magic words "your child is gifted!" His homework is to draw a male and a female face. He likes her teaching style. I am glad we made the choice to do private lessons. Gaulia has some of her pieces on display down on Krasnaya. She is a painter. I will photograph them when we find them. She comes again Thursday. Nathan ordered everyone out of the room when she got here. It would be nice if we had a studio for him. Right now he is lucky to have his own bedroom!

The boys and I finished our language homework this afternoon. We only had one word we could not find in the dictionary. We will have to ask Lena for help. The alphabet chart show a picture of ice cream covered in chocolate on a stick. The corresponding letter is looks like a backwards E. We think it should be the word for Eskimo pie ice cream. Tom remembers Alexei saying something to that effect. But we could not find the word. Not even in the bolshoi (big) Russian dictionary! Spencer is glad that Lena is so patient. He keeps making the Russian letter I backwards. It looks the same as an N in English only the center line goes the other way. Force of habit makes you write an N instead of doing it backward. Thank goodness we have all this time to practice before school starts in the fall!

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