You'd think after four months of living in Russia, life here would stop surprising me. You'd think.
Today I made the trek to the post office to pick up a package. When I say trek...I mean trek. You see, we've found ourselves in a bit of a snow storm these past couple days and it takes a considerable amount of effort to get to one's destination. But nevertheless, a package is indeed worth the effort so I set out happily to the post office. As I was walking I passed a children's carnival thing in the park. I found it a little strange to have a carnival in December, but it's Russia, so whatever. Then a police car pulled up next to me. A man got out and waited for his partner. Imagine my surprise when a woman got out of the driver's seat and joined him. Now, it is not the fact that the police partner was a woman that surprised me. I'm all for equal opportunities and women gettin' out there and doin' their thang. What did surprise me was that fact that this female police officer was wearing HEELS. Call me crazy but I am of the belief that if you carry handcuffs and there is greater than a 5% chance you might have to chase someone, heels might not be the most appropriate footwear choice. However, I realize trying to convince a Russian woman of this would be next to impossible.
So I continued on my journey, laughing in my head about the carnival, the woman in heels, and the fact that about every fourth step I did a little dance on the ice...blissfully unaware of the tragic events that were about to take place.
I climbed the steps of the post office and opened the door. There, behind the counter, stood Satan's mistress. Really, it was her. I could tell she had just been waiting there all day for me to walk through that door so she could crush my spirit and devour my soul.
"Devushka" she barked. (Which literally means girl)
"Me?" I thought. "Is she talking to me?"
She said it again...only this time much louder and she looked right at me. Then she pointed to the door. Uh...I didn't know what to do. I looked at the door thinking maybe I had accidently left it open. No...it was closed. I told her in Russian that I did not understand. She took this to mean, "if you yell louder at the stupid American girl, she'll magically know Russian." So that's just what she did. She yelled. And pointed. And yelled some more. Her friends must have thought it looked like fun because they decided to join her...yelling and pointing and...did I mention yelling? I could not figure out what event could have possibly transpired to make them this upset (other than my birth, apparently) so I just stood there- stunned, panicking, and wishing I had paid better attention in the "what-to-do-when-mean- scary-russian-ladies-yell-at-you" session at training. Oh wait. We never had one of those.
Finally, a woman from the back came out, told them I was American, said something to her co-workers about me not understanding, and then put her hand out to see my package slip. I felt relief, thinking that perhaps this woman was saving me, when all of the sudden she crumpled up the slip I had given her and started talking to me angrily in Russian. She motioned that I needed to fill out a slip (which I had already done but she had decided crumple). By this time, I was holding back tears but determined not to give them the sastifaction of seeing me cry, I quickly filled out the form to the best of my ability. I handed it back, listened while Satan's mistress shouted a few last words to me, collected my package and walked out the door.
Customer service really is excellent here.
So this long, dramatic story is basically to tell you that I learned several important things today. They are as follows:
1. If I rob a bank, I should pray beforehand that the high heeled unit gets called to the scene.
2. I should avoid the post office from now on. At all costs.
3. Evil does exist. It has a slender build, a mullet and dark rimmed glasses.
4. It really is a good thing that Jesus loves everyone...because I don't.
5. I still have a lot of growing to do.