Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming (well, a couple of ‘em at least)

A few years back, I was at my red-blooded American job at my red-blooded American company & was told “Doug, you’re going to be working with our new pricing specialist, and here she is.”  I was introduced to this stout, serious woman who said “I am GALINA.  Ve haf much to accomplish so follow my orders.” 

Excuse me?!

It was rough going at first (she had a very thick accent and a sense of humor like a sledgehammer) but eventually I learned to understand her well enough that my boss began taking me along to meetings that included her, to act as an interpreter.

  • BOSS:    So I think we should implement these updates this weekend.
  • GALINA:  Nyet, vat I tell earlier.  You vill not listen to vat I say?  Fine.
  • BOSS:    What’d she say?
  • ME:        She said that sounds fine.
  • BOSS:    Yeah that’s what I thought she said!

A couple Christmases ago, Galina gave me a present & said “Do not open until you are home.”  So I thanked her, and as soon as she walked away I tore it open; inside were four large round chocolate balls the size of Christmas ornaments.  I picked one up & bit into it, and burning fluid splashed in my face.  I yelled “my eyes, my eyes!”  and Galina returned.  “VUT DID I INSTRUCT, YOU DID NOT FOLLOW ORDERS.”  I said “Geezus what is this?!” and she said “Holiday candy from Russia… each contain one shotglass Russian wodka.”

A year or so ago, we were working together at my computer & Galina said “Douglas vy you not marry?”  I said “Oh unlucky in love I suppose…” and she said “Luck has nuttink to do vit it, give me keyboard.”   She went online and pulled up a Russian dating site full of glamour shots & said “Here, choose.”  I said “um, this isn’t even in English” and she said “Vat else do you need to know?  Dey all vant to be brides.  Russian vimmen make best brides.”

Anyway, I shared all that because strangely enough, the floor in my apartment building is being taken over by Russians, I kid you not.  Russian women to be precise.  A couple months ago a young woman named Pavla moved into #404, one door up from me.  We share the same bathroom wall, and sometimes when I’m in there I can hear her singing “Dum de dum da DUM DUM DUM”  thru the wall and all I know is, it sounds ominous.  But that’s okay, she’s pretty!

But sometime last night while I was making dinner, there was a knock on my door.  When I opened it, a woman in her early thirties was standing there holding a couple of Netflix envelopes.

This is her!  Well, minus the babushka and sickle, but it’s her alright

  • ME:  Hi--yes?
  • HER: Forr naught six.
  • ME:  I’m sorry? 
  • HER: Thees ees for you.  Come in mel. 
  • ME:  Oh, 406!  Yes, that’s me.  So you got these in your mail?
  • HER: Yes.
  • ME:   Yeah, the mailman does that sometimes, thanks.  Um… so you live here?  My name is Doug. 
  • HER:  I am Urinal.  Yes, I leaf—down there.  In four naught seffen. 
  • ME:  Nice to meet you Urinal.  So do you know Pavla in 404?  She’s Russian too.   
  • HER:  I do not know this Pavla.  Why do you tink I know this person?
  • ME:  Well, we don’t get a lot of--so do you like it here?
  • HER:  No. 
  • ME:  Oh!  Well, to be honest there’s a few residents that aren’t too happy here either.
  • HER:  Apartment is fine, it is decent.  I mean outside.
  • ME:  Ah… I’m sorry.  Are you here for work reasons?
  • HER:  You esk a lot of questions.
  • ME:  Oh I’m sorry.  Well, I hope things get better for you Urinal, it was nice meeting you!
  • HER:  My name ees NOT URINAL.  It’s Uriel!
  • ME:  Omigosh, I’m sorry about that!  I didn’t mean--

Well, I suppose that first meet could’ve gone a bit better, but who knows what the future brings.  Wait until I tell Galina, maybe I won’t have to go to Russia for a bride after all!


  1. I laughed all thru this till I cried! Sorry for it to end and could've read on and on.

  2. Thanks very much Shawn! I actually started to write you an email Sat night about meeting Uriel, but then I thought it might be interesting enough to share it here instead. Thank you again! :)

  3. Doug, you've made a friend! Remember to invite her over for some vodka, dark bread and dried fish.

  4. Haha, thanks Iikka! (Ugh--dried fish?!)

  5. This reminds me of one of skits Christoph Waltz did on SNL this past of the few funny ones. Video in the link:

    As his character's name in the sketch is Dimitri I thought he was supposed to be mimicing a Russian guy.

  6. P.S. If he wanted to "take me to woods to sleep for 100 years" I'd be down with that.

  7. Thanks Pam! Hey I just saw that SNL skit a couple days ago, I didn't know he was playing a Russian!

    And yes he's a pretty cool dude but you and your celebrity crushes :)

  8. Well maybe he was supposed to be a German guy...I think of Dimitri as a Russian name, but I could be wrong.

    Crushes make the world go around!

  9. Haha, oh that's right! (I should've recognized the accent, I should be an expert by now) :)

  10. Dimitri is sorta generic Slavic name.

  11. Hahaha Doug..This is hiralious. It literally made me roll on the floor. You are an awesome writer.

    1. Thanks Anon, your reply made me laugh too! Really, you're too kind--thank you. :)


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