Friday, December 10, 2010

Charades anyone?

My world has become one big game of charades.  Since my Russian is limited to about 20 words, I have to act out most everything to everyone around me.  Day after day....charades!
Take, for example....
In IKEA, to tell our Russian speaking driver that I want to look around for awhile -  2 fingers (peace sign) in the eyes - then around the room symbol.  Easy enough.
To tell our driver I’m going to walk into the bank - the “let your fingers do the walking” symbol of index and middle finger walking on the palm of my hand.  Check - that works.
Looking for matches at the grocery store (those who know me well know I’m a fanatic about candles....this girl needs to light her candles!).  I spent 5 minutes with the grocery store manager acting out “matches”.   I found a package of birthday candles and used my hand to make a small explosion at the top of my index finger...clearly the charade for match - right?  After multiple attempts - no clue....I put the b-day candles down and left in defeat.  (For whatever reason, matches are one of the elusive items not to be found in Moscow - my neighbor finally took pity and gave me a book of matches she picked up at a hotel).
Ever thought about how you would charade toilet paper?  I did...and decided to hunt it down on my matter how long it took.
I’ve also found myself in hysterics, laughing, when the charade process doesn’t work after about 7 or 8 minutes.  I have this out of body experience where I’m looking down on the scene and realize how completely idiotic I must look.  What am I doing???  Most of the time, from the “charadee”, I get a dead-pan look back...and finally the shaking of the head that signals....nope...nada...nyet...not over.  So then you realize you can get along without many things, but tomorrow is always another day!


  1. Hey Ann! I wanted to let you know I was finally able to catch up on your journey today. Although (as you know) I'm new to ATL from FL and haven't left the house since Sunday because it's been down in the 30s, I'm never complaining again! Keep in touch and good'll get there! :-)

  2. I’m a fanatic about candles as well, I would die without a way to light them lol!! Also my sister-in-law just moved to the states from Brazil and knows no English - I wonder if she is doing charades too...

  3. matches= speechki
    toilet paper=tualetnaya bumaga

    If you can't find matches, try a cigarette lighter. You will definitely find it there as so many Russians smoke. Sometimes these items are by the checkout cashier like chewing gum in the US.

  4. Oh Natasha,
    Please do the charade for Toilet paper and record it and post it on your blog - it would make for some good giggles;)
    Miss you! It's 27 degrees here right now but I am NOT complaining!!!!
    How's reality tv over there?

  5. Good question is the reality tv? "Housewives of Moscow"?