Monday, January 26, 2009

It ain't so bad.

I'm going to start with something positive, and then of course immediately change streams. The weather/temperature outside has no bearing on my need for ice cream. Honestly, when its hot, the last thing I want to put in my mouth is a milk product. Russians will eat ice cream no matter what. In the freezing rain there will be an ice cream cart sitting by the metro, in the park, etc. I love it.

I've been told its a full moon. I could check, but it makes my day make sense, so I choose to believe it. I went to bed at a decent hour last night. No alcohol. My alarm went off and I wanted to die. I forced myself up and out of bed. Forced myself to school. Forced myself to stay awake. Worst day ever. Teacher of course goes over ass-hard concepts today, one after another. I wanted to shoot myself. Then the last thing is watching this disturbing video of some 13 year old girl bitching about her boyfriend breaking up with her. Anyone who holds a baby doll for comfort is not old enough for a boyfriend. At times I thought she was possessed. Irrelevant really, just added to my general malaise today.

After class I went for visa pictures. That went so-so. Jumped a bus for the university clinic for yet another hiv test for my visa. The first one wasn't soviet enough I suppose. So you walk in the clinic, and like everywhere in Russia, the first thing you come to is a coat check. In addition to checking your coat, you must pay 5 rubles for little booties to cover your shoes. I had the forethought to have a Russian write down that I needed a hiv test and the results certificate. I can't imagine how this would have gone down had I not done that. First I show it to the coatcheck lady, "Blah blah blagovich blavnaya registrator" and a finger pointing left. So I head that way and find the "Registrator" closed for coffee break. I show the paper to another employee and apparently I was in the wrong place anyway because she says something that I understood to mean "Straight, straight, blahbloneechesky first clinic." I begin to head that direction and end up in some sort of Silent Hill scene. Run down hospital with a few pregnant women smoking cigarrettes. A saviour comes up, I show her and say I don't understand Russian and she smiles (no small feat here, though I run into it more often than you would think) and walks me to the clinic, which I never would have found with the previous directions. She directs me to the "Registrator" of this wing. I show her my paper, she takes my passport and documents my existence and points and says something that involves cashier so I go to that window. Here's where things get messy. First of all, I'm dealing with my health. Secondly I'm dealing with money. Thirdly, I'm dealing with a visa. Fourthly, I'm dealing with Russians.

So the lady quotes me a price that is much lower than what I was told I would need to pay. I was specifically told that I had to pay one amount for the test and one amount for the results certificate (go figure, I want you to know if I have the hiv, but I don't really need to know, so just the test please). So I ask if that amount is for the tests and the certificate, of course in the most broken Russian that ever existed. She can clearly hear that I don't speak Russian, yet she chooses to speak ultra fast and with an attitude brimming with sulfur. Before I know it, I've lost my shit. Now I'll lose my shit on people I know, but I am almost always overly polite to people in the service industry, even when they are being rude. Honestly, I don't know what happened. I kind of blacked out. Which is no good when trying to understand a foreign language. She basically told me to go somewhere else, but I couldn't understand where. The place I thought she meant, a small office behind me, was empty. So I went to the first window, where she chooses to act like she has no clue what I want. And they both keep saying something to that effect. What the hell?! Its written on paper in your language! How difficult is this situation? So this young pregnant girl comes to my rescue, maybe I've been reading too much Russian literature, but I do believe her baby will be blessed especially for his mother being so kind. Anyway, she tries to understand what I need and goes to the cashier to explain this. At this point, I don't care if I pay for the certificate now, just take my blood and I'll bring back one of my "guys" to figure out where my certificate is later. Then the cashier says something about the number eight. Thats the only word I understand, and I see the young woman trying to count out in English on her fingers, so I say "8?" and I hear the cashier say in Russian, "She understands." Bitch. Maybe I should take it as a compliment that she thinks my skills are more than they are, but seriously, if I understood would I have had a complete meltdown?

So the question is, am I getting fed up with Russian processes, or am I just taking on Russian attitudes. Jesus. It occurred to me today, and again, I'm probably reading too much, that maybe there's something to my love of gypsy music. Maybe the music calls some ethnic puzzle piece long lost or perhaps buried in my family tree. Maybe in fact, I am genetically predisposed to be an irate Russian. I tell you, I have adapted well more than I thought I would. Bitching aside, because god knows I just like to bitch, and it really has bearing on my current location. Maybe I'll take on a new name. Esmerelda?


b said...


Aurora said...

"Blah blah blagovich blavnaya registrator"

Fucking brilliant!