Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The *Seemingly* Eligible Bachelor...and the Autobahn

So here in Elista I seem to be an oddity, meaning I'm a blond-haired male, of which there are very, very few, at least from what I've seen. I'm also an American whose Russian is, well, laughable or perhaps endearing, to many of the native speakers here.

These two things have several implications; the first being that the women  here seem to find me considerably more fascinating than the men do.  The men tend to simply stare, glare and just generally mean-mug wherever I go (when I say men, I mean people around my age), while the girls also stare, but giggle a little more and downright laugh when they hear me speak in Russian, but this only intensifies their stares.  So far I've had one creepy stalker-ish experience (ask me about it and I'll tell you, but I don't care to put it on here for the whole world to see), been approached by several girls seemingly under the influence and yesterday even had one mother approach me and repeatedly ask me to come and meet her daughter.

All of these make for a very interesting dynamic here and make everyday a new experience.  However, also on the topic of bachelors, one of the professor's sons got married this past weekend and I was told, as is per tradition here in Kalmykia, she brought in wine, champagne and Kalmyk donuts (think of a fried donut with no sugar or anything, just bread more or less - not bad, but not much flavor either) and we had drinks and snacks at around 11 in the morning.  I do actually hope to be able to attend a wedding while I'm here so I can learn more about Russian weddings and Kalmyk weddings as I know they are quite different from American weddings, but we'll see if that's possible.

On the note being 'eligible', a 'bachelor' or even 'alive', I think one false step here while crossing a street could change everything.  People drive here like it's the autobahn and I'm POSITIVE that I hear engines and cars revving and speeding up as I start crossing streets.  I'm positive.  This isn't, generally speaking, a great thing especially if, like today, it rains and there's more or less oceans of standing water in the roads.  Man can those cars really spray that disgusting muddy water at the speeds they go....crazy...  Also, the ambulance drivers here seem to be just old men, whom I'm sure have no medical training whatsoever (I may be completely off base here as well), which should you get an in accident doesn't bode well for you immediate health.  However, since the streets here are an equivalent to the Indy 500, I'm confident in saying that these ambulance drivers are probably some of the best and while you may die from lack of medical treatment at the initial site, they'll be sure to get you to the hospital before you can say "I can see the light..."

Well Dear Readers, it's getting late and I should probably go to bed.  There will be certainly be many more blogs to come as everyday here seems like a new adventure!

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