Monday, November 15, 2010


Mark lost the race and his teammate Sebastian Vettel is 2010 world champion or Weltmeister as he put it being a German. Well done, Sebastian! :)

My mum is going to come to stay with us for 2 months in a week. I was busy preparing both her for the trip and our place for her arrival. She is flying with a connection in London - and as far as I know, Heathrow is a really confusing place even for those who have travelled a lot. Last time my mum travelled was years ago and she always travelled with me at her site to take care of everything. She does not speak any language but Russian. I have been able to speak English at a level good enough for travelling purposes since I was 10 years old or so. I also speak German and therefore had no issues while traveling in Austria or Germany. I can remember how awkward it feels when you cannot talk to anyone around from my trip to France. French people won't speak to you any language but French even if they know other languages. I have no explanation for this, but it is really annoying - when we arrived at the international train station in Paris and were not able to buy subway tickets any other way but by feverishly gesturing to the woman in the booth. I felt like a total idiot and I did not like the feeling.

I only encountered a similar feeling once after that - in Sicily, but since the Italians do not pretend not to speak other languages, but actually don't bother to learn them, it did not feel that irritating. They are also not acting pathetic when you try to explain yourself, but instead are doing their best to understand you.

So now that my mum is on her own on the trip I am trying to do my best to help her on the way. I have downloaded a step-by-step instruction on how to get through her connection in London. I translated it and in case she gets lost, provided her with notes saying "I do not speak English, please help me get to the gate of my flight" to show to people around in case she needs help. I will make such notes for Canadian customs as well. And when she goes back to Russia, I will make her start learning English. :)

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