A Russian Tale

I live near San Francisco and I worked there for many years. It has a significant Russian population that dates from the aftermath of  the Russian revolution.  In many of their homes is a picture of the Tsar.

I hear Russian when I travel by bus and at one medical center  I must try and understand what is being said in an English masked by a heavy Russian accent.

I don’t speak or understand Russian. Many years ago I did a radio program that was followed by a Russian language program. Paul and Irene were the hosts. Once, during the period of Russian Easter, they were late so I had to fill in. I made a weak joke about their late arrival being because their troika had only two horses. An old Russian woman was not amused and called to explain that troika means three. I told her it was a joke. She told me troika means three. This went on awhile.

When Paul and Irene did show up they were somewhat intoxicated and having great fun.

Many years later I worked with a Russian born in Harbin China. He would devil our secretary by saying “we Chinese”. He could speak Chinese and she couldn’t.

Several of us would be invited to his house for lunch during Russian Easter. He liked to mix vodka with various fruit juices. They were pretty potent. One glass was fine but two pretty much ended your day.

When he died I was informed that his wife wanted to make sure I was at the funeral. Why? Because he had considered me his best friend at work. Who knew? Russians are private about such things.

All this story is for those of you either in Russia or a former Soviet territory who consistently use Storyspieler. Many of you are in Ukraine.