America's Newest Ambassador

Trip Start Oct 13, 2012
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Trip End Nov 19, 2012


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Where I stayed
Maria's House

Flag of Russia  , Central Russia,
Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I think it's really fun to interact with people from other cultures and see how they live, and tonight I was in for a special treat. Maria invited me over to her grandparent's house for dinner. Her grandmother is in her 70's and has worked and still works as translator for the General Prosecutor of Moscow, and her grandfather is a retired Russian Navy officer so this sounds like an interesting evening.

When we arrived I was warmly greeted by her grandparents. Neither of them speak English, but fortunately my personal translator Maria was there to help. They live in a typical small but nice Russian style apartment in a nice district. They had prepared a huge meal for us and even had American TV (CNN International) on for me to watch when I arrived. Granny speaks fluent Spanish and during Soviet times visited Cuba on behalf of the government and worked with Fidel Castro! She showed me photos of them together at his house and everything! Her big Spanish influences also meant that she loves tequila, so she quickly brought out a bottle of Sauza (the best you can get around here) and we started doing shots!

Over the next 6 hours we ate and drank continuously. Granny made an excellent Borscht among other great dishes. We discussed a wide variety of light dinner conversation topics including the coming hurricane, the U.S. election, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Russian Nuclear Submarines. Fortunately I just brushed up on Russian submarines by touring one. I felt like I was in some high level government meeting at the Kremlin!

At the end of the evening just before we were ready to leave, Maria's grandfather presented me with my very own Russian medal! I think I'm starting to like this meeting with other cultures gig. Hmmm.... Maybe I could be America's newest ambassador!
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