Saturday, 15 September 2012

Kittens or Hitler?

The lack of posts over the last few days has been due to a lack of much remarkable.

Today was pretty funny/scary:
- I knocked a stack of breakfast plates onto the floor, told the cook I'd broken 2, but on closer inspection I figured out I'd broken 5! Oops!
- During Kindergarten Nastya and Danya had a fight, pulling each other's hair and slapping each other. We didn't really know how to get them to stop, then Danya hit Nastya so hard she started crying. I tried to get Danya to apologise, but had no idea how to say "Say Sorry!" in Russian, so did so part in English... "Скажи Sorry!" didn't work, he just put his finger in his ears. Russians very seldom apologise: I've only heard one "Прощу прощение" the whole time I've been here. Vicky handled it by asking Nastya what she wanted: she wanted a sweetie and she knew where they were. Soon she was back in the kids' room offering sweeties round to all the children including Danya: I guess they must have these fights all the time and forgive each other just as often.
- Fact of the week: farting is internationally funny, and the kindergarteners love to announce "Я пухнула"... so very ladylike. They also equally love to blame it on others. Today they blamed it on me because, and I quote them "У тебя есть большая попа". For those who don't speak Russian out there, that means "You have a big bum". I cracked up at their cheekiness :D

By way of an explanation of the title of the post - we were offered the opportunity to watch a documentary about Adolf Hitler with everyone, but we declined in order to play with Smudgy the kitten. I think we spent the evening in a much more lighthearted, pleasant and relaxed manner because of it.

Good evening!

The internet stopped working while I was typing up that last post, so apologises for the absence. Having used Google translate and the marvellous Russian slang dictionary at, we have now found out (and laughed a lot, and have been appropriately shocked) that the little 5-year-olds, having said "Lois - you have a big bum!" then said (excuse their French) "Vicky - you have a big c**t". Note my self-editing to protect my parents' delicate eyes. We're pretty horrified that they know such a strong word. The c-word is not so bad in Russian, and actually has the strength of the f-word in English: as in, so overused it hardly has any strength at all and some people use it every second word.

There's lots of extra people about now, we have neighbours in 'our wing' of the White House who are foster parents from Kitezh, they seem very nice and smiley. Even when we nearly woke one up from a nap while watching Mulan, the other very politely asked us to be quiet, and when she passed me just now she actually thanked us for quietening down! Praise majestical headphone splitters, meaning one can watch films comfortably without making so much as a peep.

Today we also had a relatively successful English lesson, and it was actually a laugh. The aim was to get them to do a role-play in pairs of meeting a stranger for a first time - we decided to make it fun by getting one of the pair to be human and the other from outer space. We had a false start when we hadn't looked up alien in advance, and we had some difficulty getting the kids to settle (we moved to the third floor as the classroom was tiny, they ended up getting out the armour and handpads for karate and mocking up alien warfare... at least they entered into the spirit of it). Still, we had success in eliciting appropriate questions from the class and getting them to converse in English. In the end, we had to move downstairs as our 'classroom' got invaded by visitors, which meant that in pairs they produced a dialogue in front of the class. I think it was pretty quick thinking of me, when one of the boys started communicating in alien-ese (cheek-popping), to hire a translator to speak English for him.

We had free time for the whole 4 and a half hours between lunch and dinner today, so we went to the farm and spent a jolly hour playing with the kittens there, naming them, and rescuing one who seemed to be having the back of her neck nibbled off by her siblings. When we put her down again she curled up in the protective paws of the sleeping dog - d'aww ^_^

I'm overjoyed to have my Russian mobile working at last, although I've been called 9 times today at least by a mystery number who hangs up as soon as I say hello. Creepy.

That's about all to report for now,
Stay tuned x

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