The Russian sense of hospitality is unrivaled, second to none!  How they will go out of their way to make you feel at home!  (To feel at home, by the way, is чувствовать себя в своей тарелки).  Olga, my contact here, with whom I communicated over the summer, is absolutely amazing.  She thinks of everything and finds a way to do the impossible.  She and her husband Kostya are proof of “when there’s a will, there’s a way.”   She picked me up at the airport at 4am, provided me with delicious homemade wild strawberry jam, tea, and a few other groceries, helped me get internet (Kostya even sawed apart the plastic adapter that didn’t fit my computer charger!), showed me some lovely places in town, got me set up with my classes, and fed me and bathed me and gave me a lollypop and told me I was special!  (A few of those statements towards the end are less true than the others).  Yesterday, we enjoyed a lovely after-lunch meatsnack in the forest: grilled shpikachki sausages.  I tried to say that nature is a great spice, but when I asked how to say spice, I didn’t enunciate enough and Olga thought I said “space.”  Then we started talking about space (i.e., the cosmos).  If everyone had been completely 100% bilingual, I could have taken the opportunity to joke that “these sausages are out of this world!” but, given the fact that this misunderstanding was caused by not being 100% bilingual in the first place, I’m glad I didn’t try.


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