Monday, July 09, 2007

Disaster exaggerated…

If there was even a slightly interesting thing about that 90 minutes it was when the hedgehog came down the street.
Just another quick report. The farm is fine. Effectively we were lucky because there are great huge chunks of land which are simply under water today. People on the bus up to the village literally gasped today when they saw what amounted to lakes where wheat or corn used to be. Even walking down our own street showed us that some canals were filled with water. But on our land all was fine. Muddy yes, but fine. I only saw where one cabbage went over, everything else though in some cases dirty were fine and only one tree even lost a limb.

However, the real interesting story was that yet another fishing trip did not happen as Michael did not show up again. I know there must be a logical explanation for this. If he tries to say to me that he was there but didn’t knock on the door or at least call I am going to be pretty angry. I want to say though that there is some chance of there being a misunderstanding though. We talked about this, Egor, Egr and I as we stood outside in the dark, waiting like complete idiots for 90 minutes this morning from 3:00am to 4:30. Firstly you can say "tre pednatset" which means 3:15. If you were to say "bez pednatsity minut tre", this translates to fifteen minutes to three, 2:45. But there is another really obscure way of saying the time which comes out kind of similar and potentially could have been our fatal flaw. If you say "pednatsit minute tretova" though this literally would translate to fifteen minutes of three, 2:45, in reality saying this means that you are speaking of 2:15!! I don't know how this works language-wise or even where it comes from because though it mimics the English way of expressing time, but it is all together a different sort of fish.

Now I was with Tatyana last week and we spoke to Michael about this and I specifically wrote the time in his book as being 3:15. No words, just numbers. And he agreed with this. I actually said it several times. But if indeed this turns out to b the problem and you want to tell me that the guy was really asking for us to be ready at 2:15, I say not only is the language unintelligible, but this guy is a few bricks short of a load himself.

Last night I set the alarm for 2:30. I was on the street with Egor and Egr at exactly three. And there we stood, waiting for Michael. If there was even a slightly interesting thing about that 90 minutes it was when the hedgehog came down the street. I am not making this up. For some reason a baby hedgehog came hobbling down the street being sort of sniffed at by a dog. In case you have never run into on, hedgehogs do not move all that fast. There is a children's story about a smart hedgehog that makes a bet with a rabbit that he is faster. The hedgehog wins the race because, and this is also true, it is pretty darned hard to tell one hedgehog from another; the hedgehogs wife just waits at the other side of the field and when the rabbit shows up, he is astounded to see the hedgehog already there. I am digressing here, but if anything I am trying to show you how completely boring it is to be standing out on the street for 90 minutes with two 12-year-olds in the middle of the night. We checked him out for a while and then let him go free and followed him into someone's backyard. I guess they were trying to keep him as a pet.

Anyway, at 4:30 I quit. Regardless of any particular way of telling time, 4:30 covered the issue that perhaps he came later and not earlier. Only Egor wanted to go down to the river and catch fish so, thus overruled, we all went back to bed for two hours until the bus up to the village. At that time the four of us, Anya was with us now, armed with the weed whacker and a stack of cheese sandwiches headed up to the bus station.

You will have to forgive me for not writing more this evening but I am very, very tired. I have been wanting to say something about Bush's potential impeachment as well as trying to update some things but as of the moment I really need to close my eyes. These early morning non-fishing trips really take it out of you. I think I will watch some TV and go to bed.

More soon…