Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Mother and daughter hit Moscow ...

My wonderful mother joined me in Europe this week for a girls' trip to Russia. The big thrill is that she can finally try out the Russian language she studied so hard back when I was in high school.

Shortly after arriving in Moscow, our homestay host, a middle-aged woman named Nina, accompanied us to the local shop - one of those typically intimidating Russian stores where the shelves of products are all behind the counters, fiercely guarded by a cashier who is responsible only for a short section of goods (and is obviously paid extra not to smile). My mother and Nina nattered away in a charming mix of Russian and English which enabled them to buy water, bread and cheese, and to exchange the usual details on family members and weather. The excitement of putting your textbook language skills into real life action for the first time is something I'd nearly forgotten, but could relive today watching my mother's beam as she got out question after gramatically-dodgy question.

If our sightseeing lives up to the language experience then my dear Mum and I will have a perfect Russian jaunt.

Follow up: if shoes could smile ... our happy feet on Red Square.

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