Friday, May 13, 2005

What an Adventure!

Today Tom and I went to the wholesale shop I visited yesterday. I found beads there that I thought he would want to see. I was able to get him back to place that Lena took me to. I used a combination of her hand drawn map and a map of the city. I used to hate maps..... now they are a life line.

After we shopped wholesale Tom wanted to see the retail shop as well. We took off and found they had beads that he liked too. He is well stocked to make more jewelry and crosses. I picked up some double pointed needles so I can learn to knit socks! I also found a book in Russian that I had wanted in the States I paid about half the price. If you are wondering if I can read it.... the answer is no. Knitting and crocheting both have international symbols for stitches. I can follow the patterns that way. I have learned some terms. 'Veeotsit' is the word for the action of knitting, sewing or crocheting. It means 'to bind'. And knitky is the word for yarn.

We decided to take a trolleybus home and somehow we ended up on a marshutka (mini van) going in the wrong direction.... I won't say who made that decision. But it was not me. The rain was coming down pretty hard and we had to make a decision fast. I suggested the #1. I rode it with Lena the day before and knew exactly where it went. The #38a was unfamiliar. Although it did have our street name on the sign in the window so we jumped on and paid the fare. We rode standing up until seats opened up. We went out into the countryside. There was a woman walking her goats! We rode until the end of the line. We finally asked "Pazhalsta, Gagarina sto-chiteree?" which is baby Russian for "104 Gagarina Street, please!" The driver realized we were pitiful Americans and let us stay on and we rode back in the opposite direction and he dropped us off in front of our house. There were several old ladies that fussed at him to make sure he stopped at the right place! They kept repeating "Gagarina, stoh-chiteree, Gagarina, stoh-chiteree" and watching out the windows... what a riot. Then when they saw the number they yelled out "Stoh-chiteree!!!!" The van braked hard. When we got out I yelled out "Bolshoi spaseeba" which is big thank you or huge thanks!

When we got inside Tom said "Alida why don't you order a pizza and I'll go next door and get us some drinks!" Why do I have to make the scary phone call? Even if I can figure out how to say what I need to say how will I know what is being said back to me????? Needless to say I am a trooper and I get the Menu off the fridge. Joy Watson has phonetically written out our favorite kinds of pizza on the menu. I had help even though Joy is in the States right now. I dial the number and when the young girl answers I immediately tell her my address. Then I tell her the types of pizza that I want. I stumble on ordering the french fries. Her question threw me for a moment. She asks for my phone number I get all the numbers right except 7. I said that one in English. She laughed at me. When I am done ordering I ask how much so she knows I'm done. Then she asks me if I'm in a house or apartment I can answer that one! Dome! House! Then she asks me something I don't understand. So I tell her I don't understand & she tells me goodbye and we pray for pizza to show up! 45 minutes later ..... We have pizza!!!!!!!

What a day! Then Nathan had his excitement as well. He went out with the youth group. Several of them waited for the tram-vi for over an hour. They got to to the stop at 10pm and it came after 11pm. They got off 4 stops past our house and had to walk back to where Tom was waiting for Nathan. Meanwhile, I had gotten three phone calls to tell me what was going on. Tom does not have a cell phone yet so I could not relay the message to him. I knew he would wait until they were reunited. Dennis stayed with Nathan until they all reached our house. He is a university student who was new to the group tonight. We fed him pizza and then sent him home in a taxi. No more public transportation for the night. I gave him 100 rubles to pay for the taxi. I would not let him say no. I know that his mother or someone else would have done the same for one of my boys! My goodness he stayed with Nathan for over 2 hours to get him home safely.

That's enough adventure to pack into one day. Who knows what tomorrow holds!

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