Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 59 - Awkward Moments

We were riding the bus to the Metro today when the bus driver yelled back, "Divichka! (Girl!) Blah blah blah blah blah" All these people looked back at me and the other three I was with. None of us understood a word, but I figured the bus-driver was in fact talking to us. It turns out one of us hadn't paid (passed up 10 grivna for three people, but got 4 grivna back instead of just one... it was just confusing), so Malory passed up three more grivna for the bus-driver.

When I made it down to the metro, it was packed. I did find a seat though which was nice. I was reading a magazine from church (the Liahona), so I was totally in my own zone on the way home. But then this lady started speaking Russian to me about something. Once again came the faces; people probably wondering why the heck I was in such a stupor about what this lady was saying to me. I said, "Do you want to sit here? Ya ni ponimayu Boruski. (I don't understand Russian.)". I finally figured it out though when she rubbed her hand over her belly (like a pregnant lady) then pointed at my seat. I'm pregnant, let me sit there. I felt bad for the confusion, "Oh! Izvinitye! (Sorry!)" I got up and let her have the seat.

I got off the metro, a little frustrated now at getting pushed around and talked to. At that point, I was feeling pretty down, I couldn't understand anyone. There were a TON of people there at my metro stop, and all of the running escalators were going up, just filing tons and tons of people out of there up to the tunnel that led to the sidewalks and streets above. I finally made it to the escalator and when I looked down behind me, it was just this sea of people all trying to get on the escalator I was now standing on. I turned back around to face the right direction going up the escalator, and lo and behold, there was this guy this probably drunk or just extremely friendly Ukrainian guy that wanted to talk to me. He kept talking to me talking something about futbol (soccer) and gymnastica (gymnastics?) and Ukraine. He pointed to himself and said his name (which I can't remember), then pointed to me. I made up a name, "Ya Madeline", that was the first other name I could think of at the moment. He put out his hand and probably said something like "Pleased to meet you!" I didn't want to be blatantly rude, so I nervously shook his hand back. The next thing I knew he had kissed me right on the back of my hand. Bleh! I pulled it away fast and wiped it on the back of my coat. He laughed, "Izvinitye, Izvine (I'm sorry, sorry)! Blah blah blah blah funny, funny!" which is the only thing I heard him say in English. He asked something else that I couldn't understand, I think he was wondering if I was going to the big event, whatever that was. All I did was shrug my shoulders and say, "Ya ni ponimayu". He kept talking until we got off of the escalator and said, "izvinitye" and "funny" a couple more times. I nodded and smiled, but I was relieved when he finally said, "Paka!" (Bye!) I went my own way trying to smile like I totally knew what was going on. But I didn't.

I walked home cautiously noticing ALL of the people walking the opposite direction as me to the sports stadium (there were SO many!). In reflection to my day, I realized that I had a choice, I could either be totally frustrated with all of Ukraine and everyone's failed efforts at trying to communicate with me OR I could laugh at it all and just call it an... experience.

When I got home, I related the whole event to my host-mom and we just laughed and laughed about it all. She said it was a compliment; she says I have a very European face (IS that a compliment? :P :D ) So maybe I totally made a fool of myself today in all of my mis-understandings, but I did have some good laughs in the end because of it :)

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