Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Russians

In Harbin, everyone thinks you are Russian. The locals expect mostly Russian visitors, since it is such a close place to travel to. Since we are of European descent, whether we are in Harbin or Yabao Lu (a Russian area of Beijing), we are often greeted with Russian hellos we don't understand.

Between our many trips to Yabao Lu and our trip to Harbin, we have all experienced very funny "Russian" moments.

Take our first afternoon in Harbin. Walking down the central avenue past a statue of a horse and carriage (which, of course, Z had to climb!), I noticed a family of four--a father, mother, and two girls (you can see the girls riding behind Z). The father was working on taking a few pictures when he noticed me, standing on the side. He said something in Russian to me, then to his wife and kids, and then started handing me his camera. Slightly startled (I also was eating an ice lolly, so my hands were full), I turned to Mommy, who was behind a few steps, and told her to come quick and take the Russians' picture. It was pretty funny to have them talking to us as if we understood, even though we were speaking English moments before.

Did you know that Russian sounds nothing like English?



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