Sunday morning: A day to sleep in, which I did, but also to discover if you’re in fact worth your salt. Thus far, I am. Today I managed to tackle the hot water heater, which you have to turn on separately from the cold water (which is always on) because it costs more and the pipes leak. Tanya left around 8 for the store I assume, and I ended up getting up soon thereafter. When it became apparent that the hot water was not in fact connected, I decided to do everything else that I needed to do in the morning, and wait for her to return. After about an hour of stalling, I decided it really couldn’t be that difficult. I mean the pipes are color coded! And 90 degrees C means ‘hot’. So I know that much.
Having showered successfully, I then turned to the task of using the voltage converter for the first time, for my hair dryer. This was more daunting than it sounds, as I’ve heard horror stories from each of my friends who have been/ are abroad of fuses blowing or things catching fire. But alas, it worked! I’d consider this a successful morning.
I also met Tanya’s father, Vladimir Vasilivich, who came over to try to fix the pipes. Given her age (40-ish) it makes perfect sense that her dad comes to help her with the plumbing or whatever else, but I can’t help but think about how lucky she is. When I’m her age, I still hope my dad will be able to be the plumber he once was.
Vladimir seemed somewhat confused when I attempted to introduce myself with my Russian name, Maria Osipovna (Mary daughter of Joseph). For the more observant among you, this name is the one in parentheses next to my name on Facebook. Tanya was kind enough to explain that I was actually Irish, not Russian, and I gave him my English name, to which he responds ‘Masha!’ We then discussed where I live, and I showed him on a map on the side of a coffee mug. Which inevitably started a conversation on Texas, ‘where George Bush lives!’ The political knowledge of Russians is just hilarious.
I also managed to ask Tanya if she had nail polish remover, and explain to her that my nail polish had once been clear (безцьетний) but had picked up the color when I dyed my hair. How was I supposed to know that I would need that vocab?! Once again, slightly impressed with myself.
So at 2 we meet Jack and the group at the Golden Gates, a main landmark, and hopefully I’ll figure out this phone mess…